GOD WANTS US TO PRAY
Christian workers require prayer for their needs physical (e.g. protection in a war-torn country; health risks from infectious diseases and poor available medical care; harsh living environment) psychological (long periods in remote areas without easy access to external support) spiritual (exposure to witchcraft and other occultic practices; non-Christian religions; lack of Christian fellowship in persecuted areas).
AMT produces a free weekly prayer sheet called Global Prayer Matters (GPM) which is distributed mainly via email on Thursday afternoons, although a handful of subscribers receive it via snail mail. These prayer requests are from the most up-to-date correspondence that AMT receives during each week. Mid-year we also release a Daily Prayer Guide which covers all our current workers plus other related needs, including those of AMT and select focus groups, divided over 31 days. During morning tea at the AMT office we pray daily with this guide in conjunction with that week's GPM.
Although there are potentially many people and items to pray for, the important thing is that prayer should be...
consistent: set aside a regular time daily and stick to it. It may be easier to pray with a small group of committed prayers who can encourage one another to persevere in prayer
concise: especially if you're pressed for time and you have a number of things to pray for, don't waffle; gather your thoughts and be specific in your praise and prayer
considerate: don't just pray for your friends or people you are familiar with.
Please remember that many workers whose prayer points may appear general or vague are often forced by their circumstances to be extremely careful with what and how they communicate – for this reason alone they may, more than most, especially need your prayers.
We can pray for the worker's
communion with God, his or her family and friends, and the people to whom he or she is accountable, both on the field (e.g. local government and believers) and at home. In some areas, service can be a very lonely, frustrating and draining experience, and we should uphold him or her regularly. Especially if contact is unavoidably sparse and hence discouraging, prayer for the worker embroiled in a spiritual battle is essential.
Please remember, too, that the worker has daily needs like financial costs, car and house repairs, medical concerns and travel arrangements – relatively mundane things that may be of little interest to the average reader/listener, but they are as much a part of the worker's life as they are for us – perhaps more so, as facilities and services may not be as readily available where he or she is as in Australia
communication – from visa applications to writing back home, from chatting in one's native tongue to learning a completely new language, from delivering a sermon to engaging in intimate counselling, what a worker says and writes can have great impact on his or her life and those around him or her.
Those back home need to be sensitive and wary of the language they use in correspondence so as not to jeopardise the worker
country of service - especially the ways in which the worker interacts within the constraints of a different government, culture (think language, food, religion, social class) and its associated customs (e.g. respect for the aged, male-female interaction at work and at home, table manners)
conditions of service – living and working environments, financial and social support, even the weather – all these things are as relevant to the worker as they are to us; let's get rid of the mentality that "oh, he's a Christian worker, he knows what it's like out there and should accept it, so he can do it tough!" Pray for heating in an icy climate or for power and clean water in a remote area is just as important as prayer for evangelistic opportunities for the affected worker in that region.
KEY PRAYER POINTS
1. The missionary’s own relationship to God Feeding on the Word, prayer life Maturity, growth in grace Victory over Satan and the flesh.
2. The missionary’s physical and emotional life. Adaptation to the climate. Health and safety. Victory over loneliness, depression.
3. The missionary’s relationships. Husband/wife relationships. Children. Relationships with other missionaries. Relationships with national people.
4. The missionary’s ability to communicate. Language study. Continual improvement in fluency. Cultural adaptation and understanding.
5. The Missionary’s ministry. Teaching, preaching, witnessing. Boldness, open doors. Prepared hearts, faithfulness.
6. The developing church. For a viable indigenous church in each people group. National believers. National church leadership.
7. Country of service. Government – national and local. Political situation. Visas, continued open.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Php 4:6,7 (NIV)