A young mother had been attending the Bible study for several weeks. I noticed the stern look on her face when she rushed up to me after class one day. “If we believe what you teach we will have to pray for the whole world.” My heart went out to her. She wanted to obey God, but praying for the whole world seemed more than she could bear. Would God really call us to pray for the whole world?
First let us look at the nations from God’s perspective.
• The nations are like a drop from a bucket and are counted as small dust on the scales; behold He takes up the isles like a very little thing. (Isaiah 40:15)
• The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage and the ends of the earth your possession…”
• The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:10-11)
Second let us look at God’s heart for the whole world/
• For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
• First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
• I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Third let us determine who is called to pray. The following scriptures are written to the church…not just a few select people…and it is all by His grace!
• Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. (Ephesians 6:18-20)
• Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” (Matthew 21:13)
• Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess. 5:16-17)
There is a connection between earthly conduct and spiritual reality. Jesus said, “…I tell you once more that if two of you on earth agree in asking for anything it will be granted to you by my Heavenly Father. For wherever two or three people come together in my name, I am there….” (Matthew 18)
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