Praying hands for world missions
- Your prayers at home can impact the effectiveness of
missionaries worldwide in their work of fulfilling the Great Commission..
- Five fingers, five reminders: Use your fingers to remember
and pray for missionaries in different situations.
- Missionaries have seven crucial needs: health, guidance,
teamwork, social relationships, spiritual growth, safety, and strength to overcome loneliness and
"The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the
effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors,
as the missionary." -- R. A. Torrey
How to pray for missionaries — Prayer and world missions
"Pray for us." -- Hebrews 13:18
Making your "concerts of prayer" effective: Praying for world evangelism's front-line
Want to know how to pray for those working to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission
among those yet unreached?
Use your fingers as memory aids when you pray for missions. Here's how your five fingers
can be prayer reminders:
Since your thumb is nearest to you, begin by praying for those
missionaries closest to you. They are the easiest ones to remember. C.S. Lewis said that praying
for those we love is a "sweet duty."
- Index or pointing finder
Let your "pointing finger" remind you to pray for
missionaries who teach, instruct, and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and evangelists. They
need support and wisdom for pointing others in the right direction.
- Middle finger
Our tallest finger reminds us of church leaders. We can never pray too much for them. Pray
for those who supervise and direct global missionary outreach.
- Ring finger
As any piano teacher will testify, the ring finger is our weakest
finger. This weaker finger reminds us to pray for those missionaries who are discouraged, in
trouble, or in pain. [ read more ]
- Little finger
Our little finger is the smallest of the digits on our hands, which
is where we should place our individual wants and desires in relation to world evangelism needs.
The Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Let your pinkie remind you to pray
for the people of the world who have the greatest need to find Jesus. Pray that they will open
their eyes and see Him.
contributed by Bev Borbe, former general
president of Nazarene Missions International
Intercessory prayer support is a key thing that believers in local churches can do
to support world evangelism. "All movements of the Spirit in China, within our experience,
may be traced to prayer" said Jonathan Goforth,
Seven things all missionaries need . . . and for which people neglect
- Victory over mental stagnation
- Freshness in prayer and in Bible teaching
- Guidance in how to present the Gospel
- Deliverance from the temptation to pride
- Wisdom in relationships with other missionaries
- Strength to overcome temptations brought on by loneliness
- A saving sense of humor [ read more ]
Adapted from WorldTeam's brochure, "Praying for missionaries."
From a missionary: Specifics to pray for
When traveling . . .
- That missionaries will pass effortlessly through customs and immigration lines as they
enter and leave countries
- That the planes on which missionaries travel will not encounter mechanical problems or
trouble from terrorists
- That traveling missionaries will make all their transportation connections
Health and safety objectives
- Protection from accidents, crime, natural disasters, terrorists, and dangerous
- Protection from debilitating sickness
- That missionaries will find time for proper sleep, rest, and exercise
- That missionaries' food and water needs will be met
Spiritual watchcare objectives
- Times of intimacy with Jesus for missionaries as they read the Bible, pray, and
participate in worship
- Shielding for the missionaries from dark forces in spiritual realms
- Preservation for missionaries from discouragement, fear, and
- That missionaries will demonstrate purity, humility, boldness,
wisdom, patience, love for people, a teachable spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit
- That teams of missionaries will experience and express unity, love, good
communication, patience, and spiritual gifts [ more on conflict
- That missionaries will resist temptations toward jealousy, envy, bitterness, and pride
- That missionaries will be granted grace for cultural adjustments, dealing with jet lag, being
away from family and friends and lack of privacy. [ more on
culture shock ]
- For missionaries to have wisdom to design and implement effective efforts that will make a
long-term difference here . . . and that they will be able to establish and maintain a solid
friendships with government officials and other leaders in their chosen place of
Bible verses to meditate on at prayer time
- Exodus 4:12; 33:14
- Psalms 4:8, 19:14, 121:1-8
- Isaiah 40:29-31; 55:10-11
- Zechariah 4:6
- Acts 1:8, 4:29,30
- Ephesians 3:16-20; 6:10-20
Portions adapted from an article by Gail Seiver in World
Christian, Vol. 14, Number 4.
BLESS -- an acronym to guide your prayer for a missionary or for a people group
- B -- Body
- Pray for physical health and nutrition.
- L - Labor.
- Pray for their work.
- E - Emotions.
- Pray for emotional health and well-being of the missionary or people group.
- S - Social.
- Pray for their social relationships, their families and extended families. Pray that God will
keep marriages together.
- S - Spiritual.
- Pray for their spiritual condition.
contributed by CMA missionary Lisa Miriam Rohrick
Will you join the 714 Club? -- an invitation
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray
and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will answer their prayers and
heal their land."
--2 Chronicles 7:14
People everywhere are invited to join the 714 Club. The Club takes its name
from 2 Chronicles 7:14. There are no meetings to attend and no dues to pay. There's only
one rule: Club members agree to pray for Africa each day at 7:14 in the morning and again at
7:14 in the evening.
What should you pray for?
- Pray for the Africa Region Church of the Nazarene as it
evangelizes that great continent, preaching and teaching scriptural
holiness so that new Christians will be discipled.
- Pray that God will give vision for the directions to be taken in the future.
- Pray that God will give boldness and discernment to field strategy coordinators.
- Pray for missionaries as they carry out their specific ministries.
- Pray for the district superintendents across the African continent.
- Pray for the Bible college leaders, faculty and other educational staff
as they train men and women for ministry.
- Pray that God will give each pastor, missionary ans lay person across the Africa region
strength and power to carry out the ministries in which He is calling churches to
— a plea by J. Fred Huff known in Africa as
Dumisani Ndhlovu (the elephant that praises God) former Nazarene regional director for Africa,
a region where the Church of the Nazarene now is present in every country and also has
ministries within several of the cultural groups which missiologists consider to be unreached
because of the small percentage of Christians within them.
For more on why we should pray for missions, go to
the listing of Bible passages that illustrate how important world
evangelism is to God
When cross-cultural missionaries become discouraged
What causes missionaries to feel discouragement?
Overload. Tension. Loneliness. Harassment.
"'I have had enough, Lord,' [Elijah] said, "I am the only one left, and now they are trying
to kill me too." -- 1 Kings 19:4, 10
A missionary can be tempted to feel defeated because of one or more of the following
- Working among an apparently unresponsive or even hostile people group
- Work overload resulting from unrealistic expectations and/or a shortage of personnel
- Ministry requiring frequent trips away from spouse and family
- For married missionaries: Tension between the demands of "the work" and family needs
- For single workers: loneliness
- Trying to solve problems and counsel with people using a language that one is still trying to
- Limited fellowship with others of like-mind
- Frequent harassment by local government officials
Discouraged missionaries are very vulnerable to temptation. Discouragement is a reason
missionaries drop out and return home from assignments. Successful coping with
discouraging times can lower the missionary attrition or drop-out rate.
"I lie in the dust, completely discouraged; revive me by your word." --Psalm
119:25, The New Living Translation
Adapted from "20 Points on Praying for Missionaries" by WEC
-- Howard Culbertson,
"I may not end up being a goer, but I can still play a role in reaching the world for
Christ by being a sender." -- Heather H., Nazarene Bible College student
More for you on prayer
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