How to pray for missionaries?
“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.” Romans 15:30
In his letters, Paul asked for prayer and gave specific prayer requests. Paul knew prayer was important to his missionary journey.
As a prayer partner with those who are called to go, you too will have an impact that can reach around the world.
Missionaries deal with many of the same stresses you face in life such as overwhelming workloads, relational conflicts and financial uncertainties. Often, however, missionaries struggle with these issues alone, without the support of other Christians. Living and working cross-culturally adds an additional element that can challenge their emotional, spiritual and physical vitality.
There are so many different areas that are important. Spiritual, physical, emotional, financial needs, open doors, boldness, more laborers, etc.
Let me focus today on just a couple.
Physical issues/Language issues.
Have you ever thought about the physical toll on a missionary? We eat food on a daily basis that we are not used to. Sure, we grow to love the local dishes, but sometimes there are effects on our bodies. There are cultural differences when it comes to the preparing of food and food itself. It is not always easy finding the balance. We, as missionaries, must embrace the culture and the favorite local dishes to learn and be a part of their culture. We also must protect our health and our children’s health. Is it always easy to find that balance? No, it isn’t.
What about the water? Even though missionaries try to be careful, there are issues that we go through because of the water. Speaking with a local doctor recently and after he checked our results, he informed us that we have a problem with parasites. Something to take into account, we minister in a country where things are much better than other countries. What about missionaries that are ministering in areas where sicknesses are even more of an issue? Do we need you to pray for us? Yes, we do.
The city we are working in is known for outbreaks of Zika and Dengue. Do we need you to pray for our health? Of course, we do.
How many missionaries have struggled with serious health issues? Many. We need good health to be more effective on the mission field. Without the health that we need, it is difficult to undertake the many responsibilities that we have on the mission field.
Have you ever thought about the language struggles? Have you ever considered what it is like to preach every message in your second language? A language that you did not grow up speaking. Have you ever thought about performing a wedding in a second language? What about a funeral?
Imagine this scenario. A couple calls you and you know they are quite upset, but you don’t really know exactly why. You set up a time to meet with them. They come in and they are quite frantic. The lady is going 100 miles an hour explaining her side. Then he starts explaining his side. They begin to interrupt each other and continue talking over each other. What is going through a missionary’s mind? Well, we are hoping we understand everything correctly. Why? Because we are working and counseling in our second language? Please remember everything we do is in our second language. This is not our first language. What if we don’t understand everything correctly? Could we make a mistake with our counsel if we don’t understand correctly? What if we misunderstand an important issue and then give counsel based on something we misunderstand? Instead of helping, we could actually hurt the situation. Missionaries must get the language. To effectively reach the people, we must be able to understand them in their language, and they must be able to understand us.
These are just a couple of examples.
Take care! Thank you for your prayers.