Have you prayed for your country today?

EVENTS around the world today, and indeed from time immemorial, show that every country needs the prayers of its citizenry on a daily basis. For what country is without some challenge? For some, the difficulty is political; for others, it is social; and for yet others, it is economic. Whatever the form, prayer is called for.

Sometimes, we are tempted to believe that all is well with our own country, and therefore praying for it is superfluous. Should a nation need to be in turmoil before its citizens begin to pray for it? A saying in the local language in my country, freely translated, asserts, "When a community is in dire straits, the individual's private home then becomes no better than a bush." This means that when things are unsettled in our community, town, state, or country, every citizen should do something positive about it, lest one become engulfed by the trouble.

A few years back, wrong thinking and acting led my country into a civil war. I well remember the effort in prayer that individuals and groups felt compelled to do to cast off successfully the blanket of fear, hatred, and revenge. Since the war, things have remained relatively unstable, and this wakes one up to the fact that prayer for the country should be a continuing responsibility.

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Health and vitality in churches
August 11, 1997

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