A Heart for the Nations: Prayers for world evangelism

This litany attempts to encourage and challenge us in the work of evangelism by voicing Scripture's call to witness, along with the words of those who have obeyed Christ's command. It also incorporates section 44 of the contemporary testimony Our World Belongs to God. It was usedfirstin a Refoimation Day service togivewitness to the Reformed heritage and legacy of reaching out for Christ. The litany would also be fitting to use during Epiphany, or in any service of worship that seeks to highlight or encourage evangelism.

A HEART FOR THE NATIONS

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15).

Following the apostles, the church is sent.

Where God leads me I will follow

—John Stam, missionary martyr

Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, anymore than Christ existed for himself. His glory was that he laid aside his glory; the glory of the church is when she lays aside her respectability and her dignity, and counts it her glory to gather together the outcasts, and her highest honor to seek amidst the foulest mire the precious jewels for which Christ shed his blood.

-Charles Spurgeon

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (John 3:16)

Hymn: "O Christians, Haste" PsH 525

The church is sent with the gospel of the kingdom to make disciples of all nations, to feed the hungry, and to proclaim the assurance that in the name of Christ there is forgiveness of sin and new life for all who repent and believe....

To tell the news that our world belongs to God.

Whom does God receive but the forsaken, whom does he heal but the sick, whom does he make see but the blind, whom does he resurrect but the dead, whom does he make holy but the sinful, whom does he instruct but the ignorant? God only comforts the miserable and gives grace to those who lack it.

-Martin Luther

A whole Christ for my salvation, a whole Bible for my staff, a whole Church for my fellowship, a whole world for my parish.

—St. Augustine

In a world estranged from God, where millions face confusing choices, this mission is central to our being, for we announce the one name that saves.

Give us your heart for the nations, let us be light to the world; use us to declare your salvation to the people of the earth. May we be moved by compassion, let us know your love for the lost; Lord, use us to lead them to the cross. Father, here we are, standing in your presence; send us forth to lead them to the cross.

"Heart for the Nations" by Martin Nystrom and Gary Sadler. 1994 Integrity's Hossanna! Music/ ASCAP. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

We repent of leaving this work to a few. We pray for brothers and sisters who suffer for the faith, and we rejoice that the Spirit is waking us to see our mission in God's world.

Here I am, Lord; send me (Isa. 6:8).

Hymn: "Here I Am, Lord" SFL 243

John Huizinga, a pastor of Maranatha Christian Reformed Church, Lethbridge, Alberta, submitted this litany.