Distinctive Emphases

The Handbook of the World Mission Prayer League describes our history, life together, our common values & commitments, our shared faith, and our philosophy and priorities for mission and ministry. 

The following DISTINCTIVE EMPHASES are excerpts from our Handbook. A link to the Handbook of the World Mission Prayer League can be found at the bottom of the page.

Harvest Prayer

We are committed to pray, as Jesus commands his followers in Matthew 9:38 – “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Indeed, we are not primarily a sending organization. We are a praying “league,” a community of men and women who are committed to prayer as a key methodology for advancing the Gospel of Christ. Prayer is the working method of our mission. ¶18

Frontier Focus

We will remain prayerfully alert to the frontiers that surround us today, and the new frontiers that may beckon us tomorrow. We will apply our prayers and resources, in particular, along the frontier of the unreached – those peoples among whom an indigenous, missional, church-planting movement has yet to be established. We will apply ourselves further, as much as possible, along the frontier of limited access – unreached peoples among whom few global workers are serving, or traditional workers cannot go. ¶21a

missional Passion

We declare our passion for reaching the lost. We will share the gospel. And our sharing will involve more than our words. We propose sharing “ourselves” – that is, our material goods, our money, our service, our very lives. ¶20

We understand ourselves called with the Apostle Paul, to “open eyes” in order that men and women everywhere “may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus] (Acts 26:18). ¶218

Lutheran Heritage

We undertake our mission as Lutherans. We proceed from a variety of Lutheran synodical backgrounds, in which we participate gladly. ¶13a

Community Orientation

We undertake our mission as a community: lay and ordained, male and female, multi-generational and multi-ethnic. Our members are variously and wonderfully gifted for the task we share together. We appreciate their multi-textured gifts and work at encouraging one another in their exercise, for the cause of Jesus Christ. ¶13b

Lay Participation

We believe that God has called all Christians everywhere to involvement in his mission in the world. Each one has a role to play. Through its Personnel and Regional Offices, the Prayer League seeks to help its members hear that call and to discover their place of maximum participation. ¶71

Volunteer Service

It is our intention to accept new workers and send them into service without requiring money in sight to support them. We will step out in faith where we feel that God is prompting without checking that budgets permit it… This commitment means that we cannot promise specific levels of support to our workers. Our workers do not receive ordinary salaries or guaranteed benefits, wherever they may be assigned. They receive “allowances,” as God himself provides, to support them in essentially volunteer service. ¶138, 139

[W]hen obedient faith acts on the promises of God, we may also expect constant advance within the bounds of God’s will for worldwide missions. ¶148

Simplified Lifestyle

It is the Prayer League way to approach life and ministry in a lean, low-overhead, “simple” manner. We believe ourselves called to live and serve on a modest and sacrificial scale rather than an abounding one. We have received our resources as gifts from God; it is our responsibility to employ our resources as carefully and effectively as possible. ¶143


We will make it our ambition to depend upon God in prayer for all things – simply, intentionally, and trustingly. We do not have a “method” for securing support other than this. “Let your gentleness be known to everyone,” said St. Paul, “but let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:5,6). ¶130

No direct solicitation of funds is made. ¶133

We will make it our ambition to avoid indebtedness…. [D]ebt divides our sense of loyalty. Debtors must be responsible to the one who holds their debt. We desire to be responsible to Christ alone. “Owe no one anything,” St. Paul advised, “except to love one another” (Romans 13:8). ¶135, 136

Interagency Cooperation

[W]e understand our fellowship to be part of a much larger body – the Church of Jesus Christ around the world. Wherever possible, we will advocate interrelationship, interdependence, and creative partnership in the cause of the gospel around the world. ¶14


As for ourselves and our work, we intend to be mobile. We pledge ourselves to expendability. We will not ensconce our persons or our organization permanently in any of our areas of work. We understand ourselves as scaffolding; but when a building is completed, the scaffolding must be removed. In all of our work, we will plan for our own dismantling, in order to help build up the church in another area. ¶23

Distinctive Emphases
Mission Handbook