Prayer is an essential part of our mission trip.
Do you want God to use you? Do you want to see lives miraculously changed? Do you want to leave your mark on the world this summer? Then it's time to start praying. Prayer is most important step to ensure the success of your upcoming trip. James 4:2 (NKJV) says, "You do not have because you do not ask." Begin immediately asking God for help each step of the way both in preparation for your trip and on the field. You are only as effective as your prayer life.
"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results." James 5:16 (NLT)
Check out these tips to help you pray effectively, so your prayers can produce wonderful results.
1. Pray In Agreement With God
The first step to praying effectively is to seek to know God, His character and His will. John 14:14 (NKJV) says, "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." You may have read this verse and thought, "Well, as long as I say Jesus' name when I pray, I can get whatever I want." But when He says "in my name," He is referring to asking for things that are in agreement with His character and His will. As we seek to know who God is (His character) and what he wants to do (His will), and then pray accordingly, we will have whatever we ask for.
The good news is that as you are praying for your trip, you can be sure that you are praying in agreement with God's will, and be confident He will answer you. Spreading the Gospel is a part of God's character because it's what Jesus did when He was on earth. It is also in agreement with His will because it is what He told us to do! Mark 16:15 (NKJV) says, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel." This verse is known as the Great Commission. Out of everything Jesus could have said in His last words, He said, "Don't forget! Your job is to be a missionary to the world!"
2. Have Faith
To pray effectively you must also have faith. Matthew 21:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (NLT) and James 1:6 tells us, "But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to answer" (NLT). When we pray, God expects us to believe in faith and trust him to help us. Jesus told us that we would have whatever we ask for when we pray in agreement with God's will, and He expects us to believe that He will do what He promised!
3. Be Persistent
Persistence is another key to effective prayer. A great example of this is the parable of the persistent widow found in Luke 18:1-8 (NLT). The first verse tells us that the reason for this parable was to "illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up." Jesus then went on to tell the story of a widow who was trying to get justice from an evil judge. She kept asking him over and over again until finally the judge said, "OK! I'll give you justice. Not even because I want to, but just so that you will stop bugging me" (paraphrase). Jesus told His disciples that if an evil judge would do that, how much more would a loving God answer the prayers of people who are persistent? In verses 7-8, Jesus said, "Don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!" (NLT)
If you are praying, and you don't see results right away, don't worry. Remember the persistent widow and keep praying! God will answer your prayers!
4. Find People Who Will Pray For You
It is important that you find other people who will agree with you in prayer. We recommend that you find 5-10 people who are not going with you that will commit to covering every detail of your trip in prayer from start to finish. When the Lord taught us about prayer in Matthew 18:19, He said, "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (NKJV).
Building a prayer support team is a very important key to the success of your preparation and your trip. Make a list of your potential prayer partners, and then call them or send a letter asking them to support you in prayer. You must ask ten people in addition to your parents (we know they’ll be praying) and those going on our trip.
My ten prayer partners are:
5. Commit To Pray Daily
Daily prayer is the key ingredient to your formula for success. Begin today making prayer a main focus as you prepare for our trip. Remember to pray in agreement with God's will, have faith, be persistent, and find others to pray in agreement with you. It will produce "wonderful results."
There are plenty of things you can pray for concerning our trip. Here are just a few ideas: