I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.We watched some new police recruits yesterday. There were about 8 of them in street clothes, trying to pass a physical fitness test. The test started with a 4 lap run around a field. We took special notice of a particular man who was trailing behind the other runners. By the time the majority finished, he was still half a lap from the end. We didn't expect him to pass. After running they never stopped moving. They were required to do various types of squats and jumps for a long time, without breaks. Three of the faster runners got tired and ended up not finishing the test. The slow runner made it. We concluded that he must have tried out before and failed. He seemed to be conserving his energy, pacing himself, because he knew that the test was about endurance, not speed.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Ephesians 6:13
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.We are not instructed to be the first off the starting line, but to persevere to the end, and in the end, to stand. This is not a sprint, but a test of endurance. Pray for endurance, stamina and pacing to insure long-term, fruitful ministry.
from "30 Ways to Pray for Missionaries," compiled by Elaine Helms for the NAMB. (the full list in pdf form is available here)