Practical prayers for overseas workers

Tags: International Office, Prayer, Story

By Andrea Hoglund, former SEND worker in Ukraine, currently serving in Southeast Asia

It takes work and practice to pray well, otherwise we tend to pray like our 4-year-old: “Dear God, thank you for …” — look at whatever you happen to be holding in your hand — “… my hair clip.” But it is hard to pray for someone in circumstances that you have never experienced. Here are a few thoughts to help you pray for the overseas workers in your life.

Move beyond the basics. You should pray for health, safety and language learning. We have been blessed by these simple prayers. Those are great things to pray, just don’t stop there!

Pray for firm faith. It is easy to doubt ourselves, and it can be easy to doubt God’s direction as well. Pray for us to keep our eyes on him! What might that look like specifically? Pray for us to love what God loves. Pray for our hearts to be satisfied in God and not run after worthless things. Pray for us to rest in God during difficult and stressful moments. Pray for consistent time in the Bible and prayer. Pray for us to seek first his kingdom.

Pray for relationships. Pray for grace and patience in our relationships, including marriage, family, team, church and community. Pray for humility to admit we are wrong, apologize eagerly and make things right. Pray for wisdom and discernment as parents. Pray for solid friendships for our children and for us. Pray for us to display joyful hospitality toward all who cross our threshold.

Pray for us as expats. Pray for our hearts to attach to this new place. Pray for us to have a good sense of humor! We need to laugh at ourselves … a lot. Pray for us to have open hearts — humble enough to meet new people and try new things. Pray for our children to be brave when we try new food, make new friends and speak a new language. Pray for the physical strength it takes to live in a new culture. Pray for endurance and diligence in tasks that can feel bigger than we are (like language learning, or figuring out where to buy cinnamon or rat traps). Pray for grace to trust that we are where God wants us to be and to let our roots grow deep.

SEND has developed a free, day-by-day guide to help you pray for the overseas workers you know. Click here to explore or download the guide. 

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