praying hands modern cafe - 1200 | Wycliffe Associates | Accelerating Bible Translation

Are you feeling just a little frenzied today? We Americans put so much effort into having the perfect Christmas celebrations with parties and gift giving being high on our to do lists. In a recent devotional I was reminded of the Scripture about Mary and Martha. You know the story, it’s in Luke:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village
where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care
that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?
Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered,
“you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

What a clear picture of us trying to get everything ready for just such a festive gathering with so many things to do! We are so easily distracted, take so much time, then not finding time to be with Jesus. And it’s His birthday that we Christians are celebrating!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:
You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host
appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened,
which the Lord has told us about.”

So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby,
who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him,
they spread the word concerning what had been told them
about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:11-19 (NIV)

Here is Mary, her heart full to the brim, sitting with her baby Jesus, about whom the shepherds are so excited. They are telling everyone they meet all about seeing baby Jesus—just as the angels told them. And there is Mary. She sits quietly, thinking about and pondering all she has experienced and heard.

My first thought after reading over these passages? Imagine reading these Scripture verses for the very first time—having heard about Jesus, but not really understanding. The prayer of my heart became: Oh Lord, that your precious Words can finally be read and understood by millions more because, finally, they have the Bible in their heart language. Lord, help us be like Mary who sits and listens to Jesus’s every word. And, help us be like Mary, listening to the shepherds enthusiastically tell about the angels’ proclamation leading them right to baby Jesus.

I ask you dear prayer partner, please join me during this Holy Advent season in spending time with Jesus, reading His Word and then take some time to pray for Church Owned Bible Translation around the world. It is an overwhelming task and much prayer is needed. While our President and CEO, Dr. Tim Neu was in Israel, a video was recorded as he discusses Nehemiah and the wall. Let’s watch.

Are you ready to pray with me? Let’s begin by praising the Lord and thanking Him for Jesus. What an awesome God. He loves us, He gave His own Son for us, and is already listening to our prayers—prayers from the heart.



  • Please pray for the national Bible translators diligently
    translating the Bible for their people. There are many who long to read the stories around the birth of Jesus our Savior.
  • Pray also for national translation teams trying to work together but having to work alone due to COVID-19. Ask God to make a way for them to reach out to their team members and work together.
  • Pray for Translation Services work with launching the new Bible translation projects with workshops either in person or virtually. Pray they can provide each team with the technology for working together, including the TNT—Tablets for National Translators, and for the translation resources each one needs.
  • Pray diligently for the discipleship Directors interacting with national Bible translation teams and providing them with needed encouragement, assistance, and additional resources.
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be such a major health risk, please pray for the hundreds of people involved in and with Wycliffe Associates and Church Owned Bible Translation. Pray they’ll be kept safe and healthy doing all that God has prepared each one to do.
  • Ask the Lord to provide a hedge of protection around each translator and family during the time while they work on Bible translation.
  • As they translate Scripture, they are breaking into territory held by the Evil One. Pray the Evil One has no power wherever in the world Bible translation is happening.
  • Pray for the translation teams as they complete their Scripture translations to be able to have it printed—either using the Print On Demand systems or local printers when available.
  • Pray for the oral translation teams using the audio recording systems Wycliffe Associates provides, referred to as BTRK—Bible Translation Recording Kits.

Thank you, dear ones, for taking this time with me. May our God richly bless you, each one, during this Advent season.

Praying with you,
Prayer Coordinator
Wycliffe Associates