There are three answers I give; prayer, networking, and financial.
You may wonder why I didn’t list financial first, since this is the need that many people would consider the most necessary. Truthfully speaking, when I am anxious about my situation, my focus is narrowed to this need. However, when I have been in God’s word and faithfully spending time with Him, I am aware of the greater need for prayer.
For it is when I pray, and when I know others are praying for me, that God speaks and moves. He reveals His plan for the day (notice I say “day” and not “the next 3 months”, because no matter how much I ask, God has yet to show me his plan beyond the next 24 hrs *sigh*), brings comfort, and reminds me of who He is and what He is capable of.
Each time, I find my trust and faith in him renewed. My paralyzed and overwhelmed mind is put at peace, and freed to complete the necessary tasks of the day.
I just wish I didn’t have to do this ALL OF THE TIME. My efficient brain asks, “Didn’t we do this yesterday? Why are we doing this again? What is wrong with you?” My only consolation is that this is how God designed me. He never wants me to be on my own, but to always be close by His side.
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
1 Chronicles says, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
For those of you who are supporting a ministry worker or who wish to pray for someone who works in ministry, but you don’t have a specific request, below are some topics to help guide you.
(The topics below are partly taken from OMF International’s tract, “Seven Ways to Pray for Your Missionary”. To read the full version of the tract, please go to, http://www.omf.org)
1. Relationship with God
You may think that ministry workers have an uber special connection with God because they are “working” specifically for him, but that is not the case. Ministry workers are (gasp) human too, and fall prey to the same struggles as everyone else.
- Love and study God’s Word
- Strong prayer life
- Maturing spiritually
2. Team Relationships
I heard an interesting statistic in one of my trainings last year, and that was, that the number one reason why ministry workers leave the field or where they are serving is because of conflict within their teams.
3. Physical and Emotional Needs
A very effective attack on ministry workers, is to go after their mental and physical health. Prayer for good health, safety, and stamina, and against discouragement, loneliness, and depression can help greatly.
4. Family Relationships
- Husband & Wife
- Parent & Child
- Salvation and spiritual growth for the children
- Family life is role model for those in their community
- For those single;
- Strong and healthy friendships
- Strength of immediate family relationships (mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)
5. Ability to Communicate
The primary goal of the ministry worker is to share the gospel of Jesus. In order to do so effectively, that worker must learn and know the language and culture. Learning a different language and culture is exhausting, overwhelming work. Prayer for perseverance, patience (when the worker becomes frustrated because they don’t pick it all up in 1 week), local friends (to help learning the language and culture), and perseverance (yes, I said it again).
6. Effective Ministry
Witnessing, teaching, counseling, boldness, open hearts, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit. Or any other specific needs related to the ministry the worker is doing.
Personally, I am trying to get in to the habit of sending a prayer request list to my team, so that they know how to pray for me for that week. If you would like to be part of that team to pray for me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Join Prayer Request Email” in the subject and I will add you to the list. (Note: I am really sorry if I haven’t already included you.)
Additionally, I would like to pray for you too. Please feel free to email me at the above address for your prayer requests.
There is nothing more encouraging than hearing about how God has responded to our prayer requests. Please feel free to share how God has answered yours in the comments below.