How can you pray for missionaries? A few weeks ago, Jessica and I had the privilege of teaching some early elementary kids at a missions conference in Virginia. As part of our time with them, we shared a few simple ways that they can be praying for missionaries (complete with hand motions 😀). The three requests that I mentioned are all drawn from the apostle Paul and have relevance to all of us as we seek to lift up missionary families in prayer (they're not just for kids!).
First, pray for an open door for the gospel (see Col. 4:2-3). Making disciples (which includes evangelism and discipleship) is at the heart of Paul's ministry, as well as of the great commission (Matt. 28:19-20). But Paul's prayer request in Colossians 4 indicates that opportunityfor this disciple-making process can fluctuate. The same is the case for missionaries today. Will you pray for evangelistic opportunity for us, even as we continue deputation stateside?
Second, pray for protection (see 2 Thess. 3:1-2). We can, of course, overemphasize safety in an unhealthy or demobilizing way. Esther's "If I perish, I perish" offers an example of Godly courage in the face of danger (Esther 4:16). Nevertheless, it should be remembered that even Esther's prayer request was not unrelated to protection (for herself and her people). Missionaries are often directed into dangerous or hostile situations. Those who pray for them should ask God to protect them and their witness through these circumstances. While France is not hostile to missionaries in the same way that many closed countries are, we still need God's protection and appreciate your prayers in this vein.
Third, pray for boldness in sharing the gospel (see Eph. 6:19). It must be remembered that missionaries are ordinary people who often share many of the same fears and inhibitions as those who fill the pews in your church. If the early church gathered to pray for boldness for the apostles (Acts 4:23-31), and if Paul specifically asked for prayer for boldness in his letter to the Ephesians (6:19), shouldn't we also pray for boldness for missionaries today? As God gives evangelistic opportunity, pray that He will also give us the boldness to speak.
Alvin Reid offers this simple prayer that is worth bringing to God each day: “God, give me (1) an opportunity to witness today, (2) the wisdom to see it, (3) and boldness to take it.”
Pray this for yourself and for us!
Of course, we could add to this simple list many other biblically-derived requests, but this serves as a great starting point!
As you pray these things for us and other missionaries, will you also lift up a few of these specific requests?
Pray for continued growth in our language learning endeavors (see praise below).
Pray that we may be nearing full support by the end of the year.
Pray for wisdom as we embark on the process of moving overseas.
During our time a Bethel Baptist in VA the alternator went out on our van. God supplied for us through the church and individuals within it, allowing us to have the alternator and battery replaced during the missions conference!
We have recently begun a new French class with a Christian French lady over Zoom. Even with just a few sessions under our belts, we can tell that having this interaction with a real person is promoting real growth in our French acquisition.
God protected us on a recent trip from Illinois where part of a ratchet strap flew up onto the front of our van. It could have easily broken through the windshield, but God allowed it to only damage the glass (see picture) preventing any major damage or injuries.
God is providing more prayer and financial partners for our ministry team!
As of writing this, we are at 78% of our committed monthly support, and at around 90% of our outfit and passage. Since our last letter, we have had 5 churches agree to partner with us, as well as at least 1 personal supporter. Praise God for His provision for us!