“And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will”
— Romans 8:27
In my role as Director of Member Care, I pray daily for our international workers (IWs) in one of the four regions, for the Global Ministries leadership team, and denominational leaders. When I first established this pattern, I would literally pray through the list of people in that day’s region, trying to recall challenges they may be facing, and praying for each one’s specific situation. It took a long time to pray through some of the larger regions, and I often found myself repeating the same stock requests for people. It wasn’t quite as bad as “God bless the missionaries,” but some days it was not much better.
One day, I read through the list of 50+ names before me and then simply sat in silence, listening for the Spirit of God. As He brought people or thoughts to my mind, I would pray along the lines I sensed Him directing me towards. I didn’t pray for every name on the list, but I did pray with insight for the situations the Spirit brought to my mind.
After my prayer time, I wrote a few emails, sharing with IWs how God had prompted me to pray for them. I was shocked by the responses I received from people telling me that I had been praying about situations they had not shared with anyone. I now realize that my prayers for others are much more effective if I spend less time talking and more time listening for the voice and leading of the Spirit.
1. Do I spend as much time listening to God as I do talking to Him? Am I comfortable with silence while waiting for God to speak?
2. Take time each day to listen to God. Be attentive to His activity in the world around you. Invite God to inform your prayers for the people for whom you are praying.
Judith Wiebe serves as Director of Member Care for Global Ministries, of the C&MA. She and her husband, Doug, live in Calgary, Alberta.