Praying hands for missions

"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 missions

"Pray for us." -- Hebrews 13:18

Making your "concerts of prayer" effective: Praying for world evangelism's front-line workers

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 fingers can be prayer reminders:

  1. Thumb
    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."
  2. 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.
  3. Middle finger
    Our tallest finger reminds us of our church leaders. We can never pray too much for them. Pray for those who supervise and direct missionary outreach.
  4. 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 ]
  5. 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.

         --Author unknown

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, missionary

Seven things all missionaries need . . . and which people forget to lift them up in prayer over:
  1. Victory over mental stagnation
  2. Freshness in prayer and in Bible teaching
  3. Guidance in how to present the Gospel
  4. Deliverance from the temptation to pride
  5. Wisdom in relationships with other missionaries
  6. Strength to overcome temptations brought on by loneliness [ read more ]
  7. 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 coutries
  • That the planes on which missionaries travel will not encounter mechanical problems or trouble from terrorists
  • That our missionaries will make all their transportation connections
Health and safety objectives
  • Protection for the missionaries from accidents, crime, natural disasters, terrorists, and dangerous animals
  • Protection for the missionaries from debilitting 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 for missionaries with Jesus in Bible, prayer and worship
  • Shielding for the missionaries from dark forces in spiritual realms
  • Preservation for missionaries from discouragement, fear, and doubt
  • That missionaries will demonstrate purity, humility, boldness, wisdom, patience, love for people, a teachable spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit
Teamwork objectives
  • That teams of missionaries will experience and express unity, love, good communication, patience, and spiritual gifts [ more on conflict management ]
  • 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 service.
Verses to read 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 relations, 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

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

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

 Top of page|My Home Page|Master List\Index||SNU Home Page|Scripture index

Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax: 405-491-6658

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. When you use this material, an acknowledgement of the source wouild be appreciated.