When I first started this blog, it was intended as a way of sharing what we were doing with those who pray for us and who have supported us over the years. Somewhere along the lines, it metamorphosed into something slightly different. However, I thought it might be good to return to my roots and to talk about praying for missionaries. This blog series is based around the Lord’s prayer and at some point in the future might turn into a video.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
It is appropriate that any prayer for missionaries should start with thinking about God. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus gave the ‘Great Commission‘ to his disciples, the first thing they did was worship. Mission must always start from a heart that overflows with love and gratitude to God, otherwise we have nothing to offer to a needy world.
Missionaries also face a particular temptation; in order to raise interest and support for their work, they have to talk about themselves an awful lot. Unless they are very careful, they can draw attention away from God and on to themselves. Many missionaries have extraordinary stories to tell about travelling to exotic places, eating strange foods and seeing wonderful things happen, but if we just talk about these things, we are missing the point. The centre of mission work is the God whom the missionaries serve, not the missionaries themselves.
So if you want to pray for missionaries, here are two starting suggestions:
- Start with worship yourself. Don’t forget to acknowledge whom you are praying to and your dependence on your heavenly Father.
- Pray that “your” missionary will have a life which is typified by gratitude and worship for God. Even if you don’t have time to work through all of the other things in your prayer list, don’t miss out on this one.