"Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." (Ps 46:8-11)
God will be known and exalted among the nations! This is the promise that we have at the end of Ps 46. Thank God for the security that we have in Him that can withstand even the worst destruction of nature (Ps 46:2-3). But as we participate in the excitement of this sporting season, let's also remember the far greater spiritual reality that is at stake.
Pray for Denmark
Denmark seems to be a Christian nation. with a Christian population of 83% and about 4% evangelicals. Praise God for His children and our family in the nation of Denmark!
However, we can be praying for the churches and seminaries in this nation. Operation World has this prayer request for Denmark:
Old non-missional theologies are devastating for the Church, since they fail to equip the Church in effective discipleship and mission in a secular realm. Pray for theological and missional renewal in all seminaries and Bible schools that will encourage a vibrant missions vision. Pray also for leaders to be raised up who are able to communicate Christ with the Danish postmodern youth culture.
Pray for Australia
Australia is not unfamiliar to Singaporeans! The cities of Australia are a common choice for a vacation, to pursue further studies and even to migrate. Christianity is the largest religion in Australia (70%) and there appears to be a healthy population of evangelicals (14%). However, despite these numbers, only 10% regularly attend church.
Pray for the church to continue to remain steadfast and faithful in holding out the word of truth to Australians. Even as people struggle with the authority of and perceived intolerance of the church, pray that Christians will be bold and winsome in their witness to point their friends and family to the good news in Christ.
Pray for France
France produced theologians like John Calvin during the Protestant Reformation but these days, evangelicals only number 1%, with a modest annual growth rate of 2.5%.
The French are largely non-religious, and "most French have a profound ignorance of, or indifference to, the gospel, many having never meaningfully encountered it. Yet, the relativism of postmodernity has generated acute emptiness and existential angst; as many have noted, this in turn has created a spiritual hunger that has grown rapidly in recent years." As the ideas, ideals and things of this world fail to satisfy, pray that the people of France will find their rest in God alone. Pray for missionaries and church planters to hold out the gospel to a people that need to hear it and feed on it.
Pray for Peru
Praise God for the openness in Peru, where 95% (about 28 million) are Christians. Yet this nation has about 106 people groups and 5% are still yet unreached. Pray for the peoples scattered all over the Amazon Jungle, who are largely animists. Pray for the missionaries who are on the field now, that they will not give up hope! Pray that God will provide laborers from all over the world that will have a burden to bring the gospel to those that have no heard.
If you would like to find out more, you can read a missionary's account here.
Pray also for the 154000 Japanese who are in Peru, who make up a sizeable foreign population. Pray that they will be able to hear the gospel even when they're away from home.
Pray for Argentina
Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, and in the World Cup, it is famously known as the team that Lionel Messi plays for. Always a crowd favourite, Argentina is also a country that is exposed to the gospel but only has an evangelical population that numbers 10% of the population.
Pray for the young people in Argentina, that they will be able to find good and sound teaching in their churches. Pray for the churches in Argentina that they will guard against false doctrines such as the prosperity gospel.
Pray for Croatia
Croatia seems to be a popular vacation spot for many Singaporean students on exchange or studying in Europe. Located in the Balkans in Eastern Europe, the architecture, history and scenery in Croatia is definitely different from what we get in Singapore. Croatia is a country with a sizeable Christian population with 93% professing to be Christians, but only 0.4% are evangelicals. According to Operation World, "Novi Zagreb is a region of the capital with one-eighth of Croatia’s population – but as of 2007, it had no evangelical church." Pray for God to raise and send labourers into this wide harvest field (c.f. Matt 9:37).
Pray also for the youths in Croatia, many of whom face widespread unemployment and are caught in drug use (80% of teens). Pray that the church will be able to show them love and more importantly, a certain hope that transcends their circumstances.