Why Do Missionaries Need So Much Prayer?

Did you know that more Christians have been persecuted in this century than all centuries combined? No doubt the enemy of darkness is not pleased with the present effort to get the Gospel to every tongue, people and tribe. The light and hope that Jesus is bringing to hundreds of thousands for the first time is unprecedented.

The Apostle Paul, a man of deep prayer, begged believers to pray for him. He pleaded with the church, “I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Romans 15:30). Like Paul, every worker in the harvest needs prayer for their personal needs, for spiritual wisdom and power, for their family, and for the ministry to which they are called. The choice to serve is not an easy one. They have chosen to serve because the Lord has broken their heart over the things that matter, and they are consumed by the desire to see the body of Christ built up and see the lost found.

How Can You Pray Effectively?

First of all, be committed to them as a person. Seek to interact with them, and find out some of their key prayer needs. Ask the person for details of their prayer needs. Get any updates as needed (via e-mail or phone). Write down specifics! Then, ask the Lord specifically how He wants you to pray for them. Perhaps He will lay it on your heart just to pray for one facet of their life or ministry. Let Him guide you. Remember, you are called to pray for the burden that God lays on your heart.

Take time to journal what the Lord impresses on you as they are on the journey of leadership. Whenever possible, compare notes as to what the Lord was doing during your times of prayer. Also, just a reminder, don’t forget to pray for their family and loved As you look at the categories below, they serve only as a guide or tool that might help to spur you on. But, first ask the Lord to show you how to pray. If you choose to read through the Scriptures to supplement your prayer time, you can insert your prayer partners name in the passage as you pray for them.

True Humility and Stability—Prov. 15:33; Col. 3:12; I Peter 5:5; Eph. 3:17; 6:14
Relationships—Rom. 14:19; Eph. 4:3
Joy—II Cor. 4:7-18, Jas. 1:2-4, I Pet. 1:6-9
Health & Safety in Travel—II Tim. 4: 6-18
Self-Discipline—II Tim. 2:3-9, 15

Children (by name)—Eph. 6:1-3, Col. 3:21, Prov. 22:6
Pressures they may face as a family—II Tim. 2:3-4, I Tim. 5:17-18

Spiritual Freshness & Maturity—Eph. 4:15, II Cor. 9:10-15
Ability to Walk in Love and in the Light—Eph. 5:2, II Pet. 1:7, 10
Divine Power and knowledge of Him—II Pet. 1:3, 8
Prayer life—I Thess. 1:2-5
Integrity and accountability—Eph. 4:25, 31-32, II Tim. 4:8-10
Spiritual Warfare—Acts 20:28-31, Eph. 6:10-18
Ministry preparation—Isa. 66:19
Prayer and Financial Needs—I Thess. 5:25, Rom. 15:30
Fruitful Relationships—Romans 14:19
Servant Ministry & encouragement—I Thess. 5:11, Heb. 3:13
Strength and Boldness to share the gospel—Phil. 1:27-30
Perseverance in the midst of crisis—Phil. 1:6, 23-24
Compassion, mercy and love towards those who are lost—Luke 19:41, Matt. 5:3-16

Compiled by Janet Moen