We all need the power of prayer in our lives, but there are certain groups of people who need it even more—and missionaries are certainly among them. Often called far from their homes, missionaries find themselves on the frontlines in the fight against lostness. Missionaries can also find themselves up against forces that don’t want to see the Lord’s Kingdom advanced and will stop at nothing to hinder their efforts to spread the Good News. This is why we must always keep missionaries in our prayers.
Before we look at specific passages in the Bible tailor-made for missionaries and their families, let’s first talk about how to pray for missionaries and their families.
- Avoid asking God to simply “bless the missionaries.” Instead, try to pray for a specific missionary or missionaries in a specific part of the country, or for missionaries who are undertaking a specific charge like church planting. PrayerConnect is a weekly update of prayer requests from men and women doing mission work in North America. This is a great resource to help focus your prayers on those who need it most in their fight against lostness.
- Pray for missionary families in the same manner that you pray for your own family. Ask God to help them in their daily Christian walk. Pray for their children’s spiritual growth and for good health. Pray that God will protect their travels and that He will accomplish in them the purposes for which they’ve been called. And don’t feel embarrassed to pray for their financial wellbeing either, since missionaries often trust the Lord to provide the finances they need to be stewards of faith in parts of the world that are lost.
Scripture for Missionaries
What should you pray for when you pray for missionaries and their families? Pray for protection. Pray for fellowship. Pray for boldness in witness and open hearts. Here are some of our favorite passages that can help direct your prayers:
- Please help them to put on the whole armor of God, that the fiery darts of the devil are extinguished, and after doing every thing to stand, please strengthen them to “stand on.” Philippians 3
- I ask Lord, that the joy of the Lord would be their strength…may their hearts trust in you.”Psalm 28:7
- Thank you that the one who watches over Israel, neither slumbers nor sleeps. Please guard our missionary’s going out and coming in, and may they remember that their help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121
- Thank you Lord, that you are faithful. I pray that you will strengthen and protect the missionary from the evil one. II Thessalonians 3:3
- May our missionary experience and recognize the faithfulness of the Lord, and may the new mercies He sends each and every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23
- Dear Father, please provide for their needs according to your riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
- Give them the grace and discipline to study hard to show themselves approved of God, that they will be able to rightly divide your Word of Truth to others. II Timothy 2:15
- Father, please direct our missionaries by your eye, instructing them and teaching them in your ways. Please uphold them with your righteous right arm. May the lamp of your word guide them today and may your words be found in their mouths as they speak to others about Jesus. Psalm 32:8:8, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 119:105.
- Please give ears to hear to those to whom the missionary speaks. Please prepare the listener and let your words fall on good soil. Give the missionary success for your glory. Matthew 13:8
Other Ways to Support Missionaries
Prayer is an important element of supporting missionaries in the field, but it’s not the only way to lift those who have answered the call. What else can you do to help? Here are some ideas:
- Send a simple care package each month with things like books, gift cards, and snacks. This gesture shows missionaries that they have brothers and sisters in Christ who support them, which will help bolster their conviction and resolve.
- Finances are among the chief concerns of any missionary. In addition to praying that God will provide them with the financial assistance they need, you can take an active role by giving to missions offerings through your church or directly to the North American Mission Board or the International Mission Board.
The North American Mission Board (NAMB) trains and resources missionaries to serve in the most unreached areas of the United States, Canada and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. A one-time or recurring gift to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering helps NAMB equip these missionaries to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ.