That’s right, my friend, where there is Bible translation there is war. A spiritual war. Where there is support for Bible translation there are attacks. Spiritual attacks. Here at home, some Wycliffe Associates team members are struggling with major health issues—their own or of family members— and supporting friends.
During recent MAST Bible translation events, translators have fallen ill, gone to the hospital, been arrested and jailed, and some have even died. Many times, Bible translators have kept on working through physical pain, exhaustion, deep sorrow, and illness—troubles that were not normal and could not be explained in any way other than that the evil one was trying to hinder the work of putting God’s Word into the local languages.
Let’s look together in God’s Word. First, let’s look at some promises—we all need encouragement when facing trouble:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6 (NIV)
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27 (NIV)
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus Christ is the overcomer. Jesus Christ will fill us with His peace—in the midst of trouble.
Pray with me dear prayer partners—pray for each other, national Bible translators, the local church communities, for MAST leaders and facilitators, the technology teams, and the Wycliffe Associates staff and supporters—that we will all seek His righteousness with all our being.
Pray that we will all face these difficult situations without fear. Pray that we will all trust God, our Heavenly Father, to be there with us every day, through every distressing moment.
And let’s remember to thank the Lord Jesus when we discover that we have His peace “which transcends all understanding” right in the middle of the difficult days we will all encounter.
Scripture not only tells of our Father’s promises to encourage us, He tells us exactly how to prepare to face the enemy of our souls. Let’s pray through Ephesians 6:10-18 together—let’s put on the whole armor of God!
- Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
Pray that all national Bible translators, MAST leaders, and facilitators will arrive at their event filled with the Lord’s strength and power to translate God’s Word into the local languages.
- Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Pray that even before Bible translation begins God’s people will prepare their hearts for service and will put on the full armor of God to be able to stand during coming attacks and spiritual battles.
- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Pray that all of us serving together in Bible translation realize that there is great and powerful evil at work against all who serve the Lord Jesus and are working to expand His kingdom.
- Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Pray that we all, Jesus’ followers, will go to Scripture and prepare our hearts for the battle by following His instructions.
- Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Pray that all who are supporting Bible translation through prayer and giving and all who are doing the work of translation will go to Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life—seeking His righteousness so to be able to stand firm, hearts well protected, and ready to move forward to share the gospel.
- In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Pray that we all have faith that God our Heavenly Father is able, and will protect us His children from the evil one.
- Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray that each Bible translator will stand confident in their salvation and will be prepared by the Holy Spirit to handle the Word of God, to translate it, and bring the gospel message to their people in their own language.
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
As the Holy Spirit nudges us throughout our days and nights, please bring these prayer requests to the Lord Jesus so that God’s Word will become available in every language sooner than later.
In this week of thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to God for His strength and protection as we all—as prayer partners, workers, and givers in Bible translation—experience spiritual attacks. Praise Jesus, for He has overcome the world!
Praying with you,