praying for missions {week 3}

From Colossians 4:
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

In verse 4, Paul asks the Colossians to pray that he can communicate his message clearly.

Misommunication between people is common. Our intentions in working with orphans can be misunderstood in so many ways. Vague speech by us can lead to assumptions and frustrations in our relationships with people. Failing to communicate clearly with all of our partners in the US can also stifle our ministry.

To focus this point further, with a topic as important as the gospel, which is what Paul was talking about, we want to make sure we are understood clearly, thus we need to first communicate clearly.

We are fairly affluent by Kenya's standards, and we appear even more affluent because we work for an American organization. We work with people living in poverty. We are trying to help orphans have a better future, both on this earth and for eternity.

However, the prosperity gospel has an increasingly strong hold in this area of the world. It would be natural for people to hear the same message from us that they hear from the many, many false prophets on TV and in their churches. The prosperity message is that Jesus will bless you (i.e. make you rich) if you do certain things and give a certain amount money. Giving more money equals receiving more blessings. That is not our message.

Our message is the truth of the gospel. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). We will need to speak clearly for people to hear this from us.

We pray that we will have clarity in all of our communications, but especially in speaking about the message of Christ. We pray also that God opens the ears of those who hear us. 

(The A through F method of praying for missionaries is taught in Disciple's Prayer Life: Walking in Fellowship with God, by T.W. Hunt and Catherine Walker.)