It is hard to read or watch the news these days and not be overwhelmed by the tragedies that surround us. In a lot ways, and I know this is true for me, it is hard to not be desensitized to the horrors of suffering and bloodshed. On Monday two Russian women, strapped with explosives, committed suicide taking many victims with them. As Christians, our initial reaction to these acts of violence should be a missional one. We should be broken over the souls lost and be broken over the evil taking place. To believe in the finished work of Christ is to believe that he can and will one day make all of these things right. In the meantime, we have work to do. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation and hope to a lost and dying world.
For today’s country it seemed only fitting to choose Russia.
Russia is the world’s largest country. With over 144 million people, Russia spans 11 time zones. While the population is still quite large, they have faced a rapid decline in the population and expect it to only decline further with each passing year. This is a country that has gone through tremendous change in the past 100 years, from the collapse of the Tsarist Empire, to the rise of Communism and war, to the current aftermath of years of oppression and turmoil. Russia is a dark and despondent place plagued by family breakdowns, low birth rates, and uncertain political climate at times.
Ways to pray:
- Pray for churches to be planted. There is a tremendous need for church planting and spiritual leadership. There are simply not enough churches and pastors for all of the people.
- Pray for Christians to be faithful in the midst of darkness. It is often hard to remain faithful when all that is around you is unfaithfulness. Pray that God would give them the grace to endure.
- Pray that the Gospel would penetrate into the darkest and most despairing areas of Russia.
For more reading on Russia, check out Operation World.