By Volunteering, She Became a Prayer Warrior

June 10, 2020 • United States
Nancy Osborn of Falmouth, Maine, volunteers year-round with Operation Christmas Child as a prayer coordinator.

God uses year-round service with Operation Christmas Child to teach a Maine resident how to go deeper in prayer.

“Prayer is such a central piece of Operation Christmas Child. It supports all parts of the organization. It’s that underpinning to make sure everything else runs smoothly,” said Nancy Osborn, prayer coordinator for the Maine West team of year-round volunteers in the Portland area.

You Can Volunteer Year-Round

A resident of Falmouth, Maine, Nancy works full-time as an inventory buyer for a national retailer while she also volunteers year-round with the Samaritan’s Purse project.

Her responsibilities as prayer coordinator involve organizing a monthly prayer meeting for other year-round volunteers. She said that they spend at least 50 percent of their volunteer hours in intercession, while the other half of their time they research the needs of their area team in order to further fuel their prayers.

Last year, Nancy particularly had a burden to rally more prayer for the shoebox drop-off locations in their area. As a result, she paired a prayer team member with each of these sites so their leader could have a direct contact dedicated to intercession.

“It helped them to know that someone had their back,” Nancy said.

“The more we take things to God in prayer, the more pleasing it is to Him.”

She also helped these locations think through how they could incorporate more prayer into the drop-off experience. With her encouragement, many of the Maine West locations put up a Christmas tree—whether real, artificial, or a paper one on the wall—and encouraged people who were dropping off their shoebox gifts to write their prayer requests on paper ornaments and place them on the tree. When there were lulls in the drop off traffic, the teams on-site prayed through these requests.

In addition, Nancy’s prayer team is actively involved in the Project Leader Workshops hosted in the area as well. These events encourage and resource those who lead the Operation Christmas Child project for a church or group. Nancy’s team visits the sites and prays for all that will happen there.

“The more we take things to God in prayer, the more pleasing it is to Him,” Nancy said.

’I Wanted to Grow in Prayer’

About seven years ago, Nancy felt burdened to learn how to pray. At the same time, one of her friends had contacted Operation Christmas Child about getting involved. She was encouraged to start a prayer group focused on the project and invited Nancy to join her.

“I wanted to grow in prayer,” Nancy said. “How perfect is God.”

Two years later when Nancy’s friend was asked to serve in an area leadership role, she asked Nancy to be her prayer coordinator.

“I don’t think you have the right person,” Nancy said, feeling it wasn’t her strength. But she agreed to serve.

“I’d never seen myself leading any kind of prayer group,” she said. “Why would someone who doesn’t know how to pray lead a prayer group? It certainly didn’t make sense to me. Apparently, it made sense to God, so here I am following.”

Reflecting on her five years in the role, Nancy said, “It’s been a great growing experience for me, both learning how to pray and watching other people pray. Every year has been better and better.”

Answers to Prayer

Nancy and her team have been encouraged by the tangible results of their efforts: “We certainly did see quite a large increase in shoebox donations last year where we hadn’t seen much the year before.”

In addition, their prayers also helped bring a new student relations volunteer to their team and addressed health concerns of their members.

“I feel strongly about the importance of prayer,” Nancy said. “The more things we can circle in prayer, the more protected it is and the more benefits we see.”

She encourages people to consider serving on the prayer team regardless of how they intercede. “It’s not whether it’s out loud or inside, it’s just the act of praying,” Nancy said.

Although she never imagined herself in the role, Nancy said she’s found serving as prayer coordinator fulfilling: “It helped me become a prayer warrior.”

View roles available as a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas Child.