7 Unconventional Prayers for Mission Trips that Will Surprise Your Listeners

The emotions are high as the mission team stands before your church congregation for that prayer send-off. Bags are packed. Tickets and passports are ready. And thoughts are most-likely swirling around the details of travel. The team is only partially listening to your prayer through the haze of their excitement. But what if your words could reignite a clear focus and challenge the team’s expectations?

Here are seven prayers for mission trips that might startle your listeners while asking for God’s blessing of perspective.

7 Stretching Prayers for Missions

1. Pray for Sickness – Yes, sickness: it’s inevitable, with travel and culture shock. Pray that sickness would remind the team of their physical state, and inspire an urgency to fight through the pain and stay on mission.

2. Pray for Poor Weather – There is something about wind and rain that draws people toward warmth, toward light, and toward shelter. This is key when seeking to shine light into the darkness. While it is cumbersome for the mission team to tromp through mud and hail, pray that they will use the set-back as fuel for diligence, persistence, and a reminder that God brings the sun and the rain, and each reveals the magnitude of His power.

3. Pray for Closed Doors – There will likely be those who harshly reject the mission team’s message. Rather than feeling personally offended at a slammed door, a crude gesture, or foul language, instead recognize the potential. Even if the conversation cannot continue, emotions were stirred. The team’s purpose might not be a full gospel presentation. Rather, their purpose might simply be to stir up emotion and get people thinking about the greater things of life: purpose, death, afterlife, God.

4. Pray for Frustrations in Relationships – It’s unlikely that the mission team will get along flawlessly throughout the trip. In reality, tempers might boil and frustrations flare. But it’s in these times, when we wrestle with one another, that we are forced to hear each other out, learn new perspectives, reevaluate our friendships, and reaffirm our commitments to one another.

5. Pray for Less Intensity, Less Passion – Often, short term mission teams arrive to their destination with so much excitement, they bowl over the natives. Instead, by cooling the intensity and calming the passion, one can communicate gentleness and genuineness, from a heart of real concern.

6. Pray for Lack of Words – The more words we speak, the greater the chance of miscommunication. Even if a memorized speech is suddenly forgotten, God can greatly speak through a willing person. Trust that, as you pause, hesitate, and search for the right words, your demeanor will come across more genuine and authentic.

7. Pray for Few Responses – This is a hard request to ask for, because the team wants to see success from their mission efforts. But when we focus on the numbers of responses, we lose sight of the value God places on each individual person. Pray for a readiness for minimal response so that the team can, in turn, celebrate each response to the fullest. And pray that the team can see their efforts as “viral efforts.” By investing more time and energy in the few, the long-term investment is maximized. The one individual who responds warmly to the gospel message might now go back to his or her network of friends and continue in the work of missions, carrying the team’s efforts forward.

These requests might seem odd at first. But the point is to remind your mission team that they are embarking on an emotional and physical battle-field. And the greatest battle – the greatest victory – will be fought within the inner workings of their minds.

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