I get to travel every day. I journal my prayers in a daily notebook. Prayer Journal (click here to get ideas or learn more) Each day has a heading and four sections– one for birthdays or other “memory days”; one for thematic prayers (generalized themes like “family”, “community”, “global concerns”, “culture”, etc.); one for urgent requests, and one for a region of the world–nations, major cities, local communities. On busy days, I send a short prayer and try to remember what I know, or imagine what I’d like to know, about that area. Some days, I have the luxury of time to look up information or history about that area– what is the language, capital city, literacy rate, average age, major religion, geography, economy, etc.
Our world is full of wonder, variety, crisis, and opportunity–I want to add all of this to my pursuit of prayer. It reminds me of several things:
- I am not the center of the universe– my issues and problems are not unique or exceptional.
- God has placed me here to interact with others–I can’t reach out and connect with 6 billion others, but I can become more aware of their needs and way of life.
- The world is a big place–seeing it on the screen via the internet sometimes causes me to forget that. And as I see how big the world is, I also need to remember that God is even bigger!
- The world is full of variety. Not everyone lives or thinks or worships as I do. Not everyone faces the same circumstances, the same temptations, the same struggles. Yet God sees and hears each one who calls on him. He doesn’t have trouble understanding languages and dialects– he doesn’t get culture shock. He is not an American Jesus, or a Brazilian Jesus, or a Korean Jesus. He’s not an urban Jesus or a remote mountain village Jesus, or a gated community Jesus. When we enter eternity, we will share it with amazing brothers and sisters from every corner of creation. He’s got the whole world in his hands!
- Many millions of people around the globe have never heard the Gospel– or they’ve heard lies and misrepresentations. Millions of other believers are being persecuted for believing in Jesus or for sharing the good news of Salvation in His Name. People in every nation, every community, are suffering.
- We are commanded, as Christians, to “go into all the world” and preach the gospel. I may not be able to travel to “all the world”, but I can “go” in prayer, sharing on-line, and learning about needs, as well as in sending out and praying for those who can travel.
- I am grateful for the opportunities God has given me– to learn about him and worship him in freedom; to travel and participate on short-term mission opportunities; to meet and share with missionaries, travelers, students, foreign workers, and others who share their culture and knowledge and perspectives; and for the global work of the Savior, and my privilege to share in it.
Time to pack my bags– I’m heading to Germany tomorrow!