Powerful prayer

How to pray for a missionary?
  • Pray the Scriptures! We don’t have to rely only on our own words; we can pray the Word of God. The Word has power and authority and is the will of God. Many prayers in Scripture fit the needs of missionaries. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you; also see Scripture Prayers for Missionaries in this manual.
  • Consider being strategic in your prayer coverage. You could plan to have each person in the prayer network cover a different day of the week. They can pray at any time that day, but commit to a specific day so the entire week is covered.

Intercession ideas
  • Hold a concert of prayer. Invite MST members, family, church friends, and supporters of the missionary to gather together for a time of concentrated prayer. Be creative; include music, Scripture, thanksgiving, and corporate listening.
  • Organize an all-night prayer vigil or 24-hour prayer watch with your prayer network. Cover the whole night by having persons sign up for time slots. This is a way of working together across the miles.
  • Place pictures of missionary kids in the age-appropriate Sunday school room with specific prayer requests. Don’t underestimate the power of praying children! Children can learn about the nations and pray for God’s kingdom workers.
  • Designate certain households in the congregation each week to pray for the missionary.
  • Designate a day and time to pray for the missionary each week. Pick a time that the missionary could especially benefit from prayer.

Especially for the prayer network
  • Suggest that those in the prayer network set one clock in the house to the missionary’s time zone, to serve as a prayer reminder.
  • Establish an emergency prayer chain within your prayer network.
  • Be aware if the missionary is serving in a sensitive region. Discuss with the missionary ahead of time how they will code “Christian” language so you can interpret it for the others in the network. Educate the prayer network in how to communicate with the missionary so communication does not endanger the missionary’s work.
  • Encourage your prayer network to post prayer requests at a place they frequent. The refrigerator door is a popular location!
  • Learn about the culture and history of the land and people group the missionary serves so you can pray more effectively. Encourage those in the prayer network to share their insights and knowledge with each other.

How do you motivate others to pray?
  • Send encouraging, educational articles on intercession.
  • Share answers to prayer. Check in with the missionary about prayer requests to find out what happened, so you can rejoice together. Hearing reports of answered prayer keeps intercessors motivated to keep praying.
  • Ask the missionaries to share testimonies of how prayer is making a difference in their ministry.
  • Teach others to use creative reminders – pray each time you water a certain plant, pray at red lights, wear a ring on a finger where you don’t normally wear a ring and allow the change to remind you to pray.
  • Make a prayer calendar or bookmark using a picture of the missionary on location and listing 31 prayer items – one item per day of the month, for repeated guided prayer.
  • Send reminder emails to others to encourage prayer for the missionary. Provide a “pray the Scriptures” text by inserting the missionary’s name into a favorite text.
  • Organize around-the-clock prayer for the missionary during travel or other significant events. Have people sign-up for 30 minute blocks, especially during the missionary’s daylight hours.
  • Call for a day of prayer and fasting during a significant event or when the missionary is making an important decision.
  • Keep a prayer journal where you record answers to prayer and share them with other intercessors at meetings or via email.

Encourage feedback!

It blesses a missionary to know that people are praying, but it’s even more special for the missionary to hear what and how they are praying. Remind intercessors to share with the missionary and the network the Scriptures, songs, impressions, words of encouragement, or direction that they receive during prayer. Have them note if there is a particular time of day they feel burdened to pray. Remember to observe all special communication guidelines if your missionary serves in a sensitive location!

Additional resources
  • Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, Regal Books, 1997.
  • Operation World by Johnstone and Mandryk, Paternoster Lifestyle, 2001.
  • Prayer Shield by C. Peter Wagner, Regal Books, 1997.
  • You Fish . . . We Fish by Janice Rowland, Mission Encouragement Trust.
  • win1040.com (briefings on how to pray for nations in the 10/40 window.)
  • jwipn.com (“Jericho Walls International” provides instruction on how to organize a concert of prayer or prayer watch.)
  • 30daysprayer.com/muslim (a 30-day guide for prayer focused on Muslims)
  • kingdompraying.com/prayingmissionaries