Italy is a country commonly known for Roman Catholicism because the center of Roman Catholicism is located specifically at the Vatican, where the highest authority of the Roman Catholic church, the Pope, resides. Given the commonly held theology by Catholics about salvation and other practices, they are also designated as people to whom you can reach out. While reaching out to them may be relatively easier compared to other religions, we still ought to teach them, guide them, and preach the truth of God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, I pray for the nation of Italy that they will come to understand the truth of Your Word. I pray that they shall fully comprehend the Gospel and the atoning work that Christ has done for them on the cross. Stir up compassion and love in me as I pray for the people of Italy to hear the Gospel for what it is. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
What can we pray for Italy?
If you go to Italy, the chances are high that most people you meet will be Roman Catholics. It is not surprising, given that the center of Roman Catholicism is located in Italy. However, like any other nation, Italy is also one where the Gospel of Christ must be preached. Just because they already know Christ does not mean they truly “know” Christ. Knowing someone from TV is something, but a spouse intimately knowing his or her spouse is another level of knowing. In the same way, we want the people of Italy to know Christ, not just like knowing someone from TV, but intimately knowing Him and seeing Him for who He is and understanding His finished work on the cross, as well as its implications. In other words, despite knowing Christ and the Bible, we must pray and toil for Italians to know the truth of the Gospel and comprehend the grace and mercy of God found in the person of Christ.
One of the things you can pray for is the salvation of the people of Italy. Salvation is from God and of God. It represents the Holy Spirit working in a person’s heart when a person gets saved. In Ephesians 2:1-9, it is written that God, who is rich in mercy, has made us spiritually alive from being dead in our trespasses, in which we are saved by grace. It is a gift to which we didn’t contribute anything apart from our sins. That is why we cannot boast about our own salvation because even repenting and saying yes to God is still a product of His grace at work.
With that, you can pray two things as you pray for the salvation of the people of Italy. One is to pray for God to turn their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. The reason why people are not recipients of the Gospel and are too prideful to humble themselves and acknowledge their need for Christ is that their hearts are hardened. No matter how much you preach the Gospel to someone, they will never repent and believe, so long as their hearts are hard as stone. However, in (A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.Ezekiel 36:26), it is written that it is God who can turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. That is one important prayer you can pray for the people of Italy, that the Holy Spirit shall work in their hearts and soften them so that they may receive the Gospel.
Another prayer that you can pray is for the Holy Spirit to open their spiritual eyes. A good example is from(He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. John 9:25), about the man born blind. The blind man’s eyes were opened not just physically but also spiritually. Despite being blind and unable to see the face of Jesus, he knew that the One who healed him was the Messiah. He realized his need for that Messiah and came to know that He is indeed the Son of God and worshiped Him. Hence, the blind man followed Christ. The Pharisees, on the other hand, are the blind ones. Despite Christ presenting himself in front of them several times and having all the knowledge of the Law, they still missed out on the Messiah and even had Him crucified. This is because they are spiritually blind. That is why praying for the Holy Spirit to open the spiritual eyes of the people of Italy is something that you can pray, namely that they will see Christ for who He is, see their need for Him, and repent and believe in Him.
As we pray for the people of Italy to have their hearts softened, and their spiritual eyes opened so that they may repent and believe the Gospel, they may not believe and repent unless they first hear the Gospel. In Romans 10:14-15, the apostle Paul tells us how people can call on Christ, whom they never believed. How can they believe if they have never heard of Him? How can they hear of Him unless someone preaches and someone is sent to preach? As we pray for the salvation of the people of Italy, it is also vital that Christians do the work. Christ said that the harvest is many, but the laborers are few.
That means we must pray for more workers to answer the call of God to reach out to the people of Italy, whether that is as missionaries, pastors, ministers, administrators, etc. However, reaching out and preaching the Gospel is not only the work of full-time ministers. It is the sole duty of every Christian, just as Christ commissioned all of us in Matthew 28:19-20 to go out and make disciples. Just as we pray for more Christians to answer God’s call for them in full-time ministry, we must also pray that every Christian in Italy begins to obey Christ’s command to make disciples.
With that, you can pray for many things regarding the ministry work of our fellow brothers and sisters in Italy. You can pray for open doors for them to be able to preach the Gospel to workplaces, campuses, and different communities there. You can also pray for key people to be reached, which will further proliferate the Gospel there. Most of all, you can pray that their work there shall bear fruit and for God’s grace upon them to continue persevering in doing His work amidst any hardships and trials they may encounter.
How can we pray for Italy?
You can pray for Italy by praying for two things: the salvation of the people there and the ministry work in Italy. You can use the prayer points mentioned above as a guide as you pray for Italy. When you pray for the salvation of the people in Italy, it always boils down to praying for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
As you pray for the ministry work that is ongoing in Italy, you can try determining the needs of our Christian ministries in Italy and help intercede for them in prayer. For example, let’s say you went to a missionary organization in Italy, and there they posted that they need prayers regarding provision for the finances of their ministry work and to open doors for universities. By all means, pray for those prayer points as you pray for their ministry work.
Father in heaven, I pray for the people of Italy that they shall get to encounter Christ and see Him for who He is. Holy Spirit, work in their hearts and turn their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Open their spiritual eyes so that they may see their need for Christ and repent and believe when they hear the Gospel. I also pray for the ministry work of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters in Italy, specifically that they bear fruit. I pray for financial provision for their ministry endeavors and open doors to preach the Gospel to universities there, where the next generation of leaders of Italy may be found. Give them the grace they need as they minister and the strength to persevere. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
If God could work in the heart of Paul, who was once a Pharisee and a zealous persecutor of Christians, how much more can He work in the hearts of the people of Italy? No one is too far from the grace of God. When God’s grace works in the hearts of people, they cannot help but see the love and mercy of God found in Christ and give their lives over to Him.