When it comes to missionaries, how can you know what to pray for when you don’t have a prayer letter nearby or if you don’t know exactly what’s going on? Two of our Asia missionaries share three powerful ways you can universally pray for any missionary.
As we’ve been visiting different churches, we’ve been asked several times how people can pray for us specifically, so we’ve decided to take this letter to explain how you can pray for us more specifically.
The single most important way you can pray for us is that God would work in us. This request focuses on our spiritual walk with the Lord. Sometimes people get the impression that pastors and missionaries are super-spiritual people who always have a vibrant, close walk with the Lord. This simply isn’t true. We face the same struggles with time, tiredness, and temptation as everyone else. We still struggle with selfishness and self-centeredness. We are still learning what it means to daily offer our lives as living sacrifices. We are still learning how to love as God loved us, and there are times where we just don’t feel like loving anyone. God is still working in us, molding us, shaping us, pruning us, and even disciplining us, in order to make us like Christ. People gain their first impressions about God by seeing our character and behavior. We are ambassadors of the King of kings, and so our lives MUST reflect His character and godliness. Please pray that God would work in us and that we would grow in godliness and devotion to the Lord.
The second way you can pray for us is that God would work through us. We are very much aware of the fact that unless God works through us, all our work and effort is useless. This lesson was re-emphasized to me as I read a book on Asian religious beliefs a couple of years ago. As I read about the dense web of deception that Satan has woven to keep the Asian people from perceiving the truth, I was reminded that I, by my own efforts, can never convince them of the truth of the gospel and their need of Jesus as their Savior. It doesn’t matter how brilliant I may be, how well I present the gospel, how well I learn the culture and language, or how passionately I love the people. If God is not at work in the hearts and lives of the people, and working through me, then it is of no benefit. Please pray that God would work through us for His glory.
The third way you can pray for us is that God would work beyond us. The gospels tell us the story of a little boy who gave Jesus his lunch of five loaves and two fish. It was enough food for one person, and the boy willingly gave it to Jesus for His lunch. Jesus took that small offering and multiplied it many thousand times over. He took what little the boy could offer and used it to do beyond anything the boy even dreamed. That is our prayer as well. We have very little to offer the Lord, especially when compared to the needs of Asia in general. Yet our Lord is able to multiply our work and efforts beyond what we could even dream. Would you pray that He would work beyond us to bring much glory to His name?