praying for missions {week 1}

One of my goals for the new year is to better communicate ways that you can be praying for us. Specifically, I want to post prayer requests or prompts once a week. I'm going to start with a little study in the New Testament. Paul often asked for prayer at the end of his letters. I have seen these requests summarized as ABCDEF: acceptance by the saints, boldness in witnessing, clarity in communicating, deliverance from evil, extension of the ministry, and fruitfulness in spiritual endeavors. We will take them one at a time.

From Romans 15:

30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
In the second half of verse 31, Paul asks for prayer that his "service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints." By "saints" he is talking about local Christians.

We pray that local churches will be supportive of the work we're involved in and that they will join us in both taking care of orphans and widows as well as discipleship. 

Most of the orphans we support have been recommended to us by pastors or church members. They have identified people in their churches and communities who need help, but they don't know how to go about helping them. When they hear about Maisha Kamili, it is an answer to prayer for them. We have a lot of support from local believers in this area, and we pray that it will continue.

We tend to focus on and report about local believers who are enthusiastic supporters of discipleship, but there are some who are resistant, and they are often pastors and church leaders. We don't think about it much ourselves because we have so many other churches and pastors waiting for someone who can come to their area to teach a discipleship course. However, it is extremely discouraging for discipleship participants who are part of those churches. They are faced with a choice. They can leave their church family to be part of a church that will encourage them to follow where God is leading them and allow them to be part of ministry and service within the church. Or they can stay in a church with a pastor who won't allow them to use their gifts and discourages them from discipling anyone else. Anyone who has been through the discipleship course with us has been sent out to disciple others, making them an expansion of the ministry. Thus, we pray for these pastors and church leaders to have a change of heart. We also pray that our discipleship course participants would find support, whether in their home church or in a new one God leads them to.

(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.)