Monday. A day people do not like. A day that can be hard for people to face. A day with lots of memes. Most people do not like this Monday because they had to go back to work after the weekend. I do not like this Monday because it means the missions conference at church is over.
The past week has been amazing. I love mission conference because I love hearing what God is doing around the world and being reminded that we live in a global context. It is incredible to hear stories of missionaries bringing people to Christ in Asia, loving on the poor and criminals in Europe, and going into unreached people groups. Maybe it is just me but I get fired up hearing their testimonies and spending time with them. It fuels my desire to go.
But I cannot go. God has me in school in Wisconsin. Throughout our missions conference there was a theme about the missions work we could do hear, in America. The exciting thing about this mission work is that it can touch people all around the world.
What is this work, you ask? Prayer. On Thursday night, Dan Sehested, a missionary to Romania, said “if God’s people don’t pray missionaries never make it.” Later in the week another missionary who worked for years in Africa told us how one time he was at a church and a lady came up to him. She said, “I have been praying for you for 21 years.” That knowledge has strengthened him for years. The one time he seriously considered quitting the field, he received a simple post card. Written on the back of it was a short message, “Just wanted to let you know we are praying for you.” That message, the knowledge that someone in America was praying, encouraged him to keep going, for years more.
There is no telling the power of prayer. This is missions work I can do from a college campus in Wisconsin. This is missions work you can do from your bedroom, your work office, your school room.
Sometimes it seems that the work done here in the States is not as glorious, powerful, or useful as that done in the field. And yes, there is a need for missionaries to go to the field but they need supported by prayer (and finances) from those of us who cannot go. It does not matter if you cannot walk, cannot talk, have no talents, you can pray and you can make a difference with that pray. Pray is not a substitute for going. If God is calling you to go, you had better get out there but if God has not called you to go you can pray. Prayer is talked about time and time again in the Scripture. It is a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Dan Sehested is right. Missionaries do not make it on the mission’s field without people supporting them in prayer. Let me challenge you to pray. Pray hard for your missionaries. Pray for them individually and specifically as you know how. Image what could happen in the world if Christians got serious about praying for those on the front lines. As Samuel Chadwick says “There is no power like that of prevailing prayer—of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heartbroken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat of blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God.”
Bring God to people around the world. Pray.
“O brother, pray; in spite of Satan, pray; spend hours in prayer; rather neglect friends than not pray; rather fast, and lose breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper—and sleep too—than not pray. And we must not talk about prayer, we must pray in right earnest. The Lord is near. He comes softly while the virgins slumber.” Andrew Bonar