How to Pray for Your Pastor

How to Pray for Your Pastor

Behind every great leader, there is someone who is willing to sacrifice for him. This is true of the heroes of the Bible; it is just as true of today’s pastors. They need people who will intercede for them in powerful, consistent, specific prayer. An intercessor is someone who bears another’s burdens. When Moses’ hands were tired, Aaron and Hur interceded by holding up his hands, and the battle was won (Exodus 17:8-13). Likewise, we can hold up the hands of our pastors through prayer and see God win the battle in our churches and cities!

Jesus called three of His disciples to go with Him into one of His brightest hours and one of His darkest hours. Each time the assignment was the same: to pray for Him. Because they were willing to pray, they had the opportunity to minister to the One who ministered to so many others. They saw Him during His struggle and they saw Him in His glory. If Jesus needed men to pray for Him, how much does your pastor want and need your prayers?

If the truth were known, the hearts of pastors all over the world are echoing the cry of the apostle Paul: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).

There are three reasons why you should pray for your pastor:

#1 Love: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). When you pray for your pastor, you are helping him bear the burden of the ministry. You are showing your love for him, and thereby obeying the greatest commandment—the law of love.

#2 Humility: Intercessory prayer focuses on his needs. This kind of prayer will break the chains of pride that keep so many people from becoming what they could be in God. You will be submitting yourself to him in the true biblical sense, which produces tremendous power.

#3 Unity: Praying for your pastor—his personal and ministerial needs—will bind your heart together with his. As you promote the work of the kingdom and unite with your pastor in his vision for your church and city, you will become a vessel for the Spirit to move through. It was this kind of unity that preceded the first revival of the New Testament church—the Day of Pentecost.

The burden of today’s ministers is a heavy one. But you can help your pastor fulfill his God-given call through intercessory prayer. The greatest gift you can give your pastor is prayer.

*Personal Prayer Needs

Humility: Pray that your pastor would walk humbly with His God, seeking His will and direction in all things (Micah 6:8). Pray that his heart would be strong in the midst of trials and accusation and that he would commit himself into the hands of Him who judges righteously (I Peter 2:23). Pray that he would learn and grow through every circumstance and that he would give God glory for every victory. Pray that he would give thanks in all things, for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Relationships: Personal contact is a powerful force in our lives, either for good or for evil (I Corinthians 15:33). Pray that your pastor would not be corrupted by the necessary contact with a sinful world and that his heart would withstand the influences of his wordly acquaintances. More importantly, pray that he would influence every person he meets for good and that he would be a shining witness in his personal life for the Lord Jesus Christ. Especially pray for peace in his dealings with people—his family, friends, business associates, and church members, for disharmony can produce a great deal of unnecessary stress.

Balance: “If you go too far to one extreme or the other, you’ll wind up in a ditch. Pray that your pastor would maintain a steady, consistent walk, and that he would not be swayed by dangerous extremes. Pray that his course would be steadfast and unwavering. Pray that his character would combine the strength and gentlenessof the Lord—the Lion and the Lamb.

*Family Prayer Needs

Relationships: A pastor’s family is usually overworked, under-appreciated, and misunderstood. There is a lot of pressure in being the family of a full-time minister. Late night phone calls, early morning trips to the airport, staying all night with a sick church member—all of these take a toll on a family. Pray for the peace of God to cover and protect the fabric of your pastor’s family. Pray that God’s anointing would ease the friction and produce a loving atmosphere. Pray that your pastor would be a godly leader of his home, giving his family the love and attention they need to grow. Pray that your pastor’s income would meet the needs and realistic desires of his family.

Protection: Satan has targeted your pastor, and that means his family is under the gun. The enemy will try to get at him through his family. Pray a covering of God’s protection over the family of your pastor. Pray against negative pressures and distractions. Pray that as your pastor abides in the presence of God that no destructive force would touch his home and that God’s angels would keep his family (Psalm 91:9-11).

*Spiritual Prayer Needs

Power: Pray that your pastor would be energized by the Holy Ghost for his daily pastorial duties. Pastoring means so much more than preaching, and your pastor needs spiritual vitality to help meet the needs of others day in and day out. Bless him with all the strength and power that he needs. Pray that he would be strong in the Lord and the power of His might and that he would be prepared to do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13).

Holiness: Pray for a hedge of purity around your pastor. Cover his eyes, his mind, his steps, and his heart with holiness that he would not fall into temptation or the snares of the devil. Pray for his words to be seasoned with grace and for his mind to be stayed on the Lord. Pray that he would be well pleasing in all things to God.

Accountability: God’s ministers must be accountable. Many of the attacks of the enemy can be warded off or avoided completely if the man of God is protected by being transparent with another strong man of God. Pray that God would bring such a man into your pastor’s life and that God would continue to cultivate that relationship. Pray that your pastor will remain open to such a friendship.

Warfare: Jesus said, “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered” (Mark 14:27). Satan knows that if he can bring down the man of God, the work of God will be severely hindered in your city. Pray the armor of God over your pastor (Ephesians 6:10-18). Quote Scriptures for his protection (Psalm 91; Luke 19:10; etc.). Pray that no weapon formed against him would prosper (Isaiah 54:17), that he would not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices, and that the enemy would not gain advantage over him (II Corinthians 2:11).

*Leadership and Church Work Prayer Needs

In the City: Pray that God’s people would be called forth from every corner of the city and even from without the city and be gathered together to your pastor. Pray that every one that God has ordained to ministry will come and submit themselves to him (Psalm 18:44). Pray that he would be anointed to be a leader in your community.

Pulpit Ministry: Pray for God’s anointing to rest heavily upon your pastor and that God would be prepare him for that anointing. Pray that the Word of God would come alive as he preaches. Pray for a burning conviction to grip the hearts of everyone—saint and sinner alike—that is not right with God. Pray that his study of preparation time would be protected so that he can receive from God the message He has for your church. Pray that his
preaching would magnify Christ in all things and that as Christ is lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself.

Vision: Pray that your pastor would receive God’s direction and vision for your church. Pray that he would be sensitive to the needs of the congregation as he leads and that he would feed the flock that which they need of.

Counseling: Pray that God’s wisdom would flow through your pastor as he deals with the problems of people. Pray that he would be protected from the pressure of sinful, negative, and antagonistic spirits that he may encounter during counseling. Pray that he would be anointed to give beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness for those that mourn (Isaiah 61:3).

Finances: Pray for wisdom in handling the church finances and for strength to bear the pressure of financial responsibilities. Pray for God’s blessings on your church that you might be the head and not the tail. Pray that the church’s stewardship over money would glorify God and help establish the work of God in your city.

Be assured that praying for your pastor is both necessary and biblical. It is also a source of blessing in your own
life, if you labor and faint not. God Himself will reward your labor of love as you follow the biblical mandate to
support leadership.

Produced by World Network of Prayer, United Pentecostal Church International.

How to Pray for Your Pastor

Behind every great leader, there is someone who is willing to sacrifice for him. This is true of the heroes of the Bible; it is just as true of today’s pastors. They need people who will intercede for them in powerful, consistent, specific prayer. An intercessor is someone who bears another’s burdens. When Moses’ hands were tired, Aaron and Hur interceded by holding up his hands, and the battle was won (Exodus 17:8-13). Likewise, we can hold up the hands of our pastors through prayer and see God win the battle in our churches and cities!

Jesus called three of His disciples to go with Him into one of His brightest hours and one of His darkest hours. Each time the assignment was the same: to pray for Him. Because they were willing to pray, they had the opportunity to minister to the One who ministered to so many others. They saw Him during His struggle and they saw Him in His glory. If Jesus needed men to pray for Him, how much does your pastor want and need your prayers?

If the truth were known, the hearts of pastors all over the world are echoing the cry of the apostle Paul: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).

There are three reasons why you should pray for your pastor:

#1 Love: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). When you pray for your pastor, you are helping him bear the burden of the ministry. You are showing your love for him, and thereby obeying the greatest commandment—the law of love.

#2 Humility: Intercessory prayer focuses on his needs. This kind of prayer will break the chains of pride that keep so many people from becoming what they could be in God. You will be submitting yourself to him in the true biblical sense, which produces tremendous power.

#3 Unity: Praying for your pastor—his personal and ministerial needs—will bind your heart together with his. As you promote the work of the kingdom and unite with your pastor in his vision for your church and city, you will become a vessel for the Spirit to move through. It was this kind of unity that preceded the first revival of the New Testament church—the Day of Pentecost.

The burden of today’s ministers is a heavy one. But you can help your pastor fulfill his God-given call through intercessory prayer. The greatest gift you can give your pastor is prayer.

*Personal Prayer Needs

Humility: Pray that your pastor would walk humbly with His God, seeking His will and direction in all things (Micah 6:8). Pray that his heart would be strong in the midst of trials and accusation and that he would commit himself into the hands of Him who judges righteously (I Peter 2:23). Pray that he would learn and grow through every circumstance and that he would give God glory for every victory. Pray that he would give thanks in all things, for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Relationships: Personal contact is a powerful force in our lives, either for good or for evil (I Corinthians 15:33). Pray that your pastor would not be corrupted by the necessary contact with a sinful world and that his heart would withstand the influences of his wordly acquaintances. More importantly, pray that he would influence every person he meets for good and that he would be a shining witness in his personal life for the Lord Jesus Christ. Especially pray for peace in his dealings with people—his family, friends, business associates, and church members, for disharmony can produce a great deal of unnecessary stress.

Balance: “If you go too far to one extreme or the other, you’ll wind up in a ditch. Pray that your pastor would maintain a steady, consistent walk, and that he would not be swayed by dangerous extremes. Pray that his course would be steadfast and unwavering. Pray that his character would combine the strength and gentlenessof the Lord—the Lion and the Lamb.

*Family Prayer Needs

Relationships: A pastor’s family is usually overworked, under-appreciated, and misunderstood. There is a lot of pressure in being the family of a full-time minister. Late night phone calls, early morning trips to the airport, staying all night with a sick church member—all of these take a toll on a family. Pray for the peace of God to cover and protect the fabric of your pastor’s family. Pray that God’s anointing would ease the friction and produce a loving atmosphere. Pray that your pastor would be a godly leader of his home, giving his family the love and attention they need to grow. Pray that your pastor’s income would meet the needs and realistic desires of his family.

Protection: Satan has targeted your pastor, and that means his family is under the gun. The enemy will try to get at him through his family. Pray a covering of God’s protection over the family of your pastor. Pray against negative pressures and distractions. Pray that as your pastor abides in the presence of God that no destructive force would touch his home and that God’s angels would keep his family (Psalm 91:9-11).

*Spiritual Prayer Needs

Power: Pray that your pastor would be energized by the Holy Ghost for his daily pastorial duties. Pastoring means so much more than preaching, and your pastor needs spiritual vitality to help meet the needs of others day in and day out. Bless him with all the strength and power that he needs. Pray that he would be strong in the Lord and the power of His might and that he would be prepared to do all things through Christ who strengthens him (Philippians 4:13).

Holiness: Pray for a hedge of purity around your pastor. Cover his eyes, his mind, his steps, and his heart with holiness that he would not fall into temptation or the snares of the devil. Pray for his words to be seasoned with grace and for his mind to be stayed on the Lord. Pray that he would be well pleasing in all things to God.

Accountability: God’s ministers must be accountable. Many of the attacks of the enemy can be warded off or avoided completely if the man of God is protected by being transparent with another strong man of God. Pray that God would bring such a man into your pastor’s life and that God would continue to cultivate that relationship. Pray that your pastor will remain open to such a friendship.

Warfare: Jesus said, “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered” (Mark 14:27). Satan knows that if he can bring down the man of God, the work of God will be severely hindered in your city. Pray the armor of God over your pastor (Ephesians 6:10-18). Quote Scriptures for his protection (Psalm 91; Luke 19:10; etc.). Pray that no weapon formed against him would prosper (Isaiah 54:17), that he would not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices, and that the enemy would not gain advantage over him (II Corinthians 2:11).

*Leadership and Church Work Prayer Needs

In the City: Pray that God’s people would be called forth from every corner of the city and even from without the city and be gathered together to your pastor. Pray that every one that God has ordained to ministry will come and submit themselves to him (Psalm 18:44). Pray that he would be anointed to be a leader in your community.

Pulpit Ministry: Pray for God’s anointing to rest heavily upon your pastor and that God would be prepare him for that anointing. Pray that the Word of God would come alive as he preaches. Pray for a burning conviction to grip the hearts of everyone—saint and sinner alike—that is not right with God. Pray that his study of preparation time would be protected so that he can receive from God the message He has for your church. Pray that his
preaching would magnify Christ in all things and that as Christ is lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself.

Vision: Pray that your pastor would receive God’s direction and vision for your church. Pray that he would be sensitive to the needs of the congregation as he leads and that he would feed the flock that which they need of.

Counseling: Pray that God’s wisdom would flow through your pastor as he deals with the problems of people. Pray that he would be protected from the pressure of sinful, negative, and antagonistic spirits that he may encounter during counseling. Pray that he would be anointed to give beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness for those that mourn (Isaiah 61:3).

Finances: Pray for wisdom in handling the church finances and for strength to bear the pressure of financial responsibilities. Pray for God’s blessings on your church that you might be the head and not the tail. Pray that the church’s stewardship over money would glorify God and help establish the work of God in your city.

Be assured that praying for your pastor is both necessary and biblical. It is also a source of blessing in your own
life, if you labor and faint not. God Himself will reward your labor of love as you follow the biblical mandate to
support leadership.

Produced by World Network of Prayer, United Pentecostal Church International.

How to Pray for Your Pastor2015-12-30T11:58:58-06:00

How to Pray for Your Local Church

How to Pray for Your Local Church

The uplifting and refreshing presence of God is upon a church where God’s people have humbled themselves to pray!

When we were born again, we were born into a family—our church family (Ephesians 3:15, John 1:12-13). God purposed this inter-relationship for our spiritual good. We need each other in united prayer and prayer warfare.
(See Acts 2:42 and James 5:16 .)

Every New Testament local church was exhorted to pray without ceasing.
Prayer with fasting is practiced. Consider:

  • The church at Ephesus was exhorted to pray always (Ephesians 6:18).
  • The church at Thessalonica was told to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).
  • The church at Rome was admonished to “be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
  • The church at Colosse was exhorted to “continue in prayer with thanksgiving steadfastly” (Colossians 4:2).
  • The church at Philippi was encouraged to not worry about anything . . . but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made know to God (Philippians 4:6).
  • The Hebrews were urged to “continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God” (Hebrews 13:15).

Around A.D. 400, Chrysotom wrote, “What we cannot obtain by solitary prayer . . . we may by cooperative prayer.”

The uplifting and refreshing presence of God is upon a church where God’s people have humbled themselves to pray! By prayer we are talking about more than a few minutes here and there. We speak of focused prayer …groanings . . . cries from the heart . . . fasting . . . seeking God’s face (Romans 8:26).

We are keenly aware of spiritual forces at work in the congregation and also outside the church. Preaching, teaching, lecturing, discipling—without prayer—have little impact against these powers (Zechariah 4:6).

Every local church must be united in unceasing, intercessory, concentrated, prevailing prayer! There is unusual power in united prayer. Jesus said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13).

When you pray for your local church, pray for:

1. YOUR PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY

  • Pray that God would anoint your pastor and his wife to be the godly leaders that the local church needs (I John 2:27).
  • Pray that they would be strengthened physically and that their financial needs would be met (Phillippians 4:19).
  • Pray that they would have wisdom in rearing their own children in the fear of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

2. SUNDAY SCHOOL AND CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES

  • Pray that God would anoint and inspire the teachers to reach and teach the children on their level.
  • Pray that the children’s hearts would be tender to the Lord and that they would receive the Holy Ghost even in their classrooms (Acts 2:39).
  • Pray that the children would lead their unchurched parents to know Christ.

3. HOME BIBLE STUDIES AND OUTREACH MINISTRIES

  • Pray that teachers and workers would be sensitive to the needs of those they meet.
  • Pray that the hearts of the contacts would be fertile soil for the Word of God to take root and grow. Pray that the entire church would feel the burden to reach their world with the love of Christ and His gospel.

4. YOUTH MINISTRIES

  • Pray that the youth staff—the youth pastor, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and others—would havegenuine love and concern for the youth of the church and city and the wisdom to deal with the manifold problems that face today’s youth.
  • Pray that parents and older saints would be examples of righteousness for the youth to follow.
  • Pray that the youth would learn to put God first in their lives (Matthew 6:33).

5. MUSIC MINISTRIES

  • Pray that those involved in the music ministry would be divinely anointed as they play and sing unto the Lord.
  • Pray that they would be sensitive to the move of the Spirit and complement the ministry of the Word.
  • Pray that they, as more public examples of the church, would walk circumspectly before the Lord (Ephesians 5:15).

6. SINGLE MINISTRIES AND SUPPORT GROUPS

  • Pray that the singles would find the companionship and emotional support they need within the church body.
  • Pray that the other support groups would be understanding and compassionate as they reach out to those in need.
  • Pray that those in material need would be drawn closer to Christ because of their problems.

7. DAUGHTER CHURCHES

  • Pray for the ministers of the daughter church to be anointed and strengthened both spiritually and physically (III John 2).
  • Pray that those attending the daughter work would pick up the burden—both spiritually and financially.
  • Pray that the community surrounding the new work would be receptive to the Word of God (II Thessalonians 3:1).

8. PRAYER MINISTRIES

  • Pray for the leaders of the prayer ministry to be strengthened physically and spiritually—intercession is taxing both to the body and spirit.
  • Pray that they would be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and to the needs of the church.
  • Pray that others would have a burden to join the prayer ministry.

9. MEDIA MINISTRIES

  • Pray that the media ministries of the church would be tools of evangelism and encouragement.
  • Pray that God would anoint the hearts of those that hear the tapes and see the videos to be receptive to the Word of God.
  • Pray that the church dramas and newsletters would make an eternal impact on lives.
  • Praying for your local church is not only an obligation, it is a wonderful privilege. Heaven and hell respond to those who pray (II Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 16:18). Your prayers can bring revival, healing, reconciliation, and salvation.

Please pray for your local church.

Produced by World Network of Prayer, United Pentecostal Church International

How to Pray for Your Local Church2015-12-29T15:02:42-06:00

How to Pray for Youth

How to Pray for Youth

Young people are our most valuable natural resource. Their energy, creativity, and mission-mindedness are needed if the church is going to realize its potential and perpetuate the apostolic message. This energy must be directed constructively, which can only be done by seeking God. Satan wants to turn youthful energy into a negative, destructive force. We must, however, challenge his desire through focused intercession. As you pray for our youth, pray in these area:

1. An abiding, personal relationship with Christ.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Pray that youth would . . .

  • Committ their lives to Christ, be filled with His Spirit, and be baptized in His name.
  • Recognize that His name is above every name (Acts 4:12) and confess by a life fully submitted to divine authority that He is Lord of all (Philippians 2:11).
  • Learn to communicate with Christ and learn to depend on Him for everything.
  • Understand the depth of God’s love for them (I John 3:1).
  • Base their self-esteem and identity in Christ and not the standards of the world.
  • Know who they are, what they have in Christ, and what they can do through Him (Colossians 1:27). “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: . . . In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; . . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your slavation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:4, 7, 11-14).
  • Be blessed with the joy that comes from intimately knowing Christ and walking with Him.
  • Be filled so completely with the joy of the Lord that they would not pursue worldly pleasure (Romans 14:17; Psalm 16:11; Philippians 4:4;Nehemiah 8:10).

2. Moral purity
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:7-10).

Pray that youth would . . .

  • Develop the strength of character to remain morally pure in this permissive society.
  • Make right decisions about sex, drugs, and worldly pleasures. Their only true safety is abstinence.
  • Defeat negative peer pressure and learn to make the right choices.
  • Have a pure heart.
  • Not just keep a set of rules, but desire to please God in all they do.
  • Be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I have every false way. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple . . . Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. They word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever: Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:127-130, 159-162).
  • That the Word of God would be instilled in their hearts and that they would choose the obedience of hating sin and loving His holiness.

3. Values and Relationships

Pray that youth would . . .

  • Retain the values that have made our nations and churches great. They must learn to live by the biblical principles of integrity and honesty—to be true, especially in relationships. Without these proper values, they cannot develop friendships and marriages that will last a lifetime (Titus 2:11-14).
  • Develop friendships based on the drawing of the Holy Spirit to righteous companions.
  • Pray that God would give them friends who are true, wholesome, and mutually encouraging.
  • Pray that they would have the wisdom to choose relationships that would honor God (Psalm 119:63; John 15:13-14).
  • Set their thoughts on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8; John 8:32; Romans 12:2).

4. Mission-mindedness

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).

Pray that youth would . . .

  • Accept their divine mission in life. They were born again to be a witness for Jesus Christ and to disciple others (Acts 1:8).
  • Become spiritual leaders and boldly; courageously stand up for what they believe and cherish (I Timothy 4:12).
  • Become the catalyst for revival in their churches, schools, and communities and accept roles of responsibility in these areas. They must show others that one can live for God in this ungodly world.
  • Take their place in God’s kingdom.

Produced by World Network of Prayer, United Pentecostal Church International

How to Pray for Youth2015-12-28T14:05:24-06:00

How to Pray for North American Missions

Missions is more than God’s people obediently serving Him. Missions is God at work. If He is not working in and through His people to accomplish His purposes, nothing eternal is getting done.

A good example is Paul at Philippi in Acts 16. He was faithfully teaching about Jesus when Lydia believed. God led the missionary to the right place, empowered his witness, and opened the heart of the hearer.

In Matthew 9:36-38, Jesus looked at the multitudes and their unmet needs and said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” He compared the huge task of meeting the crowd’s needs with the few people available to do the job. What is to be done in this tragic situation? Jesus answered, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.” The solution is to ask God to touch hearts and challenge His people to work the harvest.

Unleashing God’s Power

The apostle Paul was a great missionary who often urged God’s people to pray for him. He linked the success of his mission to the faithful prayer support of the saints of God. In II Corinthians 1:8-11, he described some of his experiences as “hardships we suffered,” “under great pressure,” “beyond our ability to endure.” “despaired even of life” (NIV). Yet he spoke confidently of God’s deliverance. Paul was sure that God would sustain him as the believers prayed.

This passage shows that God actively protects, delivers, and uses us for blessing. Any prayer links us to the most exciting aspects of ministry. Paul said, “Many will give thanks…for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” (II Corinthians 1:11, NIV). An inseparable link exists between prayer and effective missions.

The place God wants you in His missions program is something wonderful that you must discover from Him. But it is His will that you pray for world evangelization. We do not dare sidestep this opportunity and responsibility. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). “They should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1, NIV).

Pray on Two Levels

Here are two suggestions to help you pray more effectively:

1. Maintain a broad general interest in world missions. Keep up with home missionaries in various parts of North America as well as foreign missionaries in various countries. Pray for them along with your church’s missionaries each day.

2. Pray regularly for one home missionary and his family. After you have cultivated your interest worldwide, focus on one particular outreach. Ask God to put a specific home missionary on your heart. As He leads you, make a definite commitment to pray daily for your partner in ministry. This special connection to another ministry holds all the mutual benefits of deep and purposeful friendship.

Learn all you can about your home missionary—the family, city, and state or province where he is serving, the type of work he does, the people whom he is working, and the status of the church he is building. Assume responsibility in your friendship with your home missionary. Write to him regularly without burdening him to respond. Rejoice with him in his answers to prayer. Worship God with thanksgiving for meeting his needs.

Weekly Cycle of Prayer

It is not easy to pray for someone every day for an extended period of time. To keep your intercession fresh, vital, and directed to specific needs, use the following weekly cycle of prayer topics each day.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Too often we assume that home missionaries do not struggle as we do in their relationship with God. But this is a home missionary’s primary need.

Pray that your home missionary will:

  • Love and study God’s Word
  • Have a strong prayer life
  • Be continually filled with the Holy Ghost
  • Be maturing spiritually
  • Make progress over personal sin

PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS

Satan often discourages us through our physical and emotional lives. Frequently a home missionary must live in difficult circumstances with financial straits and personal struggle during the early stages of founding a church. These hardships can weigh heavy on him. Pray for his financial stability, peace of mind, and good morale in the midst of hardship.

With hectic schedules, home missionaries need your prayers for safety, stamina, and a sense of priority. Pray preventively. Cover your missionary’s health continually with prayer. Pray against discouragement, loneliness, and depression.

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Pray for family relationships—husband/wife, parent/child. Pray for the children’s salvation, spiritual growth, health, and education. Pray too that the home missionary’s family life will provide an excellent model for local Christians and the unsaved. And pray against the temptations that destroy families. Pray that the home missionary would also maintain good relationships with his home church, parents, and family members left at home.

ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE

In evangelism, communication is the name of the game. Your home missionary is in ministry to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether he is communicating with his life or lips, he must be understood.

The home missionary competes with the high-dollar, professional blitz of Hollywood-style special effects in the media and entertainment industries and vies for time with countless recreational distractions. To reach numbed, lost souls with the gospel, he needs to be an anointed preacher, a sound Bible teacher, a dedicated soulwinner, and an excellent communicator. Pray for the Lord to enhance these qualities in your home missionary.

Many home missionaries reach into ethnic minority cultures where simple communication becomes a major difficulty due to language barriers. Learning a new language and a new culture is frustrating and difficult, but it is essential to good communication. Even an elementary knowledge of a language takes years of study and practice. And a superficial understanding is insufficient for communicating spiritual truths and defending the faith. Would you listen to a speaker who was not fluent in English?

To really communicate, the missionary must adapt culturally to identify with those he is trying to reach. Getting close to the local people and understanding them means adjusting lifestyle and cultural preferences. Pray that your missionary will have the stamina and understanding to demonstrate Christ cross-culturally.

EFFECTIVE MINISTRY

Remember to pray for what your missionary is actually doing; witnessing, visiting, teaching, preaching, counseling, nurturing—and pray for the people to whom he is ministering. Prayer letters will teach you how to pray specifically for these things. When praying, include requests for boldness, open doors, open hearts, and excellence in the effort. Most of all, ask for Holy Ghost empowerment for your home missionary’s productivity (John 15:16).

TEAM RELATIONSHIPS

Hopefully your home missionary is not completely on his own. In some instances, the home missions church is a daughter work of a larger mother church. In other instances, a home missionary teams up with other local pastor, evangelists, and burdened believers in his region.

Unfortunately, this mix of personalities designed to strengthen the ministry can sometimes be used of Satan to weaken it. Poor team relationships can spoil the work. Pray for all the fellow workers your home missionary mentions in his letters. Pray that they appreciate and sharpen one another in good and healthy ways.

STATE OR PROVINCE OF SERVICE

Expand your prayers to include the entire state or province where your home missionary is located. The political leaders and situation, the economy, the spiritual condition of the hearts of the people and their attitude toward the gospel are important factors in home missions evangelism. Pray that the whole region will become more open in responsiveness to the gospel.

 

Whether you use this guide regularly or use some other method, you can never run out of prayer material. You have an important work to do in giving the world the message of Jesus Christ.

How to Pray for North American Missions2015-12-28T14:01:17-06:00
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