I received this in email from Pastor Dennis Leatherman from Mountain Lake Baptist Church. I hope it is a blessing.
The starting point and the sustaining point in World Missions is prayer. The following is a list of ten ways we can pray for our missionaries on deputation & around the world.
1. Pray that they will have boldness. This was the prayer of the N.T. church (Acts 4:29-31). The world is increasingly more hostile to Biblical Christianity and boldness is a must in all of our ministries.
2. Pray for their marriages & families. Satan attacks the missionary’s home and marriage. If the marriage fails, the ministry fails. Many missionaries have had to come off the field because of the breakdown of their marriage. Pray that they stay close to each other in their financial and ministry struggles.
3. Pray for their health. On the foreign field there are many health hazards. On deputation, the strain of travel, long days, and exposure the differing parts of the country can breakdown their health.
4. Pray for their safety. Again, the highways here in the USA & around the world can be dangerous places. Some mission fields have their own unique dangers, such as excessively high crime, wars, poor law enforcement, etc.
5. Pray for open doors of ministry. Christian service is a spiritual warfare, and no where is this evident more than on the mission field. All the money, organization, and boldness in the world cannot breakdown spiritual strongholds in the nations of the world. We need God to open the doors to closed countries and new ministries.
6. Pray for co-laborers for our missionaries. Our Lord stated very clearly, “the harvest is great, but the laborers are few.” He immediate solution to the need of labors was, “pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into the harvest.” Our missionaries need helpers. Helpers from here in the States to join them and national helpers to be raised up and trained on the field. Along these lines, pray for a kindred spirit to be developed within the team on the field, that they can work together with united hearts and minds.
7. Pray for the spiritual well being of our missionaries. Pray they maintain intimate daily devotions with the Lord, that their prayer life remains vibrant, that the world will lose it attraction to their flesh, they they stay strongly in love with their Lord. Note: this is vital for ourselves also!
8. Pray for the financial needs of our missionaries. While on deputation, this is obvious, but what is not so obvious is once they are on the field. Fluctuating exchange rates and churches changing leadership or philosophy & dropping missionaries can have devastating effects upon their finances. Not to mention additional children being born into the family, & the continual cost of living increases.
9. Pray for souls to be saved, self-sustaining churches to be established, Scriptures to be translated into native tongues, and nationals to be trained. To see these results requires earnest, diligent prayer of righteous men, here at home and on the field.
10. Pray for the missionaries faithfulness. The ministry can be very difficult, especially on certain mission fields. The temptation to quit can be very real. Sometimes, with few other Christians near and a lack of accountability, it may be tempting to just “coast” in the work. But it is required of stewards that they be faithful. Though often their reasons are legitimate, there are too many missionaries that surrender then quit before they ever get to the field, or get to the field and then return home shortly thereafter. They need our earnest and sincere prayers.
As stated above, the Christian ministry is a very real spiritual warfare, and earnest prayer on the part of all Christians is an absolute necessity for the Gospel to go forth in power.