God says, “Ask of Me, and I will certainly give the nations as Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as Your possession.” Now this inheritance belongs to Jesus. Yet as co-heirs with Christ, I believe we can ask God for the nations in prayer.
The Hebrew word for nation is Goya or Goi which means ethnicity or lineage and refers to the Gentiles or all non-Jewish nations. The Greek word for nation is ethos which means a multitude. Nation is defined as a stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, history, ethnicity, or a common culture.
Ethnicity refers to a person’s linguistic, cultural, religious or racial origin. National Geographic states “ethnicity” is linked with cultural expression and identification while “race” is associated with biology and linked with physical characteristics such as skin color or hair texture.
So a nation can refer to a geographical location, such as America, Mexico, Ethiopia or Germany; or it can refer to a people group based on a common culture, such as the Gypsies, the Hmong people or the Palestinians.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I command you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Disciple means to teach or to train.
Knowing this, how do we pray for the nations?
God wants us to pray for our leaders and rulers and for all those who have authority over us, so that we can live quiet and peaceful lives. We can pray for their salvation if they are lost. If they are saved, we can pray for them to exercise justice, to exemplify kindness, to walk humbly with God, to hold firmly to what is good and to abstain from every form of evil.
We can pray for righteous leaders and for protection from wicked leaders. Proverbs says, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked person rules, people grown.”
We can pray for leaders that walk in understanding and knowledge. We can pray for His blessing to be upon us as a people and for our land to be preserved. Proverbs says, “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Due to a wrong going of a land its leaders are many, but by a person of understanding and knowledge so it endures.”
We can pray for unity and for a spirit of reconciliation. Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”
We can agree with the Psalmist, “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause Your face to shine upon us – that Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise You, God; may all the peoples praise You. May the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with fairness and guide the nations on the earth. May the peoples praise You, God; may all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God our God, blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”
Therefore, we can give thanks and praise Him for His blessings. We can pray for His face to shine upon us and His favor to be a shield about us. We can pray for the leaders in each family, each county, each state, and each country to walk in God’s wisdom and to have His guidance in every decision.
We can pray for righteous leaders who walk in just standards and with the highest integrity. We can pray for anyone who walks in bribery, thievery, perversion or unjust weights to be exposed and removed from positions of influence. We can pray this because God says that justice brings stability to the land, but a person who takes bribes ruins it.
We can pray for the nation’s leaders according to the characteristics of Jesus listed in Isaiah:
- Spirit of the Lord to rest upon each one
- Spirit of wisdom and understanding
- Spirit of counsel and strength
- Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord
- To delight in the fear of the Lord
- To make decisions with righteousness and fairness
America was founded on Biblical principles, but it can only be preserved through His Word being a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Whether we have a righteous foundation or unrighteous foundation, we can pray for God to heal our land through: humility, prayer, seeking God’s face, turning away from wickedness. According to 2 Chronicles 7:14, God will hear our prayers, He will forgive our country’s sins, and He will heal our land. There is hope in God!
As Christians, we pray for the foundations of God’s throne – righteousness and justice – to be manifested here on earth as it is in heaven.
If you want to pray for each nation or people group with detailed information, then Operation World is a great resource. Let us humble ourselves and pray for the nations of the world. God answers prayer!
To Summarize Praying for the Nations
- Pray for righteous leaders
- Pray for unity and a spirit of reconciliation
- Pray for God’s blessing, favor, protection and longevity for each nation according to His will
- Pray for each family, each county/province/state overseer, for each leader in the nation to have God’s guidance in every decision
- Pray for righteous leaders who walk in righteousness, justice and integrity to gain influence
- Pray for wicked leaders who walk in unjust weights, bribery, thievery or perversion to be exposed and removed from positions of influence
- Pray for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and for the ability to make decisions with righteous and fair weights according to Biblical principles
- Pray for salvation for everyone, and for the resulting internal freedom to be expressed externally through the grace, love, and power of the Holy Spirit
- Pray for the righteous aspects of each country to increase and for the unrighteous aspects of each country to be purified and cleansed so that each country would reflect His glory
- Pray for the widows, orphans and the ‘least of these’ to find food, shelter and godly connections of love
- Pray for the church to thrive and be a loving solution in the midst of the country’s problems
- Pray for the nations and peoples in: North America, South America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Islands
- Pray for righteousness and justice to manifest on earth as it is in heaven
- Pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven
Here is a sample Prayer:
Thank you, Lord, for leading and guiding us in praying for the nations. Lord, You say in Your Word that a great multitude from every nation, tribe, peoples, and languages would stand before You and Your throne. We cry out for people in every nation to hunger and thirst for You, the Living God; to hunger and long for righteousness and justice which are the foundations of Your throne! We cry out for You to awaken us to Your holiness; awaken us to Your great love!
We lift up our leaders to you. We pray for the leaders in our families, in our churches, in businesses, in the arts, in education, and in our governments to be those who seek You and find You; to be those who walk in Your Spirit of wisdom, revelation, knowledge, understanding and the fear of the Lord. We pray they would walk in righteousness and use just weights.
We pray You would bless each leader by enabling us to walk in humility, to act in kindness, to serve unselfishly and out of love. Fill us with Your love! We pray for each leader that walks after Your heart to be filled afresh, empowered to walk in Your strength and with an upright heart.
We pray for any unrighteous leaders that walk in wickedness, deceit, perversion, lies and arrogance to be removed from positions of influence because you say in Your Word that we would look for the wicked person and he would be no more; that we would look carefully for his place and he would not be there.
We pray for Your loving-kindness which leads us to repentance and we pray people would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. We pray for individuals, whole families, whole communities, and whole countries to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We pray for Christians to thrive and be a loving solution in the midst of our country’s problems, especially to the ‘least of these’ in our communities. We pray for the righteous aspects of each country to increase and the unrighteous aspects of each country to be purified, cleansed and healed.
We lift up North America, South America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Islands to You and ask that Your Kingdom would come and Your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask You to lift up believers in these lands by strengthening them, encouraging them, filling each with the knowledge of Your will, filling them with Your wisdom, counsel and might. We ask for Your righteousness and light to prevail over unrighteousness and darkness in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Scriptures: Psalm 2:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Proverbs 29:2; Proverbs 28:1-2; Psalm 67:1-7; Psalm 119:105; Matthew 12:25; Proverbs 29:4; Matthew 6:10; Micah 6:8; Isaiah 11:2-4; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Psalm 89:14.
Nation References: strategyleaders.org; dictionary.com; en.m.wikipedia.org
Ethnicity References: theglobeandmail.com; nationalgeographic.com
Other References: webstersdictionary1828.com; New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation.
Resources – Prayer for the World: Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk list countries and people alphabetically. You Can Change the World is the children’s version.