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Praying Beyond the Problems A reminder to give the Lord praise as well as our prayers. The fifteenth Operation World resource in the set Ideas for Leaders

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Praying Beyond the Problems

When talking to God, it's so natural to pray for problems. In our attempts to be efficient and focused on the greatest needs, getting right down to the nitty-gritty issues makes us feel like we are making headway. But prayer is about relationship. We need to slow down and nurture our relationship with God—to have meaningful conversation, telling God how much we appreciate Him. We need to praise Him.


As you pray for the nations, Operation World provides an "Answers to Prayer" section for each nation. We want to highlight that section as an important place to start praying by thanking God for what He's doing around the world. God wants to be thanked and appreciated, but it's so rare. We see this in Luke 17 when the Samaritan leper comes back to thank Jesus. And out of the 10 lepers who were healed, he was the only one!


You can also thank God for what He is going to do. As you pray for the needs of the nations, look at the challenges through the filter of praise, knowing that God will answer. Psalm 17:6 (NIV) says, "I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer."


So get out of the problem-solving mode when you pray, and talk to God about what you are thankful for. As you lead others in prayer, Operation World can help highlight the things God is doing around the world, making it easier for you to educate those around you in how God is working.


Here are some tips on how to lead out in praise for the nations:

  1. Next time you share a prayer on social media such as facebook or twitter, make it a praise item.
  2. When you connect with people from different cultures, ask them what God is doing in their country and how you can be praising God for that place.
  3. Make time in your family, church, or ministry life to focus on praise items. Try leading out in praise rather than in needs to reframe people's minds and hearts as they pray.