Our team meets once a week to pray. We also pray at our team meetings, at church together, and at other times when we are happy, scared, concerned, unsure, or stressed. Rachel and I pray together when things pop up during the week. Each of us prays individually.
And, I’m happy to say, we are getting chances to pray with the believers. One day before literacy class Lennie told me that one of her older daughters is terrified of being by herself and is seeing dark, threatening things all around her. We stopped and prayed for her right then in the classroom.
I saved the theme of prayer for the last entry in this series for two reasons. The first reason is that I thought of it last and that reminded me that I often think of it last. Ugh. Why is something that should be my knee-jerk reaction to every occasion in life usually my last resort? Probably because I think I’ve got it–until it’s obvious that I don’t and never did.
John Piper said that Christians often view prayer as a cosmic shopping list instead of the radio that connects us to reinforcements in a time of war. We are supposed to use it to call down Power when we are outmatched, outnumbered, overstretched and overwhelmed. We are supposed to be in ceaseless contact, looking for direction, seeking our orders from One who has the only clear point-of-view on our true circumstances. There is a great deal of room for growth in my habits and attitude about prayer.
The second reason I saved this for last is because of the amazing reality that our team is not alone in this daily activity. We may realistically be the only ones right now working on translation, or literacy, or curriculum development, or medical issues, or any number of the other things I mentioned in my posts. But we are not the only ones praying for the ministry here.
You most likely will never get to visit out here. I’m not saying we wouldn’t be happy to welcome you, I’m simply stating the most probable reality. You will probably never dig a ditch, or shake the believers’ hands, or help out cooking a meal, or pitch in in any of the 29 themes posted lately. But some of you are helping us dramatically by going before the Father on our behalf.
Some of you have been praying for our team for years. Thank you. Let me say that again: Thank you. You are sustaining us in ways that are crucial to the ministry here and to our own process of being sharpened and refined by it. If you are not currently involved with praying for missionaries, I challenge you to start. Pick a team connected with your church family, or that one cousin who went to somewhere in the 10/40 window, and start praying for them.
Pray for the things in this blog series if you don’t know where else to start. The team you’re thinking of will certainly have different circumstances, but I am confident in saying that many of the underlying struggles will be the same. Pray that they will have grace in their daily interactions. Pray that they will show extraordinary love as they do mundane things. Pray that they will have wisdom in difficult situations and that they will personally be seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for their friendships and their marriages and their relationship with their children. Pray for unity on their team. Pray for their spiritual walk and that they will be becoming Christ-like and not just attempting to do things for Christ. Pray for Godly habits. Think of anything you struggle with and pray for that for them, too. We missionaries are extremely human and this job has a way of bringing our humanness to the surface again and again. If you can think of a weakness, vice, or limitation…we have it. Pray for us to die to that old self and be living in our regenerated state, depending on the One who made that new life possible.