I can hardly watch the news without it leaving tears in my eyes. There is so much suffering and hopelessness in the lives of so many people around the globe. It’s truly heartbreaking. The Lord has been stirring in my heart an urgency to pray for the nations.
Also, He has recently convicted me that this is something I need to be encouraging my kids to do with me.
Encouraging Your Kids to Pray for the Nations
I want my children to know that there are people in all nations, including our own, who desperately need the hope that the gospel provides. To understand that there are many needs that extend beyond what we see and experience out our front door.
I want them to gain an awareness that there are people living in poverty and oppression that goes beyond our first world comprehension. And that many of them are living without hope and without God.
The God of Nations
Our kids need to know that God cares about people in every nation – He is the God of nations. His covenant promise reaches throughout the whole world. Since the beginning, God’s plan of salvation has been for all people of every tribe and tongue who profess faith in Him.
Genesis 18:18 – “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.”
Psalm 67:2, 3 – “..that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”
Psalm 86:9 – “All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
Matthew 24:14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 28:19 – “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..”
Pray for the Needs of Nations
If we want our kids to develop a heart to pray for the world, we must help them understand the needs of people in the world. Here are some tips for helping your child learn more about the needs of other nations.
Salvation for Every Nation
The greatest way we can pray for the nations is to pray for the salvation of those who occupy them! This is the greatest need of each and every person on the face of this earth! We need to pray for the lost. We need to be lifting up the people across the globe. Those who need to hear and know that there is salvation, eternal life, and HOPE in Jesus Christ. Pray that people come to realize that Jesus is the way, truth, and life. Salvation is in Him alone.
Learn About Other Cultures
Take time to learn about other cultures with your child. This is something that I have begun doing with my children and personally, I find it fascinating! I love learning about people from different parts of the world. The languages, music, food, clothing, and beliefs. It’s interesting how we can appear to be so different from others. Yet, as I look more closely, the more I learn how alike we really are.
We use the prayer app from Operation World which gives us statistics, prayer points, and information about government and culture for a different country each day. This has also become a great way for us to slip in a quick geography lesson! As you pray, get out a map and find the country you are praying for.
Remain Aware of Current World Events
It’s important that we remain aware of current world events. Keeping yourself informed about what is happening in the world allows you to share these events with your kids and pray for them together. This takes some discretion, especially for younger ones. You can decide how many details to share using your best judgment. In the past, we have used this resource to safely inform our kids about current world events through the lens of God’s truth. But the main point is that you are praying!
Other Ways to Pray for the Nations
Along with praying for specific needs according to the culture and current events, there are some other specific ways that we can strategically pray for the nations.
Pray for Laborers to be Sent
Matthew chapter 9 says that as Jesus was going through the different cities and villages teaching and healing the people, he felt compassion for them. He turned to His disciples and told them to ask God to send workers who could proclaim the Good News to all the people who were ready to hear and obey the gospel of Salvation.
There are still people in the world who need to hear the gospel. We, as disciples of Jesus, need to continue to ask God to send His people into the harvest.
Pray Against Spiritual Bondage
As we have been praying for the nations we have also been learning about false religions that dominate the spiritual climate in different parts of the world. We need to pray against this spiritual bondage.
The bible says that Satan is the ruler of this world. He is a master deceiver and he is constantly on the prowl seeking those to devour through his lies. He is working tirelessly to blind the minds of unbelievers from seeing the light of the Truth. False religions are one of the many tools he uses in his cause to deceive. Satan is the true enemy and whom we need to pray against.
Pray for Government
Many nations are governed in corruption, evil, and oppression. We see in 1 Peter that the role of government should be to restrain evil and promote good.
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” – 1 Peter 2:13-14
We also see in 1 Timothy that we need to be praying for those in authority so that we can live tranquil, quiet lives in dignity and godliness. This then helps to bring others to a saving knowledge of the Truth.
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:2-4
Therefore, we need to pray for government officials of all nations.
- Pray that they would know God and serve Him.
- That God would surround them with godly counselors.
- Ask the Lord to open their eyes to His strategies and their ears to his wisdom.
- Pray they will govern in accordance with righteousness, dignity, and godliness.
- Also that they restrain evil and promote that which is good.
Pray for Persecuted Christians Among the Nations
God has placed His people throughout the world to make Himself known among the nations. Despite opposition, persecution, and for many – death, there are those who are courageously proclaiming Jesus.
- Praying for strength and wisdom for these Christians.
- Pray that they keep their eyes fixed on the hope that is waiting for them in heaven.
- Pray that they remember that their present sufferings are only temporary and can not be compared to the glory that will be revealed.
Prayer is powerful! When we pray we are connecting God’s heavenly resources to earth. We may never visit the nations we pray for or meet the people. However, we can be confident that we are participating in God’s work among them.