Prepare with Prayer

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works—prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers was right. No matter what kingdom work calls us, that work must be grounded in and fueled by prayer.

As your church prepares to send out short-term missions teams this summer, make prayer a priority. Recognize that prayer unites the body of Christ and makes those who pray just as important as those who go.

Consider these ideas to ensure those going are covered in prayer:

Prayer Cards: Create postcard-sized prayer cards that include a team photo, a key verse for the trip, and 3 specific prayer requests. Distribute cards to members of missions organizations and consider including in the church bulletin.

Prayer Sync: Challenge church members to set clocks or phones for a daily reminder to pray in the weeks leading up to the trip. If the missions trip dates are July 10–13, consider praying from 7:10–7:13 each day, for example.

Concert of Prayer: Enlist someone to play the guitar as you gather together for a concert of prayer. Dim the lights and worship together in song, but leave the majority of the time for prayer. Encourage attendees to pray one-sentence prayers. Don’t be afraid of those Psalm 46:10 (“Be still . . . ”) moments.

Prayer Partners: Pair up a praying saint with one who is going. Encourage one-on-one meetings to share personal and specific prayer requests. Recognize that this could prompt cross-generational relationships as senior adults pray for teens and create accountability partners as women pray for women and men for men.

Prayer Notes: Assign a missions team member to each missions organization. Ask organization members to write out their prayers for their missions team member in encouraging notes. Prepare one note for each day of the trip. Address each with the name of the team member and day of the week on the outside. Deliver the notes to the missions team leader to distribute each day on the trip.

Prayer Team: Recruit a prayer team that will meet with the missions team. Devote the beginning of each team preparation meeting to prayer led by the prayer team.

Concert of Praise: Repeat the Concert of Prayer after the trip. Invite those who went to tell their stories and then conclude by praying one-sentence prayers of thanks to God for His provision.

We may not all go, but we can all pray!


Laura Macfarlan is a Bible teacher, speaker, writer, and blogger. Connect with her at






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