How to pray for unreached nations and people groups
Persistent, intelligent, intensive and focused intercession is the single largest element that is lacking in reaching the unreached nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our hope that we will grow this year in our practice of fervent prayer for those for whom Christ died. In this journal you will find specific prayer requests each day for a nation, US state or unreached people group. The following are some general prayer guidelines that will apply to any nation or group:
• Pray for the most influential leaders of that nation/group, that The Holy Spirit will take away their spiritual blindness (2 Cor.4:4).
• Pray for open doors so that missionaries will be able to take the Gospel to that group (Ps.2:8; Col.4:3; Matt.9:37-38).
• Pray for the protection and safety of missionaries and other workers, for wisdom and the anointing by the Holy Spirit in order to do their work, unity among the workers and divine love for the unreached (2 Chron.16:9; Ps.34:7; Ps.91; Eph.1:17-19; Zech.4:6; John 17).
• Pray for the unsaved to be convicted of sin and that this will drive them to search for the peace and redemption that there is in Christ.
• Pray that the Spirit of the Lord will prepare their hearts to receive the Gospel when they hear it.
• Pray for supernatural and extraordinary manifestations of God among such groups, especially Muslims (revelations, dreams, visions) (Acts 2:19; 4:30; Heb.2:4). Thirty-five per cent of Turkish Muslims who have become converted testify that their conversion was preceded by visions, dreams or even a visit from angels.
• Pray that the Spirit of God will raise people from that unreached group to build a strong church among their own people.
• Pray for the development of leadership in such groups and churches.
• Pray for perseverance despite persecution. Pray that whole families will become converted - it makes it a lot easier for the converts to remain standing. (Acts 16:33)
Some abbreviations and terms
HDI Rank (Human Development Index Ranking) is a composite of data reflecting measures of life expectancy at birth, literacy, education and standard of living. There are figures for 182 countries, taken from the 2009 UN Human Development Report, where each country is ranked according to its assigned HDI. A higher number indicates a nation more undeveloped in these areas.
Ann Growth (Annual Growth) is the growth of a religion over a period of a year, either positive or negative.
Unreached people is a people of similar language and culture where the percentage of believing Christians is so small that they are unable to evangelize their own people without outside (cross-cultural) assistance.
Christian indicates anyone who professes to be Christian. The term embraces all traditions and confessions of Christianity and is no indicator of the degree of commitment or theological orthodoxy. The primary emphasis utilized is that of recognizing those who call themselves Christian.
Evangelicals are all who emphasize and adhere to all four of the following:
1 - The Lord Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation through faith in Him, as validated by His crucifixion and resurrection.
2 - Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
3 - Recognition of the Bible as the inspired Word of God and as the ultimate basis and authority for faith and Christian living.
4 - Commitment to biblical witness, evangelism and missions that brings others to faith in Christ.
Country Information taken from Operation World
Used by permission of Biblica US, Inc.
The statistical and prayer information about the nations was obtained from Operation World. The data contained in this journal is but a small fraction of the information available on prayer for the nations. If you desire to go deeper in your prayer for the world, go to their website at www.operationworld.org. There you will find resources for prayer in abundance.
Information for prayer for US states came from the 2012 Missionary Moments, a publication of the North American Mission Board and is used by permission. Not all states were covered in Missionary Moments. Information for those not covered was obtained by researching their respective Baptist Convention newspapers or by personal phone and email interview.
Information on people groups were obtained from the International Mission Board’s CompassionNet site.