The single most important support that believers around the world can provide for the missionary is prayer. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us.” I mimic that request with fervency—Brethren, please pray for us!
You can pray for many things involving the missionary. May I take a moment to list a few:
1) The missionary’s spiritual walk. The missionaries that work on our team are on the fore-front of pioneer missions, invading a spiritually desolate front-line of battle. The wicked one would love nothing better than to destroy our walk and render us useless in the battle. Pray for the missionary’s walk.
2) The missionary’s patience. Living in the middle of the jungle brings a new list of challenges. For example, Home Depot is not next door. When we built our first building in the Kamea Region (my home) we spent months of preparation to have everything in place when we started. We built the entire house and when we thought everything would be ready to move it, we lacked ONE single plumbing fitting to tie the rain collection system outside to the water system inside. Our next trip to town to get that fitting was three months away. There are many things that can be frustrating. Please pray for the missionary’s patience.
3) The missionary’s pride. Having grown up in a developed country, among a people like himself, the missionary tends to approach the field with an attitude of superiority. Without realizing it, the missionary looks down upon the people he lives around, and if he is not careful begins to think, treat, and talk to the nationals around him in a condescending manner. This is wrong, and must not be. Pray for the missionary’s pride.
4) The missionary’s priorities. Surrounded by the poorest of the poor, it is quite often hard to focus on Great Commission without being distracted by the physical needs of the masses. It has been often said that it does no lasting good to merely alleviate the physical need without meeting the greater longer-lasting spiritual need. Pray that the missionary, while physically helping those in need, will not become distracted by the immediate at the expense of the eternal.
5) The missionary’s place of service. The Kamea are a peace-loving people. The safest place to live in Papua New Guinea is in a remote location, where the crime of the “big city” does not exist. However, that does not negate the fact that the political situations can change. Pray that God will continue to provide a hedge of protection against unrest in the places where the missionary serves.
6) The missionary’s family and health. In a jungle, the missionary faces health risks like malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and other tropical illnesses. Pray that the missionary will remain healthy as well as his family so that they may minister to the people that God has sent them.