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Research results: what supporters want to hear about

Ian Hsu Feb 9, 2023

Prayvine has surveyed hundreds of people about what motivates and helps them to pray for their mission workers. Below are our top research findings, and how they translate into more effective prayer mobilization for your ministry.

What information do ministry partners care about the most?

Many mission workers communicate their prayer requests at the end of their newsletters, typically following a synopsis of recent ministry activities. However, our research shows that ministry partners value prayer requests above all!

Chart of responses to the survey question “When you receive a communicationfrom your mission worker, what type of information is most valuable toyou?”, ordered from most helpful to least helpful: 1. Personal prayer requestsand photos. 2. Ministry prayer requests and photos. 3. Reports on how God hasanswered prayer requests. 4. Spiritual encouragement. 5. Information about localcustoms and culture. 6. Invitations to partner financially.

This finding is wonderful news for mission workers: your ministry partners are eager to pray for you. They care more about empowering your ministry than evaluating its past struggles or successes. Serve them well by putting your prayer needs front and center!

Real-time vs. monthly prayer requests

Our research shows ministry partners have a strong preference for receiving a single prayer request at the moment prayer is most needed (over receiving a list of prayer needs on a monthly basis).

Chart of responses to the survey question “Which of the following would helpyou pray more often for your mission worker’s ministry?”: 79% chose the option“Receiving a single prayer request, at the moment when prayer is needed most”while 21% chose the option “Receiving a longer list of multiple prayer requestson a monthly basis.”

Sending a single prayer request gives your prayer partners a strong sense of focus, which can make it much easier to pray. Sending prayer requests in real-time communicates urgency and the reality that prayer has an immediate impact in your ministry. As a result, ministry partners are much more motivated to actively engage with your ministry through prayer.

Ministry partners value honesty and vulnerability

When it comes to the content of your prayer requests, ministry partners want to hear about your hardships and challenges. In fact, authenticity is nearly as important as immediacy in equipping your partners intercede for you.

Chart of responses to the survey question “What information would help youpray more often for your mission worker’s ministry?”, ordered from most toleast helpful: 1. Urgent prayer requests about something happening right now.2. Honest, vulnerable prayer requests about my mission worker’s hardships andchallenges. 3. Prayer requests about individuals whom my mission worker isserving. 4. Summaries and stories about how my mission worker’s ministry hasimpacted others.

As the apostle Paul writes, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

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