Praying for the Women in Your Church – A Simple Guide

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION FROM PROVERBS 31
1. Make them women of noble character (31:10— ‘An excellent wife, who can find? For her  worth is far above jewels.’) Make our women virtuous and morally excellent. May they hate sin and love Jesus more each day.

2. Develop our women into diligent workers (v.17— ‘She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.’) Give them strength for their tasks and the ability to discern the best from the good (Philippians 1:9 – making the excellent choice).

3. Sensitize them to meet the needs of others (v.20— ‘She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.’)

4. Give them a proper perspective of the future (laugh and smile at it) (v.25— ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.’) Free them from undue anxiety and slavish fear.

5. Develop our women into faithful, wise and kind teachers (v.26— ‘She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.’) The word ‘kindness’ is the Hebrew word ‘hesed.’ It means covenantal, steadfast, loyal, unfailing, and persistent love.

6. Make those who have families faithful wives and godly mothers whose children bless them: ‘Many have done nobly, but you excel them all.’ (vv.28-29)

7. Cause our women to grow in their knowledge and fear of the Lord (v.30b – ‘But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.’) Give our women an affectionate reverence for You that would cause them to delight to do what you command.

8. Help our women to have a proper perspective on their outward appearance (v.30a— ‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.’) Free them from the tendency to compare themselves with other women. Liberate them from an undue focus on externals for God does not look on the outward appearance but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – The Dragon Lady

Lottie MoonFor much of my childhood, I thought there was one missionary…Charlotte (Lottie) Diggs Moon (1840-1912). Much later in my life I learned of her incredible impact in the country of China. Her words that follow highlight her love for the Chinese people: “If I had a thousand lives, I would give them all for the women of China.”

She used her knitting and sewing skills to interest Chinese women in the gospel. She worked tirelessly during her forty years in China and took only three furloughs. She actually died of starvation because she would not eat because the people that she was attempting to reach with the gospel did not have any food to eat.

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – The Mother of a Count Shoots Her Arrow

Nikolaus Ludwig von ZinzendorfHer husband died shortly after Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf was born.  In her Bible, where she recorded his birth, she wrote:

‘May the Father of mercies rule the heart of this child, so that he may walk honestly and uprightly.  May sin never rule over him, and may his feet be steadfast in the Word, then he will be happy for time and eternity.’ 

He formed the Order of the Grain of Mustard Seed.  Their purpose was fourfold: To witness to the power of Jesus Christ, to draw other Christians together in fellowship regardless of their ecclesiastical connections, to help those who were suffering for their faith, and to carry the gospel of Christ to those overseas who had not yet heard. He became the father of the modern Moravian Church.

Count Zinzendorf is best remembered for his beloved hymn, translated into English by John Wesley. Its two most memorable stanzas are mentioned below:

“Jesus, thy blood and righteousness; My beauty are, my glorious dress;

‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed, with joy shall I lift up my head.

Oh, let the dead now hear thy voice! Now bid thy banished ones rejoice!

Their beauty this, their glorious dress, Jesus, the Lord our righteousness.

What incredible blessing and good came to God’s church and His world through the ministry of a praying mother!

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – Polly Carey

William Carey

You may be familiar with the name William Carey (1761-1834), the father of our modern missionary movement. He was the man who said: “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” This saying was more than a life motto. He did both of these things throughout his life… expecting and attempting great things for God.

Carey was a man whom God used in a mighty way to draw many in  India to saving faith in Christ. Most of us are less familiar with his sister, Polly, who touched the world for Christ in a mighty way. She was an invalid and for 52 years she could only do two things apart from eating and sleeping. One was writing. The other was praying.

Friends propped her up and she wrote loving, inspiring, illuminating, encouraging letters to her brother in India. She also prayed daily for him. She prayed for his fellow missionaries. She prayed for the translation of the Word. She prayed for the new converts. She prayed they would grow in favor with God and men. She prayed they would learn how to rejoice in everything. She prayed they would live in forgiveness. She prayed they would be rooted and grounded in love. She prayed all of the prayers God taught her to pray for William and his associates in ministry. As a result of her prayers, great things were done around the world.

If you want to know a little more about Polly, click here to read or listen to Joni Eareckson Tada: http://www.joniandfriends.org/radio/2011/4/1/william-careys-sister/

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – Ann Judson

Ann JudsonAnn Hasseltine Judson (1789-1826) is the first lady of American missions since she was the first American woman to go overseas as a missionary.

She sailed with her husband, Adoniram, for Calcutta, India, in 1812. Ordered to leave India, they began their missionary work in Rangoon, Burma in 1813. Ann learned the Burmese and Siamese languages, did translation work, taught Burmese girls, and managed her household and cared for her husband during his 18 month imprisonment in 1824-25.

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)

Amy Carmichael

In 1895, this Irish lassie was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society to go to Dohnavur, India, where she served fifty-six years as God’s devoted servant without a furlough.

A major part of her work there was devoted to rescuing children who had been dedicated by their families to be temple prostitutes. More than a thousand children were rescued from neglect and abuse during Amy’s lifetime. To them she was known as “Amma,” which means mother in the Tamil language. The work often was dangerous and stressful. Yet she never forgot Jesus’ promise to “keep them in all things.”

Sherwood Eddy declares that “her life was the most fragrant, the most joyfully sacrificial that I have ever known.”

Here’s one of her most inspiring and challenging poems:

“Towards Jerusalem
From prayer that asks that I may be;
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod,
Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God.

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – Mary Borden

Bill Borden

In his book entitled Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day, James Emery White writes about an impactful event in his own life:

“I once ran across an old book that has become a prized part of my library. It was a biography simply titled Borden of Yale. It told of a man named William Borden who went to Yale University as an undergraduate and afterward became a missionary candidate to China. Heir to the Borden Dairy estate, he was a millionaire by the time he graduated high school. As a gift on the event of his graduation, Borden was sent on a trip around the world. Traveling throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe, he experienced a growing concern for the lost of the world. He wrote home to say, ‘I’m going to give my life to prepare for the mission field.’ After making this decision, he wrote two words in the back of his Bible: ‘No Reserves.’

“From there Borden went on to Yale University with purpose and determination. During his first semester he began a campus-wide student movement to meet regularly, read the Bible and pray. By the end of his first year, 150 fellow freshmen were meeting for weekly Bible studies. By the time he was a senior, 1,000 out of Yale’s 1,300 students were joining together in these groups. Beyond the campus, Borden founded the Yale Hope Mission to reach out to those on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. All of this was set in the context of his call to missionary service, which soon focused on Muslims in China. After graduation, Borden was offered numerous high-paying jobs, but all were declined in order to pursue the mission field. At this point, he wrote down two more words in the back of his Bible: ‘No Retreats.’

“Borden next went to graduate school at Princeton Seminary, where he was ordained to the ministry. After he finished his studies, he set sail for China through the China Inland Mission, stopping first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted cerebrospinal meningitis. In less than a month, William Borden was dead. He was twenty-six years old. But before his death, knowing that the steps of his life would take him no further, he had written two more words in his Bible; beneath ‘No Reserves’ and ‘No Retreats’ he had written No Regrets.'” (adapted from Mrs. Howard Taylor, Borden of Yale ’09)

Now, let me tell you about the woman behind this great man! Listen to her words on the eve of her son’s departure for Egypt where he was to go to learn Arabic and learn how to share the gospel with Muslims.

“In the quiet of my room that night, worn and weary and sad, I feel asleep asking myself again and again, ‘Is it, after all, worthwhile?’  And in the morning, as I awoke to consciousness, a still small voice was speaking in my heart, answering the question with these words:

‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…’”  The thought strengthened her for that day – the last day she would see him alive.

She wrote later:

“Each day, from his childhood, William and I had prayed that the will of God might be done in his life.  And, as we parted on the Mauretania, we prayed again.  I wonder if it occurred to him later, as it did to me, that we had prayed that he might be taken to China and made a blessing among its millions of Muslims – but only ‘if it be Thy will.’”

From childhood, Mary Borden had consecrated her William to the Lord. Have you done the same with your children?