I’m bringing before the Throne an Indian state called Maharashtra today. 95,000,000 people live there, and I don’t know any of their names.
I’m trusting that the Lord does.
I know the names of a few people who live in India. Not many. But I don’t know anyone who lives in Maharastra. I do know that Maharastra contains 339 different people groups, and that about 73% of its pincode (postal code/ ZIP code) areas have no Christian workers. None.
So today I’m praying for those infinitely valuable souls in Maharastra, a place I may never visit in this life.
Why? Certainly, it’s not because my prayer list is short. Like every pastor’s wife—and every Christian—I’ve got more things to pray about than I have time to pray. Sick church members. Unconverted friends. Troubled marriages. Rebelling teens.
I also have plenty of mission work to mention before the Lord. People our family supports. Pastors our church supports. Gospel laborers our denomination supports. This is good.
It can also lead to a prayer life with tunnel vision. I can be easily discouraged when I don't see spiritual progress in the items on my list. And when I only pray for people and situations I know intimately, I fail to participate in the mighty and unbelievably huge work of God in this world.
So I make time to pray for these nations, places where I don’t even have a name or a picture to stick on my refrigerator.
I pray because:
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, The world, and all who live in it.”
(Ps. 24:1, NIV)
And because I have a command from my Lord:
“’The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)
But mostly I pray because, someday, I’m going to see what John saw:
“a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9)
And some of those saints will be people I prayed for.
In eternity, I’m going to have friends from Maharastra. They’ll be clothed in white and holding palm branches, in part because I prayed for them to hear the gospel and come to Christ. I’m going to stand next to them before the Throne. We are going to sing the new song of the Lamb together. We will.
So, today, I’m praying for you, my future brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.
See you soon.
Two Wonderful Resources That Spur My Prayers for the Nations
Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk ISBN: 1-85078-862-6
This book organizes the countries of the world alphabetically to cover 365 days. Each day has facts about that country and specific prayer needs as well as encouraging notes about how God has already been at work.
Dispatches from the Front produced by Tim Keesee and Peter Hansen, published by Frontline Missions International
This DVD set of films surveys the progress of the kingdom in six different regions of the world. Each film gives an overview of the political climate and needs in the region but focuses primarily on the Spirit’s work in the lives of individuals and churches. (Note: don’t necessarily begin with Episode 1; it’s about the sex-trafficking industry in Asia and, while valuable, it is different from the tone and focus of the rest of the series.)