Thursday, January 05, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 5 (Day 5)

Today we begin a three-day focus on "Global Trends to Watch". The compilers of Operation World have wisely given us an aerial view of some bigger trends that impact more than one country. If you imagine our journey in a more literal sense, for the first few days we have been getting acclimated and settled onto the plane. Today, we begin a "fly-over" before we start landing at specific places on our journey.

Today, please read the prayer requests on pages 12-14 under the "Social" section of "Global Trends to Watch", then return to this post for our daily prayer time.

As you saw in our reading, the trends of globlization, terrorism, international crime, human trafficking, health issues, and technology are not limited to one country. Even what we sometimes call "Third World" countries are impacted by these trends, often disproportionately and frequently without any input. These trends are reminders that culture never happens in a vacuum; we can look through history and see example after example of cultural borrowing and influence (one of the biggest is the global reach of Alexander the Great and hellenization). As with so many things, this can be both a positive and a negative. The same internet lines that are used to facilitate trafficking and the sale of minors for sexual slavery are also used to bring the Gospel to otherwise "closed" countries as people access safe websites to discuss who Jesus really is. Therefore, withdrawal and disengagement are not the answers. Instead, we have to be aware that when we chose to follow Jesus, we took sides in a spiritual war - and the enemy will try to use anything he can to stop the spread of the Gospel. As Revelation 12 teaches us, he is angry because he knows his time is short, and seeks to make war against those who hold to Jesus' words as truth. As we pray today, let's keep each of these social trends in that larger context.

My prayer for today: Thank You Lord that You are fully in control. You are the God of history and You are bringing it all to a completion that will be summed up in Jesus. Lord, we see some pretty big things as we look across the world today. We see places where the enemy has gripped with strongholds that are too big for us - but not too big for You. Terrorism, international crime, human trafficking, and health issues like AIDS and malaria and pollution and so on are things that cannot be solved by simple legislation. It takes more than one country or person Lord - and we know that apart from Your wisdom and intervention we will see these issues worsen. Lord, please raise up people who follow You and hear from You on these matters. Anoint them with leadership that others will heed, and bring us to a place of victory. For trafficking God, please raise up a modern William Wilberforce who will be a voice for those in this modern day slavery. For health issues raise up Chrsitians who devote their lives to finding cures for Your glory, seeing that disease is a result of the fall and not part of Your perfect plan, but that You do have solutions just as You have led other believers to find in years past for diseases that we no longer worry about today. Terrorism and international crime seem to be flames from the gates of hell themselves; please raise up leaders in law enforcement on a global scale who will be honest and fight the corruption and crime and terrorism bravely. Your Word tells us that governments don't have "the sword" for nothing; instead, their authority to punish is specifically given to combat evil. Please give them wisdom in combating these evils. And Lord, globalization and technology are things that can be used for good or evil. Please raise up Christians who will redeem them for your glory. May the godly purposes increase and may the ungodly ones decrease Lord. Today we hardly remember many of the books that were written on scrolls over the centuries when Your Word was being recorded - may that be true of the ungodly uses of today's technology as well. Thank You for connecting the world more closely. May we use those connections wisely. We come against the enemy who seeks to destroy what You have created and stop the spread of the Gospel, in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

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