Pray like a Missionary

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God calls every one of us to think and live like a missionary. We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

And we ought to pray like missionaries.

Why don’t we pray like missionaries?

You pray about what is important to you. When you have that huge exam, the big game, a job interview, or a significant health challenge you pray, and you pray hard! “GOD HELP ME!!!” We pray for what is on our heart.

I believe we fail to pray like missionaries, that is, we fail to pray missionally, because the mission of God is not important enough to us.

We fail to pray missionally because the mission of God is not important enough to us.

Obedience is important. We must pray for those far from Jesus whether we want to or not but if we really want to solve the problem we must start with our hearts and minds. If you have not read the previous posts on Missional Thinking and Missional Loving go back and read them now! Habits start in our head and a love for our neighbor must under-gird our every effort on mission.

We fail to pray because the mission of God is not important to us. We also fail to pray because we forget that God is part of the missional process.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44).

Do we really believe that this is true? We could discuss the complexity of the Biblical teaching on the sovereignty of God and man’s free will but I think it is more important at this point to accept the simple reality that God has a primary role in saving the lost. If we believe this, really believe this, I know that we will begin to pray more… and PRAY FERVENTLY! So how should we pray like a missionary? I am glad you asked.

How to pray like a missionary:

1. Pray for those in your life who are far from Jesus

How many times in the past week have the names of those in your life who are far from Jesus showed up in your prayers? Praying for someone is one of the best ways to foster love for that person. Pray for their felt needs. Pray for their relationships. Pray for your friendship with them. Pray for what they ask you to pray for. Pray, like Paul, that they would come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Romans 10:1

2. Pray for opportunities to share Jesus

Ask God to open up doors in conversation to share Jesus! Pray that the next time you are with them they ask something like, “why do you go to church?” or “do you believe in God?” Pray that you would have eyes to see opportunities to begin leading your friends to Jesus. Pray that their hearts would be open for what you want to share. Pray for the right environment to present itself for spiritual conversation.

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

Colossians 4:3

3. Pray for Spirit-Led Boldness for yourself

Pray that you don’t succumb to fear of man or fear of rejection. Pray that when God opens a door you would walk through it! Pray that you would love your non-Christian friends enough that you will be willing to share the most important truth in the universe with them when the opportunity presents itself. Pray that you would be protected from the enemy who seeks to distract, dilute, and discourage you from sharing Jesus with those who need it most. Pray that you would have the heart of a missionary!


What if everyone in your local church or youth group started praying like missionaries? What kind of impact would our communities, colleges, and schools experience? Perhaps, the reason we do not have an awakening of God in our midst is because we are not asking for it? We talk a lot about storming the gates of hell… but the wise warrior ought to do so with callused knees.

Pray like a missionary.

This post is part of a series on Missional Rhythms. You can read the first post here.

About the Author

Philip Leineweber

Phil is the pastor of SURGE Student Ministries at Berean Baptist Church. He is married to Sarah and together they love raising their three boys. 

Contact Phil at phil@missionalstudent.com

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