It’s not enough to pray for those I know. It’s not enough to pray for Paris. We have a global God and Christ’s Kingdom is worldwide. We should pray for the world. But how do we pray for the world? It’s massive. It’s unknown. It’s beyond me. It’s removed from me. How do we pray for the world? Here are a few thoughts that could direct our worldwide prayers.
Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. In other words make the world small. There are better uses of google than googling your name to discover your online profile! Google “evangelical churches in Paris.” Choose one and begin to pray for them. I bet a pastor there would be thrilled to answer your email for specific requests. Sponsor and pray for one orphaned child in one country (www.calvaryglobalkids.org has some great kids ready to be sponsored). Choose one victim of terrorism and pray for their family. Pray for one country, like Nigeria. Pray for one group of people who have little knowledge of Christ. Go to www.joshuaproject.net for more info.
Use Scripture to form your prayers. I don’t know about you but when I pray for those I don’t know, my prayers become general, short, and weak. Praying scripture gives us specific requests for those we don’t know. For example try praying through Psalm 34 for Paris. It gets very specific, very quickly. Try praying the appropriate portions of Romans 8:18-39 for the families of the 5+ million children under the age of 5 who have died thus far, this year, from preventable poverty conditions. Find your favorite scriptural prayer (mine is Ephesians 3:14-21) and pray that it would be fulfilled throughout the world.
Pray that terrorists would be transformed by the gospel. You do realize that the writer of much of our New Testament scripture was a former terrorist, right? We are in danger of losing our awe of the gospel if we do not fully believe that God is still in the business of redeeming “Pauls.” That former terrorist wrote in Romans 2:4 that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Pray for terrorists to experience the kindness of God. That same former terrorist tells us in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of darkness. Pray for terrorists to be delivered from darkness into Christ’s light. Read through one of Paul’s letters with the filter that he was a former terrorist and pray for current terrorists around the world.
Finally — Pray for Jesus to be lifted up and glorified all over the world. You don’t know them, but you do know Him. Pray that He would be known throughout the world. Pray that his kindness and his love and his truth and his grace and his strength and his glory would be revealed through creation, through the Spirit, through Scripture, through personal witness, through dreams and visions to all people all over the world.
Pray for the world. It matters.