How to Pray for Those Who Have Received the New Testament | Wycliffe Bible Translators

How to Pray for Those Who Have Received the New Testament

The completion of a New Testament is cause for celebration! It commemorates the joy of a community crossing a finish line by finally receiving Scripture in their language. Each translated New Testament is the result of years of work, sacrifices, resources and fierce dedication by translators, community leaders and more.

A group of kids hold up the Kinaray-a New Testament.

But when a people group receives the New Testament in their language, there’s another celebration they anticipate — the day when they will finally have the Old Testament in their language too. As one translator in Ghana, West Africa, said: “Having the New Testament without having the Old Testament is just like having your raw bread without tea or oats. So you’ll be half-fed. To be fully fed and satisfied, we need the Old Testament.”

Prayer is an important part of Bible translation. Use these prayer points to lift up those who have just received a New Testament and are moving toward translation of the full Bible.

Thank God for:

  • Providing a New Testament to these people in their local language.
  • Giving the translation team the perseverance and grace to finish the project.
  • All the partners who prayed and gave so God's Word could be delivered to the people.

Pray for the community, that:

  • Their hearts will embrace these Scriptures as the way to know and please God, and that they will hunger and thirst for more from the Old Testament.
  • They will recognize books as a source of knowledge and will desire to listen and read for themselves, especially if books and literacy are not valued in their culture.
  • People who can read will read aloud to those who cannot, so everyone can have an opportunity to hear the gospel.
Man reads to community group from the Quechua Bible.
  • People who can read will overcome personal obstacles (e.g., pride, fear of embarrassment) to read aloud in public or in church services.
  • They will depend on God’s Word as their first source of wisdom and will memorize and use it prayerfully in every circumstance or temptation they face.
  • They will use the Scriptures to find culturally appropriate ways to worship and witness while avoiding syncretism with local religions and practices.
  • Those reading the Word will get the big picture of God’s sovereignty, character and hope for all people to know him.

Pray for local leaders, so:

  • Pastors and teachers won’t fear losing status or control because those they teach can now read for themselves. Ask God to help them fully embrace their role as teachers and doers of his Word as they transition away from being interpreters of a national or trade language.
  • They will learn good Bible study methods, looking to the Holy Spirit to help them understand and interpret meaning in context.
Bible study inside a church in Thailand
  • They will teach their communities practical ways to use the New Testament (e.g., finding books, chapters, verses and cross‑references).
  • They will find cultural examples to help bring understanding to certain passages.
  • They will have a healthy discernment and critique of alphabet differences and changes between the dialects of other translations.

Praise God that those who have just received the New Testament are able to engage with and be transformed by the Word of God in their language! Thank you for praying for these people groups as they continue to experience God’s great love and salvation.