As believers we have all been called to “GO therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19), and we should all be a part of fulfilling the Great Commission! Prayer is one of the ways that we can join God in the work that He is doing around the globe from right where we are! As a family, we have been looking for ways to add prayer for the nations into our daily family devotion times. Today, I wanted to share some helpful resources we have discovered as we strive to make praying for the nations as a family a priority.
5 Helpful Resources for Praying for the Nations as a Family:
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Window on the World is a wonderful tool for families with younger children (like us!) who want to begin praying for the nations. The book highlights 92 countries and people groups where little is known about Jesus and the good news of the gospel. Each people group or country has a two-page spread with information about them (the perfect amount of information, without overwhelming younger children). At the end of every section they provide prayers prompts! A helpful tip: do not feel like you have to read all the information about each people group. Keep it simple! Read a paragraph or two and then pick 1-2 pray points and PRAY! Truly, I cannot say enough good things about this resource! We will definitely be using it for years to come!
If you’re children are a bit older, I would highly suggest Operation World (this is the adult version of Window on the World). It has a one-year prayer calendar that guides you through praying for every nation. Just like Window on the World they provide tons of up-to-date information for each nation as well as prayer challenges, and specific answers to prayer. There are so many ways you can use this book! Keep it handy to look-up different nations as they are mentioned in the news. Learn about them, and pray for them! In addition, the book is great to use together with you’re missionary prayer letters to provide you with deeper context and perspective. All around an invaluable tool that will aid your family in praying for all peoples! Check out the Operation World website for even more helpful resources.
Joshua Project is an incredible resource! They are specifically focused on unreached people groups (UPGs). And it’s free! Joshua Project works to gather and provide information about the least-reached and unreached people groups to encourage pioneer church-planting movements.
An unreached or least-reached people is a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.[Joshua Project] This means they are 2% or less Evangelical Christian and 5% or less professing Christians.
You can find tons of valuable tools to elevate your prayer life for UPGs on their website, such as: printable prayer cards, prayer guides and prayer calendars. Additionally, they have an app called Unreached of the Day! The app provides information about a different UPG to pray for everyday. Apps aren’t your thing? That’s okay! You can also receive Unreached of the Day information by email!
4. One Big Vision from The Big Story Series
The Big Story series by Weave Families is a wonderful study that opens your child’s heart to peoples around the world who have never heard of Jesus! This series is amazing! However, since we are focusing on prayer, I will focus on the second book in their series, called One Big Vision. This book will help your child learn about the daily lives of children from different UPGs. They will learn about their culture, their beliefs, and how they can pray for them. Download the series for free on their website, as well as free supplemental resources such as prayer cards, coloring pages and more! If you prefer physical copies of the books, you can order the series in paperback on Amazon!
This book was was written by my friend Sarah Keeling and is a great (and easy!), way to engage your family in prayer for the nations using 40 scripture-based prayers! Sarah’s book of prayers provides your family with an opportunity to spend a few minutes a day praying the psalms for the nations. She has also created a prayer journal for kids that teaches them how to read a psalm, identify attributes of God, then pray them back to Him through praise, thanks and requests. Also, don’t forget to check out her website for a free family prayer guide!
Ways to Use These Resources
These resources above will help guide you as you begin praying for the nations as a family. Together you can decide to pray for a different people group every day, week, month, etc. Perhaps even choose one people group that you would like to adopt in prayer for an entire year. Spend time investing in getting to know their culture, and looking up information about them. Keep up with their current events as you pray for them throughout the year.
One more prayer idea is to keep recent missionary prayer letters or letters from a sponsor children on your dining room table. Have one of your children pick which letter to pray over that evening, and choose 1-2 prayer requests to pray over!
Always Remember to Show Grace
Most importantly, always remember to show yourself and your children grace. Praying for the nations daily is a wonderful goal to aspire to. However, don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get there. That’s okay! Take it one day at a time! Remember, perfection is not the goal. The goal is to see peoples from every tongue, tribe and nations worshiping around the throne of God!
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,” Revelation 7:9
Let us join God in the work He is doing around the globe by interceding together as a family for people groups who have little to no knowledge of Jesus!
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