“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” 2 Cor. 1:8-11
“Dear Jesus, to pray for missionaries and pastors isn’t just a great privilege, but also a major responsibility and vital ministry. Paul’s words to his friends in Corinth powerfully demonstrate the importance of bringing all vocational Christian workers before the throne of grace on a regular basis.
For your servants experiencing, like Paul, “great affliction” and burdens leading to despair, we pray for nothing short of a visitation of the Holy Spirit and profound encouragement in the gospel. Whether the afflictions are demonic in origin, expressions of intense persecution, or the sabotaging of the work of the gospel by their own team members, it makes no difference, bring deliverance from all “deadly peril.” Show yourself, Jesus, to be the God who raises the dead.
For your servants who are becoming “weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9)—faithful women and men whose challenge isn’t overt opposition, but covert dwindling of resources, we pray for wisdom and replenishment. Jesus, we know that, in time, all forms of ministry tax the heart, vex the mind and sap the energy. Help your servants know what good stewardship of their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health looks like. Show us our part in these matters as well. How can we wash the feet of your servants, and be a source of refreshment and replenishment?
For your servants currently going through intense personal struggles—disconnect in their marriages, doubts about the faith, strong temptation to sexual or money sins, or simply the hard providence of you bringing them to the end of themselves, demonstrate the power and sufficiency of the gospel. If this is a season in which you’re calling some of your servants to finally deal with issues of the past, wounds, abuse, addictions—whatever the case may be, make it clear, Jesus, and bring the right resources into play.
For ALL your servants, we pray for fresh gospel-astonishment and grace-renewal. There’s nothing more than the gospel, just more of the gospel. Bring the resources of the gospel to bear in unmistakable and irresistible ways. So very Amen, we pray, in your faithful and loving name.”