"that men ought always to pray, and not to faint"
A GUIDE TO
"How to Pray for Missionaries"
by Milton Martin
This guide has been developed to inform, instruct, encourage
and equip you in the most important work of all -- the work
of PRAYER. Keep it in your Bible. Add to it. Take a topic
and incorporate it into your prayer life before starting on the
next one. Develop a plan and stick to it. Just as with
physical exercise, your spiritual endurance and effectiveness
in prayer will increase with use and consistency.
"Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loathe
to do it. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of
serious attention and of time, which flesh and
blood do not relish." E.M. Bounds
If we are to have victory over spiritual strongholds,
protection from the attacks of Satan and effectiveness in
evangelism we must have earnest, specific and
concentrated prayer. We must have individual prayer, and
we must have corporate prayer. Before we begin, one
caution -- there is only one sure way to learn how to pray
more effectively..... by praying. We must be:
"doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)
"Prayer is not learned in a classroom, but in the closet."
The only recorded instance of the Disciples asking specific
instruction from the Lord was found in Luke 11:1 where we
find them asking: "Lord, teach us to pray!"
May this be our heartfelt desire as well!
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and
mighty things which thou knowest not." Jeremiah 33:3
Why Should I Pray?
Let us consider several points:
- To Glorify God -- John 14:13.
If this is not the purpose of everything we do in life, we
need to stop and correct our motives and evaluate our
relationship with our Lord and Saviour.
Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever
ye do do all to the glory of God. I Cor. 10:31
- It is a Privilege and an Honor - I Pet. 5:7 - What a
privilege to have communication with the Creator of the
universe! Meditate on the following Scriptures:
I John 3:1; Eph. 2:18-19; Eph. 3:12; Heb. 4:14-15
- It is a Command and Responsibility -- I Thess. 5:17.
Soldiers of Christ, if we neglect our duties in this spiritual
battle, we are derelict of our duties. Read Exodus 17:8-
16 and Numbers 16:41-50. What would have happened if
Moses stopped interceding on behalf of Joshua and the
Children of Israel?
- It helps us to conform our will to His -- Matt. 26:39.
It is true that "prayer changes things." However it is
equally true that "prayer changes us." If it doesn't,
something is wrong. When we humble ourselves before
God and pray, we receive guidance, comfort,
confirmation and encouragement.
- So we do not sin -- I Sam. 12:23; Matt. 6:13.
Neglect of prayer is Selfish, Slothful and Sinful. It also
leaves us defenseless to withstand some of the spiritual
attacks that will come.
"Ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:2
"Ask and it shall be given you." Matthew 7:7
When Should I Pray?
The command of prayer is given to us at ALL times, and in
ALL circumstances. It is not only a matter of desire, but
also DUTY. Consider the following Scriptures:
"Pray without ceasing." I Thess. 5:17 "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men
ought always to pray and not to faint." Luke 18:1
Also meditate on:
(Luke 21:36; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; I Pet. 4:7)
Prayer should become a habit (an action repeated so often it
becomes involuntary). Set aside a specific time of the day to
dedicate only to prayer. Make a daily appointment with the
Lord and keep it faithfully. Our priorities are revealed in
how we spend our TIME, our MONEY and our ABILITIES.
"We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have
power. We have a great deal of activity, but we
accomplish little; many services but few conversions;
much machinery but few results." R.A. Torrey
"Never undertake more Christian work than can be
covered in believing prayer -- to fail here is to act not in
faith, but in presumption." Alan Redpath
"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his
ears are open unto their prayers." I Pet. 3:12
Who Should I Pray For? "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made
for all men;" I Tim. 2:1
- Your Pastor.
- Missionaries and other Servants of the Lord.
- Your family, relatives and friends.
- Salvation of the lost -- Psalm 2:8; Rom. 10:1.
- Persecuted Brethren around the world -- Heb. 13:3.
- Civil and political leaders, employer, etc. -- I Tim. 2:2.
- Laborers for the harvest -- Matt. 9:37-38.
- The sick and afflicted among you -- James 5:16a.
- Those who wrong you or treat you unfairly -- Luke 6:28.
- For all saints, especially those recently saved in your
church -- Eph. 6:18.
- Those with special requests or problems -- I Sam. 12:19.
- Israel, the Jews and the peace of Jerusalem -- Psalm 122:6.
"And I sought for a man among them, that should make
up the hedge, and stand in the gap before
me for the land, that I should not destroy it:
but I found none." Ezekiel 22:30
"The great people of the earth today are the people who
pray. I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor
those who say they believe in prayer; nor yet those who
can explain about prayer; but I mean those people who
take time to pray." S.D. Gordon
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask
any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" I John 5:14
How Should I Pray?
- In the name of Jesus -- John 16:24.
- With all known sin confessed -- Ps. 66:18; I John 1:9; Prov. 28:13.
- Humbly, sincerely -- James 4:6.
- According to God's will, not ours -- I John 5:14-15; Matt. 26:39;
- Fervently, earnestly -- James 5:16.
- In faith, without doubting -- Heb. 11:1, James 1:6-7.
- Specifically -- Philippians 4:6.
- Persistently -- Luke 18:1-8.
- Inconspicuously, Secretly -- Matt. 6:6.
- Confidently, expectantly -- I John 5:14.
Use your hand to remember the following order for your
prayers. Start with confession, then Praise, Thanksgiving,
Intercession and lastly Petition. Most of us leave out true
confession and selfishly reverse this order, spending more time
presenting our requests and needs than thanking and praising
God for Who He is and what He has done.
Confess Praise Thanksgiving Intercession Petition "Prayer is not preparation for the battle - - It is the battle."
"Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." Psalm 2:8
How Should I Pray? (Continued) "Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance -- but taking
hold upon God's willingness." Phillips Brooks
Prayer cannot be limited to a list, pattern or method.
However, without structure or organization it can quickly
deteriorate from a rewarding experience into something
routine, repetitious, or even rambling. In addition to
Confession, Praise, Thanksgiving, Intercession and Petition,
incorporate the following into your prayers:
Waiting, Listening. Psa. 62:5; Micah 7:7; Isa. 8:17. Worship. Psa. 95:6; Job 1:20; Psa. 29:2; Rev. 4:10-11. "Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God's voice in
response to mine is its most essential part." Andrew Murray
- Scripture Praying. Pray with the Bible open and available.
Claim the promises of God's Word. It can break down
barriers (Jer. 23:29), Silence Satan (Matt. 4:1-10) and give
direction for special needs (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23).
- Personalize the Word. "And this is the confidence that [I]
we have in him, that, if [I] we ask any thing according to
his will, he heareth [me] us." I John 5:14
- Meditation. Josh. 1:8; Psa. 1:2; Psa. 119:97.
- Singing. Look at just a few of the great examples of
Prayer in Song! Psalm 17, 25, 28, 51, 54, 55, 61, 64, 86,
88, 102, 120, 123, 132, 140, 141, 142, 143, 150.
"Prayer is the acid test of devotion." Samuel Chadwick
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man
availeth much." James 5:16
Praise vs. Thanksgiving What is the difference between Praise and Thanksgiving?Praise is an act of Divine adoration and magnification. It is giving
glory to God for His attributes (Holiness, Justice, Mercy, Wisdom,
Longsuffering, Lovingkindness, Righteousness, Love, Goodness,
Faithfulness, Sovereignty, Power, Truth, Eternal in existence, etc.)
Thanksgiving is What God has done FOR YOU -- (Salvation, Life,
Health, Freedom, His Protection, His Presence (Heb. 13:5), His
Provision, Blessings of Children and Family, Grace given,
Forgiveness of sin, etc.
"Hallowed be thy name" Matt. 6:9 Praying for the Lost The Lost Are:Bound -- II Tim. 2:25-26; Matt. 12:29; Luke 11:21-22.
Blind -- Eph. 4:18; II Cor. 4:3-4; I Cor. 2:14; II Cor. 10:4;
Acts 26:18. The Lost Can Be:Found -- Luke 19:10.
Freed -- John 8:12, 32, 36.
Binding can be broken -- Emancipation. Isa. 61:1; 42:7
Blinding can be removed -- Enlightenment. (Isa. 35:5;
Acts 9:17-18; Col. 1:13; I Pet. 2:9)
"Hell is larger today than it was yesterday because many of
us have failed to pray." David Smithers
"For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Prayer and Fasting may be necessary for victory over
certain strongholds (Mark 9:29) or as protection from
Satanic attacks (Matt. 4:1-2). Fasting is defined as the
practice of deliberately and voluntarily abstaining from
usual nourishment. Its meaning can be expanded to
include temporary abstinence from anything to concentrate
more on spiritual matters.
Fasting is not placing a demand on God -- Isa. 58:3.
Fasting develops a heightened sensitivity. Acts 13:2.
Fasting develops Self Control (Temperance - Gal. 5:23).
How should I fast?Fast Scripturally. John 14:15; I Sam. 15:22.
Fast Secretly. Matt. 6:16-18; Luke 18:11-12.
Fast Sensibly. II Sam. 3:35; Acts 10:30.
Fast Selflessly. Zech. 7:5-6.
Fast Sincerely. Isa. 58:3-4; Matt. 6:16, 18; Psa. 66:18.
Fast Systematically. Matt. 6:16 -- "when ye fast."
Fast in Sorrow. Joel 2:12; II Sam. 12:16.
Fast in time of distress and need -- Isa. 58:6; Jonah 3:5;
Isa. 38:2; Esther 4:16; II Chr. 20:3; Ezra 8:21.
"Prayer is self-discipline. The effort to realize the presence
and power of God stretches the sinews of the soul and hardens
its muscles. To pray is to grow in grace. To tarry in the
presence of the King leads to new loyalty and devotion on the
part of the faithful subjects. Christian character grows in the
secret-place of prayer." Samuel Zwemer
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do
that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13
Prayer Promises About the Word of God:
We forfeit tremendous power by failing to incorporate
Scripture into our prayer life. Study the prayers found
throughout the Scriptures. Consider just a few of the
promises God has given us concerning His Word:
For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper
than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish
that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing
whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Cast thy bread [God's Word] upon the waters [the nations
of the world]: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a
hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29
Being born again not of corruptible seed, but of
incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and
abideth for ever. I Peter 1:23
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
"The Word of God is not bound." II Timothy 2:9
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5
"How to Pray for Missionaries" by Milton Martin For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty
through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) II Cor. 10:3- 4
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12
There is a war in the spiritual realm, but it is a war already won by the
Lord Jesus on Calvary. This victory is only applied to the present world
need as we perseveringly and believingly pray. As we pray, we stand on
victory ground, and can shout the Hallelujah of victory whatever seeming
setbacks and trials come upon the work of God.
Prayer is a mystery. God is all powerful, yet He desires our prayers to
accomplish His work in the world. A prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit
has a part in forming the eternal decrees of God. Prayer unites puny men
to Almighty God in a miraculous partnership. It is the most noble and
most essential ministry God gives to His children - but it is the most
neglected. May God make us real intercessors as we turn to the world in
its great need. May God convict us of the awful sinfulness of lack of
prayer. I Sam. 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin
against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the
good and the right way:
PRAY FOR YOUR MISSIONARIES:
1. Culture shock. Over one-quarter of all missionaries who return
prematurely from the field do so because they could not adapt to new
languages, foods, and customs. Humility is needed to adapt to and
respect the cultures of those to whom the Lord has sent them.
2. Protection from Satan's attacks. The powers of darkness are very
real. Pray for authority to resist the Devil and to spoil his goods.
3. The protection of his mind. The Devil uses discouragement,
loneliness, lack of fruit and evil thoughts to make the missionary useless
for the Lord's work.
4. His health. In a climate possibly very different to his homeland, he is
exposed to many and varied exotic diseases to which he has no or very
little resistance. Sickness has shortened the careers of many
"How to Pray for Missionaries" by Milton Martin (Continued)
5. Brokenness - in his dealing with national believers and fellow
workers, having difficult orders from those in authority, and also
"impossible" home conditions. Pray that all these trials may drive him
to a dependence upon Christ alone.
6. The love of God for sinners. Human pity and love are insufficient;
only the constraining love of Christ can help a missionary love the
7. The anointing of God in his ministry and also the constant knowledge
of God's will in the big and small events of his life.
8. Lack of personal discipline - in having a devotional time, in the study
of the language and customs of the people, in the use of time. These, as
well as overworking, cause many missionaries to fail on the field. Pray
for the effective and wise use of time.
9. His family. There is often an inadequate family life with many
separations. The wife is often alone with insufficient money and few
conveniences. The children are often separated from their parents for
long periods and become rebellious and resentful in their teens. Pray
that missionary families may be an effective witness of all that a
Christian family ought to be, since believers saved out of heathen
backgrounds often have low standards of marriage.
10. Priorities in service. He needs clear objectives in his ministry and
the time to reach them. Interruptions, trials and trivialities are common!
He needs a sense of urgency and a proper perspective of his purpose and
goals for his particular field and country. He must work with definite
and specific plans since his time on the field can be suddenly terminated.
11. His financial need. Many live poorly and sacrificially by the
standards of their homeland but magnificently in the eyes of local
national people. Pray for a right balance in the use of money and
possessions and the supply of all his needs.
12. Failures in personal relationships between missionaries and
nationals are the source of many missionary casualties.
13. Furloughs are longed for but are often a great disappointment. Lack
of interest from believers and churches, ignorance of the true world
conditions on the part of believers and churches, adaptation to a changed
homeland, much traveling and separation from family due to having to
report to churches when rest, spiritual revival and refreshment is the
14. Revival. The constant need of both missionaries and churches all
over the world.
Food for Thought:
"I find it a good thing to fast. I do not lay down rules for
anyone in this matter, but I know it has been a good thing for
me to go without meals to get time for prayer. So many say
they have not sufficient time to pray. We think nothing of
spending an hour or two in taking our meals." - D. E. Hoste
"The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness."
"Out of a very intimate acquaintance with D. L. Moody, I
wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was
preacher. Time and time again, he was confronted by
obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but he always knew
the way to overcome all difficulties. He knew the way to
bring to pass anything that needed to be brought to pass. He
knew and believed in the deepest depths of his soul that
nothing was too hard for the Lord, and that prayer could do
anything that God could do." -- R. A. Torrey.
"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" "The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer that
fetched the angel." - Thomas Watson
"Prayer is the secret of power." - Evan Roberts
"I have need of nothing." - Laodicean Church (Rev. 3:17)
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his
ears are open unto their cry." Psalm 34:15
More Food for Thought:
"It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor
to pray correctly; nor is it enough to continue for a time
to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in
prayer until we obtain an answer. ....... Here is the
great secret of success, my Christian reader. Work with
all your might, but never trust in your work. Pray with
all your might for the blessing in God, but work at the
same time with all diligence, with all patience, with all
perseverance. Pray, then, and work. Work and pray.
And still again pray, and then work. And so on, all the
days of your life. The result will surely be abundant
blessing. Whether you see much fruit or little fruit,
such kind of service will be blessed." -- George Muller
"The [local] Church has halted somewhere between Calvary
and Pentecost." - Joe Brice
"It is morally impossible to exercise trust in God while
there is failure to wait upon Him for guidance and
direction. The man who does not learn to wait upon the
Lord and have his thoughts molded by Him will never
possess that steady purpose and calm trust, which is
essential to the exercise of wise influence upon others,
in times of crisis and difficulty." - D. E. Hoste
"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask
what ye will and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7
More Food for Thought:
"Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church
ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him
for ten days, that the Spirit's power might be
manifested? We give too much attention to method and
machinery and resources, and too little to the source of
power." - Hudson Taylor
"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. Add to
this list from the records of the [local] church your personal
observation and experience, and always there is the
cost of passion unto 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." - Samuel Chadwick
"Our prayers lay the track down on which God's power
can come. Like a mighty locomotive, His power is
irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails."
"Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence."
W. S. Bowden
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing ye shall receive." Matt. 21:22
God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger.
As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He
prepares His ear to hear (Ps. 10:17). So in the case of spiritual hunger,
when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill.
- Thomas Watson
A marble cutter, with chisel and hammer, was changing a stone into a
statue. A preacher looking on said: 'I wish I could deal such changing
blows on stony hearts.' The workman answered: 'Maybe you could, if
you worked like me, upon your knees.' - A.T. Pierson
God's program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah
"repaired the altar of the Lord that was thrown down." That is the place
to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by
confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be
made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly,
prayer for reviving is vain... Too many are praying today without
repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of
separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto
death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless. -- Andrew Gih
On the mountains, torrents flow right along, cutting their own courses.
But on the plains canals have to be dug out painfully by men so that the
water might flow. So among those who live on the heights with God,
the Holy Spirit makes its way through of its own accord, whereas those
who devote little time to prayer and communion with God have to
organize painfully. - Sadhu Sunder Singh
Lord grant that the fire of my heart may melt the
lead in my feet. - Unknown
"God answers knee-mail" - Unknown
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble
themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their
wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive
their sin, and will heal their land." II Chr. 7:14
For additional copies of this brochure, please contact:
Prayer Guide - Central Baptist Church - P.O. Box 430
Bowie, TX 76230 (940) 872-2704
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]