Many intercessors want to pray for their ministers or a missionary but do not always know what to pray or how to pray. These guidelines will help intercessors to pray more objectively than merely saying “Lord please bless my minister, Amen”
One of the most effective ways in which the devil can impede missionary and spiritual work is by assaulting spiritual workers physically in order to restrict their usefulness and effectiveness.
- Remember that it is the Lord’s will that his children should be healthy and strong enough to do their work (3 John 2). “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health…”
- Pray the Lord’s protection over the spiritual worker’s body so that he/she can do the work effectively (Ps 91) “Surely He will save you … from the deadly pestilence … You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day nor the plague that destroys at midday. If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the Lord who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.”
- Practice your God-given authority to bind the devil and resist the evil one so that the spiritual worker may be free to do God’s work.
- Pray that the Lord will remind the spiritual worker of his promises.
Spiritual health and state of mind
The weather, evil onslaughts, conditions at work, continuous criticism, little visible progress, misunderstanding etc, all contribute to stress, depression and despondency. Because of onslaughts by the forces of darkness, spiritual work is not only difficult but also enervating. Furthermore, the sins and hardening of people’s hearts makes spiritual work extremely difficult.
- Claim the Lord’s protection over the spiritual worker’s mind (2 Tim.1:7). Pray that he/she will rest in Christ and experience the peace of Christ and knowing that he/she can be completely delivered from fear, uncertainty and anxiety (John 14:27). “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”. (2 Tim.1:7) “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you, I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
- Pray that the spiritual worker will refuse to listen to any accusations from the devil against a fellow worker (Zech. 7: 10b). By spreading suspicion of believing brothers/sisters or a fellow worker, Satan can cause immeasurable damage to the Lord’s work.
- Pray for the Lord’s continuous reassurance (encouragement) and support. Pray also for like-minded persons and friends with whom the spiritual worker can build an open relationship. “Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.” (Ps.31:25)
- Pray that the spiritual worker will learn to offer resistance to Satan and to prevail over the powers of evil from his/her position of authority in Christ and refuse anything that comes from the devil. (1 Pet.5:8-9; Luke 10:19) “The accuser of the brothers” is always ready to tempt the spiritual worker and to accuse him of failure or not being in God’s will (Rev.12:10) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the Faith…” (1 Pet.5:8-9). “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luk.10:19)
- Pray that the Lord will fill him/her with peace and joy (Neh.8:10; Deut.12:18), irrespective of the circumstances. “… the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh.8:10) “… and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to”. (Deut.12:18)
A heart filled with the love of God
Sometimes spiritual workers live in abnormal conditions; situations when natural love is not enough. This can cause unapproachability, impatience, harsh words, anger and sometimes also bitterness in the spiritual worker. Do not forget that the spiritual worker is a human being who is also subjected to sin.
- Pray that he/she will be able to demonstrate the love of Christ to fellow workers. It is sometimes more difficult to love a fellow worker who lives or works with you, than the unbelievers and/or church members who you only see for a few hours per week. The Lord’s richest blessings are experienced when there is love between spiritual workers. “… because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Rom.5:5)
- Pray that he/she will be able to display the love of Christ to unbelievers. People often do not recognize and appreciate the work spiritual workers do or acknowledge their sacrifices.
- Pray that the spiritual worker will not look for acknowledgement and appreciation from people. But do pray that the people being ministered to will be appreciative and grateful to the spiritual worker.
Humility, and a holy and sanctified life
- Pray that the spiritual worker will not indulge in known, unconfessed sin.
- Pray also that he/she will not become haughty because of spiritual knowledge and that he/she will be the servant God wants him/her to be. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who… made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil.2:5-7).
- Pray especially that the spiritual worker will not be critical or cynical because this does extensive harm to the work of the Lord.
- Pray for the worker’s testimony among unbelievers. A fierce, unapproachable attitude when preaching will often harden a sinner’s heart, while love and sincere concern will often soften a hardened heart.
God to empower and equip the spiritual worker for his/her task
A general fatal mistake people make is to try to rely on their own power, wisdom and abilities.
- Pray that the spiritual worker will only rely on the power of the Lord in everything he/she embarks upon.
- There can be lasting fruit when the spiritual worker is filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Pray for the filling with, and also the anointing of the Holy Spirit so that he/she can do the work effectively.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal Scripture to the spiritual worker so that he/she can understand it better and for the ability to communicate it to people correctly and effectively.
- Pray for wisdom and patience to deal with difficult people and situations. Pray for wisdom and discernment to be able to do his/her work spiritually.
- Pray that the Lord will give him/her boldness to share the Word and that the Holy Spirit will provide the correct words.
- Pray that he/she will discern what the Lord’s will is in every situation.
Authority over the devil
Christ won the complete victory on Calvary. It is the responsibility of the spiritual worker to exercise this authority over the forces of evil. Pray that the Lord will enable the spiritual worker to accomplish this boldly and with spiritual wisdom.
Household/family of the spiritual worker
The well-being of the spiritual worker’s family is crucial if he/she wants to do the work effectively. The onslaughts in this area are numerous and make high demands on the family.
Many spiritual workers suffer want as a result of low funds and many have to leave their ministry because there is just not enough money to buy the necessary provisions.
Protection of their earthly possessions
Pray against theft and accidents.
More can be accomplished during a few weeks of revival than in a year of regular ministry. The Lord promised to pour his Spirit on all flesh in the last days; pray for the fulfilment of this promise. “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chron.7:14) “And afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servant, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days”. (Joel 2:28-29)
- Pray that he/she may be continuously renewed spiritually and for personal revival.
- Pray the same for his/her co-workers and colleagues.
An urgent need exists for more spiritual workers in existing mission fields as well as in parts not yet reached by God’s Word. There is a need for spiritual workers in all areas. Pray that more Christians will realize that they have a spiritual responsibility and that they are co-workers in the Kingdom of God. “Then He said to his disciples: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt.9:37-38)
Weekly prayer schedule
The following two prayer schedules can be used to pray for the spiritual worker every day of the week. Alternate them and eventually work out a schedule that suits you best.
Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. However, there are important matters which need prayer regularly. The important thing is to pray regularly and objectively.
Day 1 – The spiritual worker’s personal relationship with God.
Day 2 – The spiritual worker’s physical and emotional life.
Day 3 – The spiritual worker’s family.
Day 4 – The spiritual worker’s ability to communicate.
Day 5 – The spiritual worker’s ministry.
Day 6 – The spiritual worker’s co-workers.
Day 7 – The spiritual worker’s area of ministry.
Day 1 – Favour with God – grace/mercy.
Day 2 – Favour with men – authority, pure preaching and proclamation of Scripture.
Day 3 – For a pure vision, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, clearer revelation of Who God is.
Day 4 – Strengthening: spirit, soul and body; Spirit-controlled and pure life-style.
Day 5 – Protection against assaults (Ps.91); resisting the devil. Pray for the disruption of demonic assaults.
Day 6 – Priorities, human relations
Day 7 – Family, household, marriage, finances