This International Translation Day Pray for Bible Translators

Celebrating the tireless work of Bible translators around the world

Each year on September 30, we celebrate International Translation Day. On this day, we pay tribute to the tireless work of translators around the world.

This year we want to recognize and honor the work of Bible translators. They play an essential role in connecting people from all walks of life to the truths found in God’s Word. Without them, people may never know about God’s love or his gift of eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ.

But translating God’s Word takes time, dedication, skill, and a lot of prayer!

The Heroic Work of Bible Translators

Who are Bible translators? Ordinary men and women with a passion to connect their communities to God’s Word. They are hard-working people who have devoted their lives to the task of translating the Bible in their native languages. Here are three reasons why we believe Bible translators are heroes:

  • Translation work is arduous. Translating the Bible is a complex, collaborative, and labor-intensive process. Bible translators must understand the sociocultural context of the original language as well as those of the language speakers they hope to reach in order to effectively communicate the message of the Bible across languages and cultures. Often this requires training, the use of special technology, proof-reading, quality assurance checks, and years of poring over the texts.
  • Translation work is risky. Translating the Bible can be dangerous for Bible translators doing this work in areas hostile to Christianity. They face threats of violence. Their homes are raided. They are constantly monitored by local authorities. Some Bible translators may even flee their communities and go into hiding.
  • Translation work is spreading the gospel of Jesus. Despite the arduous task of translating the Bible, and the many challenges they face, Bible translators continue to forge a path for God’s Word to reach every person on earth. Their life of sacrifice is enabling millions around the world to experience Scripture for the first time in their heart language.

How You Can Pray for Bible Translators

For two billon people, God’s Word does not exist in a language they speak every day. Bible translators around the world are working to translate Scripture into the language of every living person. Your prayers can help them do that. On International Translation Day, join us as we pray the following prayer for Bible translators:

Father, we thank you for Bible translators around the world. Thank you for the sacrifices they make daily to translate the Bible for their local communities. We pray that through your Holy Spirit, they will be strengthened so that they may persevere as translating God’s Word can often take many years to complete. For Bible translators working in hostile areas, we pray that you will protect them and their families from violence and every form of oppression. Finally, Lord, we pray like Paul in Philippians 4:19 (CEV) that you will, “take care of all [their] needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus!” We pray for every provision needed to complete Bible translation projects, so that every person on earth will have a Bible in their heart language. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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