How to Pray for Missionaries

The Apostle Paul, the great missionary to the Gentiles, earnestly solicited prayer from others: “Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me…” (Romans 15:30-32). Paul valued prayer support because he understood that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12-13).

Missionaries are not all alike. Some are younger, some are older. Some with years of experience, some very inexperienced. They live in rural and urban settings. There is great variety in the actual work they do, and they each have their own unique personalities. Knowing their own unique situation is a great help towards effective prayer for missionaries, but there are still some general ways we can pray for them. The guidelines below will help you get started.

Prayer Ideas

Relationship with God

Pray that the missionaries would continue to grow in their own relationship with God, experiencing His joy and peace, becoming conformed to the image of His Son, and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit

For sensitivity towards the Spirit’s leading

For perseverance when times are discouraging, and that they would not grow weary of doing good

Relationships with others

Pray for strong marriages and close friends

For love and unity among teammates (tensions and team conflict is often a very significant issue in missionary work)

For the relationships with extended family and supporters, whom they often do not see for years at a time

That God would give them love for the local people, and that barriers of language and culture would be overcome

Their specific work

Pray that God’s church would be established and become a faithful witness to the community it is in; for godly leaders to be raised up

For prepared hearts and opportunities to spread the Gospel

For people to come to Christ and grow in their faith

For diligence in all responsibilities and assignments

For dependence on the power of God and not their own strength


Missionaries are often faced with very challenging situations with little structure to guide them. Pray for wisdom:

On how to partner with the local church, what strategies to pursue, how to interact with governing authorities

On how to use their time, what tasks to take on and what to say no to

On how to encourage and challenge disciples

Practical issues

Pray for protection from disease and sickness, from religious and political enemies as well as from spiritual attacks from the evil one

For favor from governing authorities

For language acquisition and the ability to communicate well in the foreign language

For faithful financial supporters (failing financial support can be a very stressful burden for missionaries to bear)