When I found out that visitors to this blog come from 177 countries, I told you that I have been praying for you, because for years now I have prayed for one country a day.
I want to let you know as we start a new year how I will be praying for you throughout 2018.
If you live in a poor country, I pray for sufficient food and clean water for all of you, for housing and jobs and medical help. I pray for your leaders–of families, tribes, government–to care about your condition and provide conditions where you can thrive. I pray that any humanitarian aid from other countries will reach those of you who really need it. I pray if you cannot read, someone will read the Bible to you and that your heart’s soil will be receptive to the good seed. I pray you will connect personally with the God of the Bible, who promises, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.” I pray you will know this God loves you and wants to know you and care for you and that He has a better life for you beyond this one.
If you have had to leave your home because of war or famine or disease, I pray that you will be welcomed and cared for even in foreign places. I pray your family members will be re-united if they are separated, that in refugee camps you will be safe, make new friends, and raise your children in peace. I pray you will find the God who loves the alien, whose own people were strangers in a strange land whom He is bringing back to their own land. I pray you too can come home–and bring your new God with you.
If you live in a country where many gods are worshiped, I pray that you will be freed from the fear of trying to serve and please them all through the truth that there is only one God and that He loves you. I pray you will come to know the God who does not need to be approached and appeased through sacrifices, because He Himself gave the one and only sufficient sacrifice for all our sins. There is nothing left to add to His sacrifice; you may help yourself freely to His grace.
If you live in a country which forbids you to acknowledge a divine Supreme Being, I pray that you will not believe the lie that you are alive by chance or accident. I pray you will KNOW your life has meaning and purpose because you were created by a higher Intelligence, a personal Intelligence, and you are made like Him, in His image. I pray you will find Him through His Son Jesus.
If you live in a prosperous country, I pray you will be generous as your Father in Heaven is. I pray you will share your abundance with those who have little and that others with more abundance than you will share it with you. I pray you will not allow sufficiency to make you think you don’t need God. I pray He will show you that everything you are, have and do is possible only by His grace. I pray you will be contented in Him yet be earnestly helping others find Him, too.
If you live in one of the countries where there is a restriction on your freedoms, especially on your religious freedom, I pray that you will have freedom in your spirits to know, worship, and serve God. I pray He will bring you dreams and visions to lead you to the God who says, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted… Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great…”
I pray especially for women who are restrained from blooming into the free, equal, joyful women God designed them to be. I pray for all who are under the yoke of injustice, that God will see your suffering and hear your cries and bring you freedom in Him. I pray the God who has made Himself known to us through the Bible as the God/man Jesus will make Himself known to you in the depths of your heart as the One who made you, loves you and deserves your worship.
If you live in a country where you must endlessly repeat rote prayers to a God who is cruel and impersonal or indifferent, I pray you will know the God who lets you call Him Father and invites you into an intimate friendship with Himself.
I pray if you personally believe in the one true God, you will keep Him first in every part of your life. I pray you have opportunities to fellowship with other believers. I pray you will be filled with the peace and joy of the Lord Jesus and that His light will shine through you in all your relationships. I pray you will be good citizens, representing the kind and just son of God. I pray you will share with all you come into contact with the facts of Who He is and the great things He has done for you and for all of us whom He has made.