Do You Pray
For Our Missionaries?
Praying for our missionaries is not an option, but an obligation, and not just for a few ‘missionary minded’ members. Christ commanded prayer for labourers for the harvest field (Matthew 9:36). Surely He expected prayer to continue for them as they laboured!
Paul wrote from the foreign field and he urged congregations to pray for him and his fellow missionaries. In 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2, he exhorted: “Pray for us, that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.” Taking the Gospel into the strongholds of darkness, missionaries are prime targets. Satan will attack them. So pray for deliverance from ungodly men – and from untimely accidents, unnecessary sicknesses and every device of a relentless foe.
Paul’s letters reveal his ‘humanness’. He experienced loneliness, fatigue, trials, and even disagreements with fellow missionaries (Barnabas). Missionaries face temptation just like other Christians. However, their situation may intensify the temptation. Excessive fatigue exacerbated by loneliness and pressure of responsibilities may cause depression or discouragement.
Focusing on themes from Paul’s letters, we should pray they will have a strong personal walk with God; spend time in His Word in the midst of busy ministry; be filled with the Spirit; exhibit spiritual fruit; keep themselves in His love and so experience His love through them for family, fellow workers and unsaved; be filled with a knowledge of His will; be given boldness; and be strengthened in the inner man.
Paul also asked prayer, “that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3). Present day missionaries face many doors that need to be opened. Visas and work permits are difficult to obtain. Fluency in language only comes by long hours of disciplined dedication and study. Nothing is easy!
And so, our missionaries, like Paul, would plead, ‘Brethren pray for us’ (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
Dr Ron Johnstone, a former missionary to Papua New Guinea, lectures in Missionary Principles and Practices in the Whitefield College.
Rev Gordon Ferguson.