What biblical examples do we have for prayer for missions?

Here are but a few examples.

In the Old Testament, we read prayers by the authors that God’s name would be exalted among the nations, or declare that God will accomplish this as He has said.

  • At the dedication of the temple in I Kings 8, Solomon prays that if foreigners pray at the temple, God would hear their prayers, “in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” (8.43)
  • “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.”  (Ps. 86.9, ESV)
  • “Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord and declare his praise in the coastlands. (Is. 42.10-12, ESV)

In the New Testament, we begin to read missionaries, particularly Paul, asking for churches’ prayer for the advance of the Gospel among the nations:

  • Eph. 6.19: Paul asks for prayer for the ability to proclaim the Gospel boldly.
  • Phil. 1.19: Paul says that he knows that the Philippian church is praying for him.
  • Col. 4.3: Paul asks for prayer for open doors to proclaim the Gospel.
  • Jn. 17.20-23: Jesus prays for the unity of his disciples across the span of history, “so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

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