Places – and personalities – for prayer

An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World
Brian C. Stiller
Bethany House

Over the past few years, I have observed a growing desire to pray for global mission. It is exciting to see God’s people respond to the call to pray for people and countries that have little or no expression of Christianity. Brian Stiller’s book, An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World is a wonderful resource for those who want to pursue this call to prayer.

To stay “faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12), it is vital to have information and resources to focus our intercession. “Fuel for the altar of prayer,” if you will. Stiller’s book is full of just such interesting details – anecdotes and facts about countries – that help target our prayers.

In his role as the Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance, Canadian Brian Stiller shares his experiences in each country to allow the reader to hear stories of real people. We share in their struggles of faith as we learn more about the context in which they live and work.

The book highlights 42 countries, such as Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam and Somalia. The chapters introduce the country with a few pertinent statistics, give Stiller’s personal insight into the issues the country is dealing with, reference a portion of God’s Word that addresses those issues and then list items to pray for.

For example, Stiller introduces us to Rwanda with a brief history of the country’s past – notably, the 1994 genocide – but goes on to recount that there is a growing number of Christians who “see their future through the paradigm of hope and reconciliation.”

Interspersed throughout the book are issue-focused chapters: “Caring for the Vulnerable,” “Persecution and Martyrdom,” “Prison Ministry” and my favourite, “Muslims: Why Rage over Burning a Qur’an?” These concise, informative chapters helped me understand these underlying societal struggles and gave me a better understanding of how to pray.

The hopeful, transformational work of the good news of Jesus Christ is a common thread throughout.

Stiller highlights nationals who are laying down their lives as well as those called from other nations:

“…men, women, young people, and young and middle-aged couples with so much to gain by staying home who respond to the Lord’s call to leave their homes for distant lands. Today the Holy Spirit is still selecting some of the finest. Their courage and seemingly reckless faith are beyond what most of us will experience.”

What I enjoyed most about this book was how easy it was to use. The chapters are short, highly readable and interesting. Unlike more intensive country-by-country prayer guides, Stiller’s book doesn’t just give information, but connects to personalities and projects in each country and then presents gospel solutions to pray for.

The Insider’s Guide is a great tool to join this growing global prayer movement because Stiller believes, as we do at MB Mission, that prayer changes things.

—Wendy Clarke is a member of the intercession resource team with MB Mission. She lives with her husband and family in Williams Lake, B.C., where they attend Cariboo Bethel MB Church.

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