|In the last seven days, people from 13 countries have visited this blog. In the last 30 days, I’ve had readers from 23 countries. In the last 90 days, the number goes up to readers from 46 nations. And not just from English-speaking countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, either. There have been visitors from countries like United Arab Emirates, Germany, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Venezuela, Ukraine, Kenya, Japan, and Jamaica. (For a complete listing, go to the end of this post.*)
Prayer is a universal language. People who care about prayer are not all Americans like me. Or if they are Americans, they don’t necessarily live in the United States. Those thoughts humble me. And excite me. And make me want know or at least pray for those of you from other countries who read Let’s Talk.
I wonder if you’d be willing to comment at the end of this blog? Maybe you could tell us something about you and how to pray for you or your nation. I realize that might be sensitive for some of you, depending on where you live, however, so I want you to know that I will pray for you whether you comment here or not.
A few years ago I wrote a simple Scripture-based prayer guide for the nations of the world (Pray! March/April 2004). I’ll include it here so that other readers of this blog can join me in praying for you, our friends around the world.
1. Be exalted among the nations, O LORD; be exalted in the earth! May Your ways be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. May all the peoples praise You, O God. May the nations be glad and sing for joy (Ps. 46:10, 67:2–4)!
2. Mighty God, send Your gospel throughout the world, not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction. Inspire new believers to imitate You, Father, so that even in severe suffering, they will welcome the message with supernatural joy. Cause them to become models to other believers so Your message will ring out and become known everywhere (1 Thess. 1:5–8).
3. Lord, You have said that Your house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Forgive us for failing to pray for the nations. Forgive us for prayers that are self-centered and hearts that are cold. Give us hearts of flesh! Give us the compassion of Jesus! Open our eyes to see the harvest fields ripe for harvest! Stir our hearts to intercede for the lost because You want all people to be saved (1 Sam. 12:23; Is. 56:7; Ezk. 36:26; Mk. 6:34; Jn. 4:35; 1 Tim. 2:1–4).
4. Lord, grant Your children perseverance to pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. Make us alert so we will keep praying for Your saints who minister in the harvest fields of the world. Help us not to become weary in doing this, clinging to Your promise that at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Eph. 6:18; Gal. 6:9).
5. We know, God of grace, that our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. We resist him on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters around the world, standing firm in the faith. We depend on You to restore them and make them strong, firm, and steadfast (1 Pet. 5:8–10).
6. Oh Jesus, we long for Your return! Help us to live our lives in a way that speeds Your coming! Lead Your people into repentance, and cause Your gospel to be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Then bring the end, when Father God will restore everything and send You back for us (2 Pet. 3:11–12; Acts 3:19–21; Mt. 24:14).
7. Omnipotent God, confirm Your message of salvation to those who hear it around the world with signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to Your will (Heb. 2:4).
8. Jesus, You declare that the doors You open no one can shut. Fling wide the doors to the nations so that Your message may be proclaimed freely everywhere (Rev. 3:7–8; Col. 4:3)!
9. Lord, thank You for making us to be a light to the nations so that Your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth. You cause the peoples—even kings—to go to where Your light shines in Your children. You determine the times set for the peoples and the exact places where they should live so they will seek and find You. Cause our light to shine before the internationals You bring into our lives so they will see You in us and give praise to You (Is. 49:6, 60:3; Acts 17:26–27; Mt. 5:16).
10. Sovereign Lord, we rejoice in Your plan to bring all nations to worship before You! How fitting that the kings of the earth will bring their splendor to You and to the Lamb, and that the nations will give their glory and honor to You as well. Hasten the day when we will join the throng of worshipers around Your throne—from every tribe and language and people and nation. Your kingdom come, Lord (Rev. 15:4, 5:9, 21:24, 26; Mt. 6:10)!
11. Holy Spirit, endow Your messengers’ words so that the faith of new believers will rest on Your power rather than on the wisdom of humans. Enable your messengers to proclaim the message of Christ clearly. Give them wisdom in the way they act toward nonbelievers and show them how to make the most of every opportunity (1 Cor. 2:4–5; Col. 4:4–5).
12. You don’t want us to be unaware of Satan’s schemes, Father. You have told us that Satan not only deceives individuals—he deceives entire nations! We take up the spiritual weapons You have given us on behalf of the nations. In Jesus’ name we demolish strongholds, arguments, and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We speak freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, in the strong name of Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life (2 Cor. 2:11; Rev. 20:3; 2 Cor. 10:4–5; Is. 61:1; Jn. 14:6).
*Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Macao, Malaysia ,Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela.