Missions conference week is an exciting time where everyone feels connected to the cause of global missions. However, we need to foster a culture where prayer is the normal, everyday response to the call of Christ to go to all the world. To pray effectively, how can we start? And for what things should we pray?
First, start with a time – 9:38.
It can be either AM or PM or both.
Why 9:38? It’s a time reminder based on Matthew 9:38, where Jesus says,
“Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”
This prayer initiative, started by the staff at ABWE, invites us to intentionally pray each day for missionaries to be sent out into all the world.
As Pastor Sam Polson recently reminded us, when we pray this, expect God to move in our hearts. God will respond by sending laborers out, but He will likely work on your heart and mine to perhaps send us out in fields he’s prepared for us!
How to Pray During This Conference
Much hard work by our faithful staff members has gone into making this week possible. We would ask that you join us in praying some specific requests outlined below, for all our hard work is only possible by the grace of our Lord, and we need His help in every way that this week would be a blessing to our missionaries and church body.
1) Pray for the Sunday preachers: David Woodard (2/27) and Paul Davis (3/6). Pray that they would depend on the Lord; pray that they would communicate God’s message to West Park. Pray that they would be kept from spiritual warfare and frustrations in ministry that often come and distract from the preparation that goes into preaching God’s Word. Pray that they would be personally challenged and encouraged by God’s Word.
2) Pray for our missionaries: David and Debbie Woodard, Gary and Marty Crawford, and George Romeos and his son William. Pray that they are enriched spiritually, materially and physically while they are with us. Ask God to supply all their needs, as many face transitions and difficulties right now in their primary ministries. Pray that they would truly reconnect with the pastors and staff at West Park, and that they would be assured of our love for them.
3) Pray for our church staff. Pray for healthy communication between staff members as they manage many fine-tuned details this week. Pray for their growth in grace and teamwork this week. Ask God to help them manage the communication details, particularly for the communication team. Ask God to help Pastor Joe and Debbie Trotter to oversee the various behind-the-scenes work of serving the missionaries this week.
4) Pray for our church. Pray that all coming would experience the joy of seeing God work in the world. Pray that we would also be awakened from spiritual lethargy (sleepiness) that is causing us to be apathetic about evangelism. Pray that each person this week would be open to missions and to grow in areas of prayer, giving and going.
How to Pray for West Park’s Missionaries
We currently have 23 Missionaries (whether singles, couples or families) as well as the 6 organizations West Park is privileged to support. The money we are able to give is not the most important thing we can share – prayer is even more powerful! If you ask them, missionaries will tell you that they live by prayer. So, how can you pray?
- Read 1 Missionary Bio a day, and pray for that missionary. The details they share in their bio help you to know what types of things to pray about: the country in which they serve, the people they are reaching, and the types of ministries they are leading. In one month’s time, you could pray for each missionary and organization 1 time.
- Pick up the monthly Missions prayer focus and pray the specific requests that our missionaries communicate to us. The Prayer focus can be found in the Welcome Center, the Grand Foyer, and on the missions table in the passageway where the new church member photos are located.
- Pray the scripture for them. Often our requests become routine. As you read God’s Word, pray the Word for our missionaries. Some passages are prime examples of how to pray and give us ready-made requests to take to God. For example, see Nehemiah 1:3-11; Colossians 4:2-3; and 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5.