I will be the first to raise my hand and attest to the power of prayer. It changes things.
David Platt, the author of Radical, agrees. He even puts intercessory prayer at the top of his list of five things to never stop doing throughout our Christian walk:
Though the first one seems like the easiest, I have to admit I never prioritized and rarely even thought about praying for the world until I read David Platt’s list. It’s just so easy to forget other people are out there. And even easier to forget that our intercession for them matters. But it truly does.
If you want to be passionate and consistent in praying for our world in 2015, here are three ways you can start:
1. Pray for each country in the world
- How: Operation World offers various prayer lists to help you continually pray for the world. The calendar linked below allows you to pray for every country in the world over the course of one year by praying for one country per day. The site provides factual data as well as prayer requests for each specific country. It’s an awesome site.
- Why it’s important: With this prayer method, you are literally praying for the entire world. What an opportunity to grow connected to places you feel so distant from—and what an even greater chance to truly impact the nations through intercession.
- What to pray for: Peace from warfare, Christ-centered leaders, healthy governments and economic systems, that God would send missionaries to each country, that He would raise up leaders of the faith there.
- Link: http://www.operationworld.org/prayer-calendar
2. Pray for the world’s most powerful people
- How: In 2013, the Foreign Policy blog complied a list of “the 500 most powerful people on the planet.” The link below brings you to a PDF you can print off and pray through over the course of one year. Because there are 500 people listed, you’ll need to pray for two people per day until you reach Andrew Mackenzie (the BHP Billiton CEP in South Africa). When you reach Mackenzie’s name, you can start praying for one person per day.
- Why it’s important: This prayer list is so important—you are praying for the most powerful individuals alive (good and evil) by name. You may be the only person on the planet interceding for them at that moment.
- What to pray for: God to send Christians in their lives to share the Gospel with them, rest and peace in the midst of hurried lives, humility, honesty, selflessness, the love of Christ to dwell in them, safety, the ability to do their jobs well, Satan to have no place in their hearts or lives.
- Link: http://www.iahv.nl/files/The%20FP%20Power%20Map%20%20Foreign%20Policy.pdf
3. Pray for the world’s largest churches
- How: Leadership Network has created an incredible google doc that lists the largest mega churches in the world. The first link below is the main prayer list. You can pray through this list, one church per day, until you reach “North America.” Skip over North America, and come back to that at the end. Once you’ve gone through the rest of the world list, pray through the second link (U.S. mega churches) for the remainder of the year. This method is a bit more complicated because the google doc is constantly being updated. But that’s also why it’s great—it’s current.
- Why it’s important: This prayer list is so important because we as Christians need to be praying for other Christians—especially the ones with a large impact on our world!
- What to pray for: The mega church pastors to be rooted in the Word, Satan’s schemes of attack to be vanquished, truthful teaching to take place, physical protection, great things to be done worldwide through the church bodies, missionaries to be sent out from each fellowship of believers.