How to Pray for National Ministers
Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father; and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20). While it is an obligation of the North American church to send forth missionaries into all the world, the task far exceeds the availability of its missionaries. That is one reason Jesus said to teach all nations. As nationals are taught and grow in Christ, He calls them into the ministry, and the number of laborers in the harvest multiplies.
National ministers are one of the greatest assets of the church. They speak the language that the missionary struggles to learn. They know the customs and mannerisms of their people. They can reach areas that are often closed to North American missionaries. Their potential to reach their nations is greater than the missionaries’. The national ministers are men and women called of God and worthy of our prayers.
Pray for the national ministers as you would pray for missionaries, pastors, and those in leadership.
Pray that the national minister would be godly, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12). Pray that he would govern his spirit, know self-control, and produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). Pray that he would be clothed with the garment of praise instead of the spirit of depression and that he might be an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord to display His splendor (Isaiah 61:3).
Pray that the national minister would be the husband and father that his family needs and deserves, sensitive to their needs and example of piety and devotion. Pray that he would love his wife and rear his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). (Also see Ephesians 6:4.) Pray that he, his wife, and his children would be willing to make whatever sacrifice is demanded for the sake of the kingdom of God. Pray that his children would commit their lives to Christ and receive His Spirit (Acts 2:39).
Many national ministers live in Third World countries and in what many North Americans would consider gross poverty. Pray that God would meet the financial needs of the national minister and his family. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Pray that they would have comfortable lodging, sufficient clothing, and a well-balanced diet. Pray that they would have transportation for their personal needs as well as the needs of the ministry. Pray that their children would have educational opportunities.
4. Physical Health and Needs
Ministry is taxing work—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Pray that God would strengthen the national minister and give him good health. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (III John 2).
Pray that the anointing of the Holy Ghost would rest upon the national minister. “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (I John 2:27). Pray that he would be a student of the Word, rightly dividing the Word of truth. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). Pray that he would be kept holy and protected from seducing spirits—especially when he is tired and hard-pressed (I Peter 1:16). Pray that his work for the Lord would be productive and fruitful. “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:8).
A minister, whether in North America or on foreign soil, must be a leader and influence people. Pray that the national pastor would have favor with people—both in the church and without. Pray that he would have wisdom and understanding to lead his people. “And Solomon said, Thou has shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (I Kings 3:6-9).
Pray that God would open doors of ministry that no one, not even a governmental official, can close. “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door; and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).
As more and more nations close their doors to foreign missionaries, the importance of the national ministers soars. They are key men and women in God’s kingdom. Let us lift up their hands by bowing on our knees before the King of kings.
Produced by World Network of Prayer, United Pentecostal Church International.