Over recent weeks we have been preparing our annual Daily Prayer Guide. This Guide tells us about our mission partners and most importantly it encourages us to pray for our partners. In praying for the individuals and ministries found in our guide, we join many others in intercessory prayer. Together we unite in prayer and partner together for the cause of Gospel. Throughout the Bible we see examples of men and women praying. Paul prayed for those he ministered to and he also encouraged others to pray for him. When the apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Philippi, he says “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." (Philippians 1:3–5 ESV). He reminds the believers at Philippi that they were partnering together in the sharing of the Gospel. And in the same way that Paul partnered in the Gospel and in prayer, we are also encouraged to pray.
Pray for open doors. In Colossians, Paul instructs the believers to "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ" (Col 4:2-3 ESV). Pray for doors to be open to the Gospel. Many of our partners work in countries that are difficult to access or in areas that are resistant to the Gospel. Pray for individuals’ hearts to be open and receptive to God’s truth. Pray that God will open doors of ministry. Pray that those who serve will be led by the Holy Spirit to open doors. Pray that God will lead people to receive his Word.
Pray for boldness. In Ephesians, Paul encourages the believers to pray for him "that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel" (Eph 6:19 ESV). We all need boldness to proclaim the truth of God. The Gospel needs to be proclaimed boldly, regardless of the response. When faced with opposition, our partners need God’s strength to help them stand firm. Pray that the Holy Spirit will provide our partners with words that communicate effectively in the cultures and languages where they minister. Pray for boldness to overcome the fear and pray against evil forces that would seek to hinder the spread of the gospel.
Pray that God's word will spread. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers encouraging them to "Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you (2 Thes 3:1 NIV). There may be obstacles and challenges that stop the spread of the Gospel. Pray that these will be removed to allow God’s Word to spread rapidly and freely. Our partners need the strength to continue to proclaim the Gospel even in the face of opposition or difficulties. Pray that God’s Word will spread and be honoured wherever it goes.
Pray for protection. In this same passage in Thessalonians, Paul asked for prayer so "that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men." (2 Thes 3:2 ESV). In some countries, our partners may be exposed to the possibility of danger and personal harm. Opposition to the Gospel may include hatred and violence. Pray for God's protection and for safety. Pray that God will change the hearts of those who are resistant to the word of God.
Pray for travel. In the Great Commission, we read, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15 ESV). Our partners are going to all the world. Many travel frequently, both nationally and internationally. Pray for protection and provision during travel. Pray for God’s grace and favour when challenges and obstacles appear on any journey. And pray that they can continue to proclaim the Gospel to all the world.
I encourage you to pray for God's people doing God's work. Pray specifically. Pray courageously. Pray for God to be glorified. Pray for many to come to faith. Prayer for believers to grow in their relationships with Jesus Christ. Pray for the men, women and families that are in our Daily Prayer Guide and for others you know partnering in the Gospel. Pray that through their ministry and mission endeavours God's name will be made known.
And if you normally receive our Daily Prayer Guide, it will be arriving soon - please pray with us. And if you do not normally receive our prayer guide - we would love you to pray - please contact our office so we can send you one.
Praying with you