Praying for the Nations One Tag at a Time
My friend ‘Tom’ works as an Affinity Group Strategy Coordinator for the International Mission Board. That means that he directs teams of missionaries that focus upon unreached people groups from a particular region of the world. (For security reasons, I am not using his real name or disclosing his location.)
So, members of these teams might be living in Europe, North America, or other parts of the world but their focus is upon a particular people group and how to reach that group with the gospel.
I first met Tom when we entered six weeks of training together as Journeyman Missionaries in 1983 for the International Mission Board. After our two years of Journeyman service we attended Southwestern Seminary together, attended church together, and spent a lot of time praying together.
After graduation we both married and moved onto our careers. Although I knew where Tom and his wife were serving, I had not seen him since my wedding 25 years ago until he recently visited the DFW area. I arranged for him to preach one morning in one of our PBA churches that has a connection to the area where he serves.
Tom preached that morning from 1 Timothy 2, and began by discussing Paul’s call for prayers to be lifted up “on behalf of all men.”
So, Tom asked people in the congregation to turn to someone next to them and check out the tag inside the collar of their shirt. Where was the shirt made?
People began to call out a list of countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Honduras, and so on.
Then Tom drove home his point. “You can pray for the nations every morning when you to go to your closet to pick out something to wear.”
We often make things more complicated than they need to be, and prayer can be one of those things. There is such an overwhelming sense of need in our world that we can be paralyzed trying to figure out where to start. Who should we pray for and how do we pray for them? Here are a few suggestions:
- Pray for God to allow you to look at the nations through His eyes rather than through your own assumptions.
- Pray for the leaders of nations, that God would reveal Himself to them and that they would not hinder the movement of the gospel.
- Pray for peace.
- Pray for missionaries who work daily to take the gospel to the nations, and pray for God to raise up a new generation of missionaries.
- Pray for persecuted Christians around the world, that God would strengthen them and use their testimony to further His Kingdom.
- Pray for God to open up a connection for you and your church to a country of an unreached people group in the world.
And you can start in your own neighborhood. Go to the www.pray4everyhome.com and begin praying for your own neighbors, in addition to people around the world every day.
by John Thielepape