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How To Pray for Missionaries: A Beginner’s Guide

March 20, 2024 |  By Rebecca Olsen

People around the world need prayer. Whether they’re native missionaries in another country, a friend in a different state, or your neighbor next door, people need prayer. Taking action and diving into prayer is often difficult, though. Many of us struggle to know exactly what to pray for, how to get into the right prayer posture, and what effect prayer can truly have.

Keep reading to discover a beginner’s guide on how to pray for missionaries, who need a lot of prayer support, and improve your prayer life.

How to Pray for Missionaries

There are thousands of topics you can pray about, and one topic that needs much prayer is native missionaries. They are more than a topic — they are people sharing the Gospel of Jesus in other countries.

Many of these missionaries are connecting with people who’ve never met a Christian or heard the Gospel, and they may live in an area where Christianity is illegal. Through prayer, you can encourage and strengthen them.

What to Pray For

As you narrow down topics for prayer, you can focus on missionaries and their needs. Some people pray generally for these needs, such as protection from and perseverance under persecution, financial assistance, or peace in a region. Others prefer to pray specifically, such as for a specific country like the Philippines or a specific ministry, like Linda doing medical missions in the Philippines. We share more about Linda and various missionary prayer needs in our free “7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries” guide.

Postures for Prayer

You can choose a physical prayer posture as you start your conversation with God. You may prefer the classic posture of sitting with your head bowed and eyes closed. Or you may focus better when you’re moving, so you can walk or do simple chores while you pray. Choose whatever posture feels comfortable and allows you to focus.

Prayer Strategies and Settings

As you pray for missionaries, you may use different strategies or pray in different settings.

Praying with a Journal

A popular prayer strategy is to write down your prayers in a journal. This can help you avoid distractions.

Everyone can benefit from a prayer journal. It can help you avoid distractions and gives you a record to look back on. When your body has something to do when you pray, such as write, you can stay focused. And looking back on prayers that God has answered will fill you with confidence!

Praying in a Group

Distractions and other worries about prayer can multiply in a group setting. Praying can feel much more difficult with a listening audience, but you can overcome these concerns too.

While praying with other people can feel intimidating, you can persevere and enjoy it. There are many benefits to praying with a group, such as deepening your collective connection with Christ and encouraging one another. Pray aloud the same way you would journal or pray silently. Remember that your words are for God, not the other people listening. If you still struggle to pray aloud, you can write down your prayer beforehand to read aloud or use the prayer guide we provide for you.

The Importance of Prayer

We’ve explained that missionaries need prayer, and we have described different ways you can pray. However, some Christians still struggle to understand the importance of prayer and what happens when we pray, especially for other people.

Prayer is important for many reasons. Firstly, it connects us with God, helping us align our will with His and participate in His work here on earth. Regular prayer follows the example of our Savior, Jesus, and keeps us humble before God. Through prayer we also experience protection, power, and peace.

What Happens When We Pray

Now that we know why prayer is important, we can consider what happens when we pray. When we pray, God listens, and we open ourselves up to hear His response. Jesus and the Holy Spirit help and intercede for us when we pray as well. This is especially comforting when you don’t know how to pray or what to say.

The physical world can also change when we pray. Some of the most powerful examples of prayer in the Bible prove that prayers change the world: when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish (Matthew 14:13–21) and when Ananias prayed over Saul’s blindness (Acts 9:17–18).

Praying for Others

Since prayer is so important and does so much, it makes sense that we should pray for other people. Prayer draws you closer to God and to others. Praying for other people often unlocks more benefits in your relationship with that person. As you bring that person before the Lord, God can restore parts of your relationship and help you love them better. Even if you’re praying for someone you’ve never met, like a native missionary in another country, you can still experience this supernatural love.

Someone to Pray For

Linda is someone Advancing Native Missions shares about in our “7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries” guide, and you can start praying for her today. Linda is the medical missionary in the Philippines that we mentioned in the first section. Her ministry meets people’s physical and spiritual health needs. You can pray that she’ll have the supplies she needs, such as medicines and Bibles, to continue her work. Download the guide to learn about other prayer opportunities.

This beginner’s guide to praying for missionaries will help you construct a healthy prayer life and support missionaries around the world. Consider dedicating one day a week to praying for missionaries so you never forget their important work or your vital role in supporting them.

Download the 7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries guide now.


Photo by Eric Vess (Nepal, February 2024)