Missionary Samuel Zwemmer said: “The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.” They go hand in hand. If Jesus’ mission is to be completed, it will only be completed on our knees in prayer and in petition for God’s help and power.
Below are three prayers that you can pray on behalf of missions.
Sometimes when people pray this they assume that they themselves know what God’s will is or they have their own image of how the Kingdom of God will come about. But the heart of this prayer is surrender. Jesus teaches them to pray this first after our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, because once we acknowledge God as our Father, our next step is to surrender to him — including our own perceptions and assumptions. This is especially true for when we pray for the mission.
We may think that for God’s kingdom to come this year means more baptisms or growth in church membership. But praying this may not necessarily mean that. Praying for God’s kingdom to come is to ask God, in whatever way and in whatever timing He chooses, to advance his Kingship over all the earth.
God is the lead evangelist for the mission, he’s the lead strategist and the lead church-builder. We must trust him as we faithfully evangelize and make disciples.
Prayer 2: Pray for more workers
Before Jesus sends out the twelve, he tells the disciples that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” and then instructs the disciples to pray for more workers to enter the harvest field. This prayer still applies today. There are many needs all over the world, which we have covered in a previous article.
Notice how Jesus’ does not pray for more funds (he even tells the disciples to bring nothing with them). He doesn’t even ask for a plan or a new method, instead he tells the disciples to pray for more workers. This suggests that what the mission field needs most is people, and not anything else. This is probably why right afterwards Jesus sends out the twelve.
The greatest contribution anyone can make to the mission-field is by going themselves and sacrificing their own lives so that people can hear the gospel. No wonder Jesus asks us to pray! Who can help and encourage our hearts to make such a decision? We must ask God to do this in our prayers!
Prayer 3: Pray Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul prays this prayer for the Ephesian church so that they would not grow discouraged in their afflictions. Historically, we know that Ephesus was a pagan city, so we can imagine that the Christians there experienced a lot of hardship and temptation.
What Paul prays for is for the disciples to be strengthened in their inner lives, and to comprehend the incredible love of God. The love of God working in and inspiring disciple’s hearts is the power that sustains them in hardship when they are on the mission. We should pray this for all disciples, especially those who are on the frontlines of the mission.