Prayer Focus: Modern-Day Exiles

The world is seeing an all-time high in the number of refugees and displaced persons.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

Think of your home. It’s the place you eat, sleep, and connect with family. It might also be your workplace, your classroom, or your produce department. It’s where you retreat to at the end of a long day. It’s where you take refuge when you’re ill. It’s where you invite friends and loved ones when you really want to build a connection.

Now imagine having no home.

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he willingly deprived himself of the creature comforts of a permanent place called home. As a young boy, his family had taken refuge in Egypt until Herod’s death. As an adult, he traveled the Judaean countryside, relied on the hospitality of others, spent whole nights in prayer, and left town whenever he was rejected by that town’s unbelieving inhabitants.

Modern missionaries enjoy far more creature comforts than our Lord ever did. Yet in some parts of the world, they too experience a lack of permanent belonging. Many have evacuated Ukraine and have scattered throughout Eastern Europe.

Throughout the world, health regulations have complicated missionary life. If a missionary chooses, according to conscience, to not receive one or more vaccinations, they may be limited in which countries they can enter. A missionary might leave for furlough and never be able to return, or be on furlough already and not be able to get home.

This is to say nothing about the multitudes of refugees across the globe, Christian or otherwise. According to the UN, 26.6 million refugees roam the planet, and another 50.9 million people are internally displaced within their own countries of origin. Christian missionaries are uniquely equipped to spread the message of a God who invites us to dwell in his heavenly home forever.

This week as you pray at 9:38 a.m. and p.m. for mission laborers (see Matthew 9:38), intercede for missionaries longing for home. Pray that those evacuating Ukraine would secure lodging and provisions. Pray that God would give wisdom concerning travel decisions. Pray that Christians would spread the gospel wherever they are as they rub shoulders with other displaced persons. Ask God to give his workers a deep sense of belonging, even when they’re far from home, as citizens of his kingdom.

Pray with us:

Heavenly Father, please comfort, protect, and guide missionaries suddenly facing relocation. Give them a sense of belonging. Keep them from feeling ashamed of making the “wrong” decision as they weigh difficult options. Open their lips to proclaim Christ to their fellow sojourners and exiles.

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