World-changing Prayer

World-changing Prayer

After six months of studying prayer and hearing testimonies of the way the Lord is moving in our community, I think it’s safe to say that God answers prayer. But what about when we are praying for big things? Like really big things? Like World Peace big? Does God answer those prayers? 20 years ago, a group called Christians Concerned for Burma asked that question. What would happen if people around the world were praying with authenticity, audacity, and specificity for the country of Burma? And the first Day of Prayer for Burma was organized. 

At the time, most of us wouldn’t have known where Burma was on the map, let alone how to pray for the country. Most of us didn’t know the story of the ethnic groups fleeing for their lives. Most of us didn’t know about the group of refugees arriving in Seattle from camps along the Thai/Burma border. But this small group (including a few from Chapel Hill) wanted to see that change. Since then each year we have prayed for Burma the second weekend of March. And those prayers have been authentic cries to the Lord. Those prayers have been audacious intercessions for peace. Those prayers have been specific requests for freedom for prisoners prayed for by name. Many of those prayers have been answered. (This is where we insert a collective “HALLELUJAH!”)

Currently, a 2015 ceasefire agreement is in place. Although ceasefires are fragile, this one is an unprecedented step towards peace. A peace and reconciliation dialogue has begun between the government and ethnic groups. This stability allows the displaced to return home and start the process of rebuilding and rehabilitating. 

When we pray to the Lord for those really big things, like world changing things, He moves. And we move too: from hopeless to hopeful, from unsure to certain, from prayer to praise. The Global Day of Prayer for Burma has changed a nation, and it’s changed us too. We are now a people with a love for a little spot on the map that was unknown. We can remember praying for things that didn’t seem possible that are now reality. We better understand what it is like to flee from the place we call home through our friends in the Karen refugee community. We can testify to the power of prayer, world changing, mountain moving prayer. 

As Burma changes, our prayers for Burma and our relationship with the region changes too. We pray for rehabilitation and development, and we shift from the Run for Relief to coming alongside medical teams in the region. We pray for the local church in Burma, and we send our own pastors to help train local pastors. We pray for the refugees who must decide if they will stay where they have resettled or repatriate, and we walk with our Karen refugee friends as they discern where the Lord is leading them. We continue to pray for big world changing things. Let us continue to pray with the same spirit of boldness that called us to pray 20 years ago. Let’s see how God moves to answer these world changing prayers. 

Filled with Hope,
Julie Hawkins

P.S. Want to hear more testimony of God answering prayer around the world? Please join us this Sunday, March 12 at 6:00pm in the Gathering Place for a good-old church family potluck. Come hear and see how our Go Teams caught glimpses of God’s Kingdom On Earth As It Is In Heaven.