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Do you ever feel discouraged as you read or watch the daily news? Your heart breaks as you consider Liberians dying from Ebola, terrorists killing innocents in Iraq, and a cruel government imprisoning Christians in North Korea.
Is there any hope for our world? What part could YOU possibly play in these complicated situations?
Patrick Johnstone, in an article titled “Prayer and the Nations” on www.operationworld.org, reminds us of our responsibility, the role that God has given us.
“The ministry of the children of God is not doing but praying, not strategizing, but prostrate before God seeking His will, not clever strategies for manipulating people and events but trusting in God who moves in the hearts of even His most implacable enemies. Through prayer Nebuchadnezzar and today’s dictators get converted, Manassah’s and today’s persecutors repent, and kingdoms of Babylon and Iron Curtains are torn down. We do not engage in ministry and pray for God’s blessing on it, prayer IS the ministry from which all other ministries must flow.”
But Johnstone is not the first person to emphasize the Christian’s need to pray for our world. Jesus Himself left only one prayer request, that we would pray for the “Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).
Johnstone goes on to remind us, however, that such prayers for our world can be dangerous:
“Prayer not only changes people, situations and even the course of history, but also those who pray! It is dangerous for the enemy and also 'dangerous' for you.”
“There is a price to pay to be a person who stands in the gap in prayer,” Johnstone writes. “That price may mean becoming an answer to your own prayers in giving time, finances and even going out as a witness in your Jerusalem (where you now live), your Judea (your own country), your Samaria (the other ethnic groups in your own country) or even to the ends of the earth. Our prayer is that many will give their whole lives for this most noble of causes – to obey Jesus’ last command in making disciples of all nations and so ready the Church and the world for the grand climax of His glorious return.”
Even five minutes spent in prayer for the world is worthwhile. In addition to using our updates as prayer aides, consider purchasing your own copy of Operation World, a prayer guide with praises and prayer requests for every country. You can also sign up to receive email reminders at www.operationworld.org.
This can be your year to help change the world!