Mission Trip Preparations Prayers...Taking Christianity Into the World
I found in my journal from June, 2004 when we did our first family mission trip to serve the people in Jamaica. These were notes that I listed and prayed over before the trip, that I constantly prayed during, and continue to have prayed on past and for future trips:
God's Peace. God offers a peace that surpasses all understanding; one that is not anything like what we can find in this world. Often in mission trips Satan himself will single you out to berate you and to challenge your soul and your spirit. It is only by leaning on God's love and the Holy Spirit that we can find true contentment. Mission work is frequently mentally taxing, physically demanding, logistically problematic and sleeping relationships that are less than ideal and it is only by relying on Christ that we can do His bidding and keep his joy constantly in our hearts and minds.
New Friends. I believe it is impossible to go on a mission trip and to come back the same. Not only will God change you and the others around you but he will also draw you closer to others enjoying the thrill, common sacrifice and joy of joint service. Even today, I still stay in contact with those I met on mission trips over five years ago. When I go to church people with to whom I have jointly served congregate and celebrate our many "mini" reunions. There will be many shouts of joy in heaven as I will be reunited with friends and family as well as those I served alongside with and to are joined together in eternity.
Speak His Words. This will be the third year that God has allowed me the privilege of serving as the Spiritual Leader for our trips. It is not in my knowledge or decades of study that has taught me much on these trips but only in my humility. To this end, I pray that on missions that I only speak His words as mine are totally inadequate in accurately describe his love, grace and saving power. Though I do much to prepare as well I should as I, like a soldier, want to be ready for whatever comes my way. It is only when I get out of the way, that God can teach, mold and guide me to be like Him. It is only in my silence, and not my words, that God can shine so my fervent prayer centers around my willingness to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Closer with Family. So far all of my out of town mission work has been in the pursuit Family Missions. This has allowed me to not only see my wife and my children in a different way, but has done much to change our very family dynamics. A general point of weekly and frequently daily conversation in our homes is what we are going to do on missions and the readying of our minds, bodies and logistics of making our trip.
Thrill of Joint Service. There is nothing like joint service and sacrifice to bind people together for eternity. Watching movies of soldiers at war and the unique binds that they build will last for a lifetime and beyond. Nothing can replace the joy of watching out for others while they do the same for you. Though Christianity, fortunately for us all, is a free gift and available to all, as we all fall short of the Glory of God, we are all unable to do anything to earn our way into Heaven. However, if there was a Christian Checklist to get into heaven, perhaps Missions should be on it. Remember missions start at home as that is where best God can use you to do His bidding.
Totally Submit to Leaders. In my youth and well into my adulthood, submitting to authority was a difficult concept to grasp as I always felt my contribution valuable as pride rather than humility ruled my mind. Rather than following my heart and the prompting of the Holy Spirit and God's word, my arrogance and not my loved ruled my deeds and actions. However as I matured I learned, through God's grace, that it is only by my submission that we can learn to be like him as He came to serve and not to be served. It is only when we emulate his life are we able to be the very hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
These were my prayers and remain my prayers. I believe they are joyous in their nature and Biblical in their application. I pray that we lead only where God would have us, that God alone is our template and that we all submit to what the church and our leaders would have us do.
In the Matchless Name of Christ,
John Dillard is a Christian Speaker/Author and Certified Public Accountant (All Rights Reserved). To See how he takes Christ along with him to work visit http://www.hiscpa.com/ (An Atlanta CPA firm) and for his latest book Overcoming Life's 9/11's: Job's Journey and to learn about his ministry visit http://www.john-dillard.com/