28 February 2009

Effective Prayer

You kind of wonder what the point is sometimes. You pray, and you know all your friends are praying, for elections to turn out a certain way. And then they don't.

You pray, and your friends pray, for your family situation to get better. And you try and try and try in addition to praying... and it just doesn't. In fact sometimes, just sometimes, you start to wonder if there isn't a scientific correlation between "your prayers" and "everything getting ruined." So maybe we Christians look a little silly to people who believe.

Maybe we believe BECAUSE we are silly.

I do know that there are many areas of the world that missionaries and believers are in great danger. I cannot imagine that somehow they are different than me, that they have some sort of super-believer faith in other areas of the world. One thing that I've heard of is that there are miraculous healings in third world countries, and also great persecution. SURE, Grandma is up off the floor mat and walking (wheelchair? don't have those), but cousin Nyguen just got himself into prison again for preaching the Word. And you are not sure if they are torturing him or even if he is alive.

Maybe third world living, spiritually, is just like our Christian life here, only AMPLIFIED in some ways. Or maybe we are so used to eating three meals a day and being able to travel without highway bandits that we aren't attuned to the spiritual. Or maybe people in the third world countries are attuned to the spiritual BECAUSE of these problems and prayer is a survival issue. Sort of a Christian Darwin thing LOL.

What do you think? I am thinking on this because we are having missionaries by our church tomorrow. The children and I pray for missionaries but never quite know what exactly to pray for them so that they will be effective.

As an aside, I know of NO missionaries who have autistic or disabled children, which makes me wonder if that's because they are more spiritual than I am (therefore my childrens' autism is my fault b/c I didn't pray right? Would God do that? Not going to think about that today.) or because people whose children have problems are unable to minister (um, which given my life, I can sure understand...) or if all the disabled kids on the missionary field just die (ok, maybe I won't think about that). Ok, forget that whole aside.

So, how do you pray for your missionaries? I pray stupid stuff like, help them find the food they need this week at the market at a good price. As if that's gonna save any souls, but I guess I want God to encourage these people somehow and I don't know what to say. :]


  1. Praying for them to find cheap food is a good prayer! :-)

    Shall I do a post on how and what to pray for missionaries? You've given me a good idea!

    And I DO know missionaries who have children with special needs. The first one that came to mind has a daughter with celiac disease. Not exactly easy to deal with on the mission field! I also know of a missionary who herself is completely blind. I have a friend with Cerabal Palsy who takes missions trips to places like the bush in Mozambique! Missionaries are probably a lot more like you than you realize. They have struggles and families issues and challenges just the same. They just work them out on foreign turf.


  2. Thanks, Daja! You know I read every post. :]

  3. If I'm remembering correctly, the number one reason missionaries have to come home is they can't get along with their teammates. #2 is educational needs (one of the reasons my mom started Sonlight). And the third reason is due to health issues. So, yes, I think it is likely that with everything else going on, missionaries would be hard pressed to also raise autistic children, as you point out.

    So, to turn this around a little: You have been uniquely enabled to care for your children... in a way a missionary family could not.

    At least, that's my initial impression.



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