Working in countries where speaking openly about Jesus or is not tolerated or is dangerous.
Many countries, especially in Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, are closed to traditional missionaries. However, there are still many opportunities to work among the people, to provide education, health care, or other support, or to send materials and help into those lands.
We are privileged to have been the sending church for two people into these lands, and to be a supporting church for a further couple.
Although we are unable to publically identify these people, for their own safety, it is a privilege to be able to pray for them, provide them with the finance they need, and pray for the areas of the world that they are working in.
Each person is in an area that is strategically important for the gospel. Each has to, moment by moment, speak with wisdom and discernment so that they can speak of the Gospel clearly and introduce Jesus without jeapordising their lives or position, or the lives of other Christians.
Because of their situations, it is difficult to give specific prayer points, but these general prayer pointers (adapted from those provided by Wycliffe) may help:
- Pray for Open Doors
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:2–3).
- Pray that God will open doors of ministry, blessing partnerships and friendships.
- Pray that those who serve will be led by the Holy Spirit and recognize open-door opportunities.
- Pray that God will lead His people past barriers to hearts ready to receive His Word.
- Pray for Boldness in Witness
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).
- Pray that missionaries will have boldness to overcome the fear of embarrassment or failure.
- Pray that the Spirit will provide them with words that communicate effectively in other cultures and languages.
- Pray against evil forces that would seek to hinder the spread of the gospel.
- Pray that God’s Word Will Spread
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.…” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
- Pray for strength and stamina as missionaries encounter antagonistic spiritual forces. (Ephesians 6:10–18)
- Pray that people will resist Satan’s plans to obstruct the spread of the gospel. (James 4:7)
- Pray that God’s Word will indeed spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.
- Pray for Protection
“Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 3:2).
- Pray that God will keep Christian workers safe from those who seek to hurt them.
- Pray that God will change the hearts of those who are resistant to His Word.
- Pray for Their Ministry
“Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes…” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
- Pray that the missionary’s ministry and attitude will be worthy of acceptance.
- Pray that colleagues and fellow believers will be supportive.
- Pray for God’s Guidance
“So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and we ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom” (Colossians 1:9)
- Pray for clear guidance from God regarding where to work and how to speak.
- Pray for protection and provision during their travels.
- Pray for wisdom in the words to say in each situation.
- Pray for Refreshment
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy” (Colossians 1:11).
- Pray that God will provide opportunities for missionaries in lonely areas to spend time with other believers.
- Pray that God will provide times of peace and relaxation to refresh His workers.
- Pray that God will encourage missionaries with the knowledge that people back home care about their emotional well-being.