CAPE TOWN, South Africa – After setbacks, sleepless nights and years of sheer hard work, the 7th edition of Operation World was released Monday night at a major international gathering of mission-minded Christian leaders.
The prayer encyclopedia, widely regarded as one of the most important resources for the global Church today, provides up-to-date information on trends in the Church and wider society in every single country in the world to help Christians pray more effectively.
The latest volume is five years in the making and has been made available in paperback and digital formats. The 7th edition's DVD version features additional resources such as maps, charts, a presentation on the last 50 years of global missions, and a short video interview with the ministry's founder Patrick Johnstone.
Chief researcher and volume editor Jason Mandryk admitted having gone "through the ringer" to get the book out on time.
He said the result was "momentous" though, and that the new edition offered Christians an "accurate, informative and strategic" set of prayer points.
"We pray that through this book the unevangelized will be evangelized, the suffering will find relief, and the church will be mobilized in fulfilling the great commission," he said after its official release at the Third Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa.
Operation World was first compiled by Patrick Johnstone in the late sixties. When he first presented it to a major publisher, it was rejected on the grounds that it was not "marketable." The book has since gone on to sell more than two million copies and adorns bookshelves in homes, libraries, churches and classrooms around the world.
The latest edition was praised by Bill Turner, the World Evangelical Alliance's global ambassador and the former head of the evangelical body's Mission Commission.
He called the book a "gift for the whole Church."
"It is a unique global resource that cannot be found anywhere else in the world and a lot of WEA-related people were involved in providing research," he said.