Can my prayers change the world?

Oct 02, 2014 | Dorrie Manu

Prayer tears down walls and opens closed doors

Back in the 1980s when I was in elementary school, my parents used to read many missionary biographies to me.

The stories I heard ranged from young American men willing to die for their faith in tribal areas in Ecuador, to a small British woman living in China in the 1930s and adopting orphans, to a Dutch man smuggling Bibles into the Soviet Union. I was so inspired by the courage of these men and women to go and share about Jesus in difficult places. I remember wanting to be part of what missionaries were doing around the world but feeling unsure of what to do at such a young age.

It was at that time that my parents started to encourage me to pray: to pray both for the missionaries themselves and for God to move powerfully in specific countries. The two places I always prayed for back then were China and the Soviet Union – two of the hardest places to share the gospel.

Now looking back, who could have imagined the doors being swung wide open for the gospel after the fall of communism in the Soviet Union in 1989?

And who could have predicted that today there would be millions of Christians following God in China after a century of spiritual darkness?

Only God could work in such amazing ways. I also believe that the prayers of hundreds of thousands of believers over many decades ushered God’s power to these two places.

Are you ready to get started?

Perhaps it is your morning prayer time, or you have gathered on campus with friends.
You take a deep breath and prepare to pray.
You even have your Bible open for Scriptural inspiration.
You desire to pray for the world and to pray for global missions, but you feel kind of stuck.

You wonder…

  • What should I pray for?
  • What are the needs around the world?
  • Can my prayers truly make a difference?

As I have sought to pray for the world and for the advance of missions around our globe, there are three key components that have helped focus and centre my prayers:

1. Pray Specifically

We can often pray in generalities because we are unaware of what is happening around the world in missions.  Resources like Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/) allow you to not only understand the political, economic and spiritual backdrop of the country for which you are praying, but there are compiled prayer requests from churches and mission organizations that allow you to pray very specifically for both the advancement of the gospel and the growth of the church in that country.

You can go to resources developed by Joshua Project (http://joshuaproject.net/) to help you shape your prayers for areas of the world that are truly untouched with the message of Christ.

Additionally, you can pray specifically for various groups during certain times of the year.  For example, you could tap into a 30-day prayer guide (http://www.30-days.net/) to pray specifically during religious festivals.

2. Pray Relationally

With P2C-S Global Missions, we have Short Term International Interns (Stint) who are participating in a year-long internship overseas. This year, we will have stinters in France, Desert Rain and Peru.

Ask a stinter to add you to their prayer updates. Getting personal updates allows you to personalize your prayers for the world because you are praying for a peer who is ministering overseas.

Additionally, you may want to choose a missionary whom your local church supports and request their prayer updates so that you can personalize the missional connection with your church.

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3. Pray Intentionally

As you are praying for Global Missions, pray for unreached campuses, cities and countries throughout our world. Our passion for our student ministry is truly to see every campus around the world reached with the gospel. Equally, we want to see movements developed that have depth and can multiply.

Pray for our student teams around the world, that we would see these campus ministries become indigenously-led, self-sustaining in personnel and finances, and also sending missionaries to other parts of the world.

As you catch a passion and fire to pray, mobilize others to join you in your quest to see our world changed. Challenge other students to join you in specifically, personally and intentionally praying for the world.

Mobilizing others will create momentum, accountability and excitement for prayer and for what God is doing around the world. It will also shape the hearts of those praying to deeper engage in Global Missions and be more readily available for what God’s individual calling is in their life.

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About the Author

Dorrie Manu

Dorrie has served with Power to Change – Students for 18 years. During her time on staff, she has helped pioneer our East Asia partnership, served on campuses in Ontario, helped re-launched our Montréal ministry and now serves on the Global Missions team. She is an academic at heart, possessing a Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation and a Doctorate of Ministry in Urban Transformation. Dorrie is married to Nana, an African tribal chief in Ghana, and they have a son named Kweku.

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