I often think of Abraham’s example as he prayed over the wicked city of Sodom. The Lord answered him, saying, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes” (Genesis 18:26, NKJV).

When Abraham heard this, he began to negotiate with the Lord. “Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” (Genesis 18:28). Abraham whittled the number down until he finally asked what God would do if there were only ten upright people who sought him. Would he spare the city? God answered Abraham, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten” (Genesis 18:32).

This passage tells us something about the Lord. He is willing to save entire societies if he can find even a small band of righteous people who seek his face for the sake of their nation.

God goes even further on this issue than he did with Abraham. In Ezekiel, God speaks of searching for one praying believer who will stand in the gap. “I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30).

At the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy, Israel was polluted spiritually. The prophets were profane, violating God’s law left and right. The people were oppressed, vexed on all sides, full of lust, robbing one another. Not one person among them cried out to the Lord. Nobody stood in the gap to intercede. God would have saved the entire nation for the sake of just one intercessor.

When Paul writes of his journeys, he mentions not only Timothy and Titus as his helpers but also Lydia and the other precious women who aided him. These were all devoted servants whose assistance helped touch entire nations with the gospel. We are to assist those who have given themselves to go to the nations. If you cannot be a missionary, you can be part of the support body of intercessors.

You can go “in the Spirit” to any nation on earth. You can touch an unreached people while on your knees. Indeed, your secret closet may become the headquarters for a movement of God’s Spirit over an entire nation.