The purpose of prayer missionaries is to fulfill the Great Commission through prayer. (Matt.28:8-20).
A prayer missionary is someone who adopts a country or geographic area and prays for that country. It is someone who does not physically go to the mission field, but is doing mission work through prayer – from his or her home. The prayer missionary prepares the spiritual ground so that the seeds sown by the missionary who are physically in the country, will fall into fertile ground. The advantage of the prayer missionary is that he/she can go into countries and places where the preaching of the gospel is forbidden. Nobody can prevent the prayers of the prayer missionary to cross borders and have an effect over long distances.
A prayer missionary can be any person who is willing to do the work of prayer, as instructed by the Lord: a retired person, a student, a businessperson, secretary or a shop assistant. The key is that you have to make a commitment. Ordinary missionaries make a commitment to go to a country for a year, two years or as long as they live. The prayer missionary should try to commit himself/herself to do mission work by means of prayer, in a specific country, for a year or longer.
- Pray and ask the Lord in which country you should do “mission work”. Do thorough research on the country you want to pray for. Get a map of the country, mark the important cities and towns and pray each day for a couple of those cities. Visit the library, watch TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper and be sensitive for any information on that country. What people and groupings do we find in that country? Who are the president and the leaders of the country? Which religion(s) do they have? Which churches and mission organisations are working there and who are the missionaries? Write down all the relevant information to use for intercession. Use the book Operation World (there is also such a website and Mobile App by this name) for basic information on the country you are praying for. If you have access to the Internet, you will find a lot of information on different countries and groupings. You can even subscribe to a newspaper or magazine of that country to get regular information.
- Get a file or a scrapbook to file the relevant information on the country you are praying for.
- Pray for the leaders of the country, the government and everyone in positions of authority.
- Pray for the spiritual workers of the Christian churches in that country. Contact believers, missionaries, local churches or mission organisations in that country; get information on them and pray for them.
- You can sometimes focus on a specific city or town if the Lord leads you.
- It is important to identify with the country, that you will begin to love the country and its people. For example, you can fast and pray regularly for that country. Do the work of prayer as if you are physically in that country. Do not see your work as prayer missionary as optional, thinking that nobody will know if you do not pray. Pray as if nobody else is praying for that country. Take spiritual responsibility for that country.
- Do not think children cannot be prayer missionaries. Children are faithful intercessors. Parents can help children to get a scrapbook with photos of missionaries and a specific country to stimulate them to pray. The Spirit of God is tremendously active in empowering children all over the world to be intercessors.
- The task of the prayer missionary is basically as follows:
•To prepare, through prayer, the ground for the seed to be sown.
• To support the spiritual workers and the work of the Lord through prayer.
• To give protection in prayer for the work of the Lord against the attacks of the devil.
• To take authority in prayer over the strongholds of the evil one, against his plans and devices and to pray for them to be broken, so that the Kingdom of God can be extended.
- There are four basic subjects for which the prayer missionary should always pray:
• for workers in the harvest and for more workers in the harvest (Matt.9:38)
• for open doors so that the gospel can spread quickly (Col.4:2-3)
• for lasting spiritual fruit on the labour (2 Thess.3:1)
• for the necessary funds for the advancement of the gospel (Rom.10:14-15; Phil.4:19)