The Journey to
Five Minutes, Five Days, Five Topics
We invite you to pray for those on the journey to long-term missions, for just five minutes a day, for five days, for FIVE STRATEGIC AREAS. Your prayers will open doors in powerful ways, encourage believers, release strongholds and bring great glory to God.
Digital Prayer Guide
There are many ways to get involved in missions and be part of God’s redeeming work in the world. You can pray, learn, send, welcome, mobilize and go. These are all invaluable roles in the Great Commission, but of all the options, perhaps none feel as intimidating as the decision to go to the mission field long-term. Thankfully, God has given us his promise that as we go into all the world to make disciples, he will be with us. We pray with that hope and expectation.
In this guide, you’ll see the various steps involved in going to the mission field long-term, as well as the challenges some face as they pursue this path. Use this guide to step into a prospective missionary’s shoes and see how you can pray for them at each stage in their journey. (If you’re the one going, feel free to use this guide to pray for your own journey.)
EMBRACING THE JOURNEY
The journey to the mission field is exciting. It’s also unpredictable. The process will be filled with moments of hope, frustration, disappointment and joy. God uses each step of the journey to prepare individuals for his work and to make them more like Christ. Whether the process is thrilling or agonizing (it will probably be a little of both!), the journey to long-term missions ultimately serves to draw us closer to Jesus.
Lord, help those embarking on this journey to know you more deeply through it. May the process be one of growth and intimacy with you.
Lord, may prospective long-term workers find their identity in you. May they not become attached to a role or a mission, but rather to who you are and who you’ve called them to be.
Lord, confirm each step they take through your word, prayer and conversations with others. Give them peace at each juncture if you want them to continue to the next stage.
Lord, cultivate a spirit of surrender in those who have started the journey to serving overseas. If you delay or redirect their path, may they willingly follow you in that.
Lord, despite uncertainties, you remain faithful. Give individuals eyes to see you at work.
In light of the Great Commission, we need to expect that those pursuing long-term missions will encounter obstacles. These roadblocks can look like difficulty with acquiring ministry training, improving physical health or building up a partnership team. Still other hurdles can stem from personal fear or a reluctance to surrender. Whatever the case, God is able to walk us through any challenge.
Lord, you establish our steps (Prov. 16:9). Help individuals lay aside their own plans to make room for what you’re asking them to do, whether that means going overseas now or waiting for the right time.
Lord, help those on the long-term journey to treasure you supremely so that they can surrender their financial security, possessions or careers to follow you.
Lord, give workers wisdom when others express disapproval with their choice to go to the mission field. Help them to know how to weigh opinions and discern which concerns to listen to.
Lord, you care about our loved ones. Enable workers to entrust their families to you, whether that means leaving parents and grandparents behind, or asking their children to transition to a completely new way of life.
PREPARING TO GO
New missionaries will need to work out the practical details of moving to a new country, but they will also ask important questions like, “How is God preparing me spiritually? Which country, ministry or people group is he leading me to? Who will be part of my partnership team?” New workers need prayer for a readiness of mind, body and spirit.
Lord, provide supportive family, friends and church community to walk with those who are preparing to go overseas.
Lord, help individuals work through the emotional, spiritual and mental issues they might face that could weaken their ministry and ability to see you at work.
Lord, clear away the unseen spiritual barriers that might manifest in delayed visas, sudden illness, relational conflict or difficulty with raising financial partners.
Lord, strengthen the hearts of those who are leaving and saying a host of goodbyes. Give them encouraging times of fellowship with friends and family.
Lord, give each individual opportunities to cast vision for the work you have called them to do among unreached peoples. Raise up strong prayer and financial partnership teams that will support them faithfully throughout their journey.
Moving overseas for the first time is only one of the major changes a worker will undergo throughout his or her time on the mission field. Missionaries will experience transition as they move back and forth for home assignment, get to know new team members or change ministry roles (which sometimes requires yet another move). In the midst of these adjustments, God remains faithful.
Lord, as workers adjust to so many new situations and surroundings, cultivate in them a flexible and open spirit. Help them to be patient with themselves and others.
Lord, location matters to you. Place workers exactly where you want them and provide friendships in the local community that both support them and give them opportunities to share your love.
Lord, give new workers patience as they encounter unforeseen challenges, miscommunication and unmet expectations. Use difficulties to grow them and increase their dependence on you.
Lord, help new workers bond with the team they will serve alongside. Deepen relationships and use them to minister in powerful ways to unreached peoples.
ADOPTING A NEW HOME
A large portion of a missionary’s first term (sometimes two years or more) is spent learning the language, culture and worldview of the people group they serve. Even after this formal training ends, the learning continues. It will take years for them to understand their neighbors’ worldview and pick up on all the cultural norms, but regardless, God will use them to plant seeds of the gospel and further his kingdom work.
Lord, open doors for new missionaries to build deep relationships with those who don’t yet know you. Use them to share the hope of Christ with communities in need.
Lord, protect new workers from Satan’s attempts to discourage or distract. Remind them of truth through your word.
Lord, quicken their language learning and cultural adaptation so they can feel at home and better serve their neighbors.
Lord, help new missionaries prioritize their mental and emotional health. Place good mentors in their lives who will invest in them as they invest in others.
Lord, may you be their first love. Help workers to cherish you above their families and ministry roles.
GO DEEPER. Did you pray through this guide on behalf of someone you know? Maybe your church is preparing to send someone and you’ve grabbed this booklet to better walk alongside them. Thank you for praying! If you’d like to explore other ways to support a long-term worker, visit omf.org/journey-long-term-missions for more prayer materials and ideas.
JOIN A TEAM. OMF has some amazing candidates who are looking for more people to join their partnership team. If you’re interested in connecting with an individual or family that will be serving in East Asia, contact your local OMF center.
LEARN MORE. Are you considering going overseas long-term? Would you like to learn more about opportunities in East Asia? We would love to talk with you. Contact your local center to start the conversation or visit omf.org/opportunities.
We face an unfinished task. How will you join God in his mission to reach the unreached peoples of East Asia? Visit omf.org/thetaskunfinished to get involved.