PRAYING FOR THE NATIONS
Isaiah 56:7 GNB “I will bring you to Zion, my sacred hill, give you joy in my house of prayer, and accept the sacrifices you offer on my altar. My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.”
Here, the scripture speaking prophetically says that God will bring us to His holy or sacred hill (or mountain) of Zion, which is symbolic of the perfect church; and then make us joyful or full of strength (Neh. 8:10) in the house of prayer for His temple (the church 2 Cor. 6:16) will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
God’s commission for the church is the discipleship of all nations and this will be accomplished firstly and foundationally through the church praying for the nations.
If we do not pray for and through prayer break and rule the nations we will never be able to disciple them.
So, we must pray for our nation in which we reside (or are nationals of) and for other nations, as led by the Spirit, on a consistent and systematic basis making praying for the nation the first priority of our prayers when we pray together collectively:
1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (3) This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, (4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Observe that God answers prayers for the nation at 3 levels:
1. To cause us to lead a quiet and peaceful life.
2. To cause men to be saved.
3. To cause the saved men to come to the knowledge of the truth (the complete exact knowledge of the fullness of Christ Eph. 4.13).
Furthermore, we see that it is the degree to which we pray effectually and fervently for the nation that will determine the degree to which we will see the manifestation of these 3 things.
In other words the great commission of the evangelization and discipleship of the nation is dependent on how effectively we pray for the nation.
Furthermore, as we, God’s people are blessed both spiritually and physically we will cause our nations to be exalted:
Proverbs 11:10-11 ESV: when it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness. (11) By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
Consequently, God is sending out a clarion call to the church to get involved in systematic, consistent, effectual, fervent prayer for the nations of the earth and to grow spiritually into the perfection and fullness of Christ, so she can fulfill her commission of the evangelization and discipleship of every tribe, tongue and kindred and so close this age:
Matthew 28:19-20 MKJV: Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 24:14 MKJV: and this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all nations. And then the end shall come.
Hitherto, in most churches praying for the nation has only been done sporadically or in times of obvious national danger or problems; however, God is now calling us to pray for the nation for at least one hour every week with all types of prayer in the Spirit with travail (See our book ‘practical guide to prayer’ for details) to give spiritual birth and/or change to our leaders and people and thereby, as it were, to birth new nations spiritually that will do the will of God:
Isaiah 66:8 ESV: Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children.
Galatians 4:19 AMP: My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you,
As we do this, we will either change or remove bad leaders and so give the nation good leaders that will cause the will of God to be done in the nation:
Psalms 144:11-15 KJV: (11) Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: (12) That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters may be as corner stones, polished [after] the similutude of a palace:(13) [That] our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: [that] our sheep may bring forth¬¨‚Ä† thousands and ten thousands in our streets: (14) [That] our oxen [may be] strong to labour; [that there be] no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. (15) Happy [is that] people, that is in such a case: [yea], happy [is that] people, whose God [is] the LORD.
Leaders can be:
a. Wicked: like Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1-4), Belteshazzer (Dan. 5) and Pharaoh (Ex.7-14).
b. Benevolent: like Darius (Dan. 6), Cyrus (Ezr. 1, Is 44:28-45:4) and Ahasuerus (Est. 1-12).
c. Godly: like Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29-32), Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17-20) and David (1 Sam. 17-2 Sam.24).
As we pray for leaders with all kinds of prayer in the Spirit with travail, we can change them from being wicked, to becoming benevolent, and then finally get them born again to make them godly.
For instance, God changed Nebuchadnezzar from being wicked to least being benevolent if not godly (Dan. 4:34-37).
However, if they do not respond positively to the dealings of God as we pray for them then God will remove them like He did with Belteshazzer (Dan. 5:25-30), to cause His will to be done in the nation:
Psalms 75:7 MKJV: but God is the judge; He puts down one and sets up another.
Daniel 2:20-21 MKJV: Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. (21) And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
So, we should arise and start praying for our nations consistently, systematically, effectually and fervently with travailing prayer in the Spirit in order to fulfill our destiny as a house of prayer for all nations!