Our prayers for missionaries should always be that they stand in God’s armor and that their service as servants of God be not in their own strength but in the grace and strength of the LORD. We can pray for the missionary’s protection from evil and that their daily needs be provided.
Here are some specific, practical areas of the lives of missionaries to pray for:
- SOLID FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. The tasks of full-time ministry, often in a foreign culture, can cause a strain on the relationships within a family — husbands and wives, parents and children. Pray that the Lord would strengthen these family bonds and draw them close together.
- THE WELL-BEING OF FAMILY MEMBERS OF WHOM THEY ARE SEPARATED. When missionaries leave their homes to serve God on the mission field, extended family remains behind, and children sometimes leave their parents for schooling. Pray for the health, safety, and encouragement of these family members.
- STRENGTH IN THE “INNER MAN” (Ephesians 3:16). LONELINESS, DISCOURAGEMENT, DESPAIR — these struggles occur in the lives of missionaries, and sometimes frequently. Pray that their hearts are encouraged and strengthened.
- PROVISION OF PHYSICAL NEEDS. Missionaries depend on others for their financial support, and at times, that can be burdensome. Pray that God would supply their every need (Philippians 4:19).
- A STRONG PERSONAL WALK WITH GOD. Pray for daily faithfulness to spend time in God’s Word in the midst of ministry busyness. Ask God to protect and strengthen them spiritually and cause them to grow in their relationships with Him.
- GOOD PHYSICAL HEALTH. In foreign lands, good health care can be hard to find. Pray for physical strength on a daily basis and long-term good health.
- STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH CO-WORKERS. Sadly, personality conflicts and relationship struggles happen among missionaries as they seek to work together to bring people to Christ. Pray for unselfishness, kindness, and humility in these cooperative efforts (Philippians 2:3-5).
- ABILITY TO SPEAK ACCURATELY. Ask God to cause them to speak with clarity and precision as they declare God’s Word (Colossians 4:3-4).
- OPPORTUNITIES TO RELAX. Servants of God are just like anyone else–they need a break sometimes! Ask God to provide them with recreation and rest.
- WISDOM IN ALL THEY DO. Pray for the wisdom to make good decisions in their personal lives, as well as their ministry lives (James 1:5.)
In short, the model prayer that the LORD Jesus taught the disciples in (Matthew 6:9-13 is a good guideline for our prayers for missionaries. However, the key is not so much what we pray but that we pray and how we pray. In other words, prayers for missionaries should be a part of our personal worship time. Our prayers should be fervent, and come from a righteous heart that is in full relationship with God (James 5:16).
Effectual prayer is prayer in an attitude of fellowship and agreement with God’s will. When we pray “Thy will be done” in specific areas of need, God not only changes us but He uses our prayers for it is the power behind His armor. “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere” (Ephesians 6:18).