When I was asked to write to you about prayer, I had to think twice. That’s because, well, I’m really not such a great pray-er. As many mums of young children might identify, I sit down to pray and within a few minutes of quiet I’m either fast asleep or back on my feet dealing with the latest toddler emergency.
I’m really a little embarrassed to admit it of course, because aren’t most “missionaries” (except me and my husband) pretty perfect? Hmmm. Anyhow, here’s where you come in. Though I hope for a great intercessory future, right now I am a better dish-wiper than intercessor. Yet, we are blessed to have a God who knows our weaknesses and I am eternally grateful for those of you who are faithful intercessors on our behalf.
I know that God hears your prayers for us. A perfect example was when we needed $10,000 to save the School for the poor that we serve at: we asked and you prayed. Two years in a row, at the last minute, God answered these prayers in miraculous ways. Our ministry been able to continue, and our faith has grown through these (character-building) waits for God’s answers.
Similarly, when the nation we serve in had some violent and unsettled months, we had to make some tough decisions. Should we stay? Should we go? Through those especially scary months, we needed your prayers more than ever. When the time came, God clearly led us into deciding to stay, despite the uncertainty. But if I had not known that people in Australia were committed to praying for us daily, we may not have made the same decision.
There are the simpler things you have prayed for that are just as important. God answered your prayer for a home and a car for us on home assignment. Similarly, we have been aware and humbled that people have been praying for us continually in everyday things, like our walks with God, for our kids settling in a foreign country, and especially for our health and safety.
There have been countless examples of our family being protected – through death threats at work, in the traffic, and in day-to-day life of emotional strain. As you uphold us in consistent prayer these potentially critical situations have been diffused.
A gang of armed youths that was active in our city had threatened to visit the school. They had attacked churches and other schools, damaging property and attacking a number of young people indiscriminately, sending six seriously injured youths to hospital. We asked you to pray protection over each child, teacher and the premises. A prayer team from the UK specifically prayer walked the area two weeks before the time of the incident.
The gang did come to the school just before students were released one evening. My husband confronted them, dressed in a suit and dress shoes and without a weapon of any kind. Yet, when they saw him, the entire gang ran from him, and hasn’t returned yet. Why? My only credible explanation is that faithful pray-ers were covering him and the school that day. We are very thankful that hundreds of kids were kept safe.
I wish I could understand the mystery of prayer. I wish I could be a great intercessor. The hard times have pushed me into praying more passionately but I still have a long way to go. What I am most grateful for is that you have been there praying for us, and your prayers have been answered time and time again.
Every Partner serving cross-culturally could also share of God’s faithfulness and answers to your prayers. On behalf of us all, to you our faithful prayer partners, thanks!
The author is an Interserve PartnerPhoto of handwriting by Greengirl 24