MISSIONARIES NEED. . . YOUR PRAYERS
BY NANCY SHIRLEY
“I had been traveling along a mountain road behind a log truck, until I blew a tire. After convincing a little old man on a bicycle that we could change the tire together, I continued on the journey home
only to discover a few miles down the road that the log truck had missed a curve in the road, overturned, and lost his entire load. Huge logs were spilled all over the road. If it hadn’t been for that flat tire, I would have been right there. If eel like somebody prayed! Thank you!” (Missionary Lynne Jewett – Guatemala)
Was that somebody you? From Sister Jewett’s testimony, we are again reminded of the value of your prayers. Yes, you are linked to the missionary through prayer, just as in the days of Paul’s missionary
journeys. What a privilege and opportunity! Notice the words of Paul concerning the experiences he had in Asia: “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your
prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” (II Corinthians 1:9-11, NIV).
Your prayers for the missionary and his work help to bring about effective missions ministry. No matter your age or station in life, you can pray.
We walked into a Sunday morning service in Kansas City, Missouri. As we sat down, a young man approached us and introduced himself as Jeff Hunt. Brother Shirley in turn responded, “And I’m Lloyd Shirley.”
“Oh, so you are Lloyd Shirley. Let me tell you what happened to me. A few weeks ago I was at the church praying and suddenly God strongly impressed me to pray for Lloyd Shirley. So I began to intercede and pray on your behalf, not knowing who you were or just what the need was. I got up from prayer and searched the phone directory looking for your name, but I could not find it. I inquired of
several people, and then I asked my pastor, Brother Gleason. He told me who you were and that you were a regional director for our foreign missions.”
As we talked with Jeff we soon learned that the very night God impressed upon him to pray, Brother Shirley was hospitalized and very ill. The doctors could not find the problem, but the Great Physician
summoned an intercessor on his behalf, and by morning he was well enough to be released. Thank you, Jeff, for letting God work through you.
How can you get involved? Ask God to give you a burden and love for missions around the world. What missionaries does your church support? What countries do they work in? After you have developed an
interest in world missions, ask God to put a specific country and missionary on your heart. Commit yourself to pray for them in a meaningful way. Find out all you can about them and their outreach.
Write to them and let them know that you are their prayer partner. They will share requests with you as well as praise reports.
How vividly I recall one particular day when I went to the post office in Kingshill, St. Croix, and picked up a letter with an unusual return address. I opened it to find some very encouraging words; “Brother and Sister Shirley, I don’t know what difficulty you are facing, but I want you to know that God awakened me in the night with a heavy burden to pray for you and I prayed all night long.” Our hearts
were uplifted as once again we were reminded that God knew just where we were. Yes, we were engaged in a trial of our faith, one we could not share as a prayer request, yet God had called forth prayer power to sustain, uplift, and encourage. A teenage girl, thousands of miles away, with a love for God and His work around the world, became the link to our work in the islands of the sea.
How do I pray? If you are like me, it is easy to fall into a generalized prayer of “Lord, bless so and so, watch over them, keep them.” Several years ago someone gave me a brochure that listed seven ways to pray for your missionary. As we minister in foreign missions services I adapted it to challenge others, and I share it to assist you in praying specifically for your missionary. May it guide you in keeping your prayers fresh and directed toward specific needs.
Seven Ways To Pray For Missionaries
The Missionary’s Walk with God
Be filled with and led by the Spirit
Have a strong prayer life
Love and Study the Word
Physical and Emotional Health
Health in the midst of disease
Victory over fear, loneliness
The Missionary’s Family:
Strong and happy marriage
Parent/child love and respect
Children returning for college
Leaving elderly parents
Coping with singleness
Ability to Communicate
To the church at home and to those he ministers to
Language study and fluency
Adapting to the culture
God’s anointing upon teaching, preaching, and witnessing
Open doors, prepared hearts
Other missionaries and AIMers
National pastors, evangelists, and teachers
Country of Service
Government and political situation
A continued open door, visas
I wonder who is depending on your prayers today?
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE PENTECOSTAL HERALD, JUNE 2001,
PAGE 13. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY &
RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.