It happens once every four years. For seventeen straight days I’m transformed from a sweet and mild-mannered girl into a jingoistic nut. I cry when I hear “The Star Spangled Banner” at medal ceremonies. I scream at U.S. swimmers, hoping that my fervor will somehow ensure their victory. I glare at friends rooting for any gymnast who doesn’t have U.S.A. emblazoned across his or her uniform. Forget peace and unity – I just want my country to dominate the gold medal count.
Now it's one thing for me to root solely for the home team during the Olympics. It's quite another for me to root solely for the home team in my prayer life. I’ve recently been convicted of how little I pray for the rest of the world. I’ll occasionally pray for other countries after a huge disaster and I’ll remember the persecuted church, but I don’t consistently pray for nations other than the U.S. I don’t pray for their leaders, their health and welfare, their struggles, and their salvation.
So I'm thankful that Operation World has a daily prayer guide. It covers a new country every few days and provides lots of helpful general information, answers to prayer and specific requests. Check it out. If you’re anything like me and would like to spend more time praying for the world, it might be a helpful resource.
OK. The commercial break is over and these Olympians desperately need me to scream for them. And I’m not going to let them down.