As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that we’re supposed to be interested in the world beyond ourselves. But the world is vast (well over 7 billion souls), and the needs are immense. How can we stay current with the world we live in and God’s work in it?
How about a global prayer plan? Our primary impact on the world beyond ourselves will be through our prayers, but trying to cover everyone everywhere everyday leaves us frustrated. To help traverse the world in prayer each week, focus on a different continent or region each day. Monday might focus on North America: Tuesdays concentrate on Europe; Wednesday visits Latin America and the Caribbean, etc. This does not mean that a tsunami in south Asia on Sunday gets ignored until “Asia Day” (Friday); allow for flexibility and spontaneous response. The prayer plan helps us pray with weekly regularity for countries in the news or Christian workers that we know.
Find a reliable news source that includes global issues. God at work in the world intersects with the stories we get in the news, so staying informed means learning about the events that are shaping lives all across the globe. A global news source helps like the BBC World News, CNN-world, or a reliable news magazine.
Choose a favorite web site. The home page of Christian organizations often features news related to the counties in which they work. Other groups cover a wider perspective, so setting our internet home page to some of these sites will introduce us daily to headlines, stories, and links related to events affecting Christians around the world. Some sites to consider include:
- Urbana (stories and links related to global events)
- World Watch Monitor (news about the persecuted church)
- World Evangelical (updates on issues affecting the church globally)
- Operation World or The Center for the Study of Global Christianity (data about countries and research on Christians around the world)
Learn to stay connected. Develop the practice of connecting to the world by observing things in front of us. The bananas on our table were grown in Costa Rica. A shirt was made in Sri Lanka. The basketball player on TV might be from Nigeria or Latvia or Venezuela. Observing these things prompts “arrow prayers” – the Sri Lankan shirt invites prayer for the Buddhist or Hindu person who made it The Nigerian basketball player brings to mind the Muslim-Christian tensions in the north of that country. The “global village” opens doors for us to connect to global realities in our daily routines.
Keep your eyes open. It will amaze you how God will meet you us in unique ways as you stay current the world. The scriptures referring to “all the earth” or “the whole world” or “all nations” will appear in your daily reading, and then you’ll pray for some far-away place. And then, later in the day, you’ll hear a news story about that place, or you’ll meet an international student from that country, or you’ll find a piece of clothing that was made there. It all serves as a reminder that we’re joining forces with the Lord of the Universe!