Two-Paragraph Prayer Requests

One of the greatest blessings God has given me is a group of people who are not only interested in my ministry but pray about those needs consistently.  Sadly I along with many other Missionaries fall into the habit of sharing “bullet point prayer requests” by listing seven or eight of them explained briefly (usually in a short sentence).  While the bullet point philosophy does share a number of requests, there is little depth or explanation about the need, and they end up being quite vague.

That’s why today I am listing four of my personal prayer requests in a two-paragraph format, which takes up a lot more space but also helps people know how to pray.  In coming weeks I will add a few more posts to the blog with extended prayer requests along with praises as God provides for my needs.

1.  That God would keep me safe as I run a Marathon next weekend:  About a year ago I started praying about when the Lord wanted me to return on furlough and my brother who was running in a Marathon challenged me to run it with him during my furlough.  I promised to do it and then after deciding to return earlier this year hoped he had forgotten…he hadn’t.  So in late June an eighteen-week training program began which culminates in the Marathon next weekend.

I am praying the Lord would keep me safe during the race (just over twenty-six miles) but at this point my greatest need is motivation.  After training almost four months my body and mind is pretty much ready to get it over with so pray God would keep me motivated for the final weeks and I will finish strong on race day.

2.  Volunteer Opportunities in the States:  The Lord really used some volunteer opportunities I was involved with in Melbourne and they became a huge part of my ministry.  English as a Second Language teaching and Computer Tutoring in particular allowed me to develop relationships and share my faith with others who didn’t know Christ.

This experience, along with the fact that God has called me to create ESL and Computer Tutoring ministries as outreaches of Cornerstone Baptist Church has developed the need to get more experience.  Yesterday I applied for a literacy initiative program that supplies tutors who can teach ESL, and a computer-teaching program at the local aged care facility.  Both of these would give wonderful opportunities to make my ministries in Melbourne stronger so please pray my applications would be accepted.

3.  Permanent Residency Visa Application:  I will be perfectly honest with you guys; I have a pretty bad attitude when it comes to applying for a Permanent Residency Visa.  Because businesses have been taking advantage of loopholes in immigration laws the Australian Government has begun placing very strict restrictions on who can apply for a Permanent Visa.  This isn’t a problem but the amount of times this has changed does create serious issues; there where at least three (perhaps four) changes between July 2011 and July 2012 alone.  This means it’s easy to meet the old requirements and still be rejected because the new ones haven’t been completed.

Please pray God would allow me to have a clear understanding of exactly what has to be done, and there will be no huge changes that affect my application

4.  Communicating with Pastors:  One part of missions which none of us enjoy is calling Churches about setting up meetings.  It isn’t that we dislike the Pastors or Churches themselves but this is a very boring and frustrating part of ministry since the schedule of ministers is incredibly busy so you very rarely get to speak with them.

I actually understand how this can be frustrating for the Pastors as well since most of them hear from twelve missionaries a week at least.  However there is a responsibility on my part to continue communicating till I speak with him or the Lord closes that door of opportunity.

Please pray the Lord would allow me to show wisdom and understanding in how to communicate with Churches (particularly in this day when many of them are struggling) I have no problem leaving another voicemail on the machine but can’t help but think it isn’t the most effective use of my time or energy.

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John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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