Personal Mission Field Stories

Ralph's Story

  • Ralph Elmerick
  • November 12, 2019

Prayer is the key to working our Personal Mission Field.

If we are to walk in the Spirit, as Paul tells us in Galatians 5.16, and advance the Kingdom of God, we must find practical ways to accomplish this on a daily basis. This is why I’m coming to appreciate my Personal Mission Field more and more.

The Personal Mission Field encompasses where I go – work, grocery store, hospitals, government buildings – and whom I engage in with – neighbors, relatives, friends, enemies, and the occasional shoppers in the stores, the store clerk, the nurse and patients in the hospital, my coworkers. It unfolds each day in the occasions, events, meetings, and circumstances of my life. These all present opportunities for seeking God in prayer. 

We must set our Personal Mission Field before God in our time of prayer daily. But what about when we come and go during the day?

While taking the “Parameters of Prayer” course in The Ailbe Seminary, I met a command which I have read over many times, and said, “Oh yeah, we should do that.” But things changed; those words took on the meaning God intended for us. Jesus spoke them to us in Luke 18.1, insisting that “men always ought to pray and not to lose heart.” Paul also told us in 1 Thess. 5.17, to “pray without ceasing”. 

I realized this is how to live out my Personal Mission Field completely, not only in the morning, but wherever I went. When I get in my car, I used to check for 3 things I must have wherever I go: my wallet, my cell phone, my glasses (I am over 50) – check that, 4 things: keys to the car.

Now as I start the car, I add the 5th thing – to pray for the journey. When I go through doors in my various as-you-are-goings, I say a prayer for where I am, for the people I meet, for the circumstances I encounter, and that the Spirit might move me to present the gospel. 

Recently my PMF added a new sector to my mission. My wife was in the hospital and then sent to rehabilitation. As I enter the facility, I pray for the nurses, aids, serving personnel, for the patients, that God’s kindness and goodness would shower down on them all; for patience and empathy to rain down from the nurses and staff to the patients. For comfort and God’s goodness, God to mend the patients, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Working my PMF and praying without ceasing are integral to each other. The two together have helped me tremendously to walk in the power of the Spirit, for we cannot do it alone. In the morning I pray this prayer: (from Valley of Vision)

            “May I speak each word, as if my last,
                        And walk each step, as my final one.
            If my life should end today,
                        Let this be my best day.” 

Being mindful of my Personal Mission Field, and integrating God’s command to us to pray without ceasing help me to know the power of the Spirit for the Kingdom of God.