“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
If I asked you who you pray for most of the time the answer would be yourself. Our prayers are full of our individual worries, problems, needs, and desires. If we are praying for ourselves, we aren’t praying for others. In the book Radical by David Platt, the author challenges the reader to do five things, one of which is to pray for the world. There are more than 1 billion people without Christ that are in need of our prayers.
Jesus called us to pray for the world and those lost in the world. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” God wants believers to pray for everyone on earth together because He desires all people to be saved. How can we love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not even pray for them? Prayer is one of the simplest ways we love our neighbors near and far.
And it just so happens that today’s technology extends our memory, expands our reach, and unites our efforts so that we can intentionally do this for everyone on earth. What will God do as we pray for people we’ve never prayed for before? What will happen as we pray regularly for the world? It will be exciting to find out.
In the book Radical, David Platt talks about a book entitled Operation World, by Patrick Johnstone. Platt says this book revolutionized his prayer life more than any other book outside of the Bible. This book contains detailed information on every nation in the world, including statistics on the religious makeup of every country, updates on gospel work in every country, and prayer requests for every country. It also includes a prayer guide that you can follow, over the course of a year. That information enables you to pray specifically and intentionally for every nation in the world. You don’t have to buy the book. The information in the book is available free online (www.operationworld.org).
Prayer can lead to effects far beyond what we can imagine. What can your prayer do, as it is empowered by God? Just imagine. So the first facet of the radical experiment from the book Radical is to pray for the entire world in one year. Pray intentionally, specifically, and audaciously that God’s purpose to be accomplished around the world.
- Do you think praying for the world will make a difference? Why or why not?
- Which countries would you be willing to pray for?