Back in January, my church went through a series about prayer. We devoted 21 days to prayer and different aspects of it. They asked if I’d write a devotional for one of the days so of course I said yes! I thought I would share what I wrote and hopefully inspire us all to remember to pray for our community, our nation and our world.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. – John 3:16-17
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
I think the very first bible verse I ever learned was John 3:16. The importance of it wasn’t lost on my then 8 year old self. God loves the world, including me. God doesn’t want me to die and go to hell, He wants me to live in heaven with Him forever. As a young child and a new believer, the simplicity of that message resonated and became the cornerstone of my faith.
The beginning of life as a Christian comes from believing that God sent His Son Jesus to save us from our sin. The next step comes from sharing that knowledge; understanding that Jesus’ coming into the world is more than simply a ticket to heaven for a chosen few; Jesus came to save a world that had become so covered in sin that it would take the blood of an innocent, spotless lamb to scrub it all away.
Jesus was God sent to live among His broken creation. The life He led was a 3-D example of how His children are to live. He gave us all the tools we need to be a part of His master plan, which includes making His love known to the entire world.
Right before Jesus left this earth to go back to His heavenly home, He commanded His disciples, which includes all of us who call Him our Savior, to go out and share His life-changing gift of freedom and salvation with the world. It wasn’t a suggestion or a favor, it was a command to ensure the world would know there is a God who created us and loves us and will never leave us, even to the very end of time!
The world is still full of brokenness and sin. So much of what went on during Jesus’ time still happens today. But the love God has for the world hasn’t changed. He hasn’t faltered from His holy desire to reconcile this sinful world to Him. And His command to us remains – go, teach and obey!
I encourage you to find a few minutes out of your busy day to pray for your community, our nation and our world. If you need a place to start, here’s a few suggestions.
- For your community – Ask God for courage as you go out into your day to be Jesus to someone. Is there a neighbor who needs to know that they are loved and not alone? Are there opportunities at your church that could use your skills and gifts to share God’s love with your community?
- For our nation – We are a nation whose motto can be found on all our currency and in many public buildings, “In God We Trust.” As believers, we need to live out that motto and pray for our nation to once again model that call. Pray for God to provide Godly advisors to our nation’s leaders. Pray for wisdom and vision and hearts that will make room for Jesus.
- For our world – Just like the disciples waited and prayed in the upper room before the Holy Spirit’s fiery entrance into the world, pray the fire of God’s love and presence will spread throughout every corner of our planet. Pray for the Holy Spirit to cover our world so that every eye will see and every heart will know the great I AM!
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4