Prayer is a vital lifeline for all missionaries. Personal prayer times are a vital part of any Christians personal walk and corporate prayer on your behalf is just as important especially for a missionary who can easily feel isolated and out of touch with friends and family. Knowing the necessity of prayer I decided that not only would I raise financial support but I would raise 200 people who would commit to praying for me on a monthly basis. I am under no illusions that the people who committed to pray for me will specifically pray for me daily but I know that if they take the time to pray at least once a month for me it will greatly change the work down here in Rio Grande Do Sul. Looking back at the first presentation individual presentation requesting support, February 12, 2016, that I ever made I already had 59% of the desired 200 prayer partners. These people who signed up to pray for me regularly early in the support raising process, I believe, are a key part of all that has happened in the subsequent years.
First Presentation Prayer Request Slide
I quickly found out that I was going to blow past the 200 prayer partners so I upped it to 300 prayer partners because everyone knows that it is better to have more people praying for you. By the time I made the third iteration (I changed my presentation every time there was a significant change in my support levels, financial or prayer.) of my presentation, February 20, 2016, I had already upped the requested prayer partners to 300. Well as I traveled around and talked with people it I eventually found out that even 300 people signing up to receive my monthly prayer letter was too few so on the 17th iteration of my presentation, August 6, 2016, it was changed to 400 prayer partners. When I finally left for Brazil, February 8, 2017, I had 400 people who were receiving my monthly prayer newsletter.
Open Rate of Monthly Prayer Letter
I have seen many answered prayers over the past years. I am so thankful for everyone who prays for me on a regular basis. I was warned by a veteran missionary that the readership of the prayer letters would fall dramatically as the number of people signing up grew but I really didn’t believe him that it would be very drastic. However, I have seen the list readership constantly decreasing as the number of signups increased, the list readership has gone from the mid 60’s to the low 40’s percentage wise. This is discouraging when I focus on what the numbers only but I take heart the bible says that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective,” James 5:16b.
Final Presentation Prayer Request Slide
Through these past few years I have seen the LORD answer many of the specific prayer requests that have made the list. Examples of this are raising all of the required support in one year, the ability to clearly communicate the scriptures in Portuguese, and graduating from Portuguese language school. In the past I was guilty of telling missionaries that I would be praying for them and then not praying for them or at the very best praying for them in a sporadic manner. Even now I do not pray every day for other missionaries but I do try to specifically and regularly (monthly or bi monthly) pray for missionaries. I also pray regularly and specifically for all of those who are supporters of me. Two tricks that use to pray for missionaries is to take some time to pray when I receive the notice of their update in my e-mail and then to pray when I get around to opening up and reading the update, sometimes a day or two after receiving it. On a side note it is great to receive notes from people saying that they have read the monthly update and are praying for me. Thank you to everyone who was and is praying for me as a missionary.