Our righteous and sovereign Father,
From Creation, You’ve called your people to “go”. You commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”; to “fill the earth and subdue it”. You chose Israel to be a light to nations. You commanded Israel to expand, and drive out the deep darkness of Canaan. But, Adam and Eve failed; they chose disorder. Israel failed; they chose idol worship.
So Father, as we pray for everyone who’ll be leaving Northern Ireland – whether short or long-term – to witness to Your glory in other countries, we know that they can only do so in Christ. Because Christ Jesus alone lived up to the task to go. He is the Light of the World; so it’s only through union with Him that we can be lights in the world. Which means, first and foremost for all foreign mission work, we pray that missionaries will be grounded in, and rooted to, Your Son. We pray that they will be assured for their union with You, and the ongoing presence of Your Spirit. We pray that they’ll continue to be shaped by Your grace, as they live repentant lives of whole-hearted devotion to You in their new, foreign, contexts.
Father, as they give themselves to Your service, help them to be joyfully obedient to their Lord. We pray that the great cause of mission will totally engage their hearts: that they will totally desire to see Your kingdom reaching into every stronghold of chaos on earth, to Your great glory. Father, may this alone be their drive. Protect their hearts from spiritual arrogance, and guard their minds against potential disappointments, by clearly reminding them that You are sovereign over all mission; salvation alone belongs to You.
We pray that this assurance of Your mighty power and sovereignty will help them be confident in the universal relevance of Your gospel. We pray that they’ll be culturally astute in their mission’s particular context, and yet totally convinced of the universal scope of Your gospel. So, we pray that cultural adaption will be quick; we pray that they’ll have the humility to learn from their cultural missteps and mistakes, so the only offence caused will be the offence of the gospel.
Father, may they make the most of every opportunity You open for them to share Your word. Especially for people who will serve short-term, we pray that they’ll make the best use of the time You’ve given them. Help all missionaries share Your word clearly. And, constantly remind them: You are sovereign over salvation!
Father, for those of us at home: help us to be consistent in our prayers for our foreign missionaries. Forgive us; we’re so quick to forget to pray for our brothers and sisters. May we do all we can to strengthen, encourage and equip them. May we listen and learn from them, with humility, to reform our lives in the light of Your word.
Father, we long for the day when Your saints will gather before Your throne. We long to hear people from every tribe, every tongue and every nation praising our triumphant and glorious Lord. We pray for our foreign missionaries; we pray You’ll help them to reach the unreached, and we pray that all the glory will go to You.
All these things, and loads more we’ve forgotten, we ask in Your Son’s name.