While the globe has persistently been hamstrung by a 2+ year coronavirus pandemic which has taken lives on every continent, the world has continued to be impacted by one human crisis and conflict after another:
- Protests in Hong Kong in relation to Chinese governance
- Protests in the US in response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and many others
- Iran and North Korea flexing their nuclear capabilities
- The Taliban’s disheartening takeover of Afghanistan
- Hunger and suffering in Ethiopia as their civil war wages on
- Riots, protests, and power outages in Kazakhstan
- The increase of the global refugee population
- The Russia-Ukraine border conflict, and now, full invasion and war.
The question of the Psalmist, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” (2:1) has been the refrain of many. The volatility of human response to corruption, injustice, and concerning power plays reveal the depths of human depravity. Why do the nations rage? The broken, human condition generates international tension and national discord. The peoples plot in vain in attempt to become their own saviors and repay their own vengeances. Fundamentally, any world crisis finds the root in individual sinfulness and corporate waywardness. There is, indeed, none righteous.
The grief and suffering wrought by these world crises may remind us of the Plagues in Egypt. So that the peoples “shall know that I am the LORD” (7:5, 17; 8:22; 10:2; 12:12; 14:4, 18) explains the reason for the numerous plagues. Further, Moses told Pharaoh that he would soon learn “there is no one like the LORD our God” (8:10). The wickedness and hardness of human hearts is evident in our day, like the days of Pharaoh. In addition, the sovereignty of God is at work so that all people will know that he alone is God and that there is none like him.
The fundamental question of praying through a world crisis must be answered honestly. With which world power does your heart most align? (Warning: this question is a double-entente!) Does your heart’s chief concern match party lines? What about a nation’s dominance or a social humanitarian cause? What if you are most concerned about you and what is yours? A follower of Christ, or a Great-Commission Christian, will be most concerned with the agenda of the only true World Power, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, with the Kingdom of God not a Kingdom of man.
If your heart is aligned with the LORD God, you will pray for the kingdom of God before family and nation.
If your heart is aligned with the LORD God, you will pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ immediately impacted.
If your heart is aligned with the LORD God, you will pray for conviction of sin among non-Christians, that they would repent and follow Jesus.
If your heart is aligned with the LORD God, you will pray for peace and justice.
So let us align ourselves with the LORD God and pray to him together.
In view of the current crisis with Russia and Ukraine, you might find this prayer guide additionally helpful: