The Importance of Prayer Partnership in Missions

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a prayer partner for a missionary or ministry? Perhaps you’ve even wondered if prayer is an effective source of support?

We believe that none of our work will have eternal significance apart from prayer and our ministries are only effective with God’s help. It’s worth saying, however, that prayer doesn’t change things; prayer is calling on the God who changes things! And when we say that it’s God who changes things, we acknowledge two things. First, that our prayers aren’t incantations; prayer isn’t about saying things a particular way to get a particular response. As we pray ‘Thy will be done’ and draw near to the Lord through prayer, our hearts (and prayers) begin to shift and align with the heart and purposes of God. Second, that our Lord Jesus, the one true God, who knows what we need and loves us so much, invites us to call on His name.

Let’s consider what Scripture tells us. 1 John 5:14-15 reveals that we serve a God who not only wants to hear from us, but also respond to us. Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:1, and Hebrews 7:25 all reveal Christ’s role as our advocate, interceding on our behalf while at the right hand of God. Christ Himself demonstrates the value of intercession – and it is only through Him that our prayers can be heard and answered.

“We have the Spirit of the Intercessor, Christ Jesus, alive in our very bones. To not intercede and walk in His Way of Intercession, we are deliberately choosing to walk in our own strength rather than walking by the Spirit,” Leslie Hall says.

We spoke with Luke Baublet and Leslie, GEM workers in Europe, about how they prioritize prayer in their ministries. They understand that going directly to the Father is the most effective way to see meaningful impact within their work.

“Paul writes about bearing one another’s burdens,” Luke starts. “To me, intercession is the spiritual aspect of that.” As disciples sent out into the world to make more disciples, our missionaries meet many people, both believers and unbelievers, all needing prayer. Many European countries are spiritually dark, which can result in exhaustion or discouragement for the Christians within them.

“We get to have the joy and honour and heartache at times of interceding between the need and the fulfilment,” Luke explains. Having steadfast prayer from intercessors and prayer partners helps to shift the spiritual landscape, and really does make a difference!

Take for instance this testimony:

“We started something called 30 days of prayer for Berlin. As we came up with a list of 30 prayer points, one thing that we were all convinced of was the need for more faithful followers of Jesus in Berlin. [Soon after the 30 days], one of our colleagues with a different organization received two inquiries of people interested in serving in Berlin, and another had one inquiry. With GEM, we went from having a few people interested and only one couple raising support, to at least four couples or singles already on the field or raising funds to come and join us! This was an absolute answer to prayer,” Luke recognizes.

As God answers prayers, the resulting testimonies become spiritual weapons and sustenance. “In darker moments when we’re really struggling, we come back to the clear evidence that God is at work… and He is answering prayers,” Luke says.

Unfortunately, even with such evidence of answered prayer, we can still find ourselves stuck, or unmotivated in our prayer lives from time to time. “Have we taken our eyes off Jesus?” Luke challenges. “The answer is almost always ‘yes’.”

How do we then refocus? Leslie encourages: “Allow yourself to be consumed by the Lord, forsaking all things… in order to fully draw near to Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Make space for the Lord with no expectations and allow Him to show up. Growing in prayer is to fall deeper in love.”

The next time someone asks you to be a prayer partner, consider the spiritual importance of this request! Your prayers are effective, making way for God’s work to unfold in the darkest places, and most importantly, your own relationship with God will strengthen as you draw nearer to Him through prayer.