Part 2 in a series
In this second part, we continue with the premise from Part I, that much of the content of our prayers can wisely be modeled after the prayers we read in Scripture, and in this particular example, from Paul’s prayers in Colossians Chapter 1. (For a bit more context please see the previous blog post of Part 1 of this series) as well as Part 2. Note: this excerpt is directed toward the Sender who is seeking guidance in the prayer support of a missionary.
” …in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Col. 1:9)
It is noteworthy that throughout all of Scripture these two qualities of the Christian life are always twins – one with the other. Wisdom can be defined as “the ability to see things from God’s perspective” and understanding as “the ability to know how to make that Godly perspective work out in day-to-day living.”
One missionary statesman wisely said, “The only ones who know everything about missions are those who have been on the field less than six months!” Bombarded with cultural distinctives, worlds apart from his own culture, and quite possibly faced with methods that have become bogged down in tradition, the missionary continually needs to see things from God’s perspective — things pertaining to family life, ministry, relationships with nationals, economy of time and energy, finances, personal devotions, relationships with ministers on the team and those of other groups.
It is not for nothing that Solomon urges: “Get wisdom, and with all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7)! As your prayers ‘bind the strong man’ (Matthew 12:29) so your missionary can have a clear vision from God’s vantage point of eternal values — as your prayers elevate your missionary to realize he is “seated with Christ in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6), he must now understand how to make all of it happen in the daily affairs of his life.
Days — even weeks — of extended travel away from home wreak havoc with the scheduled family time. Dare we use God’s money to take a vacation? How do I tell the nationals that we aren’t going to use US dollars to build their building — that it is better for the local congregation to trust God for the provision? How do I not violate my doctrinal distinctives, yet develop a working relationship with others in the Body of Christ? These and a thousand questions bombard your missionary worker’s life and demand an understanding heart (1 Kings 3:9). To see things from God’s perspective is one thing (wisdom); to know how to make them work out in your missionary’s everyday life is another (understanding).
You can see how this prayer for wisdom and understanding could consume hours of intercession as you wage war against the enemy, and help you missionary live in the victory of Christ won for him on Calvary.
Shared with permission from Emmaus Road Int'l, Neal Pirolo, Serving as Senders Today, 2023.