Recently the news media has been covering the “war” in Syria from several perspectives. Obviously it is a giant humanitarian crisis. Human beings are being slaughtered and their own government seems intent on doing just that. Selfish rulers appear to be ignoring the plight of men, women and children. It is another “pocket” of pain in a world already fraught with anguish.
As I was thinking about the pictures on my TV and trying to absorb the international perspective being pushed by the United Nations, I thought of my copy of Operation World.
This is a book that us compiled by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk. It is a prayer guide for engaging in world evangelism. It has two main purposes. First, it seeks to inform folks like me on how to pray for the people in the countries around the world. It is a source for timely information about the cultures and spiritual lives of people in those countries. It is also written in hopes that it will help mobilize the Christian community to be active witnesses for Jesus Christ. The global information offered is meant to motivate folks to participate in the Great Commission.
For those reasons, I opened my latest copy (21st edition-2005) and looked up Syria.
I learned that there are almost 21 million living in that desert country. But they don’t live well- the average income is only $1,120 per year. Although the country is technically a secular state, 90% of the population is Muslim. Christians only constitute about 5%.
There is access to some Christian radio and television. The Jesus Film has been circulated in Arabic. Christian literature is freely available and Bibles sell very well at the two Bible Society book rooms. But there are many needs to pray for:
The cessation of the current brutal fighting
That Christian minorities would be respected and tolerated
That Bible correspondence courses, various student outreaches and evangelical churches would be effect as means to spread the gospel
I am sharing these thoughts as a nudge for all of us to become “world Christians.” Using guides like Operation World will help us know more about individual countries and direct our attention to their specific prayer requests.
So maybe you could go on Amazon and purchase a copy of Operation World. Then whenever you hear a country mentioned on the radio, in print or on TV, you can stop and look it up. We could all benefit from the information, learn to support believers all over the world and join into the spirit of Psalm 96:3:
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel