It would be easy to believe that with much of the world caught up with the pandemic, high level tensions between nations, climate change, global financial uncertainty, people movement between nations nearly at a standstill and the increasing fears for our future and our children’ s future – that everything around the world is totally out of control.
As we observe the situation, we can understand the increasing call for globalisation, one world economy, one world governance and on the fringes of that – one world religion. In other words, man’ s attempt at being God.
However, for the Christian Church worldwide, there is a totally different narrative. Whilst we are not immune from all that is going on around us, we clearly understand that for nations that turn their back on a Holy God and by that action tell Him they no longer need Him, there are consequences, and that of course goes for communities and individuals too.
We also know that God made the world, He made people in His image, that God so loved the world that He sent His Son to give us life in all its fullness including peace in a troubled world and that He still loves the world in 2021.
Our narrative today is that Jesus said that He would build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it – come pandemics, war, persecution or the accusation that it is irrelevant. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in and through His followers, that is exactly what Jesus is doing around the world.
In our work here at World Prayer Centre, we have the privilege of not only being involved in praying for local and national issues but also talking, supporting and praying with Christian friends around the world. In a very recent global call friends from Indonesia, Australia, Nigeria, The Philippines, North and South America, India, Greece, Jamaica, Egypt and of course the UK all shared that in the pandemic, the persecution, the national unrest and in some cases, because of these things the Church was growing and planning and praying for huge growth in the coming months and years.
One of our friends shared that through a Prayer Covenant they were taking the gospel to many millions of children worldwide. In South Africa alone, some 14,000 churches mobilised 160,000 young people to share the gospel with theirs friends. They have already had contact with over five million children with many thousands indicating they want to follow Jesus.
On another call, we heard how major prayer and mission events are being planned for 2021 and beyond. Global outreach days, Global prayer events, special calls to fast, March for Jesus in several countries. A global Family prayer room for 24/7 prayer for this year has opened and already nearly 40 nations are involved around the clock, around the throne, and around the Globe. National days of prayer for love, life and liberty are taking place, we could go on.
Today, we encourage you as we encourage ourselves that despite all that is going on in our world, in the midst of the shaking, the Church – Christ’ s body on earth – is increasingly being His light in dark places, His love to the unloved, His compassion to the down trodden by being His hands, His feet, and His heart.
Wherever you are in the world reading this article, we encourage you to put your hope in God. Put your hope in His love for you and put your hope in His Word – the Bible.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you can pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus and know His love, His forgiveness and His life, not only for this life but for eternity.
You can pray now, He is listening!
Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham, UK and he and wife Pauline network globally and are part of the International Prayer Council.