E. M. Bounds wrote in his book Purpose in Prayer:
God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that uttered them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.
The prophet Habakkuk uttered a sincere prayer and God answered him:
Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told (Hab. 1:5).
God is telling us now not just to be shocked or be appalled at what is happening in Japan in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake, and at the political unrests troubling Libya and Bahrain. He is telling us to actively look at what he is doing and how he is inviting us to respond.
Not many of us can go to those countries to help or send substantial financial aid, but all of us can do something that will rock those nations not with bombs or another earthquake but by mighty prayer.
Yes, God is doing a mighty work now in answer to prayers of generations ago. And he will still do many mighty works in response to multitudes of Christians who will pray that God’s name be glorified and his kingdom rule in those countries.
We are hearing a lot about praying for Japan, Libya, and Bahrain. But how do we actually pray for them in a way that moves God to work in those situations for his glory and the good of the people? Answer: Pray according to his will as revealed in his Word. Jesus promised us:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:12-14).
Prayer can change the world, indeed. It can change your world, too.
In line with that, you can use this guide to pray Scripture back to God. I got this from Ethne to Ethne website.
How can I pray effectively for the crisis in Japan, in the Arab World, and elsewhere?
Pray for those in leadership
1. For those who are followers of Jesus: to experience Him as their Wonderful Counselor
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Ps. 32:8
2. For those who do not know Jesus: to seek the Truth and True Wisdom
“With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.” Job 12:13
Pray for those suffering
3. For those who know Jesus to experience His presence and peace and be ready to share the hope within them with others
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
4. For those who do not yet know Jesus, to ask the eternal questions which cause them to seek with open hearts
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matt. 11:28-30
Pray for those responding
5. For His strength, wisdom, protection as they serve
“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Heb. 6:10
6. For integrity and endurance
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Eph 3:20
7. For believing responders to recognize those whose hearts are hungry for Truth and be able to share good news in a way that is easily understood
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”Col 4:2-6
Praise God that He turns what is evil to good for His glory
8. Pray for recognition that God can bring good results from harmful circumstances and for much fruit that remains for His glory
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So, then, don’t be afraid.” Gen. 50:20
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor 4:16-17
The following videos might also help stir your heart to pray for Japan.