“Nothing was more pressing than that the nations and multitudes who are marching to a Christless eternity should be saved. How I saw the agendas of men: so many and varied and all of such vital importance to them, but there was only one paramount agenda to God: The nations. I instantly realized that the entire task of the glorious triune God was completely and utterly devoted to this one supreme purpose for which Jesus had so freely given His life. All else was rather trivial in comparison and we all had majored on the trivial.” Michael Howard
A few days ago most Americans were fixed on the television as they watched the inauggeration of a new president. It was quite a momentous occasion to say the least – Parades, dinners, ballroom dancing, speeches, prayers, and so much more. So many travelled for miles to watch the transference of power and to possibly get a quick glimpse of the new president as his car drove by. So much is at stake when we think of the nations and as we think of the transference of power on that one day. There were riots and protests with those who were opposed to the new presidency. I was struck afresh in my own heart about the desperate need to diligently pray daily for our nation.
As a young missionary I lived for years on a ship that sailed from nation to nation. Although it was not always easy at sea, it was perhaps one of the greatest privileges of my life. While at sea for days with our ship bobbing up and down in the vast and seemingly limitless ocean, it would be easy to feel low or even seasick. It was during those times that I found it was a prime opportunity to seek to see things from God’s point of view. Undistracted by the busyness of the usual routines, I was able to look at God’s world and take time to hear His heart of love for the nations. His heart is full of compassion for the world and the desperation of mankind.
What does this mean to us as intercessors and as a people who want to grow in prayer? Our focus should also include the world, the nations (especially our own), and the cities around us. We are the ones who can impact our nation through our prayers. I’ve heard it said that history belongs to the intercessors.
God is looking to and fro across this whole earth to find those whose hearts are as His heart, those who will intercede for the nations. Will you be one to stand in the gap for your nation? God is looking for intercessors (Isaiah 59:16). Will you let God lay a nation on your heart for the purpose of prayer? God wants to give us His passion for the world. A key to our authority is when our heartbeat aligns with the heartbeat of our Almighty God. He desires to use each one of us in a powerful way to touch our own nation. Let’s discipline our lives to include pray for our nation and other nations on a daily basis. But how can we do this?
How to Pray for Your Nation
“The only condition that is to give worldwide power to this Gospel is prayer, and the spread of this 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.” E. M. Bounds
I encourage you to pray for your nation every day. As you grow in praying for your nation, let God burden your heart for different parts of the world. Ask Him to lay a burden on your heart for other nations, unreached people groups, and other regions of the world. You may want to pray for troubled areas of the world and people you hear about on the news – the refugees, earthquake victims, war-torn areas, and so on. God wants every one of us to open our eyes, enlarge our vision, and begin to pray for the needy world around us.
There are many ways to effectively pray. Some intercessors like to pray through prayer cards with prayer requests for different nations. Others like to pray over a large map of a country. Some like to use the book Operation World that has detailed requests for every nation. Each way is good, but the main thing is to begin. Adding countries into your prayer life develops your effectiveness in a powerful way. Your burden for the world grows, and you begin to see the world and life in a new way. Our own problems seem smaller when we focus on the needs of whole nations and people groups.
Here are several points of prayer for your nation with Bible verses to help you. During your time of prayer, God may have you focus strongly on one or on a few of these items. Be creative, be led by the Holy Spirit, and use the Scriptures in your prayers. Don’t think you have to pray through the whole list, but let God direct you by His Spirit. Here’s how:
- Thank God for how He is working in the nations – “How awesome is the Lord most High, the great King is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne” (Psalm 47:2, 8).
- Pray for unity in the body of Christ – “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:23).
- Pray for revival among God’s people – “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).
- Pray for your governmental and spiritual leaders – “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Pray that God’s people will walk in holiness and obedience – “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
- Pray for the fear of the Lord in your land – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
- Pray for God to send His workers into the harvest field – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Pray that the Church will reach out to the poor, needy and imprisoned – “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).
- Pray for the salvation of the lost – “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21).
- Pray that God will use children and youth mightily for His glory – “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children’” (Matthew 11:25).
- Pray for just laws and righteous moral standards – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
- Pray that the Word of God will be given its rightful place – “Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them” (Psalm 119:129).
- Pray that Houses of Prayer and worship will start in every major city in your nation – “These will I bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).
- Pray that God’s people will know how to effectively wage spiritual warfare – “Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11).
- Pray the promises of God in His Word over the nations – “The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory” (Psalm 102:15).
Praying for the nations has rewards that will endure throughout all eternity. This may be one of the most strategic things we ever do. One day we will worship God around the throne in heaven with people from every tribe and tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9). We will then realize the value of every prayer we prayed for a nation while we were on the earth. Are you willing today to pray daily for your nation? Are you willing to invest your time in a task that is so rewarding?
To help you in prayer, I want to give you a gift of 11 crafted prayers that will empower you for what God has in store for you this year. CLICK HERE or the title below to receive your gift called:
“While I am very excited about what is happening, yet as an intercessor, I can never forget that over half of the world’s population has never heard of Jesus. The task ahead is still enormous. As darkness covers the earth in the last days and darkens the people, the glory of the Lord will shine brighter and brighter in the face of a people who love Him absolutely and uncomprisingly. In this way, the whole world will know that there is a God who reigns in the Heavens and man will be left without excuse on the day of Christ’s appearing. The Spirit is still heralding a call for watchmen to join the great choir of intercessors.” Michael Howard
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International