“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you.”

(James 1:5 NIV)


Take time to pray for God’s wisdom and, if possible, gather others to pray with you.  Establish a regular prayer time for the development and growth of international student ministry in your city and beyond. 



Prayer as priority [1]

In all things we are dependent on God, so we begin with prayer … and continue in prayer. He changed your heart and gave you a vision. He can do it with others. This is God’s work in which we are privileged to be involved.

Pray for: your church leaders

They are busy with many concerns and many demands on their time. International students may seem ‘just another’ peripheral issue that they do not personally have the energy to address. Pray for them to catch your vision. For them to get fully behind you they will need to have a heart for world mission and to see this ministry as a strategic part of it. This may take time. Pray for them and let them know you are praying for them.

Pray for: your church members

Ask the Lord for people who already have a latent concern and interest to join with you in prayer. Pray for the spirit of hospitality and flexibility for all and a genuine concern for outsiders. Pray for those in your congregation who may have natural contact with international visitors, that they would also see the opportunities.

Pray for: local international students and institutions

Ask for a few significant contacts who can help you find out their needs and who can introduce you to other students. Pray too for university or college authorities. Pray for good relationships with those you may be dealing with, for openness to the church’s involvement with their students.

Pray for: Yourself!

You may need plenty of patience as you wait for your church to take on board the new ideas you are presenting to them. Patient prayer and example and a winsome persuasiveness will be far more effective in helping your church catch a vision than a frustrated berating of them for the lack of it! Ask that the Lord will help you keep the right attitude towards your brothers and sisters.


[1] These 5 points are adapted from Weston C.S.(2012) Welcoming International Students in your Church, a resource of Friends International (available from the author at: