God’s plans and purposes in this world are bigger than us.
His glory is too great for his praise to be confined to suburban America. God’s will and intent is that the praise of his name would be sung in every land, in every language, by every people and every nation.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy…” (Psalm 67:1-4)
God has given us a clear mission – to make his way known on earth and his saving power among all nations – and I’m convinced that fulfilling our global mission starts with praying for our global mission. Since January, we’ve set aside one Sunday a month to pray for the work of the gospel in a different country. Guided by our friends at Operation World, we’ve focused on praying for countries where Christians face significant persecution for their faith. This month, we’re praying for the nation of Somalia.
Somalia is located on the Horn of Africa. 99% of Somalians are muslim and live under strict shari’a law. Christians, especially converts from Islam, are increasingly likely to be murdered for their faith and face significant persecution if they are not. Somalia is often referred to as Africa’s “most failed state” and has been ravaged by war and anarchy for decades. Over 500,000 people have died. The average Somalian makes the equivalent of $282/year and many children in the nation are underweight. Learn more about the challenges they face by watching this video.
Here’s a transcript of the prayer I gave for Somalia this morning. Please take time over the next few months to pray as individuals and families for the spread of the gospel in their country.
Father, this morning we remember as your people that every Somalian in that video is created in your image. Our hearts break for the suffering so many are experiencing right now, including those who have chosen to follow you.
We pray for the economic, social and physical health of their nation. We ask you to bring order and stability. Uphold the righteous. Destroy the wicked. We ask with the prophet Amos that justice would role down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We ask you to protect women who are mutilated, raped, and abandoned. Have mercy on them. Defend the innocent. For we know you are a God of justice and we know you see, we know you are mighty to save. Provide medical care and physical health for their children and protect aid workers who are serving in Somalia.
We pray for the ministry of the gospel in their nation. Rescue Somalia from false notions of Christianity. Turn their hearts to you through practical demonstrations of Christ’s love in the lives of your people. We ask you to save men who once martyred Christians for their faith just like you did the Apostle Paul. Turn persecutors into pastors, Lord, and fill the Somalian Christians with unstoppable courage even in the face of death. Make them bold and persistent in proclaiming Jesus Christ and him crucified. Cause them to fear you more than they fear man.
We ask you to build and strengthen the underground church. Deliver them from persecution, especially when they meet in groups. Provide religious freedom. Give them more opportunities to make disciples and raise up more pastors to equip them. For those who are trying to follow you in complete isolation from other Christians, we ask that you would join them to a church family.
Give Somalians who have left the country and become Christians a burden to return and spread the gospel in their native land. Raise up an army of missionaries to invade their nation. We pray that your name would be hallowed and your will would be done in Somalia as it is even now in heaven. Give us hearts of compassion. Make us faithful to pray.
We ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN.