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A Hidden Jewel: The Discipline of Corporate Prayer for the Nations

Lorilee Jespersen /Wednesday, October 26, 2022


About a decade back I encountered a significant health journey. God used it, over the course of more than 18 months, to do a major overhaul in my relationship with Him.

And as the crisis of it all began to wind down, I wondered what I could do to keep walking in such intimacy with Him. 

Right about then, God handed me one of the answers, although I didn’t know it at the time. Some good friends, who oversaw teams of missionaries among the least reached of Western and Northern Africa, asked if I would lead a weekly on-line prayer gathering. It was an easy “yes” because of my love for these friends and for this area of the world, and it started me into a total adventure of prayer. 

For over eight years now, I have been praying weekly with others – the same group of people, give or take a few that have left or joined – for the needs of the unreached in Africa.

  • We have grown close, although we spend very little time chit chatting, and almost all our time praying. 
  • We have seen spectacular answers to prayer, things we would never hear about on the news about whole communities in certain parts of the Sahara and sub-Sahara turning to Christ.
  • Although many of our prayers remain unanswered, and there have been times we have been heart broken, we continue to pray, faithfully and intentionally, throughout the entire year (except for a couple of breaks during summer and Christmas.)

And here is what I did not realize when I began. 

This weekly discipline of gathering with other Christians to pray for needs that are not my own has been one of the most important spiritual practices of my life these past 8 years. I had no idea how being a part of this prayer group would transform me; no idea that I would love the people of Northern and Western Africa like I do; no idea how I would sense the closeness of the Lord as we gather together; no idea that we would hear his voice so clearly about how to pray; no idea that my heart would begin to reflect a little more clearly HIS heart for the nations simply by praying every week with other believers; no idea how it would motivate me to reach out in my own community.

And I know, without a doubt, that this would not have happened if I had prayed for these same needs by myself.

After eight years of leading this group, I wondered if I needed to give it away and move on to something else this past summer. Guess what the Lord said?  “My heart is for the nations; do you want to reflect my heart? Then keep on going!”

A Few Suggestions

Are you interested in being part of a prayer group that meets regularly to pray for the nations?  Here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

  1. Contact your church or associated mission agency to find out if they are running any prayer groups that you can join.
  2. Offer to start a group for workers that you know who are on the mission field.

Lorilee serves as a mission mobilizer in Quebec with the Alliance in Canada. She loves to see people wake up to the excitement of being used by God through prayer ministry. She and her husband Troy Wiesner have four children in various stages of late teens and young adulthood, with whom they love to explore the beauty of their province.


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