How to Pray for Missionaries: Part I

By: Scott Armstrong

One of the great privileges of being a missionary is knowing that a vast army of individuals, families, and churches is interceding on our behalf. This support is real, and we know it makes the difference in all we do. The evangelist, writer, and pastor R. A. Torrey has said, “The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors, as the missionary.” I believe that!

As we have engaged with our supporters through the years, we try to share specific requests through social media, personal emails, or texts from time to time. Yet, we have found it helpful to guide them in praying for certain overarching topics, as well. We like what we’ve seen taught by Lisa Miriam Rohrick from the Christian Missionary Alliance. She uses the acronym BLESS to encourage people to pray for a missionary or a people group:

B – Body

  • Pray for physical health and nutrition.

L – Labor

  • Pray for their work/ministry.

E – Emotions

  • Pray for emotional health and well-being of the missionary or people group.

S – Social

  • Pray for their social relationships, their families and extended families. Pray that God will keep marriages together.

S – Spiritual

  • Pray for their spiritual condition.

Some might think of this as trite, or lacking spontaneity. Remember: it’s not made to restrict, but rather to equip. As the Holy Spirit directs, you can assuredly pray for anything or in any way that is not covered on this list! I, for one, find the acronym accessible, practical, and memorable. I’d love if you would pray for our family and ministry in all five of these areas!

We have recently put out an episode of The Worthless Servants podcast where we share more stories based on these five areas. In my next article, I will be writing about how to go even deeper in your prayers for missionaries. But for now, leave a comment below: what tools have you found helpful in praying for cross-cultural workers and mobilizing others to do the same?

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