As I have been in regular contact with Christian workers from around the world during the past few years, I have noticed how frequently the subject of prayer comes up, usually in the context that it is so essential to the work of God’s kingdom and that realizing this, we need to be much more devoted to prayer.
This observation reminded me of book written by Wesley Duewel, Touch the World through Prayer. When I first read the book, some 20 years ago, I was struck by the boundless reach of prayer. I don’t think that I could better state the case that Duewel makes in the first chapter:
God has a wonderful plan by which you can have world-wide influence….
Through prayer you can accompany any missionary to remote regions of the earth…. Though prayer you can contribute to the ministry of any pastor or evangelist in a church or gospel hall anywhere in the world…. Though prayer you can touch a fevered brow in any hospital, mediating the healing love of Jesus….
God has given you a way to make your presence count, a way to be a true partner in His kingdom’s work if you really want to be…. He has planned for ordinary Christians like you and me to become mighty in prayer for the blessing and salvation of people and the reaping of Christ’s harvest among the nations today….
There is no reason why you cannot become so steadfast in your personal prayer life that Christ will count on you to help build his church and advance His kingdom in many parts of the world. Beginning with your family, your church, and your community, you can play a significant part through normal daily prayer that will make a difference, even in distant lands. (Excerpts from Touch the World through Prayer, pages 11-12)
Since Duewel wrote in 1986, there are so many more ways to be informed of prayer needs. Today we have Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and the World Wide Web. These can be used to keep “fresh” needs for prayer before us. For example, I regularly receive “knee mail” from our church, sharing prayer requests for people in our community and updates from friends serving Christ around the world. I receive prayer needs from workers among the Basque people group, found in Spain and France, where there is not one Basque-speaking evangelical church and but one in ten thousand might be a true believer. I have discovered websites like www.prayeurope.com and www.ipcprayer.org offer relevant prayer needs for nations, persecuted believers and world crises – news that you will never find in the mainstream media. As I scan the national and world news headlines, I am often prompted to pray for issues of the day. And I have a copy of Operation World, The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation on my desk for daily consultation and intercession. The technology and information available today makes it much easier to “touch the world through prayer” – if we choose to do so.
What is one way you will touch the world through prayer today?