Praying for Missions
While Waiting for Jesus!

By Missionary Jerry M. Wyatt Jr.

Missionary to Tanzania, Africa

Download the ASCII text version of this sermon

Text: Acts 12:5
Thursday, September 25, 1997  {National BBF Meeting S.W. Baptist Church Oklahoma City}

Introduction: I count it as one of the highlights & great privileges of my life to stand and preach to you this morning.  I am fully aware of  great responsibility that is given to us who preach at this meeting.Praying for Missions While Waiting for Jesus

"Basi Petro akalindwa gerezani, nalo kanisa likamwomba Mungu kwa juhudi kwa ajili yake."

"Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."   Acts 12:5

In I Thessalonians 5  we are commanded to do various things and to refrain from doing others,  while waiting for Jesus.   Although there is one particular item on which I would like to focus our attention,  I think it would be good to stand and read the entire passage beginning with vs. 14 and continuing through vs. 25.

In I Peter 3:7 we are told that because "…the end of all things is at hand:…"  we are to "…be…sober and watch unto prayer."

Jesus Himself likewise said in Mark 13:33 "Take heed,  watch and pray for ye know not when the time is."

It is very clear in Scripture and it would only make sense to the rational mind that,  "While waiting for Jesus we are to be spending significant amounts of time in specific prayer."

Hence the subject of our thoughts today.

"Praying for missions while waiting for Jesus."

I have tried,  to the best of my ability, while on furlough,  to not only encourage people to get involved in missions,  but also  I have tried to share some very specific ways to make a difference in this world.

One of those ways is to pray effectively (specifically)  and fervently for missions in general and particularly for missionaries they know and maybe already support financially.

Praying for a missionary family without supporting  them financially is no worse than supporting a missionary family financially without  praying for them.

I have absolutely no idea how or why I was given this wonderful opportunity to preach,  humanly speaking.   I do know this.   Almost immediately after being given this opportunity to speak,  I knew for sure God wanted to use me as His instrument to encourage you in this vital area of prayer for missions.

It is very evident that we believe in prayer.   This meeting has been bathed in prayer.  Every preacher has emptied himself through prayer and has been lifted up in prayer by perhaps hundreds of people.

No doubt it would be safe to say that nearly every person in this room today has prayed for this meeting.  Perhaps, most if not all have been praying daily for this meeting for some time.  What happens Friday?   The meeting will be over.

We have approved  9  new missionary families.  Who will lift them up in prayer daily from here on out?

I really appreciate what Bro. Carter said on Tuesday morning.   We need to be sending men and women,  not just money.  I agree with him wholeheartedly,  however,  may I take us now a step further.   Let's not just send our  missionaries out financially,  let's approach the throne of God on our knees every day on their behalf.   Dr. Baird pointed us to Matthew 9 where we are commanded to pray for more laborers.  Let's not stop there.  When we get the laborers,  let's pray like we have never prayed before.

- It takes work to send money to the foreign field so others can go.
- It takes more work to send your own.
- It takes the most work to send your own and pray diligently for them every day.

I like what Bro. Wiese challenged us to do.  Do you remember?  The ordinary!  We need to pray.   I said we need to pray.  No,  God said we need to pray.

We have been hooting and hollering around here all week,  and I love it. It didn't reflect it in the description of me in the tribune,  but I not only graduated from the missions course at Baptist Bible College, I have a degree from Hyles-Anderson college in Missions.   If you have ever had the privilege to attend the services of First Baptist Church of Hammond as we did for 5 years,    you know there is a lot of  amening that goes on.

Something struck me yesterday when Bro. McKee said,  "We need to pray for missionaries.  We need to really pray."   The was not one sound.  My heart sank.

I wanted to get up and shout,  " Amen".   We need to pray for the missionaries.

As I scan the crowd this morning,  I find the majority of this crowd to be men.

In I Timothy 2:8,  Paul,  under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit,  writes,  "I will therefore that men pray everywhere,  lifting up holy hands,  without wrath and doubting."

NOTE:  Thank you Bro. Turner for calling us to holiness.   We need to be holy to get our prayers answered. I Peter 3:12  "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

I do not believe Paul is excluding women from this exhortation, any more than I believe that only women are to wear modest apparel as he encourages in vs. 9.  We can however see a very valid and important comparison.   Just as we all believe it is important for a woman to dress modestly,  we must realize the importance of men being men of prayer.

A sad, but true thought is that probably there are more women and children who pray specifically for our family than men.

We need to be men of prayer.  We need to take the lead and make a difference in these last days by "Praying for Missions,  While Waiting for Jesus."

Dr. Bob Jones  used to say,  "Everything rises and falls on leadership."

If you are a missions minded pastor you will have a missions minded church.   It is not hard to tell how the pastor of a particular church really feels about missions.   Just watch how the people of that church treat the missionary. Example: Southwest Baptist Church If you are a pastor who is concerned about praying for his missionaries, you will lead a church that is concerned about praying for missionaries.

We need to be able to support prayerfully those missionaries we support financially.

I have said this many times as we have traveled around on furlough.   I was hit with the importance of praying for the missionary as I traveled through East Africa seeing the need and praying with the missionaries themselves.

I experienced the impact of prayer on our first term.

We saw first hand that prayer does make a difference.   Do you believe it? "When man works only,  he only works;  when man works and prays,  God works!"

The Bible says in James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

If we had time to study the prayers of the Bible we would find them to be very specific,  not general.    Let's just take a quick look at Paul's Prayer Requests.

Prayers Requested by Paul He told them what to pray for. He knew their prayers would help.

II Corinthians 1:8-11 "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:  10Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf."

- Delivered from them that do not believe. - Romans The Service which I have for Jerusalem. - That I may come unto you with joy. - Utterance - Boldness By the way,  Paul had very specific prayers for the church at Colosse as well.    Colossians 1:9  "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;" - Freedom to preach the Word - Deliverance from unreasonable men (hindrances)

Dr. John R. Rice "Every failure in life is a prayer failure."

Chuck Done "Prayer …possibly the missing link in Missions"


I would like us to notice three things about a man named Epaphras. Colossians 4:12,13



We need to be as committed to praying for our missionaries as we are to supporting them financially.

Which missionary did you pray specifically for yesterday?

What particular need did you pray for?

Do you have a plan in place to pray effectively for all of the missionaries you support financially?

Truly we have seen some great victories this week. - $1,000,000 for the MPO - Thousands of $$$$ to send our dear Brothers to dig some new wells.

Wouldn't it be great if we had 1,000,000 prayer warriors laboring fervently in prayer for our missionaries?  I would even take 10% or 100,000.

Pastors together with the missionaries we must help our people pray effectively.

We can make a difference on our knees.


Return to Sermon Index