Monday, November 11, 2013

Praying For Missions, Part 1 - Parents Of Missionaries

GlobalHands photograph, source unknown

Later this week I'll be attending the International Conference On Missions (formerly the National Missions Convention, or NMC) in Kansas City, MO. I've been several times now, and love seeing all the global workers, families, ministers and KIDS that come to be better equipped in the role that they play in God's plan for the world. 

KIDS? Yep! Kids!! 

Missionary kids, pastor's kids, a ton of youth groups from high school, rand a LOT of college age "kids" come to learn, participate and serve. It's one of the most encouraging sights I've been around! Often God uses a child to receive the seed planted for missions in their future. 

Today I'd like for us to pray for the Parents of Missionaries, or POM's. As a rule, but not always, they have played an integral part in nurturing their child's heart towards God. Why then are we so surprised when they come to us and ask us to pray about them going to the mission field? 

Being a POM was one of the hardest things I've done as a mom, and I don't know how I'll respond as a grandma!! Oh, I joke about it, but I know... I'll cling to God. A few weeks ago at Allume, several of the speakers (and participants) echoed the sentiment: 

God doesn't put us through hard seasons to punish us... but to draw us closer and to depend on Him.

It's true! I grew more spiritually the first year as a POM than I had in the 5 years before! There's an emotional dependency that you go through that I can't explain... I don't know how it could be replicated. You can't do anything but breathe God in deep, and let out all the fear and loneliness you carry inside. 

More of You, Jesus. Less of me...

became my mantra in prayer. Inhale. Exhale. Over and over, that's all I could do! 

Although all my kids are stateside now, I expect some of them to live abroad in the future... and that's ok. I'd rather have them being obedient to God and in the center of HIS will, than have them "safely" in my back yard and NOT doing His will. We would all be miserable then.

So let's pray for the Parents of Missionaries...

Father, You alone know the plans for our lives, and the plans for our children's lives. I ask Lord, that You would plant Your seed in us for missions, and help us to be passionate about the lost like You are. Help us to remember that my child is YOUR child, and that You love them even more than I do. You call us into difficult seasons, not because You don't love us - but because You love us (and them) so much, You desire us to grow to be more like You. 

Father, let me release my child to You... over and over. I pray Father that You will sustain me while they are gone. Fill in the empty spots in my heart with MORE of You! Show me Your comfort, Your peace, Your perfect love. Let me trust You with their lives, and with my heart. 

Lord God, equip me to be an advocate for their mission field, whether it is "here, near, or far away," let me be enthusiastic for the field and the people that You desire to know You. Help me to be a helper to their work, whether it is in prayer, or in stuffing envelopes. Let me partner with them for the lost to be found. 

And Father, let me be an encouragement to other Parents of Missionaries. Let me be an example, even in my weakness and sadness, to others who may have their children called to missions. Use me, and let me be a missionary in the field of influence You have called me to. 

Lord, bless the Parents of Missionaries around the world. Let them feel Your presence, feel Your pleasure, at the work You are using them and their children to accomplish - to bring glory to Your name alone. 

In Jesus' Name... amen.

(If you (or a friend) are a POM, you might be blessed to know that there's an blog for you! Please feel free to join in at Parents Of Missionaries - or POMnet.org - where other parents are blogging about their experiences as a POM.)