By Kim Butts
For those of you who have never heard this term, a prayer missionary is someone who takes on (or adopts) a country, a geographical area, or a specific unreached people group and starts praying on a daily and systematic basis. A prayer missionary does not physically go to the mission field (except if he or she goes on a prayer journey or a short term missions trip), but performs the work of prayer from his or her home or place of work. In this way the prayer missionary can prepare the harvest field so that the seed sown by missionaries will fall on good soil. A prayer missionary is part of God’s fighting team in the struggle against the kingdom of the darkness. He is a co-worker with missionaries, because without those who pray, missionaries cannot be effective.
According to Bennie Mostert, “The advantage of being a prayer missionary is that one manages to get into places and countries where the preaching of the gospel is prohibited. No-one can prevent the prayers of the prayer missionary from having an effect across the borders of countries or over large distances.” Mostert, in his book, Change Your World through Prayer, gives several guidelines to anyone who wishes to become a prayer missionary:
- A prayer missionary may be any believer who sees his way open to do the work of prayer as commissioned by the Lord. Just as a missionary commits to one term or a lifetime of service, you will need to make a commitment to pray – one year, three years or as long as it takes for your nation or people group to be reached for Christ.
- Ask God to show you which country he would like you to do your mission work in. Having a copy of Operation World by Patrick Johnstone would be a good resource. Pray for different countries each day until you gradually develop affection for one or more nation and/or its people. Perhaps God will lay it upon your heart to pray for Muslims, or for one particular people group within a country, etc.
- Begin to do research on your country or people group, watching the paper, news, magazines, etc. Find out the leaders of the nation and what religion(s) are practiced there. Begin keeping a file of information that will help you pray in an informed, specific way.
- Pray for the leaders of that nation – for their conversion and that they will govern wisely and with mercy.
- Pray for missionaries, pastors and church leaders in that nation, and for the firm establishment and growth of Christ’s Church in their midst.
- Pray for the unsaved, as well as for the believers and new converts.
- Pray for revival in the church in that nation.
- Pray for unity in the body of Christ
- Pray for open doors so that the Word may be spread rapidly and thoroughly.
Remember to thank God continually as He works!