Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Post Articles

Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World

April 24, 2024 Books

Pray the World is a journey of uncovering people and places of God’s doing.  When I first I began as global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, I landed in lawless Somalia. I shouldn’t have been there, but after leaving, I wrote our then Secretary General, Geoff Tunnicliffe, a report that found its way into many email boxes.  That was the first story of what became dozens of Dispatches.

My agent, Mark Sweeney (he had published my first book in 1983), saw these Dispatches as a way of encouraging people to pray. His rationale was this: in our western countries there is so much which captures and holds our attention that we rarely think of, let alone pray for, other countries. Thus began this joyful adventure.

I can thank Janet Sweeney for helping me see that critical to each chapter is the travel that you and I are making together. I just happen to be the one on the ground in these many countries, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the dynamics of human life in many places and under a myriad of circumstances. But this is a journey that we take together.  As your eyes and ears, I listen to and observe the work of the Gospel as it upends societies, transforms people, and calls the most unlikely into service. In seeing and listening, our hearts then are turned to our Father, and in our conversation of prayer, we intercede on behalf of peoples and nations, ministries and vocations, doing what the Lord himself asked us to do: “Pray to the Lord of the harvest.”

Most chapters are located in a country. But as I prayed for the world, certain peoples, missions and needs surfaced which I felt fit within our global praying. You’ll note a chapter which tells the beginnings of World Vision, a window that helps us think about ministries which care for children and communities.   When I traveled with Ron Nikkel to prisons, I was reminded of Jesus’ prayer and our inclination to forget those in prison.  You’ll also see a couple of countries that I just couldn’t end at one chapter.

I encourage you not to rush. Each story unfolds as we feel the texture of ideas, listen to the heartbeat of those God is using, and observe the societal struggles of so many different countries. Verses from the Bible help to root me in the place or people we’ve just visited. Then as we read the prayers together, allow the intensity of our requests to be felt. The Lord wants and indeed invites us to ask of him, so let’s ask boldly. Let’s put the needs before him, with what the older Bible translations call “importunity,” meaning “insistent solicitation and entreaty.”

Now as we walk together, may our hearts bubble over with feeling, seeing and being.   As we see what the Spirit of God is doing in people and places, may we be joined with them in prayer.  Andy McGuire of Bethany Publishers asked what I would like to see from this book. It is this: that as you read it would cultivate in you stronger habits of praying for countries other than your own, becoming acquainted with ministries and people you hadn’t known, and then being generous in support and care for those who walk the roads of ministry in these many lands.