“Dear God, bless our pastor and all the missionaries. Bless everyone, everywhere. Amen.”
That’s one way to pray, but it is neither sensible, nor very rewarding. In fact, that kind of praying soon becomes dull and boring. So, how do you pray for missionaries? It’s one thing to have prayer updates with specific prayer requests to pray for. (Thus the reason why I try to send out weekly prayer updates.) But, for the vast majority of the missionaries I pray for, I don’t have a letter to go by. So, what do you pray for?
Some time ago I ran across a small book titled “Pocket Prayers” by Pastor Robert Savage. In the introduction he said, “Instead of repeating the same words over and over in praying for various ones you wish to remember, try this approach. In this book are over 700 Bible-based requests you can use as you intercede for those the Lord has placed on your heart.”
What Robert did is basically go though the New Testament and take the words he read and turn them into prayers. “Then with a church directory in one hand and the requests (from the New Testament) in the other, I prayed for my people. Soon I became excited over the way these requests from the Bible fit people the people I was praying for.” He continues by saying, “This plan revolutionized my personal prayer life. Now I enjoy and am thrilled with the ministry of praying for others.”
So, as I begin my new reading plan for 2024, I endeavor to take what I read and turn it into prayers. I will use these prayers to pray for you all, as my supporters, but also to pray for our coworkers and those we minister to here in PNG. I will try and post some examples of what I am praying to encourage you to do the same.
My reading plan started me off on the 1st of January by reading Genesis 1-2, Matthew 1 and Psalms 1. Here is the prayer I wrote from Psalm 1:1-3, and what I am praying for each of you as I write this.
Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
This morning as we begin a new year, I pray for my family and supporters, and anyone else who reads this, that they will continue to grow in walking in the Spirit this year. (Gal 5:16) That they will choose to not walk in the way of the world nor seek after the things of the world. (1 John 2:15-16). That the riches of Christ, and the glory of God would be of greater value to them than anything this world has to offer. (Eph 2:4-10)
I pray that they would not stand and take counsel from empty philosophy, or wisdom of man. (Col 2:8) I pray they would not seek counsel from their own understanding, but that they will always be quick to seek counsel from Your word, and your people who are following your word. (Prov 3:5-6)
I pray that they would not ever sit as a scoffer or back biting, criticizing others and creating contention. I pray they would be peacemakers. (Matt 5:9)
I pray that in all things and at all times, that they would delight in your Word and pursue truth from you! I pray they will meditate on your word day and night. (Psalm 1:2) That your word would become what guides them in everything they do, say and are!
I pray as they seek to live that way that you would honor them by making their lives like the tree planted by streams of water. (Psalm 1:3) That you would bless their family, ministry, and any other interactions they have. That you would use them to make you, the invisible God, visible and attractive to those you witness their lives.
May you make all they do prosper this year. (Psalm 1:3)