By Lori Witham
I read an excellent description of what a “ministry” is the other day. The word “minister” in the New Testament is the same Greek word for slaves who, hidden from view, served by rowing down in the bow of the ship. Their job was to help move the ship to its destination for the benefit of others.
I appreciate this illustration because it is so true. The ministries that God has called many of us serving with PBT aren’t up “on the deck.” Fixing an engine, sorting out the team’s finances, scheduling planes, printing booklets . . . down in the lower bow of the ship, they are behind the scenes doing all manner of work, enabling the work of Bible translation to proceed.
But there is one ministry which even enables those other ministries to proceed, so that Bible translation (and God’s work all over the world) can proceed. That ministry is prayer. Prayer warriors hold a special place in the heart of missionaries because we know first-hand how their constant interceding before God’s throne is heard by God and answered.
One very special prayer warrior who holds a dear place in my heart is an elderly woman by the name of Florence Beagle, from a supporting church in Kentucky, who passed away in August. Florence had been praying specifically for my ministry every single day, year after year. Not only that, she prayed daily through PBT’s daily prayer guide, for other missionaries, and for many people in her church as they had needs. She was down below in the ship, silently rowing to enable God’s work to proceed.
Before I knew Florence had died, I had noticed I was having a tough time at work. Time and time again completing a project was more problematic than usual. When I heard of her death, it made sense. I had lost that precious interceder. I don’t understand how God uses believers’ prayers to move His work forward, but He does. So now I’m praying that God calls a few replacements to take Florence’s place at the bow. How about you? Have you felt that God has given you a special desire, gifting, to pray for others? Consider taking up this precious ministry. PBT needs prayer warriors for its work. I need them for my ministry.
Lori is the administrator of publications and assists with typesetting scripture.