Praying for the Nations

My friend Kristi has been working through a study on Revelation and her lesson yesterday included one of my favorite passages:

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

Revelation 7:9-10

It thrills me to picture the great multitude surrounding the throne of God with its great diversity, yet single-purposed unity. Imagine with me people of every color of skin, and various shaped eyes; people of differing height and stature, hair color and texture; people of different nations and different languages all crying out to God in worship. The image is breathtaking to me.

Kristi’s lesson reminded me that I need to be more diligent in praying for the nations.

At the end of Radical, David Platt challenges his readers to an experiment – the Radical Experiment. One of the five components of the experiment is to pray for the entire world.

This is the step that you and I are most likely to overlook and yet the one that is most dangerous for us to ignore. In the gospel we have seen the depth of our inadequacy and the extent of our inability to accomplish anything of eternal value apart from the power of God. We are a planning, strategizing, implementing people, yet radical obedience to Christ requires that we be a praying people. (p.187-188)

He challenges his readers ever further with these words:

You and I live in a culture where we gather in stadiums and around televisions for hours at a time to watch guys run around a field with a pigskin ball in their hands as they try to cross a white line. We express enthusiasm, emotion, and affection for football and other sports, and it begs the questions, what would happen in our culture if the church prayed with such passion? What would happen if Jesus dominated our affections more than the superficial trivialities that garner our attention? What would happen if we spent hours before God praying on behalf of the church, the lost, and the poor around the world? (p.188-189)

It’s ironic that I quote these words the day before the Michigan v. Michigan State game, arguably one of the biggest games in college football ’round these parts. And though I personally have little interest in football, I understand Platt’s argument. We have so much passion and zeal for sporting events, music concerts, and even television shows, yet we fail to be passionate in prayer.

I am as guilty as the next person, which is why I am excited to be challenged to prayer for the nations through the Radical Experiment. Pastor Platt recommends a resource to help us to pray specifically for the whole world: Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation.

The newest edition of Operation World is in printing and will be available October 15, and according to the Operation World website provides these resources:

Operation World is the definitive global prayer guide that will help focus your heart and life towards God’s passion for His glory among all nations. With well over 1 million copies of past versions being sold, this all new 7th edition has been completely updated and revised by Jason Mandryk and his team and covers the entire populated world. Whether you are an intercessor praying behind the scenes for world change, a missionary reaping the benefits of intercession or simply curious about the world, Operation World will give you the information necessary to be a vital part in fulfilling God’s plans for all nations. Included in the updated and revised 7th edition:

  • All the countries of the world featured
  • Maps of each country
  • Geographic information
  • People groups within each country
  • Economic information
  • Political information
  • Religious make-up of each country
  • Daily Prayer Calendar
  • Answers to prayer
  • Challenges for prayer
  • Persecution index

Although we live in a small town, I am teaching my children to think globally in terms of the Church. Our small local church is just a tiny fragment of Christ’s Church. I am looking forward to getting this book to gain a greater understanding of the world and to sharing daily prayer time with my children.

What are your thoughts on Pastors Platt’s challenge to pray for the whole world? What resources do you use to pray for the nations?

In hope,

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About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.