Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 11, 2015
Prayer for Missionaries? Prayer for Serving.
This evening, I set out the information for next Sunday’s bulletin. I’ll be preaching from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10. The focus for the sermon is service. And, one particular verse is echoing in my head. (And will probably be the verse I center my sermon around.) Which verse? Mark 10:45. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Today’s prayer is titled “Prayer for Missionaries.” It comes from the Scottish Book of Common Prayer, dated 1912. The prayer is about Serving. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Thy Kingdom Come” (Prayer 221, pages 76) 
This heartfelt prayer brings to mind earnest folks praying in a heartfelt way for earnest missionaries half a world away.
A century and more ago, I know that missionaries often would leave home for many years at a time. The journey there and back again was often arduous, long, sometimes fraught with danger. “Protect them from all perils by land and sea,” indeed. I understand that the mission life was sometimes lonely and often difficult: thus the prayer “support them in loneliness and the time of trial.”
Lord, I realize that whether in times past or today, a missionary needs “grace to bear faithful witness unto Thee.” They need to be endued with “burning zeal and love, that they may turn many to righteousness and finally obtain a crown of glory, through Jesus Christ.” Dear Lord, I know a number of missionaries. I pray this prayer for them, and for their friends and colleagues. I ask that You look with favor on their mission and ministries. I know from Your Word that You “willest all men [and women] should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
I earnestly pray this prayer for all those mission workers I know, and for many, many more. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.
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 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 76.