How To Pray for Missionaries by David Wang
“Don’t come, please.At least, not yet,” I said to the prospective missionary family. So critical isintercessory prayer to the success of missionaries on foreign fields. Irecently asked this young family to mobilize 20 people to pray for them, evenbefore they applied to join Asian Outreach as missionaries.
The couple wereinitially surprised at my insistence on this condition. But as I explained myreasons for doing so, I could sense that they were beginning to see their needfor prayer warriors. Just the week before I had met with them, we learned of amissionary family being kidnapped in the region they were wanting to go to.
This was not anisolated incident. Almost on a yearly basis, missionaries are being captured,kidnapped or even killed in that part of the world. And here I had thisbeautiful, enthusiastic family preparing to go to the same area to serve theirLord and His people.
The battle we faceis a spiritual conflict. It must be fought and won by men and women of God whoare willing to intercede for missionary families as they invade enemy territoryheld uncontested for centuries. Satan does not meekly give up his prey. Hecounterattacks fiercely in many unexpected ways. The missionary must haveintercessors who stand alongside, praying on a regular and systematic basis.
- One ofthe most effective strategies Satan employs to hinder missionary activity is toattack the health of missionaries and force them to return home. Recognitionthat it is not God’s will that Satan strip the mission field of workers throughinfirmity
(Psalm103:3; 107:20; Isaiah 53:5). Recognize that it is the will of God for His
children to have health and strength to carry out His work (Jeremiah 3:6;
John 10:10, 3 John 2).
- Pleadthe protection of Jesus’ blood over the body of the missionary. Hostileclimate, language barriers, strange customs, oppression of the enemy anddifficult circumstances can take their toll on the missionary.
- Pleadthe protection of Jesus’ blood over the mind of the missionary.
- Pray themissionary may know God’s rest and peace (John 14:27; Hebrews 4:9).
- Praythat the missionary will refuse to accept any accusation from Satan against afellow believer. Satan may defeat a missionary through placing suspicions inthe minds of other missionaries concerning him or her.
- Pray forGod’s discernment and power to be given to break through the powers of darkness(Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:6; Psalm 27:14; 31:24).
- Pray forthe missionary’s safety. Missionaries usually travel extensively in their work.Pray for their safety as they travel. In many parts of the world, terrorism isrife. Forces that seek to stop the preaching of the gospel are arrayed againstthe missionary.
- Pray forthe safety of each individual member of the missionary’s family (Psalm 91:11).
- Pray forthe love of God to fill the heart of the missionary. Missionaries live inabnormal, difficult and often dangerous situations, and the natural love of thehuman heart will fail many times. Without the love of Christ filling the heart,adversity can induce hardness of the heart, impatience, sharpness of speech,anger and prejudice (Romans 5:5).
- Pray forGod’s love to fill the missionary’s heart with love for his or her fellowworkers (I John 4:7-8; I Peter 4:8).
- Pray forGod’s love to fill the missionary’s heart toward the people he or she isreaching (Matthew 5:43-44).
- Pray forthe anointing of God to rest on the missionary. How easy it is to labor in thearm of the flesh, depending on one’s own strength, wisdom and ability, but howfutile. Satan only mocks us for he recognizes no power, but the power of God.
- Praythat the missionary may be continually filled with the Spirit (Luke 4:18; Acts1:8; 4:31,33).
Satan does not meekly giveup his prey. He
counterattacks fiercely inmany unexpected ways.
- Pray forrevival. More is accomplished in a few weeks through revival than isaccomplished in years of ordinary labor. God has promised to pour out HisSpirit in these last days on all flesh. This means on all flesh who seek Him(Joel 2:28-29).
- Pray forthe establishment of the national church. In these uncertain days, themissionary may be driven out of a country at any time. But if the nationalchurch is established, the work will go on.
- Praythat disciples will be made in every national church. Disciple making is thekey to world evangelization (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Pray forBible schools and their teachers.
- Pray fornational pastors and their families.
- Pray formore laborers. All occupied fields are short of labor and more missionaries areneeded to enter new harvest fields (Matthew 9:38).
- Prayknowledgeably. Inform yourself of the specific prayer targets of the mission fieldthrough the missionary’s newsletter.
- Prayconsistently. Be specific, systematic, and steadfast in praying for real anddefined needs (I Thessalonians 5:17).
- Praybelieving. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that youreceive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:34).
- Pray inthe Spirit. The Holy Spirit is One “called alongside to help” (Romans 8:26-27).
- Prayusing Scripture. When you are praying for your missionary, use Scripture likeEphesians 1:15-19.
- Praywith fasting. It works! Fasting added to prayer will break any stronghold ofSatan (Mark 9:29).
- Exerciseyour authority over Satan. It is in prayer that the binding and loosingministry God has given us is accomplished. Satan must be bound in situationsand the children of God loosed from his power (Matthew 18:18; Mark 16:17-18;Luke 9:1, 10:19).
- PraiseGod for the answers. Give God the praise due Him for answered prayer. As youpray, praise Him for the answers before they are manifested. Prayer is mighty,but prayer with praise is mightier! Around the world missionaries areexperiencing God’s visitation. Their victories will continue as you pray, andsoon we shall rejoice together with Christ for all eternity!
(David Wang isInternational Director of Asian Outreach International Ltd. in Hong Kong, andpublisher of “Asian Report.” As adapted in “Mission Today ’94, Berry PublishingServices. It is reprinted with permission).