August 18, 2017

How to Pray for Missionaries Who Return Home

It's my honor to introduce you to Deb Crawford, a fellow blogger with a heart for missions. She and her husband spent several years sharing the Gospel in South Africa. I asked her to share some thoughts about better supporting missionaries. She offers a unique perspective here, as she knows firsthand the challenges of returning from the field.  Returning missionaries are too often simply overlooked. We cross them off our prayer lists and forget how hard it must be to recalibrate so unexpectedly. But I hope you'll take her suggestions to heart -- and offer her your support too! Be sure to leave a comment, and take a moment to check out her blog. I know you'll be blessed by [...Read More]

Pray for Missionaries: A Personal Appeal

I've recently been sharing some ideas about praying for missionaries (here and here). How would you like a real-life opportunity to put those things into practice? As some of you know, my husband and I have felt God's call to be missionary church-planters in the intermountain West. We've had a long stretch of waiting and preparing as he worked through six years of seminary. Last spring he finally graduated, and we flew out to Salt Lake City to meet with the board of Northwest Baptist Missions. We were officially accepted as "pre-field missionaries" and started looking for a more specific area to focus on. We had a few days free to survey different areas, and God clearly directed our [...Read More]

9 Things to Pray for Missionaries

Missionaries are like spiritual miners. They dive deep into spiritual darkness, armed with the tools of the Gospel, and unearth those who are ready to believe in Jesus Christ. Their job is made a little easier when they have partners back home holding the ropes for them in prayer. The first step is choosing who to pray for. Pick one or two families to start out with. Write down their names and where they're serving. Get their prayer card from your church, or print off a newsletter from their website, and keep it with your Bible as a reminder to pray for them. Side note: if you're having trouble choosing who to pray for, send me a quick email and I can offer some suggestions! The harder [...Read More]

How to Pray for Missionaries

In his book True Community, Jerry Bridges offers the following account: William Carey of England, who has been called "the father of modern missions," went to India in 1793. At that time, there were no organized missionary societies, but as Carey prayed over the needs of an unreached world, God laid India on his heart. At a commissioning service for Carey and his colleague in March 1793, one of Carey’s friends exclaimed, "There is a gold mine in India but it seems almost as deep as the centre of the earth!" -- to which Carey replied, "I will venture down but remember that you must hold the ropes." Miners have hard work to do -- not always easy, and certainly not always safe -- but they do it [...Read More]

7 Practical Tips for Intercession

Time is valuable. And sharing your time is one of the more valuable gifts you can give. But even more valuable is sharing your time in prayer for that person. To spend time earnestly interceding for someone (whether they know it or not) is one of the greatest ways to demonstrate love for another: to "spend and be spent" for the sake of another. It is costly: it requires time and energy and forethought. It is sacrificial: we spend time praying for others instead of praying for ourselves. And it is worth doing -- but like anything else worth doing, it is worth doing well.  Here's some suggestions to pray well for others: 1. Do it. Don't just talk about it, or listen to others talk [...Read More]

9 Ways to Pray for Your Coworkers

You work with them almost every day. In fact, if you work full-time, you probably spend more time with your coworkers than you do with your own family. You collaborate, interact, brainstorm, and make money together. Your job success depends upon each other's competency and efficiency. But how well do you actually know your coworkers? You spend 8 hours a day together -- sometimes less -- then head home to your "real life." Unless you're an unusually close-knit team, or you work for a family member, you don't know your coworkers outside those 8 hours a day. And that's just for traditional office jobs! Those who work on a virtual team (like I do), serve in the medical community, or [...Read More]

10 Ways to Pray for Students

Another school year has begun, and students and teachers all across America are buckling down and praying for a good year.  I know I am! Not only is my husband entering his final year of seminary (Lord willing!), but I'm beginning my own seminary journey as well. I'm excited about working towards fulfilling a dream, and nervous about going back to school, and curious to see how I'll learn and grow through my classes. I covet your prayers -- as does every other student you know. Maybe someone in your own family is going back to school, perhaps a friend of yours is in college, or possibly your friends have children in school. Or maybe you're a teacher, and have a whole classroom full [...Read More]

10 Ways to Pray for Your Church Family

You know you should pray for your local church body -- but do you know specifically what to pray for? For most of us, our prayers probably end up sounding vague and puzzled: "Help our church to grow and help people with whatever problems they're facing - I don't know what they need, but You do - and help us all to glorify You." That's  certainly better than not praying at all -- but I think we could be a little more specific. Praying specifically is important, for you and for your church. Praying specifically for your local church will open your eyes to the spiritual needs within your church body -- needs like compassion, not like bus ministries -- and show you ways to minister [...Read More]

Jacksons for Scotland

It's a privilege to have Suzanne Jackson sharing today! We met through the blogosphere -- though I don't really remember the details of when or how -- and I love her heart for ministry. She and her family are embarking on a journey  with a brand new ministry focused on bringing the gospel to Scotland, one of my favorite countries. {If anyone ever needs a luggage-carrier for a trip there, I'd love to volunteer!} I asked if she would share a little about their ministry, their plans, and how you could pray for them. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   Wanted: Energetic gospel-driven couple to immerse themselves in developing partnerships to support church [...Read More]

Intercession: Praying Together in Community

Confession: I struggle being consistent in intercession. It's easy enough to pray for my own needs, or my husband's needs, because they're right in front of me. But ask me to pray for a friend three states away, or a second-cousin-three-times-removed, or some family in South Africa -- and I start off well with great intentions, but a few days later "out of sight, out of mind" kicks in and my prayers for them wane. It can be hard to focus on the unseen things for very long. Even with prayer journals, and reminders, and all that -- it's hard to stay consistent. Tell me I'm not alone in that! But what to do? How to improve? How do you become more faithful in intercession -- [...Read More]