After this I looked, and behold, right in front of me I saw a vast multitude of people—an enormous multitude so huge that no one could count—made up of victorious ones from every nation, tribe, people group, and language. They were all in glistening white robes, standing before the throne and before the Lamb with palm branches in their hands. And they shouted out with a passionate voice: “Salvation belongs to our God seated on the throne and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10 TPT
When you think of heaven, what picture comes to mind? Is it chubby little cherubs with little bows and arrows floating around on fluffy little clouds? When I Google pictures of heaven, I actually get some of those pictures as a result of my Google search! The point is, it makes no sense to Google something like that, especially when the Bible already gives us amazing word pictures of heaven!
Revelation 7:9-10 gives us one of the most amazing word pictures of heaven: a vast multitude of people, literally too many to count! That means God sees heaven FULL of people. The text goes on to say that the multitude is not just caucasian Christians from America. That may surprise a few people, but it is true! After all, at the latest count, caucasian Americans are only 2.5% of the world’s population, and not all of them call Jesus Christ their Lord! God loves all people equally and He wants them all in heaven!
The picture that Revelation gives us is that every nation, every tribe, every people group, and every language will be in heaven worshiping Jesus! Can you fathom that? Not a single people group will be missing when we are all worshiping Jesus together.
Is that a guaranteed thing? I know it’s guaranteed that God wants it to be, after all, every person is created in God’s image and likeness. Every person carries the imago dei, which means the image of God. God has planted eternity in every person’s heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Every person is searching for that eternal relationship that will satisfy their heart’s hunger– a relationship with Jesus. God placed that sense of eternity in every person’s heart because He desperately wants to be in relationship with each of them.
But how can people call on him for help if they’ve not yet believed? And how can they believe in one they’ve not yet heard of? And how can they hear the message of life if there is no one there to proclaim it? And how can the message be proclaimed if messengers have yet to be sent? That’s why the Scriptures say: How welcome is the arrival of those proclaiming the joyful news of peace and of good things to come! Romans 10:14-15 TPT
How are all those people, from every nation, every tribe, every people group, and every language going to wind up there before the throne? Through hearing the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ! They need to hear the message of life in Jesus!
How are they going to hear? By people sharing the message of life with them! And why are people going to want to share the message of life? Jesus told us what it would take:
When (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38 ESV
When Jesus walked the earth, He saw people of different nations, tribes, and tongues, and He was filled with compassion for them. He came to rescue them, not only those He saw while He was alive, but all those who have been born since or will be born before His return. He wants them ALL to come home (2 Peter 3:9). He tells us exactly how it is going to happen: if His followers will pray earnestly, asking God to send out laborers into His harvest.
What does that mean for you and me? We all have a part to play in reaching the nations because all of us can pray. Praying for the nations to hear the Gospel is something we can all do, from the youngest child who is just learning how to pray to the oldest person. Each of us can be a part of reaching the nations by praying for them.
In Matthew 9, the passion in Jesus’ plea for us is clear. He asks us to pray earnestly. Maybe you don’t have a desire to pray earnestly for people right now, but you will have that desire if you start praying. Start by praying earnestly in faith and watch what God does in your heart!
We are praying for 500 to be sent out from our church! The original Greek word for send means to drive out, to cast out, to thrust out, to expel, to send. God will do just that when we pray!
We are asking you, along with Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38, to pray with us for the nations, to pray that they would have an opportunity to hear about Jesus, and to pray that God would thrust people out of their comfort and convenience to go share Jesus with hurting people around the world.
We know it can feel intimidating to pray for something like this, especially if you have not prayed for the nations before. Our heart is global and we believe that passion can be developed and we want to help you develop that passion!
We have some great resources to help you get started. When you do your SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) devotions each day, we give you an option to pray for a different unreached nation each week (by unreached, we mean somewhere with less than 2% of people that are Christians or where there is no church in the country or no missionaries in the country).
Whether you get your SOAP reading plan at Bible.com, mydailysoap.org, or on our River Valley Church App (under the Prayer and Praise tab), we are providing you with ideas for how to pray for the nation for that week.
- Bible.com – the prayer points will appear in the Devotional reading Monday through Friday.
- mydailysoap.org – click on a link for any day and that will take you to a video prayer for the nation that we are praying for at that time (at prayercast.com).
- River Valley Church App – you will be taken to the same prayercast.com video as mentioned above.
We want to mobilize our whole church to pray each week for a nation! Can you imagine what God will do in response to our whole church praying! Will you please join us and pray for the nations?