We will take time today to look beyond our own personal Lenten journey and to look at the wider global issues, to pray for them and maybe even to be prompted, to take some specific action.
A few years ago I had the privilege of going on a number of prayer trips to the Middle East. The first one will always stand out for me as one of the most memorable weeks of my life! There were seven members of the team, we were a disparate group and most of us had hardly known each other before the trip. Yet as we worshipped together, travelled round the country we were visiting and prayed over cities and sites, a deep unity and bond developed between us. While our hosts, who lived in the country, gave us background information at each place we visited, we took time to listen to God and to pray on our own, before coming back to the group to share our insights and to pray together. The impact of these trips on the team members was significant and some of them are now themselves living and serving the Lord overseas.
In the training and orientation, which we received before these trips, we were encouraged to remember six key points that are on God’s heart when it comes to praying for all nations and to focus on them as we prayer walked. Namely the glory of God (Habakkuk 2:14), hearts and minds (2Corinthians 4:4), authority (Matthew 18:18), expansion of the Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7), prosperity (Jeremiah 29:7) and revival (Luke 10:2).
In view of the events in recent years in the Middle East I would like to suggest that you choose one of the nations in this region to pray for today. Current information about events in any of these nations can be found on the BBC World website and cryoutnow.org will have more information on how to pray for Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.