“He First Sets His People Praying!”
“What on earth is that?” my wife asked as she looked at a map of the world that was taped to the steering wheel of our car. It was December 1975 and we were about to embark on a road trip from California to Oregon. “It’s a map of the world,” I answered, as though she couldn’t see that from two feet away. “I can see that,” she remarked. “But why would you tape it to the steering wheel?” I knew it was not normal to do this, but I felt it was important. On that trip, I prayed through all the nations of the world, several times, feeling more and more enthusiastic the more I prayed!
So began my daily prayer journey to the nations — a journey that has continued joyously for more than three decades. After that first road trip, I soon memorized all the nations and have prayed for every one of them, by name, every day since. This burden for the nations grew out of prolonged seasons of seeking God simply for the sake of seeking God. In other words, my passion for the nations began with a passion just to know and seek the Lord. Long before the map experience, the church in southern Wisconsin where Dee and I served as youth leaders had a furnace room that I quickly commandeered for prayer. I would retreat to this furnace room for extended times of prayer when I felt I needed to be alone and unhindered. It was in that room that a burden for the lost and for the nations slowly began to saturate my praying. It seemed that the more I sought the heart of God, the more I had a heart for the nations. A powerful passage of God’s Word that significantly impacted my early years was the psalmist’s declaration of intercessory worship in Psalm 67:1-3, 7: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us — so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.”
The Living Bible paraphrases that last verse: “Peoples from remotest lands will worship him,” a thought that would become my lifelong obsession and so became a personal “life passage” of Scripture. When I began praying for the nations, I was not even working for the Every Home for Christ ministry. But within a year, I had joined the EHC staff as the director of prayer mobilization and soon became part of the answers to the very prayers I had been praying. Since those early days, my steering-wheel map has turned into a World Prayer Map. The World Prayer Map is a resource produced by Every Home for Christ and offered free of charge to churches and believers who want to pray for the nations. It features all 228 nations of the world broken down into a 31-day prayer calendar. It also includes helpful tools to guide and fuel prayer for the nations.
In recent years as we began to feel the Lord leading us to reach America with the Gospel through our EHC model of ministry, my first thoughts echoed the words of Matthew Henry, a 16th century scholar and Presbyterian minister whose anointed works are part of many leader’s libraries (including my own). He said, “Whenever God is about to do something truly great, He first sets His people a praying!” As we began to connect with local churches and ministries across America to lay groundwork for our EHC USA campaign, we found that God had already set “His people a praying” everywhere we looked! God is clearly summoning His people in America to His throne in these days, and I believe that means He is about to do something truly great across this land. At EHC, we are well-versed in the importance of saturating our ministry in prayer. Through prayer, we seek to be part of what God is already doing to bring His Gospel to the nations. Because of this — and in view of the massive undertaking of reaching every home in America with the Gospel — we decided to produce a prayer map specifically focused on the United States (many of our local offices in other nations produce similar tools specific to their nations, all inspired by the World Prayer Map and that very first map taped to my steering wheel). The U.S. Prayer Map — much like our World Prayer Map — features all 50 states broken down into a 31-day prayer guide. The map also contains other tools to help guide and fuel prayer specifically for the United States. It is filled with practical tools and useful information to help you pray for the United States and become part of the answers to the very prayers you pray.
Our prayerful hope is that the U.S. Prayer Map will unite and focus the intercession of believers across our nation. As we come together in asking the Lord to move in specific and powerful ways, we know we will see miraculous things happen. We believe we will see doors, hearts, hands, and heavens opened to the Good News across the United States. If you would like to join this intercessory movement with a U.S. Prayer Map of your own, or to order some for others, visit www.ehc.org/free-prayer-maps.
~ Dr. Dick Eastman