17 June 2020
5 ways to pray faithfully for our ministry partners
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.(Ephesians 6:18)
Are prayers just asking God for things that we, or other people, need (or want)? “Please God, help me pass my exam today; please make my friend better from his illness; please stop Covid-19 from spreading…etc.”
Perhaps you, like me, need to be reminded that prayer is a conversation with God, our Heavenly Father. Someone recently helpfully gave the illustration of a child’s conversation with a parent; it isn’t all about asking for things! A conversation is also about listening, getting to know your parent and finding out what they are doing, saying 'Thank you' for what they have given you, saying 'Sorry' for things which have upset them, and much more besides. And realising that sometimes the answer to a request may not be an immediate “Yes”.
How wonderful that we can have short or long conversations with God every day. May I encourage you sometimes to include the ministry partners of WorldShare in those prayerful conversations?
1. Learn about our ministry partners
I am thrilled to see the many ways local Christians have been inspired to share their faith by:
- Church Planting (and spreading the gospel),
- Community Development,
- Education (where good service is not available),
- Relief (with humanitarian and urgent aid),
- Health (providing access to healthcare), and
- Tackling Injustice (eg combating modern-day slavery and exploitation).
Spend a few minutes reading about a ministry partner on our website – pray as you read of their needs and thank God for the ways he is using them in changing lives and bringing hope to individuals and communities.
Get up to date news (and prompts for prayer) from the WorldShare Window magazine (in the latest issue, hear how our ministry partners are coping with Covid-19 in Brazil, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Moldova)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
2. Take a world tour
Locate WorldShare’s ministry partners on a world map (or on our map here) and check out what they are doing there. Can you locate on the map: Guatemala? Moldova? Myanmar? Haiti? (No – I couldn’t the first time!)
What are they (and you) thankful for? What are their needs? What should we pray for God to give them?
“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (James 2:5)
3. Remember to pray for children
Let’s pray for WorldShare’s ChildAid programme which supports children who are affected by severe poverty and disease – especially with today’s Covid-19 pandemic – or who are at risk of abuse. Here are two examples (more can be found on our ChildAid page).
I know that in Guatemala, our friends in the Potters House project help children and families who depend on scavenging the city’s biggest refuse dump for their living. These children need (and receive) food, help with schooling and have the chance to hear the good news of Jesus.
Myanmar has dropped out of the news recently, but still remains a very poor country with many children who are orphaned or whose parents cannot afford to look after them. The Word of Hope Ophanage gives a safe, positive home for over 40 children with food, essentials, and medical checks, as well as Sunday school each week.
"Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’" (Matthew 19:14)
4. Listen to what God is saying and doing
…as you read your Bible and as you hear how God is acting through faithful servants in the most deprived parts of our world. I have often been moved to pray and give thanks for these ministries, as well as to offer some support when that’s possible. Here are two:
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, our ministry partner HEAL Africa use what funds they have to cover medical expenses for the neediest patients receiving hospital care (the Mercy Fund) and to provide spiritual care in hospitals, prisons, schools, rural communities, etc. (Chaplaincy) They said recently:
“We expect that this [Covid-19] pandemic will challenge our faith and our supporters. But we are certain that this too will pass. Please hang in there with us in prayer and support.”
JKPS works with people in the slums on the outskirts of Kolkata, India. Many people live in mud huts in extreme poverty, vulnerable to monsoon rains and severe flooding; many live without sanitation, healthcare or education. The work of JKPS is vital, providing Education centres for children, Micro-loans for women to develop businesses, Care homes for victims of human trafficking and Medical teams bringing medical and dental care.
5. Commit to pray and support one or more ministries
Use the WorldShare prayer resources, including the monthly Prayer Calendar (ask for it to be emailed to you each month) and the many other resources on the WorldShare website.
As we pray, may God’s Holy Spirit help us to understand better what he is doing through his servants in many of these needy areas of our world, to love them and to offer support as we are prompted to do so.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality." (Romans 12:12-13)
By Anthony Fisher, who is on the Board of Trustees at WorldShare.