Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Pray for Missionaries

     Have you ever promised to pray for a missionary and then not known what to pray for?  It's especially hard if you don't know the missionary very well.  However, I have some suggestions!

5 Things Every Missionary Needs Prayer For

1) Pray for the missionary's spiritual life.  Just like you, missionaries sometimes struggle to find time for prayer and Bible study, see areas where they need to grow, go through stressful difficult times, experience tragedies, etc. If someone was to pray for your spiritual life, what would they pray? Pray the same thing for missionaries! 

2) Pray for their relationships.  Pray for their relationships with their friends, family, and fellow missionaries,  Pray for their relationships with people back in the States.  And pray for their relationships with the people they are ministering to and with.  Healthy relationships are SO important!

3) Pray for the country they minister in.  I wrote a blog post about this last year with some resources to help you do this: http://saritalarson.blogspot.com/2014/09/pray-5-resources-to-help-your-pray-for.html

4) Pray for the ministries they work with to flourish.  Pray for the church(es) and ministries they work with.  Pray for the leadership of the ministies, and for the people who they minister to.  Pray for unity, purpose, direction.

5) Pray for others to come alongside them. Missions isn't just about the people living in another country or in a particular neighborhood.  They can't do what they do without those of you who support them (both financially and in PRAYER).  These partnerships are absolutely essential!

Find Out More
     Send the missionary a note.  We love to hear from you!  Tell us what is happening in your lives, and share with us what is on your heart.  Ask us questions about what we do and how you can pray for us.
      It's great to have really specific things to pray for.  Have you signed up to receive their prayer letters?  Do they send out additional prayer request updates?  Give them a call or send them an email. If you don't have any contact information for them, then contact their mission agency, who should be able to get them in contact with the missionary.
     I sent out prayer letters about every two months, and I do additional prayer updates about once a week.  I do the prayer updates through a private Facebook group, and I would be happy to add you to the group if you message me.  I can send you the weekly prayer updates through email if you don't have Facebook.

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Kinda Like the Hobbit

     This post may not make much sense if you are not familiar with the books the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (by J.R.R. Tolkien) and/or the movies based on them.  However, I just had to share my thoughts for those of you who are familiar.
     Both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are stories about long journeys, full of adventures and acts of bravery.  When I think of adventures, I think of fun, and I think that sometimes its easy to gloss over how hard adventures can be.  I picture an adventure being someone running over a grassy field with a backpack on and a clear destination in mind.  That is often how adventures start, after all.  And the next thing I picture is the end of the story where the adventurer is standing victorious over the body of the slain dragon, and all is right with the world again.
     It's easy to forget all that happens in between.  How about the trolls who almost ate Bilbo?  Or the giant spiders?  Or having to escape from Thranduil in barrels floating in the river?  Ok...maybe the barrel thing sounds fun, but it would still be scary to actually do!  As amazing as the adventures sounds, it's easy to gloss over all it takes to get to the destination.  To forget that it's not easy, and sometimes the hero must feel kind of lost.

Thankfully my journey to Honduras is completely devoid of trolls, goblins, and narrow escapes in barrels.  But when I first started out I don't think I realized just how hard this adventure would be.  I didn't necessarily think it would be easy, but I didn't fully realize what I was taking on.  But like Bilbo (and Frodo), the journey is teaching me some amazing things.

1) I'm not alone.  Neither Bilbo nor Frodo traveled alone.  Bilbo went with Gandalf and the Dwarves.  Frodo had the Fellowship.  I am blessed to have partners who pray for me, connect me to others interested in missions, and contribute financially.  I have a great group of people in Honduras, both missionaries and Hondurans who I will be working with.  I'm definitely not alone.

2) I'm really NOT ALONE.  Tolkien doesn't mention God in the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, but He is there, much the same way as He is with us.  He doesn't come down and kill Smaug in the Hobbit nor does he take the ring to Mount Doom Himself in LOTR.  But he's there, helping, guiding, encouraging. The best example I can think of is from the Return of the King, when darkness had been over the land for days.  Frodo and Sam saw an old, crumbling statue of a king.  The king's head had fallen to the ground, and the statue had orc graffiti on it. It was the last thing a despairing Frodo needed to see.  But then a ray of light broke the darkness and illuminated the head.  Flowers had grown up unto it and had re-crowned the king.  Those flowers and that light were a reminder.  May we always be reminded of God's presence when we are discouraged!

3) Yes, it's worth fighting for!  It's kind of a constant theme in the Lord of the Rings that even in difficult times we must remember why we fight! My recent visit to Honduras was a great reminder to me of that truth.  It refreshed me in the knowledge of God's call on my life.  And reminded me that it's so very worth it.

My adventure continues as I begin 2015. Thank you to all who are partner with me.  If you would like to find out more about how you can be a partner or how you can take your partnership a step farther, please contact me!  Write it in a comment or go to my facebook page and send me a message: https://www.facebook.com/SarahLarsonWgm