I didn’t grow up in Australia—‘overseas’ was this missionary kid’s home—and the faithful prayers and support by Christian brothers and sisters sustained my family in a country where so many were in spiritual darkness without Jesus. What a blessing it was to have believers (some whom I hadn’t met) sacrificially and consistently partner with us in prayer!
More than a decade later I landed at Bible college with a desire to be better equipped for cross-cultural ministry but also to grow in my walk with Jesus.
One of my great joys there was the Monday morning prayer group. It was a time of praying through prayer points from graduates who shared the highs and lows of their ministry—from rural Australia to Spain, Tanzania, South Asia and more. It was humbling to be able to partner with these workers in prayer as they desired under God to“declare his glory among the nations” (Ps 96:3).
I’ve continued to find great joy in opening my inbox (and the WhatsApp and Facebook groups some workers have set up) to read prayer points and updates from workers. Having their prayer cards in my home plus using the app PrayerMate also prompts me to pray for them. I’ve tried to keep things simple but intentional by committing to pray for a few workers regularly.
It sometimes can be hard though to know what to pray for workers, especially if there haven’t been any recent prayer points. However, the Bible is full of gold when it comes to praying on behalf of God’s people. Here are five sample prayers drawn from Colossians that I’ve been using when praying for those engaged in full-time gospel work (all names changed):
Lord God, I praise you for you have graciously rescued Esther from darkness and brought her into your marvelous kingdom!
As she desires for others to also be part of your great kingdom, I pray for her ministry among the university students in her location. I lift up these students to you, that they would accept the amazing rescue planyou have for them through your sacrificial redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
In Jesus’ most precious name, amen.
God of all the nations, I give thanks for your dear servants Chong and Leah who have gone to a place where less than 2% know Jesus.
In this time of transition and adjustment, I ask that their Christian walk would remain strong. Please encourage them to walk closely with Jesus as they spend time in the Scriptures, through prayer and other means of fellowship. May they be built up, established in the faith, and that their lives would be abounding with thankfulness.
In your name I pray, amen.
Heavenly Father, I bring before you Steve and Marissa who are in pastoral ministry where the drought is a real hardship and struggle for many.
In the midst of this, I ask that they and the believers in their congregation would be a beacon of hope. May you use their personal testimonies of following Jesus as an example to unbelievers on what it means to have their minds fixed on things above: eternity. We humbly ask Lord that many would know that a relationship with Jesus offers great hope, with everlasting security, certainty and no more suffering in the life to come.
In the name of Jesus, amen.
Great God, as Ping works in a diverse ministry team, we ask for spiritual protection. We ask that Satan would not get a foothold in the ministry team’s relationships.
If any difficulties come up, gracious God, please be at work through your Holy Spirit. May the team bear with one another and forgive whatever complaints they have against others, knowing the Lord has forgiven them already.
Thank you God for hearing this prayer. Amen.
Loving God, thank you for this beautiful family of Jacob, Alison, Noah, Abigail and Miriam. Thank you for their faithfulness and their perseverance in language and culture learning over many years.
We humbly ask, Lord Jesus, that you would help equip local believers to take the gospel to their own nation. Please open doors for the gospel to be heard, please may it be clearly proclaimed in culturally appropriate ways.
And we pray this for the sake of your Holy name, amen.
Can I encourage you, after praying for God’s servants around the world, to send a quick message letting them know you’ve prayed for them? It’s such a great blessing to hear from supporters!
For example, earlier this year a friend wrote me a beautiful card. Here is part of her message:
“I’m encouraged by your heart for the Lord and the gospel, even through tough circumstances. Will continue to keep you in prayer. I make Ephesians 3:14-21 my prayer for you.”
Simple but profound and purposeful. And she even wrote out that beautiful Ephesians passage to help me remember my identity in Jesus—which of course I have kept.
Can you share with others how you or your small group or gathering pray for God’s messengers around the world? Let’s spur each other on as a body of Christ! There are also some great resources mission agencies have put together on how to pray for workers.
It’s my prayer that God’s people would be prayerful and involved in spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth.