Missions Support – Prayer
This week I’ll be sharing four ways that we can support our missions partners.
“…pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ… “
– Colossians 4:3
Each month our missions team gathers to pray for our missions partners. The team leader contacts our missionaries and asks, “How can we pray for you” – and then they pray for those needs.
Guess what – prayer works! I was at the missions meeting last Monday, and there were several reports shared of how God answered prayers!
See, even though we aren’t with our missionaries in person, we can still support them through prayer as if we were with them!
In other words, even though you may not be called to go to a foreign land, you can still be an integral part of missions work – by praying!
Here are seven ways we can pray:
1 Pray For Strongholds To Be Destroyed
Missionaries need prayer because they are in a battle!
The Apostle Paul understood the nature of the battle to spread the gospel; That it is spiritual in nature, and there are demonic forces that wage war to protect territory that they hold. That’s why Paul encouraged the church to pray for his missionary ventures…
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
– Ephesians 6:12
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God…”
– 2 Corinthians 10:4-5b
In other words, missionaries often go into enemy held territory, strongholds that Satan has controlled for years, sometimes centuries.
But according to 2 Corinthians 10:4, we “have divine power to destroy strongholds!” That’s why many spiritually-minded missionaries will pray fervently before going to a new area. They understand that once the enemy’s power over that area has been broken, the gospel seeds can be planted and take root.
- Pray that God would tear down strongholds.
- Pray that resistance would be removed
- Pray that areas that the enemy has control of would be released.
- Pray that hearts that have been deceived would be opened.
2 Pray for Open Doors
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison” – Colossians 4:2–3
Open doors can’t be taken for granted. Many missionaries work in countries that are difficult to access, or in areas that are resistant to the gospel. But “open doors” include more than just access to nations and people groups. Individuals’ hearts also need to be open and receptive to God’s truth.
- Pray that God will open doors of ministry, partnerships and friendships.
- Pray that those who serve will be led by the Holy Spirit, and recognize open-door opportunities.
- Pray that God will lead His people past barriers to hearts ready to receive His Word.
3 Pray for Boldness in Witness
“and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” – Ephesians 6:19
Missionaries are regular people who fear pain and rejection as much as anyone else. When faced with opposition, they need God’s strength to help them stand firm.
- Pray that missionaries will have boldness to overcome the fear of embarrassment or failure.
- Pray that the Spirit will provide them with words that communicate effectively in other cultures and languages.
- Pray against evil forces that would seek to hinder the spread of the gospel.
4 Pray that God’s Word Will Spread
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you…” – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Obstacles must be removed to allow God’s Word to spread rapidly and freely. Removing obstacles implies resolute resistance in spiritual warfare. Just as Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ arms in the battle against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:12), you can strengthen the arms of missionaries through your prayers.
- Pray for strength and stamina as missionaries encounter antagonistic spiritual forces. (Ephesians 6:10–18)
- Pray that people will resist Satan’s plans to obstruct the spread of the gospel. (James 4:7)
- Pray that God’s Word will indeed spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.
5 Pray for Protection
“…and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.”
– 2 Thessalonians 3:2
In some countries, open doors may expose missionaries to the possibility of danger and personal harm. Opposition to the gospel may include hatred and violence.
- Pray that God will keep Christian workers safe from those who seek to hurt them.
- Pray that God will change the hearts of those who are resistant to His Word.
6 Pray for God’s Guidance
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” – Colossians 1:9
Many missionaries travel frequently, both nationally and internationally. Their mode of transportation varies from country to country and often involves stressful situations.
- Pray for clear guidance from God regarding travel decisions.
- Pray for necessary permissions to travel.
- Pray for protection and provision during their travels.
7 Pray for Refreshment
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” – Colossians 1:11
Missionaries deal with many of the same stresses you face in life such as overwhelming workloads, relational conflicts and financial uncertainties. Often, however, missionaries struggle with these issues alone, without the fellowship and support of other Christians. Living and working cross-culturally adds an additional element that can challenge their emotional, spiritual and physical vitality.
- Pray that God will provide opportunities for missionaries in lonely areas to spend time with other believers.
- Pray that God will provide times of peace and relaxation to refresh His workers.
- Pray that God will encourage missionaries with the knowledge that people back home care about their emotional well-being.
Partners in prayer
The apostle Paul was a missionary and a man of prayer. He prayed for those without Christ, for the believers, and for the new churches established under his ministry. He also asked the believers to pray for him:
“I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf” – Romans 15:30
Why did Paul as for prayer so many times? Because Paul knew prayer would bring results:
“you also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” – 2 Corinthians 1:11
Why not try it this week? Take a few minutes each day and lift up one of our missions partners. Then… email them and tell them you prayed for them! I guarantee, they’ll be blessed and refreshed.
Dennis and Korinne Holt / The Republic of Georgia
Chris and Faith Anderson / Romania
Sara Smith / Romania
Chelsea Ritter / YWAM North Africa
Mahendra Bagh / India
Yahweh Center / Wilmington
We can change the world, one life at a time…