Eddie Byun’s Praying for Your Missionary is a practical introduction to the life and ministry of our missionaries and how we can care for them through prayer.
Having served as a missionary and pastor himself, Byun knows that many missionaries feel like they are fighting alone. In response, he has written this book to move believers and churches to intercessory prayer and compassionate care for their missionaries.
Byun has organized his book into twelve chapters, each one ending with discussion questions, prayer points, and an action plan, which encourage readers to engage in further discussion as well as prayer.
Byun begins the book with a chapter focused on missions and praying to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the mission field. In Chapter 2, Byun presents the importance of praying that our missionaries be spiritually close with God. Byun addresses other topics related to the spiritual life of missionaries in Chapters 3, 7, and 8.
In Chapter 5, Byun addresses the topic of love. He exhorts us to pray that our missionaries would have a deep love for God and for others. He develops the challenges and importance of having a love for the nationals.
In Chapter 4, Byun explains the struggles facing singles as well as families on the mission field and encourages pray around these topics. He also expands on the challenges to unity in any mission team in Chapter 6. On a related topic, he discusses mission agencies and directs the readers to pray for them in Chapter 10.
In Chapter 9, Byun raises an important but overlooked issue—the role of sending churches. We need to pray that our churches would be fully engaged and supportive, especially in prayer. Byun exhorts believers with these words, “Keep praying. Fight to get on your knees. Fight to stay on your knees. And then learn to fight on your knees” (p. 123).
The final two chapters of the book address topics that are rarely discussed. Byun delves into the difficulties that missionaries experience as they return to their home country and endeavor to “end well.” These are crucial periods in the life of missionaries, ones often misunderstood even by missionaries themselves. Byun raises these topics with sensitivity and guides the readers in how to care for their missionaries during this final season of life.
I highly recommend Eddie Byun’s book for pastors and church leaders. As a pastor himself, Byun understands the challenges of leading a congregation and giving missions its proper place. He encourages as a pastor speaking to fellow pastors. His book would be an excellent resource for a sermon or even a sermon series on prayer and missions.
I would also recommend this book for missionaries. It is essential that missionaries realize how much they need prayer and in what ways. It is important for missionaries to speak about prayer. To that end, Byun’s book will serve as a valuable resource, whether you are looking for a quote, illustrations, or an outline for your next message. I would also suggest giving this book to ministry partners to encourage more prayer for your ministry.
Finally, anyone with a heart for missions will greatly benefit from Byun’s book. Byun provides an excellent introduction to missions through the lens of the life of a missionary, from going to the field to engaging in ministry to returning home. From these general topics, Byun offers a variety of insights about missions and ministry. He skillfully draws everything together as he encourages us to pray for our missionaries.
Eddie Byun, Praying for Your Missionary: How Prayers From Home Can Change the Nations (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2018), 188 pages, ISBN 978-0-8308-4556-9.