Whenever you find a Christian with a burning heart for souls, meet with him or her and begin to pray for the lost. Compassion is more easily caught than taught. The best training ground for prayer is prayer itself. Young Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Moses met with God in a tent outside the camp. Exodus 33:11 says, “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” Joshua learned the victory of prayer by spending time in prayer with a man of prayer.
Too many Christians only know about their own little world. We need to develop a global vision. There are many places that need the compassionate King. The serious intercessor should buy a world map and place it where it is accessible for prayer time. He should pray for one country each week and spend time researching information on the country. There is an excellent book, CD, and website entitled Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk (Paternoster Publishing). It gives excellent backgrounds, facts, and prayer burdens for countries around the world.
Another important way to develop compassion for the world is to prayerfully study the Gospels. Read through the Gospel accounts with an eye to see the heart of Jesus for the multitudes. Behold the compassionate King, and your heart will begin to reach out to the host of hurting humanity. When we clearly see the King, our hearts will cry out, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
Compassionate King, I want to learn the victory of prayer as I seek to have the heart of Jesus for the lost. Just as Joshua learned from Moses, so may I learn from the prayer life of Your Son. Please give me an awareness and a passion for those who come into my path each day, lost and without hope. Stretch me beyond my limited vision of what is possible, and give me a global vision as I pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done…on earth as it is in heaven!”
Praise God for his heart that is open, warm, loving, and kind toward all he has made. Thank God for reaching down to draw you to himself through his Son (Jn. 3:16). Confess the times when your heart has been unwilling to give to others the same out-reaching love that you have received from God. Commit yourself to learning the kind, patient love of God (1 Cor.13:4). Ask him to fill you with a knowledge of the depth and breadth of his love (Eph. 3:14-19).
Intercede for the specific caring ministries that your church or denomination is involved in worldwide, asking that broken lives and poverty-stricken families may be helped.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.