The Orthodox Church is sometimes thought of as not engaging in any form of missionary work. History does not support such a view. One particularly rich exemplar of Orthodox Christian outreach is the mission to the Altai region of central Asia begun in the second quarter of the nineteenth century under the leadership of Archimandrite Macarius (Glukharev) who was glorified amongst the saints in 2000 AD. Missionary work can only be effective if buttressed and supported by prayer. To that end we offer this translation of a prayer of an anonymous Altai missionary:
O Lord, Lord! Who didst lay down Thy life for the salvation of all men! As Lord of the harvest, send out many workers for the harvest.
To those whom Thou hast sent grant the spirit of prayer, the spirit of Thy love, patience and wisdom. Grant them to preach the word with much power unto the fulfillment of Thy Gospel.
May the desire of those who have wished to help us in the works of love that does good be strengthened and grow. May such as help us increase in number. Those who wish us well reward with Thy blessings. To the living grant health and length of days. To the departed grant rest eternal in Thy habitations with Thy saints. Forgive those who hate us or wish us evil, O Master who lovest mankind; enlighten their hearts and grant wisdom to their minds.
To all of us, redeemed by Thy Blood, whether we know Thee, or do not yet know Thee, grant the wisdom of Thy Holy Gospel. Hasten to call and unite all men to Thy one flock here on earth, and to abide inseparably with Thee unto the ages in the light of Thy Father and our God, to whom with Thee and the Holy Spirit be glory and majesty unto the ages. Amen.
To read more about the mission to the Altai see the Holy Trinity Publications title, Testament of Memory: A Siberian Life.