This week we would like to share a story written by a mission worker in Kenya about prayer. Tohru Inoue is the director for SIM, a mission agency, there and this experience led him to understand prayer in a way that might be helpful for all of us.
“We had a friend come out to lead worship during our spiritual life conference last week.
“Can we go for Ethiopian food before I leave?” he asked.
“Sure. And after that Tibarek and Getachew have invited us for some Ethiopian coffee” I replied.
We had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The boys ran around with their little toy cars. The food came, and Sam kept using my pants to wipe his hands. Yellow lentils covered my knees by the time we were done. I was happy to see how much of the flat bread the boys put away though.
After eating we piled into the car and headed over to Tibarek and Getachew’s for coffee. A basket full of popcorn and bread sat on the table to go with our macchiatos. It turned into a story telling session. It’s what happens when you’re not careful and missionaries reminisce of “the good old” days.
I could see that our friend was tired. I sensed an opening.
“Getachew, pray for our friend. He’s travelling home tonight” I requested.
“In our culture, the traveler prays for those who remain,” he replied.
It’s the traveler who prays … not those who send them.
I remembered the time when we were kicked out of the North. It was those who were kicked out who prayed for those who remained.
It’s our director, who is leaving the field for health reasons, who prayed for us during his last address to the team.
It’s Jesus who prayed for the disciples before he left, “… that you would be one as I am one with the Father.”
It’s those who are leaving who pray for those who remain because we must remain here a while. We must remain in the pain; in the brokenness for a while yet.”
As you have opportunity to go from one place to another, remember to pray for those who remain.
Praise God for them with thanksgiving. Intercede for them as they face the challenges of their specific situation. Pray over the ministry that they are involved with. Pray for their family and for protection from the attacks of the enemy.