Praying for the Nations

The Apostolic Prayers of Paul“When a child of God begins to get a real vision into the need of the church and the world, a vision of the divine redemption that God has promised in the outpouring of His love into our hearts, a vision of the power of true intercession to bring down the heavenly blessing, a vision of the honor of being allowed as intercessors to take part in that work, it comes as a matter of course that he regards the work as the most heavenly thing on earth—as intercessor to cry day and night to God for the revelation of His mighty power.” E. M. Bounds

After returning from 33 days in the Middle East, I saw the great need for 24/7 prayer and worship in all major cities around the world. The task is so great, the lost are in such desperate need, and we have the answer to every problem. It’s Jesus! As I was walking through a city of fifteen million on that ministry trip, I looked into the faces of the multitude. I thought to myself:

How can they grasp such a glorious Gospel when they believe such a great lieunless we pray for them continually?

Our hearts must be on fire, and our eyes must see the power of intercession for the multitudes in the valley of decision. For this we must have a vision of the divine redemption of God’s love for the lost. The harvest is ripe. And our tiny spark added to others will produce a huge flame of intercession. The glory of intercession and worship is so great. In his book, E. M. Bounds on Prayer, Bounds emphasizes the need for prayer for the spreading of the Gospel:

“The only condition that is to give worldwide power to this Gospel is prayer, and the spread of the Gospel will depend on prayer. The energy that is to give it marvelous momentum and conquering power over all its malignant and powerful foes is the energy of prayer… But mighty prayer is the one great spiritual force that will enable the Lord Jesus Christ to enter into full possession of His kingdom, and secure for Him the heathen as His inheritance and the uttermost part of the earth for His possession.”

It is so easy to get caught up in our own little world and miss the big picture of what God is doing worldwide. We used to live in Virginia Beach, and once in a while we would hear about shark attacks. But I doubt if anyone in our area knew this about these deadly creatures. There’s an interesting lesson we can learn from sharks.

A young man who dives for exotic fish for aquariums said that one of the most popular aquarium fish was the shark. He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it to a small space, it stays a size that is proportionate to the aquarium. A shark can actually be only six inches long and yet be fully mature. But if you turn a shark loose in the ocean, it will grow to its normal length of eight feet.

It’s similar for us as Christians. If we pray for only our own needs or only the small world around us, we won’t grow that large in our prayers. But if we begin to see God’s perspective on the world that Jesus Christ is Lord of all—and we begin to pray for the nations—we will grow into mighty intercessors with a global vision. God’s heart is for the whole world. He wants us to have a holistic vision of his purposes on the earth. He doesn’t want us to be like a six-inch shark! He wants us to be fully grown.

Let’s become great in prayer by praying for the nations. Let’s learn how to pray Biblical prayers for the nations God puts on our hearts. 

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
IHOPKC