Give us today our daily bread
There is one thing that twenty years of leadership in a mission organisation has taught me; we never have enough time, people or money to do what we think we should be doing. Individual missionaries may well have the resources they need for whatever it is they are doing, but across the board, agencies struggle. This means that mission leadership is a constant round of both praying for God’s provision and working out how you can do what you need to do when God doesn’t provide in the way you would like him to. We constantly need to refocus, cut programmes and find ways to allow two people to do three peoples’ work – all the time praying for God to provide.
There are those who rather simplistically say that “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply”. I looked at this at some length in another post. Let me just say here that you can’t guarantee that the doing the right thing for the right motives means that the financial resources will be there, nor does the lack of finance mean that something is being done wrongly. It isn’t that simple.
God does provide for our needs, though not always for our desires. Sometimes missionaries and agencies over-reach themselves and need to rein in their ambitions and sometimes he has very important lessons to teach us as we see how much he can do when we don’t have the resources we think we need. We can sometimes learn far more in times of shortage than in times of plenty.
So what is the daily bread that you should pray for missionaries to receive?
- Stuff: this will depend on the person and the situation, but missionary letters generally list a few things that the person needs.
- Money: Brits don’t like to talk about this, but missionaries do need financial support, please pray that they will receive it (even better, give something, as well as praying).
- People: it was the Lord Jesus who said that the harvest was plentiful and the labourers were few. Things haven’t changed much, so pray for people to join in the work.
- Wisdom: to know how to continue working for the Kingdom when resources are short