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Eddie Byun: Praying for Your Missionary

Eddie Byun, Praying for Your Missionary: How Prayers From Home Can Change the Nations (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2018), 188 pages, ISBN 978-0830845569.

Dr. Eddie Byun is a man with significant ministry experience. He has served in pastoral ministry in America, Canada, Australia, and South Korea (page 1); he planted churches in two of the countries that I just mentioned. In addition to his pastoral experience, he has taught practical theology at a university. At present, he serves as the missions and teaching pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California.

Many churches and Christian denominations financially support missionaries. This is good and necessary, but missionaries need support in other ways as well. A crucial area in which they need support is prayer. However, in many cases they do not receive proper prayer support. There are a number of possible reasons for this. As the author of this book has pointed out, some people in churches do not know who their missionaries are (page 2). This may be because not enough attention has been focused on the missionaries that the church supports. Or, it may be due to the fact that some church members do not pay attention to the missions material that is available at their church. Another reason why missionaries might not receive proper prayer coverage is that the local church congregation does not see their missionaries on a regular basis, as the author says they are “out of sight, out of mind” (page 2). Still another reason why missionaries may not be adequately prayed for is that people do not know what to pray for them. Praying for Your Missionary supplies a wealth of information about the prayer needs of missionaries. The author has gathered some of this information from his interactions with missionaries (page 4).

The book consists of an introduction, twelve chapters, and an epilogue. At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions, prayer points, and an action plan, all designed to help the reader interact with the material presented in the chapter. This book can be used for personal study or it could be used for group study. Some of the chapters that are included in the book are: “Pray for More Workers to Finish the Mission,” “Pray for Incarnational Love for the Nations,” Pray for Oneness in the Teams,” and “Pray for Successful Ministry in the Eyes of God.” In the course of these chapters, Byun raises the readers’ awareness of the challenges that missionaries face, things that we might easily overlook. For example, the loneliness that missionaries can experience being in a foreign culture, missing family and friends as well as significant family events, such as birthdays and weddings (page 27). Stress is also a significant challenge for missionaries, many of whom have to deal with safety issues that most of us in the United States do not have to face (pages 26-27). In addition, the author points out that Satan will attack anyone who tries to preach Jesus to people who do not yet know Him (page 47). Missionaries are involved in significant spiritual warfare. As the book points out the challenges and needs of missionaries, prayer points are identified.

In addition to identifying the challenges that missionaries face the book also contains some interesting information about missions. The author, citing a survey done by others, tells us that 47% of missionaries leave the field within their first five years of service (page 29). Byun also informs us that one of the main reasons missionaries leave the field is strained relationships with other members of their team (pages 86, 130). One missionary told the author that he did not realize when he went to the mission field that so many of his relationships would be attacked, but they were, and quite frequently (page 60). I learned about another “window” while reading this book. I had heard of the 10/40 Window, which is the area in which many unreached people groups live. But the author also mentioned the 4/14 Window (pages 13-14). The numbers in this window refer to ages, those between the ages of four years old and fourteen years old (page 14). A study has showed that 85% of adult Christians in the United States came to faith in Jesus between these ages (page 14). Byun feels that it is important to reach people in this age range no matter what country they are in (page 14).

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Category: Fall 2019, Living the Faith

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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