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“See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.” — Malachi 3:1

God's Mission Matters

Pray the way!

The power of prayer in mission

By Michael Parker
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).

In times of difficulty, when we are stressed and anxious, the world’s advice is often to be stoic—that is, to buck up, to show a stiff upper lip, to maintain an even strain.

J. I. Packer writes that there is something heroic in this, “but it is the perverse heroism of self-sufficient, self-glorifying pride, the sick heroism of Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost.” 

Certainly this is not the model that Jesus gave to us in the Garden of Gethsemane when he threw himself on the ground, prayed in agony, and sweat blood.  Of course not all of our prayers will be of this sort. 

The prayers of the Apostle Paul, recorded in his epistles, are filled with thanksgiving and joy and praise for what God was already doing in the lives of His people.

Whether in good times or in bad, God calls us to seek him in prayer.

Listen to this episode of “God’s Mission Matters” and hear stories by Mary Nebelsick, mission co-worker in the Philippines since 2001; and by Marilyn Borst, co-covener of the Syria-Lebanon Mission Network and Associate Director for Partnership Development of The Outreach Foundation.


Pray the way! episode toolkit

Use these resources to equip your congregation, network, youth group and other groups in your church for mission involvement. You may use any of these for activities in the context of Bible studies, Sunday Bible class, Sunday worship service, and committee or session meetings.

  • God’s Mission Matters: Pray the way
    Prefer printed? Download and read this ready-to-print booklet  including the text of the podcast, a study guide for group leaders and a reflection on popular culture. This is a great tool for a learning session in your congregation or mission group context.

  • Matters from Pop Culture: The concept of Pray the Way found in media and everyday life
  • Matters of Worship 
    Prayer
    :
    God grant me the serenity 
    to accept the things I cannot change; 
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference. 
    Living one day at a time; 
    Enjoying one moment at a time; 
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it; 
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.
    Amen. 
    (Serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)

    Hymn suggestions:
    “Our Father, Which Art in Heaven” (Presbyterian Hymnal 589) or
    “Psalm 42” (Presbyterian Hymnal 190)

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