Prayer for Returning Missionaries

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Holy Father,

 

   Thank You for being the God of all comfort and encouragement (1 Corinthians 1:3). I know someone special that is in desperate need of a Comforter. After years on the mission field, _________ is now coming “home”. Years ago, You called them to serve You. They obeyed, not really knowing where they were going or what it would be like (Hebrews 11:8). In the beginning, their move was difficult as they adjusted to a new language, a new culture, and new friends. They shared in the sufferings of Your Son by experiencing their share of “loud crying and tears” (Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 5:7). They were afflicted through adjustment and led into obedience through heartache (Hebrews 5:8).

 

   Over time, I saw a transformation happen. As they began to trade their desires for Yours, they grew in love for their new situation (Philippians 2:4). At first, You commanded them to love, later Your love readily spilled from their heart (John 13:34). Transition expanded their worldview, and obedience enlarged their God-view. 

 

   Now, they have yet another transition to make. After pouring their hearts into the people of the world, they must transition into a place they once called home.  ________ has changed and this transition may prove to be their hardest one yet. So, I come to represent their needs before You.
   

   Grant them value, Lord. Despite their difficulties overseas, while there, they were assured their ministry counted. Now, returning to their home country, they may not be too sure. The lines of value may be blurred. Show them afresh who they are in You and how very precious they are in Your sight. Let them hear You say, “you are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). They’ll need that word for this new transition. Grant them opportunities to use their gifts in this stage of life and be appreciated for it.

 

   Grant them friendships. They developed deep friendships overseas, friends that became family, but long-distance relationships are difficult to maintain. Expats living abroad tend to freely associate with those nearby and freely release those who leave. On the other hand, “home folks” have gone on with their lives and established their own relational patterns. Considering this, _________ may return home to great loneliness — acquainted with many, close with none. Fulfill Your promise and be closer to them than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Reveal that You are the same no matter where they live. Send them someone to pray with, cry with, and laugh with. Someone who will allow them to be all that they’ve become despite their different worldview. Grant them friendships which extend into one another’s homes (Acts 2:46).

 

   Grant them forgiveness. Offenses are inevitable and ______ has probably been offended somewhere along the way (Luke 17:1). Possibly, even their move back has involved pain. But Father, You give us two choices: to send away the hurts or to allow them to feed on our souls (John 20:23). Retaining offenses will eat away at joy and contentment. Only in releasing offenses by forgiveness can ________ move into the future You have prepared. Surge Your power within them to forgive (Luke 23:34). Grant them strength to be renewed in the spirit of their minds (Ephesians 4:23). Allow them to forget the past and eagerly await the new (Isaiah 43:18-19).

 

   Grant them perspective. _________ may be struggling that their time overseas was wasted — time making relationships, time learning language, time making adjustments. Open their eyes to see how each and every experience was necessary for this next challenge (Ephesians 1:17). May they see experientially how You are working all things toward their good (Romans 8:28). Allow them to see things from Your vantage point, rather than from an earthly one. Encourage them to keep seeking the things above (Colossians 3:1-2).

 

   Grant them patience. Grief is never rushed. They have lost so much and may not yet realize it. A called-out life expects to always know the next step. Grant them forbearance when the future is unclear (Romans 8:25). Grant them peace during the awkwardness and the confusion (2 Corinthians 6:4). Restore their ability to move obediently even when they don’t understand (Genesis 22:8). They have done this before. Grant them strength to do it again.

 

   Grant them wisdom. May they know afresh the mystery of Your will (Ephesians 1:9). Open the eyes of their heart so that they can know their calling, even on this side of the world (Ephesians 1:18). Protect them from mistakes.

 

   Thank You that I can bring _________’s need boldly to Your throne (Hebrews 10:19). I realize that there are many requests on this work order. But, please note that every single request has been signed off and paid for by the Lord Jesus Himself. I wait expectantly for You to act. So be it.

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