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About prayer

Some “help” to pray specifically for the work of Bible translation

On this page you will find four tools that can help you in prayer:

  1. How to pray for the Bible translation – a list of generic prayer subjects, but specific for the work of  Bible translation
  2. Prayer calendar – 30 prayer subjects, one for each day of the month
  3. The finish line – there are about 300 Bible translation projects that are currently being completed. This is generally a very delicate phase of work and requires intense specific prayers. Here we will periodically put some of these projects to pray in more detail (for those who wish, and can read English, this link refers to the Wycliffe page of origin where you can consult the complete list and download also the relative pdf).
  4. Adopt a people group – guideline on how to “adopt” a people without the Bible for whom to pray specifically and regularly.

How to pray

Bible translation is a demanding task and needs constant prayer support from start to finish. Translators have noticed, however, that special difficulties seem to surface when translations near completion. What follows is a sampling of such problems to help you in praying for those involved. The list is not hypothetical. Every item mentioned has occurred to delay completion of some translation

  • Pray for the stamina and health of translators, their families and their children.
  • Pray that scheduling of furloughs, administrative duties and other urgent tasks will not interfere with progress.
  • Pray that responsibilities concerning aging parents, education of children and family duties will not be neglected.
  • Pray for peace and guidance for translators having to leave the work due to health or family issues, and for local co-workers having to return to work or school.
  • Pray for translations being done in secret. Pray for God to protect the lives of those involved and their families.
  • Pray for readers to be available to give community checks on acceptability of the translation.
  • Pray for the funding needed to support the translators, pay the expenses, and publish the materials.
  • Pray for authorizations and approvals by church authorities and governments where required.
  • Pray that local churches will be fully involved and reach consensus on wording, writing and printing.
  • Pray that final decisions on use of key biblical terms will be acceptable to all concerned.
  • Pray for reconciliation of alphabets and alternate wordings, due to dialect differences.
  • Pray for availability of trained consultants so that translation checking and final approvals will not be delayed.
  • Pray for literacy workers to promote literacy and so relieve translators to finish the translation.
  • Pray for local enthusiasm for the completion and publication that will urge the translators on.
  • Pray against technical failures of computers, storage disks, copiers, printers and service items.
  • Pray concerning extreme weather conditions, like hurricanes and earthquakes, and the safety of manuscripts.
  • Pray against wars and insurrections that render it impossible to continue the work.
  • Pray for accuracy on the part of typesetters, who are often working with a language they do not understand.
  • Pray for proofreaders, that they may catch and correct errors that would mar the translation.
  • Pray for the mailing and shipping process, that damage or loss in transit, or delays in customs, will not occur.

Prayer calendar

Day 1: Pray that God’s Word would transform individuals, communities and nations as it becomes available in every language.

Day 2: Praise God for the technology that is available today, allowing translators to work more efficiently. 

Day 3: Ask God to provide ease of language and culture learning for those who travel to new areas.

Day 4: Pray that workers would be welcomed into new areas and trusting relationships would be formed.

Day 5: Ask God to provide more language surveyors, language development specialists and IT specialists so that the work of translation can continue. 

Day 6: Pray that communities would recognize God’s love for their language and culture.

Day 7: Ask God to raise up workers who have a heart for sign languages and who can specialize in this area.

Day 8: Pray that those raising support would grow in faith, strength and endurance as they rely on God’s faithfulness.

Day 9: Pray for unity among partner organizations who must work together to accomplish the work of Bible translation.

Day 10: Ask God to raise up new and faithful prayer partners for national translators who often lack outside prayer and support.

Day 11: Pray that the Italian church would become engaged in the vision of seeing the Bible translated into the languages still needing it. 

Day 12: Pray that governments would recognize minority languages and see the importance of mother-tongue education.

Day 13: Ask God to provide visas and permits for those working overseas, especially those in sensitive areas.

Day 14: Pray for God’s protection over missionaries’ physical and spiritual health, and for his provision of support and community.

Day 15: Pray that God would provide missionary children with appropriate and affordable schooling that meets each child’s needs.

Day 16:
Ask God to prepare the hearts of those still waiting for the Scriptures in their language.

Day 17: Pray for the planning and implementation of Scripture celebrations, as spiritual warfare often becomes more prevalent when translation work nears completion.

Day 18: Pray for political stability in the countries where translation work is taking place.

Day 19: Ask God to provide faithful nancial partners, and wisdom as funds are allocated to different projects.

Day 20: Pray that when a Bible translation project has been completed, the people would engage with God’s Word on a daily basis. 

Day 21: Pray for the realization of Vision 2025 — to see a Bible translation in progress in every language community needing it by the year 2025.

Day 22: Ask God to give language communities a desire to see the Bible translated into their language.

Day 23: Pray that missionaries would be a consistent example of God’s love and grace to the communities in which they are working.

Day 24: Pray for wisdom as expatriate and national translators work together to create the most clear, natural and accurate translation possible.

Day 25: Ask God for protection and safety over workers who travel to remote areas.

Day 26: Pray that once a language community receives the Word of God in their language, they would also reach out to those around them. 

Day 27: Pray that language communities would see God as part of their culture, rather than as a stranger.

Day 28: Pray that today’s generation would sense and respond to God’s call on their lives.

Day 29: Ask God to raise up quali ed teachers for the children of missionary families in the eld.

Day 30: Pray for unity among church leaders and language communities worldwide.


The Finish Line

JAMMADÍ – Brazil  – 300 people

The Jamamadí translation project was a challenge from the start. Bob and Barb, a couple from the U.S., began to work there in 1963 but for the first 27 years, no one in the community would repeat phrases to them. The Jamamadí believed that spirits could gain control of them through capturing their words, so learning the language was extremely difficult and slow. Another time someone attempted to kill Bob, but his revolver would not fire.

  • Praise God that after 27 years, the community was impacted by the story of Noah and the ark and 41 people made a decision to follow Christ. As a result, they dropped their fear of repeating words and the Jamamadí church was born!
  • Thank the Lord that on August 2, 2017, the Jamamadí New Testament was presented to the people. Of the 400 copies that
    were printed, over 200 were purchased! The celebration included a festive meal, eight choral groups and impromptu testimonies. The time concluded with everyone present singing praise to the Lord and hugging each other
  • Pray that God’s Word will produce abundant fruit in the hearts of the Jamamadí and also help them to distinguish truth from false doctrines in the area.

GBEYA – Central African Rep. – 200.000 people

The translation team is based in the capital city due to unrest in their language area. They have not been able to travel to the Gbeya community, which slows down the work.

  • Pray for peace so that the team can return to live in their homeland.
    Lift up the 70 literacy teachers who have discontinued classes due to the unrest; pray that classes might begin again
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to use Scripture portions in the lives of church leaders as they await the arrival of the full New Testament. Their positive support is key to acceptance and use of the Gbeya Scriptures.
  • Pray that some team members might be able to participate in two workshops: one to work on a Gbeya dictionary (this gives prestige to the language and enhances its use), and one on “Healing the Wounds of Trauma,” which addresses their experiences in the last four years of violence.
  • Lift up the translation team as they prepare the New Testament for printing. They are thoroughly checking the text, writing book introductions, and choosing and inserting illustrations. They would like to hold a dedication next year.

Adopt a people group

An even more specific and continuous prayer activity is to “adopt” a people group who have not yet received the Word of God in their own language, and to pray regularly and with commitment so that this may happen as soon as possible.

On the site it is possible to sign up and “adopt” a people group for whom to pray. Adopting a people group from your region of interest demonstrates your commitment to faithfully pray for them until they receive the full counsel of God in their language.
Becoming a prayer partner you will receive:
– a prayer profile for your people group,
– informative prayer resources,
– real-time prayer needs
– celebration updates from your people group as God answers your prayers!

The colors on this map represent the number of Bibleless languages remaining in each country.
The darkest areas represent the greatest need.