Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to pray for a missionary (Guest blog)

My sister-in-law, Amanda is a missionary in Loja Province and she recently sent the following in her newsletter.  I thought it was valuable information for all missionary prayer supporters.  Take some time to pray for missionaries today!

Have you ever wanted to pray for your missionaries but not known what their needs are? Maybe you couldn't remember what their last newsletter said and you weren't in a position to look, or maybe you desired to pray for them but all their requests are for others or the ministries themselves. If this has ever happened to you, I pray that this will help.

First off you should know that in many aspects, the prayer needs of any missionary are the same as your own. For example, if you are a parent and the missionary you are praying for is also a parent, you can easily pray for those needs related to parenthood that you are facing or have in the past which you can imagine the missionary is also facing. 

Another example is for growth in their personal walk with the Lord. It isn't always easy to guard your time with God from distraction and being a missionary doesn't make it any easier.

Beyond these daily life prayers and those specifically mentioned by your missionary in their newsletters, are needs that I'm going to call "Missionary Realities."

Reality 1: Relationships with locals and teammates - we are all human and make mistakes. It is important that we remain humble, especially in our relationships with others. This means compromising on ideas, giving and seeking forgiveness, putting God's glory above all else, etc. Pray for strong, healthy relationships for your missionaries.

Reality 2: Constant change - while this creates the atmosphere for adventure (which I love), it also creates a need for extreme flexibility and steadfastness. This could result in a change of plans for the day or for an entire ministry. It could be caused by the coming and going of teammates, changes in national law, or a number of other things. While change isn't always bad, it can be difficult. Pray that your missionaries will have strength in the face of change and that their faith will continue to grow as they seek God in each change.

Reality 3: Foreign living - over time, missionaries more or less adjust to living in another place, but there are instances where even the new "normal" becomes overwhelming. Here are a few examples: an inconsistency in water and/or electricity, the inability to drink or eat whatever is before you without thoughts of what it may do to you, and the constant need to function in another language. These things really do become normal and expected, but on hard days they can be very irritating. Pray for your missionaries as they deal daily with these and other cultural differences. Pray that their attitude and response to their living environment will always be honoring to God.

Reality 4: Sleep & Sickness because of the stress involved in the previous realities mentioned, many missionaries struggle with sleeping well, staying healthy, or both. Stress is not the only reason for sickness but it is a major one. Depending on where said missionary is living, there may be sicknesses caused by the water, food, mosquitoes, etc. Don't forget that we are all in a spiritual battle and this is another cause for illness among the Lord's servants. Pray for good sleep, good stress management, and the Lord's protection of your missionaries.
                                                                                                        Serving God with you,
                                                                                            Amanda King

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