Praying for the Nations

Posted: June 14, 2011 in Daily Blog

Last week the guy that put in the church’s irrigation system gave me a book.  Normally that in and of itself wouldn’t be a big deal, but this book was different.  His wife works for Biblica, and they recently just published an updated version of “Operation World” which is kind of an encyclopedia of all of the nations in the World broken down by population, important information, and ways you can pray for them.  It was huge and intimidating.  I love to read, but books that look like they would be more in place in a classroom than on a coffee table frighten me.  I really expected to put it on a shelf somewhere and never think about it again, but a funny thing happened… one morning I opened the book, just flipped to a random page and came across this: Botswana, South Africa has 100,000 aids orphans, and is second in Aids deaths only to Swaziland.  It made me really think about what hopelessness must be there, and how impossibly blessed I am to sit in my air conditioned office so unaffected by the troubles other people are dying from.  So the next day I opened the book again.  This time it flipped open to Fiji.  I think Fiji would be an incredibly beautiful place to vacation in, but this book pointed out that it is incredibly unstable and the racial segregation there has been largely ignored by those that could speak against it.  The next day was Latvia, in Europe it has the world’s fourth highest suicide rate!  Then I read about Rwanda, in 1994 800,000 people were killed in 100 days, genocide causes incredible division and hurt and they are in need of healing that will take decades to work through.  Today I read about Venezuela, a mid point for drug and human trafficking, with huge fuel exports but incredible inflation and 60% of those that live in urban settings live in slums… 60%!!!  It is noted for being the second most corrupt nation following Haiti.

I have really enjoyed reading about these places, and praying for them… today it came across my mind that I should plug these locations into Google Earth as I pray for them so I can actually see them on the globe too, I actually plugged all of these locations in and watched the Earth spin and drop in on these places… it was really helpful to see where they are located based on where I am, and it made them feel much more real and much closer than I have ever imagined them before… Humanizing these needs for these people that may live far away, but are living, breathing, human beings regardless, dealing with hardships beyond my imagination.

I never imagined this book would become something that I look forward to exploring every day now…  but I do!  It has not only changed the way I think about and pray for nations and people that I will probably never have the opportunity to see other than through a computer monitor, but it also connects me to them in ways that make it easy to pray for…

What things have been helpful to you in your prayer life?

How do you pray for foriegn countries, nations and people?


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