Praying the Word for the Unreached World
~James Poitras, Director of Short-Term Missions
What do Angola, Afghanistan, Bermuda, Algeria, Turkmenistan and the Gambia (among others) have in common? These are nations or territories that are unreached or minimally reached. How will we reach them? First things first. Paul said, “First of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (I Timothy 2:1).
William Carey, considered to be the father of modern missions, had an immense burden for the lost. As a young man, he worked in a shoe cobbler’s shop. He saved discarded bits and pieces of shoe leather and made a makeshift globe. He sketched in ink the outlines of the continents and various countries on his crude leather globe.
Carey’s tears of intercession for the world literally blurred the outlines of the nations on his handmade globe. He became a missionary to India and changed the course of missions’ history throughout the world. How did this begin? It all started through intercessory prayer.
Winning souls and opening nations to truth calls for combat. We are on a battlefield and have great weapons. The Word of God is full of power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife and more powerful than the strongest weapon. It cuts deep! There is nothing in creation that can hide from God’s Word. (See Hebrews 4:12-13.) God’s Word, when preached or prayed, does not return empty. It accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent. (See Isaiah 55:11.) It produces results, bears fruit, and wins victories. There is immense power in praying the Scriptures. God will keep His Word and do what He promises. (See Romans 4:21.)
We can effectively pray the Word over a lost country, a city, people, or even an individual. Let us try it!
SCRIPTURE PRAYERS FOR THE NATIONS
Lord, You said that we need only ask and that You would give us the nations for our inheritance, and the ends of the earth for our possession (Psalm 2:8). You declared that we could call to You, and You would show us great and mighty things (Jeremiah 33:3). I bring before You the nation of ____________________ and I ask that You would prepare the hearts of the people to receive Your Word. I know that Your Word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Let Your Word penetrate deep into the nation of ____________________. I am standing on Your promises (II Corinthians 1:20). You said that Your Word would not return void (Isaiah 55:11).
Lord Jesus, You said that the harvest is great, but the workers are few. You are in charge of the harvest. I ask that You send workers to the ripened field(s) of ____________________ (Matthew 9:38). You alone call men. Speak to their hearts as they make themselves available to You. I also place myself on the altar of sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Use me to be a blessing to the nation of ____________________ through my prayers, finance, and willingness to go.
God, You are building Your church throughout this world. The kingdom of darkness and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). I use the powerful weapons of the Word of God, prayer, and fasting to pull down every stronghold that hinders people in the nation of ____________________ from knowing God (II Corinthians 10:4-5). I come against Satan and all of his tactics to keep the nation of ____________________ blinded from receiving the gospel (II Corinthians 4:4). I use the spiritual armor that You have provided in order to combat our enemy. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness and stand with sure-footed stability because we have the gospel of peace. We take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit-the Word of God-and stand against the flaming missiles of the evil one (Ephesians 6:13-18).
I do not wrestle “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness” in the nation of ____________________, and “against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Lord, I lift up the nation of ____________________ before You. I believe that You want to do a work among us people. I pray that You put Your Spirit within them, take their stony hearts out of their flesh, and give them hearts of flesh that they may walk in your statutes, keep your commandments, and do them (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Lord, I pray that You will circumcise their hearts so that they will love You (Deuteronomy 30:6). I pray that they shall be Your people and that You will be their God (Ezekiel 11:20). I pray that they will know the truth and the truth shall set them free (John 8:32).
You came to this earth to seek and “to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Open their eyes so that the people of ____________________ will believe the gospel (Acts 16:14). Call the nation of ____________________ out of darkness into marvelous light (I Peter 2:9). You are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Lord Jesus, grant the nation of _______________ repentance and a knowledge of the truth so that the people may escape from the snare of the devil (II Timothy 2:25-26). I pray that the people of ____________________ will repent, be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the washing away of their sins, and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). You declared that in the last days You would pour out of Your Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). This promise is for all of us, including the nation of ____________________ (Acts 2:39).
I pray that the gospel workers in the nation of ____________________ would know You, be strong, and do exploits (Daniel 11:32).
Lord Jesus, I pray for open doors in the nation of ____________________ so that the gospel can be preached (Colossians 4:5; Revelation 3:8). Open a great door in ____________________ and stand against the many adversaries of the gospel (II Corinthians 16:9).
As the laborers go forth into ____________________, may they go in the power of the Spirit, for it is not by might, neither by power, but by Your Spirit that You will do a work in these last days (Zechariah 4:6). May their preaching not be with enticing words of a man’s wisdom, but be in demonstration of Spirit and power (I Corinthians 2:4).
As your Word is taught, it gives light. Even the simple can understand (Psalm 119:130). As workers in the nation of ____________________ preach, confirm the Word with signs following (Mark 16:20). Give them clarity of thought and sensitivity to the culture and to the needs of Your people.
I pray that the Word of the Lord may have free course in the nation of ____________________. Cause Your Word to find its way into _____________________ speedily, spread rapidly and run its course (II Thessalonians 3:1).