How to Pray for a National Translator | Wycliffe Bible Translators

How to Pray for a National Translator

When it comes to the work of Bible translation, national translators are an essential part of making sure that projects are completed. National translators are local people God has called to translate the Bible for their language groups. These translators are connected to their community and highly respected, and they are often able to find words and expressions in their own language that match keywords in the Bible.

However, national translators rarely have a team of prayer partners in the same way translators sent out and supported by Christians in the United States do.

You can stand in the gap for them by praying for their specific needs.

Pray for the translators’ training, that:

  • Their years of training or assistance from linguists will help them understand the true meaning of Greek and Hebrew to relate Scripture in culturally appropriate ways in their own language.
  • Nothing deters the national translators from attending workshops and other training in biblical knowledge and translation skills.
Group of translators working together around a table with laptop

Pray for their work, that:

  • The translators will depend on the Spirit for strength. They usually are recognized as strong community leaders, expected to hold heavy responsibilities or go where they can find well-paying jobs (or do both).
  • The language community will not have unrealistic expectations of the translators.
  • The translators will not let anyone or anything distract them from doing God’s will.
  • They will have God’s wisdom in developing sustainable team-based relationships, and they demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in these relationships.
  • They find quiet places to work when necessary, away from other duties.
  • Other speakers will be patient and helpful to the translators.

Pray for their safety and protection, that:

  • They will have adequate housing and food, their other physical needs will be met and they will be spiritually strong.
  • They will be protected from illnesses and accidents, especially in areas where medical help is inadequate.
  • No one will provoke resentment, shame or hatred among or against them.
  • The translators will be protected from outsiders who would exploit them.
  • Fear will not hinder Bible translation, or force them to relocate, if they are persecuted for their Christian beliefs.
Man holding up hand-written Bible translation notes

Pray for personal spiritual growth, so:

  • The translators will make it a priority to fellowship daily with the Lord.
  • They will not fall into sin.
  • God’s help and wisdom will be sought in opposing evil.
  • They will know how to show God’s love at home in every circumstance.

Pray for their encouragement, that:

  • Others in the language community will encourage the translators in their daily translation tasks and provide support.
  • The community will agree on an understandable, dynamic translation.
Woman reading during a literacy class

Pray for literacy and Scripture use, that:

  • The language community will realize the value of their language and want to see it in a form that speaks clearly to them.
  • The community will seek after God and his truth, be open to the gospel and become followers of Christ.
  • Their churches will model aspects of their culture and be preparing future pastors, evangelists and teachers.
  • The translated Scriptures will be used in church services consistently.
  • Pray that new songs and hymns will be written using their traditional music patterns.

Pray for partnerships, so:

  • Cooperation among partner organizations can support the project with consultants, finances, computer supplies, text publication, etc.
  • Planning and activities can be coordinated to publish the first Scripture portions and eventually the full Bible.

The task of translation is difficult, and national translators face a unique set of challenges and sacrifices as they work. Your prayers truly make a difference in the lives of the people God is raising up to bring his Word to communities around the world.