Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Mission and Prayer

No, I didn’t stop blogging. I’ve just been through an exceptionally rough time and when I did get a chance to relax, blogging was fairly low down on my priority list. But now that I’ve reached most of the deadlines that were stretched out before me, I should be able to do a few things that I neglected over the past 6 – 8 weeks, including blogging.
One topic that has been on my mind quite a lot lately, is the influence of prayer on mission. A lot has been written about prayer and I hardly consider myself as an expert on the topic. In fact, I’m usually the first one to admit that I have no idea how prayer works. That’s not the same as to doubt whether prayer works. It’s just that I have no special formula that I can use to guarantee that things will happen in the way we want them to if you keep to certain rules. I do also know the truth of what Søren Kierkegaard once wrote: “A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realised that prayer is listening.”
What I do realize, the longer that I’m involved with mission, is the essential role of prayer in this work. Just looking at our own ministry in Swaziland, Shiselweni Reformed Home-Based Care, and the way in which God has provided in our needs after people prayed about something, has made me realize that, statistically, it would be virtually impossible to say that it was purely by chance that things had happened, sometimes within an hour after praying about a matter. It could happen once. It could happen twice. But when you have ten, twenty and more stories to tell of how people prayed about a certain matter and an answer came, then you have to admit that something supernatural is happening.
We have a large number of prayer supporters all over the world. Not nearly enough though! But those who are praying for us, form an essential partnership in our ministry. Some pray daily. Some pray on a specific day in the week for Swaziland. But without prayer support, we, who are working on the inside, know that our attempts to do what we do will never rise above mere humanitarian assistance.
We can do lots of good things for God, but to rise up to a higher level, every mission ministry needs consistent prayer support. Perhaps Acts 1:8 could be our guide for prayer for mission: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth. If every Christian could start praying consistently for four mission ministries – one close by, one a bit further away, one even more further away and one really far away – who knows what we might see happening in the world.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 - Posted by | AIDS, HIV, Home-based Caring, Partnership, Prayer, Swaziland


  1. Arno, obviously there is no recipe to guarantee our prayers will happen. That is called magic, which works through incantations. Incantations uses specific words, actions and formulas to determine results. Also if you do it wrong, heaven forbid something might happen to you, ala Ron Weasley in Harry Potter. No prayer happens in obedience to God, with a attitude of submission, which can only happening through listening to what God is saying and not what I want to hear. It is submitting to whatever we believe God wants to happen and not our own will. It is also again listening to what we think God is saying and then praying/doing that. Read Matt 6:5-8 (I’m not sure about the verses), and Rom 8 on the spirit interceding for us, making sure that if we pray wrong God receives perfectly, like TV with perfect reception.

    THY Kingdom come, THY will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    Comment by Lourens Grobbelaar | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. My 3rd sentence has an integral comma missing: No, prayer happens in obedience to God…….

    Comment by Lourens Grobbelaar | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. i didn´ t know that praying stopps spreading hiv and aids in africa, or why have you tagged your text under hiv and aids?
    this is just irresponsible.

    Comment by alivenkickn | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. Bacause our ministry is focused mainly on people with HIV and AIDS. Nowhere did I say that praying will stop HIV or AIDS.

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. Lourens, thanks for your remarks. Praying leads to action. You pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done” and then you get up from your knees and do something about the coming of God’s kingdom.

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Reply

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