How to Pray for Short-term Mission Trips

In just eight days I’ll be boarding a British Airways jet for my trip to Swaziland. A number of you have responded to my plea for prayer support, for which I am deeply grateful. I know I can’t do anything worthwhile without God working through me, and your prayers are essential to that process.

There are some specific prayer points I’d like to share, whether for this trip or any short-term mission trip—I doubt I’m the only person you know who’s going overseas for the sake of the Gospel. I’ll try to keep this short and focused, so your prayers can be focused as well. Today I’ll offer points one and two; Friday I’ll post the other two.

My Heart
I hate to say this, but I really don’t feel qualified for this adventure. I’m not some super spiritual saint who spends all her time in prayer, always hears God’s voice, or always says “yes” when I do hear Him. The people of Swaziland deserve better than me. Still, I’m the one they’re getting, so please ask God to use me in spite of my shortcomings. I want to pray more, listen better, and obey more quickly! Most of all I want to love with God’s love, for without that, nothing else matters.

My primary role (at least from a human perspective) is taking photographs of the children and caretakers, their surroundings, and of our team interacting with them all. While I can adjust my camera properly and press the shutter, I will have little control over either my subjects or our circumstances. Pray for God to guide me so that my photos tell His story. Plus, I fully expect to have a dozen or more orphans hanging on my arms as I try to shoot. Pray for patience!

My Team
I’m an introvert, which means I need solitary downtime to recover from social interaction. Yet here I am traveling overseas with 14 other team members, planning to spend day after day at a CarePoint that serves approximately 500 attention-starved children of all ages. We’re not only traveling together, we’re staying in a guest house together, eating together, praying together, worshiping together, serving together. Please pray that I have some time alone to process all I’m experiencing. Even more, pray that I keep my cool when I desperately long to go hide from everyone.  We’re a team, and we need to encourage and support one another.

Similarly, please pray we continue to function as a team even when we’re exhausted, hungry, sleepy, and overwhelmed. It’s all too easy to become crabby, snap at one another, and destroy the unity God desires.

This is plenty to pray for, but there’s more coming next time. Please check back Tuesday for the rest of the list.

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