Most of us do not take these words personally. We believe they should be followed by someone but not necessarily me. That’s okay. It is true that we can’t all go to another nation and do mission work. So, we’re told we can send if we don’t go. That’s okay. Some of us have the means to do that and we should do that. What about the rest? The ones that can’t go and can’t send.
We’re in luck. We have a tremendous power at our disposal to further the making of disciples in every nation in the world. It’s called prayer. Takes a couple of minutes out of a twenty-four hour day. A person can spend as much time as they want really and the charge is the same. The one who prays doesn’t have to leave town, quit his or her job or spend any of their hard earned dollars.
Do you believe God listens to the prayers of the righteous? Will he listen to you when you pray? Do you think the work of those in other nations could be strengthened if prayer was made for them? Paul sure thought so. Check today’s scripture readings if you have any doubt. Prayer is effective. Prayer is heard by God. God responds to prayer. Those in foreign lands need the knowledge that we’re praying as much as they need the prayers.
My wife told me a story today that she heard about. It has a powerful thought for us here in Dothan, AL and the rest of the USA. I will give my version below.
A missionary came home from many years in a foreign country and went to visit his supporting church. He was depressed as he had experienced many difficulties in his work overseas. His wife and only child were victims of a fever and the work was hard and tiring. He slipped into a pew at the back of the building for the morning service. When the service was over he asked to speak to the congregation. This is what he said. “I noticed that in the service today not one word was spoken about those who labor in foreign lands to teach the gospel. You support several missionaries but you prayed for none. I now know why my work was so difficult and I felt so alone.”
Can’t go, can’t send, then pray. “The prayer of a righteous man avails much.”