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Does Research Change Prayer See how research can make a powerful difference in your prayer life. The fourth Operation World resource in the set Ideas for Leaders.

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Does Research Change Prayer?

Many people might question why a prayer guide like Operation World is so focused on research information. After all, can't we leave the research to the professors and academics so that the Church can focus on working and praying for the lost?


Let's think about that for a minute.

  • What are we praying for? 
  • How do we know what the real needs are and the implications of those needs over time? 
  • What forces are at work in those political, cultural and societal needs that are uncovered through research?

We as a team at GMI are more convinced than ever as we work on Operation World that praying intentionally calls us to a deeper understanding of the world around us. It is only through engaging with the global Church and asking questions that we begin to see the world through their eyes and understand what God is doing in their culture.


To illustrate this important idea let's do a simple exercise:


Step 1: Take a moment to watch the video embedded below from Hans Rosling – a leading expert on global statistics and research. (If video is not showing up below, watch it on Youtube by clicking here)

Step 2: Consider the impact of the statistics that Hans Rosling uses to measure success. While this BBC video is incredible and brings the facts and the reality of global progress to light in a way that captures our imagination, it also shows inadequacies in the world's view of success and fulfillment. Hans Rosling uses life expectancy and income as two key factors to describe the quality of a person's life. The implication is that if a person lives a long time and earns more money he or she will naturally have a better life.


Step 3: Spend some time in prayer and Bible reading and consider the criteria that God uses to define the quality of a person's life. How do God's criteria differ from what you saw in Hans Rosling's video?


Step 4: Now dive into your Operation World book, CD or DVD and consider how God-centered research paints a more complete picture of the world and guides you into prayer with a very different perspective.


Step 5: As you reach for Operation World each day, ask God to use the statistics and research to bring light to His perspective and plan for the world so that you can pray accordingly!