Tucking my daughter into bed, I asked the routine question, “Is there anything you want to pray about tonight?”. With the start of school on the horizon, I anticipated prayers like “for my electives schedule, “for my best friend to get my lunch period”, or “for so and so to be nicer this year”. Pondering for a minute, she answered instead…
“I want to pray for North Korea.”
Surprised at her request, I asked some follow-up questions, gaining a much deeper picture into the heart and mind of my child. As I listened to her concerns, not based out of fear but on knowledge of the situation, I realized why God deeply values the faith of a child. Bold, unwavering, and full of trust, she believed her prayers could make a difference. The cause wasn’t too hefty, too complicated, or too messed up for our all-powerful Creator.
My girl had just massively challenged my own prayer life. And possibly changed the world in the process.
In the busyness of life’s demands, I often have a microscopic approach to prayer. Never lacking in need, our sphere of people always has requests. Laments for sick friends or family, daily life situations for our kids, or personal struggles of my own, fill the empty pauses in my car, moments before I collapse into bed, or occasionally the wee hours of a restless night. Add in a few personal wants and desires, and my prayer life is full. These thoughts roll off my tongue with ease. Constantly at the forefront of my mind, they get attention before our King of Kings. I pray them often because they mean the most to me.
But in the mix of lifting up my own needs, I often forget to ask God for His bigger picture for our city, our state, our country, and our world. Instead, I choose to take a break from CNN, or turn off Twitter notifications when the world gets too crazy. Perhaps I even unfriend politically outspoken people from Facebook. I can, and have, too often become indifferent to the grandeur needs of this world.
Syrian refugees, unrest on Sudan, Christian persecution in closed countries, and racial division in our country. Oppressive leadership in South America, our own president and his advisors, the orphan crisis, and opioid addiction. All of these issues, God cares about, effecting people and world He created. Touching individuals He knows by name, every life matters in His eyes. And the responsibility to faithfully lift up each one of these issues, and others like it, falls on His people. Which means me and you.
We just have to care enough to remember.
The date we laid on her bed, praying for Kim Jong Un, was Sunday, August 13, 2017. The dictator had been flexing his nuclear power muscles all week, spilling rhetoric of potential missile strikes on Guam. There is no question that fear must have been capturing the hearts of people in that region, let alone the world. An uncertainty about North Korea’s capabilities and how, when, and where they would choose to show their prowess created much speculation and preparation talks. As we prayed for the dictator to back down on his threats, it never occurred to me that God would actually answer that request; truthfully, I doubted that on Monday, August 14th the heart of this man could and would be changed. But that is exactly what happened when my sweet girl was bold enough to ask for mountains to be moved.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Let’s pray this, not only for ourselves, but for our countrymen and strangers across the globe. Let us approach God with the faith of a child as it says in Matthew 18, bringing our mustard seed’s worth as we ask for earth-shattering change.
“Help us, God, to trust You are powerful enough to intervene.”
Let’s be a generation of people who ask God, with a collective voice, to expand our view, praying, not just for what is in front of us, but for mass global change. Let our compassion lead us to not forget the oppressed, the poor, the under-served, or the under-represented. Let us deeply know God’s Word, so we can fully trust His sovereign plan for our world.
The time is now. Who’s with me?
What is one national or global prayer that God has laid on your heart? Share it with us, so we can collectively start asking God to move these mountains for our good and for His eternal glory.