Missionaries and Prayer

Day 4:Missionaries and Prayer
Bible Lesson: Hannah's Prayer: When we have problems, we should pray to God
Memory Verse: from James 5:16
Missions Concepts:
Missionaries spend a lot of time in prayer to God.
We should pray for them, too.
Missions Questions:
What kinds of problems do missionaries face?
What do you do when you face these problems?
How has God answered your prayers concerning these problems?
Bible Passages: Psalm 61, Psalm 119:49-56, 113-120, Jeremiah 32 (esp. v.13-17, 27-28, 42-44), Romans 8:28-39
In the Bible lesson, Hannah had a problem that she could not solve herself, but she prayed to God, and he looked out for her. We all have problems. Even missionaries have problems, and it's important to talk to God about them.
Procedure: Picking Questions from the Box
Call a child volunteer to pull out each of the questions. Help them read it aloud to the group. You can use a microphone and/or repeat the question yourself so that everyone can hear it.
After reading the question, introduce each missionary before reading their answer. You can also show a photo and/or their country's flag and a map if desired. Then read and explain their answers. If there's time, you can lead a brief discussion of the answers or ask a few comprehension questions.
After each question, check the time, and if enough time is available pick a new volunteer to pull the next question out of the box. Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Question #10
What kinds of problems do missionaries face?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
Even here in America, there are people who do not want God's church to exist. They say hurtful things, and they try to discourage you -- and sometimes it works.
There are times when people do not give [money] to help you continue to do God's work. As a missionary, when you see this it makes you wonder how long you can keep doing what God has called you to do, and why people do not understand the importance of his work that you are a part of.
Pastor Tom sees two problems: people in the community where he is don't always want him to start a church, and sometimes even Christians from other churches don't care enough to really support his ministry by providing the things he needs in order to stay there and do the work.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
[They have] financial problems [and must leave] their wives and kids alone many times. They have no privacy sometime[s]! They have no agenda [of their] own: people make their agenda [for them], and [everything] that they planned for themselves mostly does not come to pass... The worst is when there are fights within the church.
Missionaries often have financial problems: that is, they have to be very careful with the small amount of money they have, because they only money they get is what the churches give, and sometimes people don't give as much. So missionaries don't always have enough money for food and clothes. Sometimes missionaries can't do the things they had planned, because there's something more important. And sometimes there are fights in the church, which makes things very hard for pastors and missionaries.
Question #11
What do you do when you face these problems?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
I cry out to God in prayer. I place it in his hands, sometimes over and over in one day, until I leave it there. For our God is a strong tower, a fortress, and my protector. He can handle these problems; I can't. I then read his Bible— often the Psalms, so that I may be comforted by his word. Sometimes I call and talk to those whom I know that walk closely with God, to gain their perspective on things as well.
So Pastor Tom prays to God when he has problems.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
You pray ... more, seeking God's leadership! You share with some other brothers, and they support you in words and prayers. Some of the problems bring you to adjust more.
When Pastor Solomon has problems, he prayes. He also talks to other Christians about his problems and asks them to pray for him, and sometimes other pastors give advice. And sometimes he just has to change the way he thinks: maybe it wasn't as big a problem as it seemed.
Question #12
How has God answered your prayers concerning these problems?
Answer: Pastor Tom Ricker
He has reminded me that he is in control of all things, that he can conquer everything, that nothing goes on without his allowing it, and finally that he works all things out for good to those who are called according to his purpose that we might be conformed to the image of God.
So Pastor Tom has faith. He knows that God is in control, not only of growing his church, but also of providing food and clothes and a house to live in for Pastor Tom and his wife.
Answer: Pastor Zambo Solomon
Sometimes I had to find a [second] job to provide more [money] for my family. I left some villages because of ... persecution, and other minnistries were able to [be] start[ed], [such] as [the church in] Kumbo.
When the churches didn't send enough money for Pastor Solomon's family to have food and clothes, he was able to get another job. Another time, when the village where he was trying to start a church treated his family very badly, they had to leave, but because they left that village they were able to start a church in another place, where there were people who were willing to hear about Jesus. So even what seemed like a setback at first turned out to be something good that God was doing.
Conclusion: Prayer
Finish up by having two or three children pray out loud for the missionaries before you dismiss to the next activity.
Invitation: Praying for Missions
Invite any children who want to pray for missionaries to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

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