A Prayer for the Sick and the Spiritually Distressed

John 11:17-25(NIV)

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

 

A Prayer for the Sick and the Spiritually Distressed

Merciful God and Father, You give eternal hope and salvation to the living and eternal life to the dying. You alone have life and death in Your hands, and Christ alone has the keys of death and of the grave. All things are in Your power so that neither health nor sickness, good nor evil, life nor death can happen to us without Your will. We also know that by Your power and direction all things must serve our salvation. Gracious Father, we implore You to grant us the grace of Your Holy Spirit, that He may teach us truly to know our misery and to bear patiently with Your chastisements. If You, O Lord, kept a record of our sins these chastisements should have been ten thousand times more severe. We believe that they are not evidence of Your wrath but of Your fatherly love towards us, that we might not be condemned with the world.

Lord, strengthen our faith by Your Holy Spirit, so that we become more and more united with Christ our Head, since it is Your good pleasure to unite us to Him in both suffering and glory. Enable us to bear what is brought upon us by Your fatherly wisdom. We submit ourselves entirely to Your will, whether You leave us on earth or whether You take us home unto Yourself. We trust that with body and soul, both in life and in death, we belong to Christ, whose resurrection is the guarantee of our blessed resurrection.

Grant that we may experience the comfort of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. May His innocent blood wash away the dirt of our sins and may His righteousness cover our unrighteousness in Your sight. Arm us with faith and hope, so that we may overcome the assaults of Satan and not be put to shame by any fear of death. When our eyes grow dim, let Your eyes be open toward us. When You take away from us the ability to speak will You then hear the sighing of our hearts. When our hands have lost their strength, continue to support and carry us on Your everlasting arms.

Father, we commit our spirit into Your hands. Deal with us according to Your promise. Never forsake us, but always be with us, even in the hour of death.

Hear and answer us for the sake of Christ, our dear Saviour. Amen.

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Praying for Missionaries

How does one pray for missionaries and the important work they do? Wycliffe addresses this important question:
https://www.wycliffe.org/prayer/why-pray-details/how-to-pray-for-missionaries
Pray for Open Doors

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 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 4:2–3, NIV).

Open doors can’t be taken for granted. Many missionaries work in countries that are difficult to access or in areas that are resistant to the gospel. But “open doors” include more than just access to nations and people groups. Individuals’ hearts also need to be open and receptive to God’s truth.

  • Pray that God will open doors of ministry, blessing partnerships and friendships.
  • Pray that those who serve will be led by the Holy Spirit and recognize open-door opportunities.
  • Pray that God will lead His people past barriers to hearts ready to receive His Word.
Pray for Boldness in Witness

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19, NIV).

Missionaries are regular people who fear pain and rejection as much as anyone else. When faced with opposition, they need God’s strength to help them stand firm.

  • Pray that missionaries will have boldness to overcome the fear of embarrassment or failure.
  • Pray that the Spirit will provide them with words that communicate effectively in other cultures and languages.
  • Pray against evil forces that would seek to hinder the spread of the gospel.
Pray that God’s Word Will Spread

“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.…” (2 Thessalonians 3:1, NLT)

Obstacles must be removed to allow God’s Word to spread rapidly and freely. Removing obstacles implies resolute resistance in spiritual warfare. Just as Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ arms in the battle against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:12), you can strengthen the arms of missionaries through your prayers. •Pray for strength and stamina as missionaries encounter antagonistic spiritual forces. (Ephesians 6:10–18)

  • Pray that people will resist Satan’s plans to obstruct the spread of the gospel. (James 4:7)
  • Pray that God’s Word will indeed spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.
Pray for Protection

“Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 3:2, NLT).

In some countries, open doors may expose missionaries to the possibility of danger and personal harm. Opposition to the gospel may include hatred and violence.

  • Pray that God will keep Christian workers safe from those who seek to hurt them.
  • Pray that God will change the hearts of those who are resistant to His Word.
Pray for Their Ministry

“Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes…” (2 Thesslaonians 3:1, NLT).

Cooperation and partnership are essential to ministry and vital to the progress of the work.

  • Pray that the missionary’s ministry and attitude will be worthy of acceptance.
  • Pray that colleagues and fellow believers will be supportive.
Pray for God’s Guidance

“So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and we ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom” (Colossians 1:9, NLT).

Many missionaries travel frequently, both nationally and internationally. Their mode of transportation varies from country to country and often involves stressful situations.

  • Pray for clear guidance from God regarding travel decisions.
  • Pray for necessary permissions to travel.
  • Pray for protection and provision during their travels.
Pray for Refreshment

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy” (Colossians 1:11, NLT).

Missionaries deal with many of the same stresses you face in life such as overwhelming workloads, relational conflicts and financial uncertainties. Often, however, missionaries struggle with these issues alone, without the fellowship and support of other Christians. Living and working cross-culturally adds an additional element that can challenge their emotional, spiritual and physical vitality.

  • Pray that God will provide opportunities for missionaries in lonely areas to spend time with other believers.
  • Pray that God will provide times of peace and relaxation to refresh His workers.
  • Pray that God will encourage missionaries with the knowledge that people back home care about their emotional well-being.
Partners in prayer

The apostle Paul was a missionary and a man of prayer. He prayed for those without Christ, for the believers, and for the new churches established under his ministry. He also asked the believers to pray for him:

“Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:30, NLT).

Paul knew prayer would bring results:

“He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered” (2 Corinthians 1:11, NLT).

In his letters, Paul gave specific prayer requests for which believers should pray. As a prayer partner with those who are called to go, you too will have an impact that can reach around the world. Paul’s prayer requests can serve as a tool for praying with effectiveness and understanding.

Contentment

Two things I ask of you;
    deny them not to me before I die:
        Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
  lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.

Ecclesiastes 30:7-9 (ESV)

Contentment

Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Your love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Your mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to You, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Your love.

When Your Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where You will show Yourself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.