Archive for the ‘Prayers for Nations’ Category

Weekly Prayers For The Nations

September 21, 2016
Prayers for September 22-28
To The Global Company of Intercessors:
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
(James 5:16b)
A diabolical scheme of the enemy has been unleashed in all the nations of the world, and the Body of Christ is in a spiritual battle…thewarfare between righteousness and unrighteousness.
You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus…your prayers avail much! God has given the Church power that raised Jesu
s from the dead, and I thank you for praying with us.
Your Partner in Prayer,
Germaine

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The Word Ministries Global Company of Intercessors Prays for the World

December 29, 2015

Prayers for December 30 – December 31

To the Global Company of Intercessors

Only a few mornings ago a light from the guest bedroom beckoned…I walked to the window and looked up into a sky of twinkling stars and a waning crescent moon. I gave thanks to the One who made the heavens so skillfully…who made the moon and stars to rule the night. Now the sky is streaked with pink, birds are flitting from tree branch to tree branch…a bird calls, the squirrels are awake. I love early morning, boldness, quietness, books, warmth, peace, children, surprises and contemplative prayer. I do not like brashness, pain, illness, co-dependency, negative feelings, ugliness and divorce.

O, our Lord is coming back to earth again! As we come to the close of 2015 it is my prayer that you will continue to pray united prayers for the nations, and invite others to join you! Where two or three are gathered together Jesus is present!

I encourage you to pray excerpts from a prayer that I wrote to help me stay the course: Father-God, You for calling me to be a fellow workman — a joint promoter and a laborer together — with You. I commit to pray and not to give up. Jesus, You are the Son of God and the Divine Intercessor who sits in heavenly places. You are my High Priest, and You understand my weaknesses. So I come boldly to the throne of my gracious God. There I receive mercy and find grace to help when I need it to help me pray with intent and purpose. You made Christ, Who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with You. Now my earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer makes tremendous power available — dynamic in its working. Father, I live in You — abide vitally united to You — and Your words remain in me and continue to live in my heart. Therefore, I ask whatever I will, and it shall be done for me. When I produce much fruit it brings great glory to my Father — the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is my prayer that you will be invigorated and strengthened for
the prayer assignments of 2015!

Your Partner in Prayer

Germaine

 


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Prayer Assignments for December

December 1, 2013

PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS FOR DECEMBER

As we come to the end of another calendar year and all the busyness of the holidays I ask you to remember to take a moment and join us as we pray that the Savior of the world becomes known to those among the nations that have not yet heard the good news:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, KJV)

1-2 Ukraine:

Communism fell two decades ago, but its effects are still deeply felt. The market economy has actually driven many to poverty while lining the pockets of the elite. Corruption reaches to the highest levels while pensioners, teachers, doctors and other state employees struggle economically. The moral vacuum of post-Communist freedom led to rapidly increasing rates of alcoholism and AIDS.

Pray for righteousness, justice and compassion to shine forth into this situation.

Ukraine is a key nation, a bridge between East and West, Orthodox and Catholic.
Slavic Christianity was born in Kyiv 1,000 years ago. Most Ukrainians are part of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but it is torn by factions loyal to competing patriarchs in Kyiv and Moscow. The Autocephalous Orthodox Church condemns both for compliance with the Communists, but is itself beset with schisms. The Greek or Uniate Catholic Church, which follows the Orthodox liturgy and structure but accepts the leadership of the Pope, is also large. There is much competition for limited resources, reacquired buildings and dwindling populations. Superstition and superficiality are widespread, but those with a love for God and the Scriptures remain faithful.

Pray that spiritual life and renewal, rather than power-politics, may govern structures and relationships within these large Christian bodies.

Leadership training is probably the primary church need in Ukraine. Twenty years of
sustained growth created thousands of new congregations requiring leadership formation.
There are dozens of seminaries, Bible schools and institutes, the capacities of which must grow to meet current and future demands. Western agencies contribute helpfully in this area, including SGA, GEM, and Calvary Chapel Mission, Baptist and Pentecostal groups and others.

Pray for them to serve professionally and humbly. Ask for God’s provision for good academic resources and textbooks, for building projects and also funding for student scholarships.

3. United Arab Emirates:

Radical changes in the last generation created a culture crisis in the UAE. Traditionalists and progressives face off over many issues such as the role of women and democracy. The younger generation hangs in the balance, but will their Islamic heritage merely be replaced by selfish materialism?

Pray that new opportunities will yield a spiritual hunger for the truth and not just the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.

Expatriate Christians have opportunities for discreet sharing as the nation becomes
more open and international. However, arrests, imprisonment and deportation still occur
for those who evangelize or distribute Christian literature unwisely.

Pray that believers would demonstrate Christ in their words and deeds with discernment and confidence.

Pray for the English, Arabic, Urdu, Filipino and Indian language worship groups and congregations in their worship and witness.

4.-6. United Kingdom:

The sense that all is not well pervades the country. “Broken Britain” is the catchphrase of the tabloid news. The “freedoms” of the 1960s led to social disaster and hastened spiritual decline. Many are discouraged about the future and cynical about the seeming
impotence of politicians to deal with the malaise; this trait is exacerbated by the media. Violent crime, alcohol and drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, immorality, prostitution, illegitimacy and abortion rates, gambling addiction and personal debt levels are not just alarmingly high, but in some cases are tacitly encouraged by misled government policies. Conservatives point to breakdown of the family and traditional morality as primary causes. The simultaneous decline of Christian values in society over this same period is hardly a coincidence. Without a radical change, disaster looms. Many Christians are praying for revival.

Pray for national repentance and restoration to the spiritual vigor that once made Britain’s Christians a blessing to the world.

Christianity is increasingly marginalized by a hostile media and public mood.
Christian morality and belief in the uniqueness of Jesus are labelled “intolerant”.
Government regulations make it increasingly difficult to minister in the public arena. Many believe serious persecution is not far off.

Pray that believers may recognize and address the decline of Christianity in the public sphere.

Pray that they may recover confidence in the gospel and boldness and passion to share it – lovingly and unapologetically – with the majority who
have little concept of its content.

England is the most secular of the four countries that comprise the UK. The steady
decline in belief and church attendance is of deep concern. Only 6% of people regularly
attend church; those who do attend rarely engage with the unbelieving majority. Notional
Christianity is giving way to atheism as the main barrier to true faith; the trappings of inherited cultural forms of Christianity are being discarded. This presents both a great challenge and a new opportunity for a fresh start to the re-evangelization of England.
Pray that the Holy Spirit may break into lives and bring a sense of the reality of God and the truth of the gospel.

Peace has prevailed in Northern Ireland since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and
especially since a power-sharing agreement in 2007. Only a small number of dissidents
persist, but through them, the threat of violence remains. Greater risks to long-term peace are the mistrust and resentment that can remain in people’s hearts.

Pray for repentance and forgiveness of past transgressions and crimes and for reconciliation between communities.

Pray for those who work to uphold the peace, especially politicians and police.

Scotland faces a potent cocktail of social ills. Nearly half of all children are born
out of wedlock. Alcohol and drug abuse are high. The country has the inauspicious title
of the worst-performing Western European nation, based on economy, employment, health and education. Increasingly, Christian groups are engaging these problems;
pray that the transforming impact of the gospel may be evident through loving witness and ministry.

Church growth is evident among the non-institutional groups – Pentecostals, Baptists, Brethren and the Salvation Army. The Aberdeen area has the highest percentage of non-church-goers.

Pray for the effective re-evangelization of Scotland

Wales is known as the land of revivals and the land of song. From early in the 18th
Century, Wales experienced a consistent series of revivals, the last of these occurring in
1904. Since then, decline in church attendance and closure of churches in Wales have been higher than in any other part of the UK. Although many congregations remain, most are small churches of 25 people or less. National weekly attendance of religious services is 7% and only 3.5% among under-30s. In recent years, though, pockets of growth have appeared, especially within evangelical congregations that both proclaim the gospel and demonstrate it through community involvement.

Pray that revival may come again and that the entire country will again sing the praises of Jesus.

The Isle of Man has a long Christian tradition, but just as in the UK, nominalism
is rife and non-religion is growing.

Pray that the Church will continue to strive to bring people back into the fold and that the Isle of Man might see an awakening.

Channel Islands: Guernsey and especially Jersey rely upon the financial sector for their economic growth, leading to accusations they are used as tax havens. Relative prosperity and an emphasis on material wealth have inevitably blunted the spiritual life of the islands.

Pray for an awakening.

The island of Sark was the last feudal state in Europe. In 2008, they held their first
democratic elections, which led to a great deal of controversy and to the closing of many
businesses. Though all businesses reopened within a few weeks, the economy was negatively impacted, and the political situation remains somewhat uncertain.

Pray that the island will be able to build a just government while continuing to protect its delicate ecosystem.

7.-11.United States:

America’s massive cultural and social influence makes it the world’s greatest force for good and its greatest purveyor of sin. The generosity of aid and development, the defense of human rights and opposition to tyranny, the many breakthroughs in technology and media, the great levelers of education, information and capitalism have all made the world a
better place. These are in contrast to the insensitive cultural imperialism, selfish individualism, unbridled corporate greed and exportation of immorality (such as pornography, casual violence and shallow materialism) that are foisted upon the world. America’s appetite for illicit drugs and massive consumption of fossil fuels cause wars abroad, prop up corrupt regimes and inflict suffering on indigenous peoples of other lands.

Pray that God might shape this nation to be a greater force for good and destroy the structures of sin that pollute much of the world.

Native Americans, also called American Indians, have suffered intensely through
centuries of encounters with white people. Before European contact, Native Americans
numbered at least 20 million; by 1890, only 250,000 remained – most perished through diseases brought by Europeans. Through ruthless colonization and a long string of treaties and promises made and broken by whites, the natives lost almost all their lands, identity, heritage, culture and self-respect. Forced resettlement onto arid, fruitless lands helped create a dependency on the federal government. Today, hopelessness, poverty, disease, alcoholism, suicide, abuse and unemployment are common. Indigenous culture is being revived and demands for reparation are meeting with success.

Pray for these:

a) The flourishing of Christianity among Native Americans. The failure by missions to
enculturate the gospel, the imposition of European religious forms, the paternalistic and
often cruel treatment of natives by the missions and the collusion of missionaries with the
federal government all undermined the potential impact of the gospel. Today, perhaps only 5% of Native Americans are born again. Culturally appropriate ministry, development of indigenous forms of Christian worship and attention to the important processes of healing and deliverance are yielding fruit. Native Americans are realizing that they can be both Christian and Native American.

b) The full reconciliation of native and immigrant peoples. This goes far beyond apologies and financial reparations for wrongs done generations ago. True repentance by white Americans and true forgiveness by American Indians, when genuine, are usually precursors to great spiritual breakthrough.

c) Bible translation has regained importance as local languages are revived. Over 50 languages (and many more dialects) are in common use, and SIL and others have teams working in 27.

d) An indigenous movement of the gospel that will complete the evangelization of all 550 recognized tribes. God is raising up native American ministries to reach their own; Wiconi International, Eagles’ Wings Ministry, Indian Life Ministries and The Native American Resource Network are just a few. First Nations Monday is a multifaceted prayer network for and by the US’s indigenous peoples.

e) The indigenous peoples of Alaska have retained their identity, but their subsistence lifestyle places them at odds with the modern world and with the degradation of their environment. Today, many evangelical missions – such as SEND, Interact Ministries, Avant, Evangelical Covenant Church and Arctic Barnabas – work effectively in partnership, a sharp contrast to the demarcations of a century ago. The rigors of wilderness isolation, marked by vast distances accessible only by aircraft, and a harsh Arctic environment complicate the effective engagement of the unreached. No decisive people movement to Christ has yet occurred among the aboriginal peoples of Alaska.

The religious canvas of American life is being repainted before our eyes. This happens
both in the wider framework and within the Church.

Pray for the following issues:

a) The introduction and growth of world religions accelerate through immigration. Post modernity and permissiveness encourage every expression of spirituality imaginable, healthy and unhealthy. Since 1990, there has been a pronounced decline in the overt affiliation to organized Christianity. This loss is not to other religions or new religious movements so much as a rejection of all organized religion – the non-religious bloc nearly doubled from 9% in 1990 to 16.5% in 2010. Almost all of the largest Protestant denominations declined as a proportion to the total population from 2000 to 2010.

b) Shifts within Christianity itself have transformed the landscape. While most denominations struggle to even maintain their numbers, post-denominational movements thrive. These are expressed mostly through mega churches and their networks and satellite churches, and through the burgeoning house church/simple church movement, both of which account for millions of believers.

Pray that the Church might recognize these shifts and call out to God to revitalize and revive, equipping the Church to once more transmit the truth and power of the gospel to the entire nation.

12. Uruguay:

Uruguayan society has been characterized by secularism and hope in man for over 100 years. The Catholic Church espoused liberation theology and failed to attend to the spiritual needs of Uruguayans. Catholicism may lay claim to 55% of the population, but only 2.3% attend Mass. Most Catholics are, in practice, non-religious. Such godlessness has in turn led to some of the highest rates of depression, suicide, abortion and divorce in Latin America.

Pray for the Lord, through His Church, to radically transform Uruguayan society for His glory.

Lack of knowledge of God gives opening to a spirit of error. Afro-Brazilian Spiritism
is the fastest growing religion in Uruguay. The largest non-Catholic religious bodies are
cults and sects of questionable orthodoxy. While 81% believe in God, most adhere to a “do-it yourself” spirituality influenced by New Age thinking.

Pray for all religious deceptions to be exposed and the demonic powers behind them defeated.

Evangelical churches struggled to make an impact on Uruguayan society in the 20th
Century, garnering only meager fruit in converts. However, since the late 1990s, growth
of evangelicals, especially Pentecostal groups, has rapidly increased.

Pray for a continuing harvest, and that the thousands of new believers might be discipled and pastored effectively.

13.-14. Uzbekistan:

Uzbekistan is an arena of competing value systems. The term Uzbek means “master of himself”, but many seek to enslave the Uzbeks with their ideologies: warmed-over communism, radical Islamism (especially in the fertile Ferghana valley) and occult-tainted folk Islam.

Pray that Uzbeks might find freedom by serving the Lord their Creator and true Master.

Uzbekistan’s government relentlessly persecutes the Church. Dynamic and evangelism oriented churches, especially Uzbek churches, are particularly targeted. Uzbek Christian
leaders have extensive files on them compiled by the 14 different government agencies that monitor religious activity. Persecution tactics include: public humiliation, property seizure, book and Bible-burning, expulsion of Christian students, dismissal of Christian employees, arrests (followed by beating and torture) under the flimsiest of pretexts and massive fines for first offences (up to 50 times the annual salary). The near impossibility of legally registering has birthed a mobile and fast-growing house church movement. A well-networked union of house churches helps to create stability and support amid the persecution.

Pray for Christians who are under pressure to betray fellow believers to the authorities. Pray too for those persecuted and in prison, that God may give them strength and boldness.

Uzbekistan is the strategic key to Central Asia, hence the intensifying struggle between the post-Soviet regime and the Islamist movements. The government’s “iron fist” policy is not deterring thousands of jobless young men from joining these movements. But much of the population is torn between these two and tired of the poverty, corruption and failure to progress.

Pray for genuine change, reform and leadership that demonstrate uprightness and governs for the sake of the people.

Pray that in the midst of the struggle, many may find true peace that only Jesus can give.

15. Vanuatu:

The spiritual challenges for Christians that need prayer:

a) Small pockets of traditional ethnic religion remain on Tanna, Aniwa, Santo, Vao and other islands. Many still follow kastom (custom) and strict taboos. Cargo cults persist, though declining significantly in number.

b) Culture and the gospel. Different churches have come to different conclusions on how
much traditional culture is appropriate to retain, with extremes on both sides.

Pray that ni-Vanuatu believers would be guided rightly in what parts of kastom can be redeemed and what parts must be set aside.

c) The increasing influx of other faiths. Mormon numbers have grown quickly because of missionary activity. Baha’i numbers are likewise growing rapidly. Muslims are active and offer free Islamic schooling in Fiji to students.

Pray for the truth to be made manifest and for ni-Vanuatu to hold fast to the life they found in Christ.

d) Pray for a deeper grasp of the Christian faith in Vanuatu. Most of those drawn into other religions or cults lack an adequate understanding of the Bible, which safeguards them against such false teachings.

16. Venezuela:

Challenges facing the churches. The need is for:

a) Commitment to discipleship. Confronted with poverty, political activism and outright spiritual warfare, believers need to make wise choices. A life of true discipleship is not easy, and full-time ministry is even more of a challenge.

b) Unity is essential for further growth and for the power to stand up to opposition.
Cooperation is higher than ever before through the work of the Evangelical Council of
Venezuela (representing 150 Christian groups), Amanacer/DAWN and others.

c) Theological orthodoxy. Spiritual error has crept into many churches through prosperity teaching, legalism or unbiblical practices instituted by misguided leaders.

d) Missions vision is spreading within the churches, and interest is growing, especially among younger people. But the challenge of sending workers to Latin America and beyond is significant. Foursquare, YWAM, AoG, Horizontes and Kairos have mission-training schools (the latter two of Brazilian origin).

Pray for the Lord to prosper this young but accelerating mission’s movement.

On a social level, Venezuela is struggling. Poverty is still widespread and may be
growing, and relative living standards are dropping (60% of urbanites live in slums). Power is concentrated in the hands of an ever-shrinking cadre, and the nation is regarded as the second most corrupt in Latin America after Haiti. Venezuela is increasingly used as a transshipment point for trafficking primarily drugs but also people. The promised utopia of “21st Century socialism” is not taking root, at least not as quickly as hoped.
Pray that amid significant economic change and political turmoil, the neediest in society would be cared for and communities would be strengthened.

Venezuela is a volatile and divided nation. The economy is deeply dependent on
the price of oil, and the political scene is polarized between the president’s supporters and
his detractors. Increasingly strident anti-Western posturing offsets widespread investments in social and economic programmes for the poor.

Pray for the wisdom to administer the nation wisely, to implement sensible policies that strengthen the nation and to strive for peace domestically and abroad.

18.-19. Vietnam:

One of the few Communist nations in the 21st Century, Vietnam faces new challenges. Repression of all types of freedom continues, but at the same time, social ills are on the rise. Drug addiction, AIDS, prostitution and exploitation of children are all too
common. The land has seen great violence. Division and mistrust have been effective tools in the enemy’s hands in recent generations.

Pray that the ideological and moral darkness over this nation might be banished by the light of the gospel.

The country is increasingly opening up as economic progress continues. Most of the
population was born after the Vietnam War and is more interested in capital gain and the outside world than Communist propaganda. They are proving responsive to the gospel – for reasons good and bad. At the same time, newfound prosperity has opened the door to rampant materialism and other competing ideologies.

Pray that the Truth might be clearly and effectively proclaimed, particularly among the growing masses of young professionals.

The Vietnamese Diaspora has two elements: those who fled the Communists, mostly
in the 1970s, and those who more recently travelled abroad as guest workers in other Asian countries. Over three million live around the globe, where they are more accessible to ministry. Hundreds of thousands (including many from minority ethnic groups) are labouring abroad as migrant workers and have encountered the gospel in Malaysia, South Korea or other transit points, often through the evangelistic work of Vietnamese living abroad. Many overseas Vietnamese are returning to their homeland with a spiritual burden for their country.

Pray for fruitful and sensitive ministry to flourish as a result.

20. US Virgin Islands:

Specific outreach is needed for the many tourists, the Hispanic immigrants, the Rastafarians and those involved in the morally questionable aspects of island life.

Pray that local churches and their leaders may work together in evangelism and in vision for the future.

The Christian Church has become very nominal, lacking in vitality and vision. The
Moravians had a glorious past, but they and all churches need revival. The Catholic
Church increases through immigration of Puerto Ricans and through charismatic renewal.
Some evangelical groups have grown.

Pray for revival.

21.-22. Wallis and Futuna:

The Catholic Church and Polynesian culture and social structures are so interwoven that adherence to Christianity is often more outward than through a living, personal faith.

Pray for firsthand faith for these two island peoples.

More Wallisian and Futunans live in New Caledonia than live in their own home
islands. Seeking work, many find themselves caught in a spiral of substance abuse instead.

Pray for those in New Caledonia to find freedom in Christ and to, in turn, bring blessing back to their homeland.

Yemen:

Openly believing in Jesus is dangerous for Yemenis – shari’a law, culture and family expectations are all factors in this.

Pray for greater freedom for believers to encourage others to follow Christ and to be agents of cultural transformation.

Pray for the transformation of their families, for it is from them that the worst persecution comes.

Most Christians are expatriates. Many are Ethiopian refugees, among whom are
several thriving evangelical congregations. Others are Westerners, South and East Asians
and other Arabs in secular jobs. No church buildings are yet allowed in the north.

Pray that expatriate believers may maintain their spiritual growth amid discouragement, sickness, isolation and constant threats to their presence in the land.

Yemen has suffered almost unending conflict over the last four decades – three civil
wars, conflict with neighboring states, the effects of the Gulf War, Somalia’s collapse into anarchy, the Ethiopian/Eritrean war and tribal skirmishes. Tensions between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims make Yemen ripe for sectarian violence, to the point of insurgencies or even outright civil war. The treasured right of Yemenis to bear arms fuels tribal rivalries, while kidnapping, crime and sabotage are common forms of protest and fundraising. There are between three and four firearms for each person in the country.
Pray for a fair and just government that will bring about national unity and peace.

23. Zambia:

The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation in 1991 was encouraging, but the outworking is sorely lacking. Ex-President Chiluba, an outspoken believer, was accused (and cleared in court) of embezzlement, and his successor Mwanawasa, who actively rooted out such corruption, died suddenly and unexpectedly. While Zambia remains an island of stability and peace surrounded by countries rocked by war and strife, national transformation along biblical lines is conspicuous by its absence.

Pray that the dedication of Zambia to Christ would be reflected by the dedication of its leaders and its Christians to see a land blessed by and honoring God.

The “brain drain” of many of Africa’s brightest and best to richer nation’s impacts
Zambia deeply. While Zambian doctors, lawyers, businessmen, professionals and pastors set up shop in South Africa, Europe and North America, their home nation cries out for precisely the skills and resources they have to offer.

Pray for conviction to return to be blessings and the ideal missionaries to their country.

Churches still vary widely in spiritual quality and vigor.

Pray for:

a) The many thriving evangelical congregations in the northwest. This area has a high
concentration of evangelical believers, largely as a result of the ministry of the Brethren/
CMML, SIM and Baptists. There is still a need for spiritual depth and learning, but
enthusiasm is high for ministry and mission.

b) The fruitful work of the Brethren in Christ and Churches of Christ among the Tonga
peoples in the south; health care and pastoral training are two key emphases in this area.

c) The Reformed Church among the Nyanja peoples in the east, which is theologically
evangelical, large in number and still growing.

d) The Lozi and southwestern peoples and the Bemba and northern peoples, who traditionally have few evangelical congregations. Many have become nominally Christian or have been swept into sectarian or syncretistic indigenous churches. Pray for churches to be planted in these spiritually needy areas. Heart Cry, Africa Outreach Ministries and Baptists are church planting among these peoples and among Bemba-speaking peoples in the north, where there is an exciting growth of evangelical congregations.

24.-25. Zimbabwe:

Urgent human needs abound. A web of inter-related disasters combined to create a state of emergency.

Pray especially for:

a) The economy. Hyperinflation and economic meltdown have driven millions into gripping poverty from which there seems no escape.

i Hyperinflation reached ridiculous proportions, possibly up to one billion percent per year with the printing of $500 trillion notes. The government knocked 16 zeros off the currency; Zimbabwean money is regarded as worthless and people demand payment in South African or US currency. The taming of inflation is essential to building up the economy.

Unemployment reached 90%, and those few employed rarely get paid in a useful currency. Negligible recourse to meaningful or gainful work not only impoverishes a nation but destroys its morale as well.

b) The education system, once among the best in Africa, has ground to a halt. Enrollment
plummeted from a once admirable 92.5%, as few can afford the $4/term school fee. Entire terms are cancelled as schools and universities shut down altogether. The paralyzation of education robs Zimbabwe of its future.

c) Health care is also in meltdown. Power failures, lack of supplies and inability to pay workers leave hospitals inoperable. Even basic health care is under siege, now provided by NGOs more than by the state. The 2008 cholera epidemic prompted the government to declare a state of emergency, though it continues to lack resources to prevent further spread. Over 100,000 may have been infected.

As the Church has grown, so have the challenges.

Pray for:

a) The relationship with the government. The Church must be a prophetic voice engaged in the politico-economic life of the nation. Any such engagement has brought heavy-handed reprisals from the government including the intimidation and harassment of pastors and the destruction of certain church buildings. Some denominations have compromised their testimony by blindly endorsing Mugabe; others have spoken against government policies and suffered for it. The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance and the Save Zimbabwe Campaign are examples of churches engaging in the political process to catalyze change.

b) Social action. With much of the country in decay, it is increasingly falling to churches to feed the hungry, care for orphans, protect the vulnerable and heal the sick. With assistance from ministries based in South Africa and around the globe, Zimbabwe’s churches are doing this, but they could benefit from further mobilization, training and, of course, financial resources.

c) Theological training and education – crucial as the church grows but threatened by
widespread instability and want. There are at least 23 Bible colleges and seminaries, but the real growth is in modular training and TEE. Positions for study exist here and in broader university religious study programmes as well, but funding in the present economic environment is scarce to non-existent.

Pray for effective teaching and discipling of those called to serve the Lord.

d) Spiritual unity. Divisions and splits still occur, especially within Apostolic and charismatic groups. The gap separating evangelicals, mainliners and African Independent Churches (AICs) makes collaborative efforts difficult at a time when a unified mission of the Church is greatly needed. The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe links over 121 denominations and 20 organizations, and Fambidzano/EFZIM links AICs for fellowship and theological instruction. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC), National Pastors’ Conference and Ministers Fraternal all hold influence and therefore opportunity.

e) The purity of the Church is often compromised by traditional African practices that are incompatible with the gospel, often by outright witchcraft and occult activities. The growth of AICs is commendable for cultural relevance but not at the expense of theological orthodoxy.

Pray for churches to find truly Zimbabwean expressions of biblical faith rooted
firmly in God’s Word.

26-31:

The last prayer in the Bible is “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Peter tells us that we should be “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12 ESV). How better can we do it than by praying for the fulfillment of Genesis 12:3, Revelation 7:9-10 and Matthew 24:14?

Pray for:

The speediest possible evangelization of the world, of every unreached people
group, area, city and nation.

The Great Commission to be restored to its rightful centrality in the ministry of
the Church worldwide.

Your part in achieving this. What is God’s will for your life? In the coming year, are you
willing to do whatever He commands regarding the needs of the world? Is it possible God
is calling you to a specific ministry in praying, supporting or going to the ends of the earth for your Master?

Your local church’s part.

Pray that your fellowship may grow in missionary zeal and commitment in the coming year.

We have reached the end of another year of praying and standing for a Move of God in the nations of the earth. Word Ministries thanks you for your consistent part in helping us with our vision to cover the earth with prayers and to help in the sending of messengers to share the good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May this next year find you in the center of God’s will for your life and that you will consider joining us again as we pray our way around the world with the Word!

Blessings,
Germaine Copeland & the Staff of Word Ministries

Sources:
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.

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A Message from Germaine Copeland: Prayer Assignments for November 1-15

November 1, 2013

PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS FOR NOVEMBER 1-15

Thank you for your faithfulness to take time each day to pray with us as we cover the nations of the earth. We continue to believe that:

“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16b)

2.-3. Spain:

Spain’s modern transformation is not all positive. Secular materialism brought religious freedom and economic advancement, but it has also struck a crushing blow to traditional foundations of society and created a spiritual vacuum that is being filled with many dangerous elements.

a) Morality, and values in general, have suffered. Decadent behaviors and hedonistic lifestyles, combined with increased material possessions, cause greater degrees of depression, addiction, debt and lost direction. The younger generation rejects the idea of absolute truth.

Pray that:

Christianity might still be able to provide a moral compass and demonstrate moral authority.

b) Spiritual confusion. False beliefs are quickly multiplying – a natural consequence of the rapidly formed vacuum left by departure from religious faith. Spaniards flirting with occult practices is common. New Age deceptions abound. Marginal cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons have a large presence, augmented now by the arrival of new foreign sects and other religions.

c) Drugs are a blight on Spain, one of the world’s heaviest users of cocaine, heroin and
marijuana. Around two million take drugs, most of them young people. Cocaine dominates the drug trade, but heroin wreaks particular havoc on the health of users. As yet, there are no signs of drug abuse or addiction abating.

d) Gambling addiction remains a problem for the nation as well. It is estimated that 15% of net household income is spent on betting, possibly one of the highest proportions of any nation in the world. Bookmakers and gambling companies press in harder on the lucrative Spanish market, well aware of the breadth of addiction.

e) Sexual ethics and behaviors are a battleground, since immorality, prostitution and
abortion are common. Children are sexualized at ever younger ages, while an “anything goes” mentality characterizes young people especially. The Spanish have all but stopped having children – they have one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, lower still if excluding immigrant families. All of these will have devastating future consequences in terms of disease, social attitudes and demographic pressure.

Pray for Spain to wake up to the lies that have blinded it to the truth of the gospel.

Pray for social renewal, and that those working for the salvation of the Spanish might be endowed with love, power and wisdom.

4.-5. Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka has suffered much in the past generation. From the constant threat of the Sinhala-Tamil conflict to the tsunami of 2004 to the civil war’s bloody conclusion in 2009, over 100,000 people have lost their lives, over 900,000 (mostly Tamils) emigrated or fled and over one million are displaced.

Points for prayer:

a) A resolution of the long-term conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese.
Defeating the LTTE as a force means little if enmity, resentment and rebellion are still brewing. Key players are the Sri Lankan government, the former LTTE core members, the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora and even India and China. Power sharing may be the only way to long-term peace. A new constitution is being considered, one to resolve ethnic antipathy and return the nation to a more secular status with no religious favoritism.

Pray that wise heads may prevail, and that peace, reconciliation and freedom for religious minorities might take precedence over ethnocentrism, prejudice and pride.

b) A government that will work toward transparency, justice and the fair representation of all communities and their civil, economic and religious rights. Corruption and nepotism are too common. Post-2009, courageous decisions have been and will need to be made to oversee the healthy stewardship and development of this nation.

c) The handling of immense human needs in the aftermath of the civil war. Former LTTE fighters need to be reintegrated into society, the many injured and maimed government soldiers must be rehabilitated and given new vocations, orphans and widows must be cared for and half a million who were displaced need to be returned to their homes to rebuild their lives.

d) The fight against the many growing social ills:

i The plight of children – malnutrition, selective abortion/female infanticide or abandonment, abuse (including sexual abuse) and child prostitution (including sex tourism) are evils that are sadly making names for themselves in Sri Lanka.

ii Sri Lankans working abroad, especially in the Middle East and Gulf regions, are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, especially since most of them are female domestic helpers. There are up to 700,000 such women willing to endure the risk in order to earn enough to send remittances home. Their absence is often very difficult on the children they leave behind.

iii Threats to traditional Sri Lankan culture include alcoholism, suicide, casual violence and rape.

6. St Barthélemy:

This island caters to the uber-rich, trading on its sophistication and isolation for its exclusivity. There is little interest in spiritual things. Pray that amid the boutiques, cafés and villas there might awaken a hunger for spiritual reality and the opportunity to know God.

Pray also that the few churches on the island might minister meaningfully into this unique context.

 

6. St Helena:

Emigration from St Helena increases as jobs become scarcer. Much of the employment
occurs on the communications and military bases of Ascension and the Falkland Islands.
Pray for an effective witness to those working on these bases.

Pray also for those leaving to find work elsewhere; failure to approve building an airport deflated many hopes for St Helena’s development.

The Christian heritage of St Helena is strong but islanders’ committed to faith are
decreasing. Most Christians are nominal, and church attendance continues to decline. A
critical mass of evangelicals on the islands is needed to generate spiritual momentum.
Pray for Baptists and the Salvation Army, where most evangelicals can be found, and for the Anglican Church – the largest group, but spiritually dormant.

6. St Kitts and Nevis:

The shift in economy, from sugar to tourism and offshore finance, has borne unwanted fruit in attracting, along with the money, undesirable elements.

Pray for personal and social righteousness to combat this trend.

There is no lack of churches or other ministries on these islands, but their impact is limited.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to revive, empower and embolden believers for Kingdom effectiveness.

Pray especially for ministries that draw together the diverse denominations, such
as the Evangelical Association and Youth Impact Ministries.

Women lead 45% of households. Teenage mothers account for 19% of the total
number of live births nationally.

Pray that God might work to restore the strength of family life in this nation.

6. St Lucia:

Evangelically oriented churches have multiplied – as have divisions. The Fellowship of Gospel Preaching Churches is working to develop that unity in practical terms.

Pray for true unity amid the increasing diversity so that churches can offer a united front for the gospel’s sake.

The majority of St Lucians speak a French Creole. The NT, recently translated into
Creole, is being used for literacy projects. CLC has a Christian bookstore in Castries.
Pray for the Word of God to be acquired, read and applied in the lives of St Lucians.

7. St Martin:

The tropical location and French liberality combine to make this a playground for the
most wealthy. Exclusive hotels, clothing-optional beaches, designer-clothing boutiques and cafés typify the island’s culture. There is little room for or interest in a life of service to Christ.

Pray that in the midst of this elegant but hedonistic paradise, people might gain a hunger
for an eternal heaven.

The St Martin United Ministerial Foundation seeks to provide a platform for united
action among evangelical Christian leaders on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.

Pray that God might use this fledging organization to powerfully impact this small island.

7. St Pierre & Miquelon:

These isolated islands and their people have long been Catholic. Traditions are strong
and change has come slowly, despite the economic downturn when the fishing industry
all but disappeared. There are no longer any evangelical groups. The Baptists and AoG have both withdrawn from this hard field. While there may be a few private believers, there is no longer a formal evangelical or even Protestant presence in the islands.

Pray for people to find hope in a living relationship with Christ.

7. St. Vincent:

St Vincent is a religious country, but most are not related to God through a
personal faith in Jesus Christ. There is a crisis of holiness, lack of spiritual fruit and
growing apathy, especially regarding missions.

The smaller Grenadine Islands suffer a lack of churches due to their more isolated nature. Groups such as the Methodists, Pentecostals and Baptists seek to plant more churches in the Grenadines.

Pray for revival and for restoration of a biblically-based, Spirit-led Church.

8.-10. Sudan:

Sudan has known only war for its entire modern history. Violence is rife throughout
Sudan, which is regarded as one of the world’s least stable nations. The belligerent government/military waged war against restive populations in the south, west and east at massive human and economic cost to its own citizens. With such religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity added to civil conflicts and hostile relations with neighbors, peace is nearly impossible.

Pray for sweeping change at the highest levels and throughout the land – for repentance,
restitution and rebuilding of communal life.

The persistence of slavery in Sudan is a serious issue, again made prominent in the
1990s during the civil war. Almost all slaves are from the south and the Nuba Mountains.
Northern militias are the main perpetrators, but inter-tribal raiders and even the SPLA also take captives for enforced labor. Their lot – whether slaves, abductees or POWs – is misery. In the north alone, an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 (or more) southerners are now held as chattel. The controversial buying back of slaves by Western NGOs frees some and raises awareness, but probably exacerbates the problem.

Pray that all such wrongs may end, and pray that world leaders may prevail upon all involved to end this wickedness. Shari’a law in the north and the impunity with which northern militias act help perpetuate this barbarism.

Persecution of the Church, persisting over most of the last 60 years, has been most
intense since 1985. Deliberate attempts to eliminate a viable Christian presence are
extreme and include bombing of Sunday church services, destruction of churches, hospitals, schools, mission bases and Christian villages, massacres and mutilation, and murder of pastors and leaders. Persecution is especially severe in the Nuba Mountains. Whole areas have been laid waste and lands seized and given to Arabized northerners.
Pray that Christians may bear good witness to their persecutors in these sufferings and become spiritually strong as a result.

Pray also that the sufferings of Christians might become widely known and that peace, justice and religious freedom may be firmly established.

11. Suriname:

Nearly half the population professes to be Christian, but many have little understanding of their faith, and Christian belief is often mixed with spiritism. In the larger Catholic and Moravian denominations, growth has been incremental, but recent Pentecostal and charismatic growth has been rapid.

Pray for new life and dynamism to replace traditionalism and syncretism practiced by many.

Pray for increasing trans-denominational cooperation to continue in Bible related
ministries and outreach to every ethnic group in Suriname.

Suriname’s post-independence existence faces challenges old and new. While more
stable than in the troubled years of coups and dictatorships, the nation remains largely
compartmentalized by race and religion – polarizations that cripple political and social
development. The sudden and seemingly unstoppable rise of a criminal economy through drug trafficking and gold smuggling requires both wise and concerted action.

Pray for the emergence of godly leaders and for a spiritual awakening in this young nation.

11. Swaziland:

The impact of HIV/AIDS cannot be overstated – it has devastated the population. Life expectancy plummeted to age 32 in 2008 (according to some reports), and 26% of adults (up to 40% in other reports) are HIV-positive. Sixty-one percent of all deaths could be attributed to HIV/AIDS. The pandemic has denuded society of a young adult workforce, and many households are orphaned and led by the oldest sibling. All talk about ministry and evangelism is irrelevant if this issue is not addressed.

Pray for:

a) Treatment of those afflicted. Anti-retrovirals are available for free, but there is a severe
shortage of adequate care facilities. Widespread poverty exacerbates the suffering.

b) Sexual morality must be restored. Until purity and fidelity are practiced as a social norm, this scourge will never be defeated. Polygamy and a lack of holiness among Christians contribute to the problem.

Pray for marriages and families to function as God intended; that in itself will
be a great victory against AIDS.

c) Christian response. Genuine Christian love, demonstrated in practical and gracious ways, has the potential to win many to the Lord. No church trying to be relevant can afford to ignore the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of AIDS sufferers. Training pastors to address this challenge is a strategic key.

12. Sweden:

The Church of Sweden is no longer the State Church. Its size, political influence and
social impact are large, but on the wane. Liberal theology and practice dominate the
Church, from endorsing same-sex marriage to universalism and rejecting the divine authority of Scripture. Politicians (often without any clear faith in Jesus) are frequently chosen to sit on parish councils. Unsurprisingly, the Church is in numerical decline and attendance is between 1-2% of membership. On the local level, there are a number of evangelical congregations, pastors and members, but the national structures are dominated by a liberal agenda. Movements such as Taizé, Oasis and Pilgrimage are having a positive and inspirational influence on the Lutheran Church.

Pray for God to shake and refine this Church.

The spiritual decline of Sweden is apparent on many levels. Only 23% of people
believe in a personal God. Nearly every religious group faces dropping numbers of
members and attendees. The number of active Christian youth and of missionaries sent from Sweden drastically declined in the last 30 years. Society, especially the younger generation, is so effectively secularized that any discussion of the gospel must involve a painstaking amount of pre-evangelism. Materialism, hedonism and individualism are among the most cherished of values, and adherence to absolute values or truth is regarded as “intolerance”.

Pray for a new awakening for this spiritually struggling nation; recent signs are that young people are moving back toward more traditional values.

Missionary outreach from Sweden, traditionally strong, has declined markedly in recent
years across several mission agencies. The Swedish Mission Council serves 36 organizations in coordinating and encouraging mission. A number of agencies and national churches (including World of Life and Light in the East) train workers for ministry among the unreached. The Institute of Bible Translation in Stockholm carries the vision of publishing the Bible in every non-Slavic language of Russia and the CIS; pray for its strategic work.

Pray also for a new wave of mission’s vision and workers to come out of Sweden and out of Scandinavia generally.

13. Switzerland:

This exceptional nation now struggles with the same social and spiritual malaise shared by its neighbors, despite its traditional policy of neutrality and its relative isolation. Spiritual decline is mirrored by political apathy – in this direct democracy, election/referendum turnout is now 40%, down from 80% a century ago. Low birthrates and a rapidly growing aged population pressure the pension system and require high levels of immigration, in itself a huge social issue. Over 22% of the population are foreigners, many from Muslim backgrounds. Integration of these groups is often a problem, as is the reactionary presence of far-right political groups. Yet, tensions such as the Minaret referendum in 2009 cause many to consider again Switzerland’s Christian heritage.

Pray for wisdom for leaders who must attempt to preserve Swiss identity while guiding the country forward.

Renewed vision for evangelicals is bubbling up. The Swiss Evangelical Alliance, Free
Churches and other agencies are working on a renewed vision for the evangelization of
Switzerland. Most Christian non-profit groups have united as a more audible voice within
society regarding religious freedom, evangelism and mission, aid and social responsibility, environmental issues, media, youth and others. While church planting remains an important goal, they see renewal and Christian testimony within society as equally important.

Pray for increasing numbers of congregations as well as for renewal of many existing ones.

Pray for newer groups, such as the International Christian Fellowship (ICF) and the house church movement, that are reaching people outside of traditional church structures.

14. Syria:

Changes within the country point to a potentially dangerous future. The Iraq situation created possibly 1.8 million refugees to add to the 600,000 Palestinians in Syria. They are now beginning to move onward, either to Western countries or back to Iraq. Traditionally
moderate Sunni Islam is shifting toward more fundamentalist expressions just as the exploding youthful population find themselves jobless and without prospects. Water issues grow more significant in the region.

Pray for God to use the uncertainty to draw people to seek the truth more urgently.

Syria’s role in the Middle East has been a troubled one in recent decades. But a new
and younger president, economic difficulties, nervous minorities and, above all, shifting
political fault lines in the region put Syria’s own stability at risk. Lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without Syrian participation in any solution.

Pray that God might somehow use this nation to bring peace to the area.

Syria’s Antiochan Church was instrumental in initiating mission to the Gentiles (Acts
13). Today, Christians must exercise caution and wisdom in relating to the state and to
Muslims. Evangelicals in particular must discern how to effectively share Christ without
proselytizing. Biblical training and a loving attitude toward Muslims are essential.

Pray that believers might rediscover the zeal and faith of the NT Church of Antioch.

15. Tajikistan:

The Christian population has been massively reduced by emigration. It was and remains largely Russian Orthodox. The civil war and its aftermath drove out the majority; most of the remainder are cultural/nominal Christians with little desire to share the gospel with indigenous peoples. While multi-ethnic congregations exist in a few cities, the bulk of the rural majority remains unreached.

Pray that such a vision might be awakened.

Pray also for contextually sensitive outreach efforts and for church structures that will reproduce in rural areas.

Freedom of religion exists, but barely. The government, to prevent the growth of
extremism in Islam, introduced many restrictions that place a stranglehold on Christian
ministry. Religious teaching, publishing and proselytism is made very difficult if not illegal. Registering churches is also very difficult.

Pray for the gospel to spread and Christians to find ways to teach and minister despite these harsh restrictions.

Emigration is a major social challenge. As many as one million Tajik men are
working abroad, mostly in Russia. This is a huge proportion of the population and
especially of the male population of working age. Entire villages are denuded of the younger generation. One additional difficulty this creates is the constant drain on church leadership; many Christians move away for financial reasons.

Pray for job creation within Tajikistan generally and, in particular, for churches to be able to hold onto their leaders.

We know that the Lord is faithful to hear the cries of the intercessor for the nations. Let us continue to believe for a move of God across the nations of the earth in the coming months. Jesus Christ is Lord!

Blessings,
Germaine Copeland and the Staff of Word Ministries

Sources:
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.

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© Operation World 2001
With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World
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A Message from Germaine Copeland: Prayer Assignments for October 17-31

October 16, 2013

“For God so loved……..that He gave……” As we remember that this month I want to encourage you to continue giving a few moments each day in prayer so that these nations can experience the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and be counted as a part of the Kingdom harvest.

17. Rwanda: Recovery from the 1994 genocide that claimed up to one million lives is difficult, but it displays the people’s remarkable resilience and willingness to forgive and move forward despite great pain and loss. Pray for: a) Proper healing for those affected. Deep, deep wounds remain, which cannot be fixed by superficial measures. Pray for the continuation of long-term programmes for counseling, rehabilitation and reconciliation. The Church has played and must continue to play a key role in the healing process; there is a great need for more ministries that focus on this. b) Rwanda’s post-ethnic identity. Banning ethnic identification (Hutu, Tutsi and others) is regarded by many as a positive move. People are said to be Rwandans and only Rwandans. This may help dissolve ethnic divisions, but it may also allow current inequity in the balance of power to continue unopposed. Pray that all such inequity based on ethnicity might end. c) The process of justice. Only 27 have been convicted in the International Criminal Tribunal.The normal judicial system could not cope with the burden, so the government initiated gacaca, community-based courts, to try lesser offenders. When done properly, gacaca allowed justice to be done and to be seen to be done. But a number of cases were poorly handled. Pray that the Lord might bring justice and heal the wounds of those who did not receive fair treatment. d) The release of prisoners, since the prisons can neither hold such large numbers nor afford the cost. The eventual reintegration of the 125,000-plus people originally imprisoned – many guilty of terrible crimes – will be a true test of Rwanda’s progress. Over half are no longer incarcerated. Some have not been tried. Some tried were found not guilty, some granted amnesty, others found guilty and served their sentence. Most releases trigger at least some outrage by past victims. Pray for true forgiveness as well as true repentance.

 
17. Samoa:
Samoans have been Christian for over a century, and every village has at least one church. But the traditional class structure and pre-Christian cultural standards were not necessarily transformed by the gospel. Much of the Church suffers from nominalism, and rivalry among denominations does not generate a good spiritual atmosphere. Pride and politics influence church life too much, and the financial demands on a poorer population are heavy. These, coupled with the modern challenges of domestic strife and imported moral vice, make for a society in need of prayer. The growth of evangelicals is encouraging – through renewal movements in mainline churches as well as through newer groups, especially Pentecostals/charismatic’s. This growth parallels a major decline in traditional denominations. Pentecostals/charismatic’s and other evangelical agencies, such as Youth for Christ, are met with opposition, particularly from some mainline denominations.
Pray for harmony between the newer and the more traditional branches of the Church.
Samoan missionaries played a major role in evangelizing the Pacific in the last century. Today, most Samoans who serve outside of Samoa are pastoring the many Samoan migrant congregations abroad. An exception to this is the contingent of around 50 Samoan YWAMers serving around the world.
Pray for them, and pray for their ongoing influence on their home churches.

 

18. San Marino:
The Sammarinese are Catholic by tradition and culture, but most give only lip service to the Church and are very materialistic. Increasing numbers reject their religious heritage altogether, with smaller numbers of JWs, a small group of Baha’i, a few Waldensians and a scattering of people from other faith backgrounds.
Pray that they may have a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.

18. São Tomé & Príncipe:
The majority of the population are Catholic, but practice is usually mixed with deep-seated African spiritist beliefs. Appeasing spirits and ancestors is often of greater importance than honoring God.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move through the Catholic Church, bringing renewal.
Pray for the sovereignty of Jesus to be clearly demonstrated amid syncretized Catholicism and the growth of Islam and marginal sects.

Less-reached sections of the population are the Príncipe islanders, the Angolares (rural fisher folk) and the serviçais (contract laborers), with each group having its own distinct Creole dialect.
Pray for outreach to and salvation for these groups.

19.-20. Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace and stronghold of Islam. From Mecca, Islam holds sway over billions and permeates many cultures. If a spiritual breakthrough glorifying Jesus Christ would happen here, it would transform Islam and those subject to it.
Pray that the Lord would shake this centre of spiritual influence and make His Lordship known.
All Muslims must pray toward Mecca five times daily. Yearly, over two million make the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, required of all Muslims once as one of the five pillars of Islam. This is the culmination of many people’s religious life. Praise God that He is revealing Himself to increasing numbers of hajis through dreams and visions.
Pray that many, as they go seeking God, might encounter the living Christ.
Saudis who come to faith in Christ face the death penalty if discovered; executions are definitely known to occur. Despite this, increasing numbers are secretly seeking and finding Jesus, and there are believers in every Saudi city. Pray for believers to persevere and even to multiply.
Pray for a miracle – the legalization of Christianity for Saudis; pray that Saudi believers may be able to meet together in safety and have access to God’s Word.  Also pray that believers might find believing spouses.
Life is difficult for expatriates. The benefits of money made from working here are offset by stifling social restrictions, often cruel working environments, endemic racism and a total lack of personal and religious freedom. Many of these foreigners have little access to the gospel, although there are sizeable numbers of Christians among them.
Pray for a witness to flourish among all foreign workers – and that many might come to Jesus while in the land of Mohammed.

 
21.-22 Senegal:
Spiritually, Senegal is both open and closed. The nation enjoys religious freedom and is remarkably tolerant toward other faiths – a point of pride for Senegalese, perhaps because so few Muslims have ever come to Christ. Despite a longstanding Christian presence and outreach, a spiritual heaviness covers the land. Allegiance to religious leaders renewed in each generation prevents any significant people movement to Christ. Virtually all Wolof, Fulbe and Mande peoples remain Muslim.
Pray for the spiritual breakthrough for which so many wait.
The Casamance region in the south has been troubled for many years by groups who are, at times, separatists, but often mere bandits. The Casamance is separated from most of Senegal by geography (separated by Gambia), ethnic composition (Jola-dominated as opposed to Wolof) and even religion (significantly more animist and Christian sentiment in the south).
Pray for long-term stability and peace as well as for sustained Christian ministry – these are often disrupted by sporadic violence.
Pray for strong churches to be planted among the:
a) Wolof and the Lebu sub-group, resolutely Muslim despite much and varied outreach from the AoG, WV, IMB, Brethren, WEC, SIM, Mennonites and others; results are meager. Though only around 100 believers and the beginnings of a few congregations exist, a change is occurring. A raft of Christian resources, including the NT in Wolof, audio Scripture, the JESUS film, Christian radio, Wolof worship music and more, along with increased workers – both expat and national – give more opportunities than ever for the Wolof to know Jesus.
Pray for the underlying Spiritism that binds many to be broken, and for the birth of an indigenous Wolof Church.
b) Fulbe – including the Fulakunda, Tukulor and Fulba Jeeri – largely a pastoral people. Many are nomadic, which presents a great missiological challenge to those seeking to plant churches. Almost all are at least nominally Muslim, and the Tukulour consider themselves the progenitors and defenders of Islam in Senegal. The Lutherans work among the northern Fulbe. WEC works in the Casamance, where there are two small congregations. The Tukulor NT was published in 1998 and the Fulakunda NT in 2000. Partnerships to reach these peoples are emerging, and the number of believers, while still tiny, is increasing.
c) Jola, speaking 13 major dialects and languages – only five of them have any Scripture at all. Islam is more prevalent in the north of their area, but all are bound by fetishism. There are now more than 15 Jola-led congregations and fellowships (WEC, CAPRO, IMB and others). The Jola Kasa NT was published in 2009.
d) Maures. All are Muslim, with only a few known believers. The majority live in inaccessible Mauritania, though many can be reached in the Senegal River Valley. There are weekly broadcasts of Scripture readings on several radio programmes in the Hassaniya language.
e) Malinke peoples, mostly in the south, include the Mandinka, Maninka, Jahanka, Kassonke and Yalunka. Almost all are Muslim with folk practices; the marabouts are highly influential among these peoples. Several mission agencies work among them; the NT, the JESUS film and many audio and written gospel materials exist for the Malinke.
f) Other significant peoples who number among the largest and least evangelized include the Soninke (Pioneers, WEC, Korean Methodists), Serer-Safi, Manjaco (NTM) and Susu. NTM also works among many of the smaller tribes in the south, several of whom are animistic or nominally Muslim.
g) Illegal emigrants, while not strictly a people, are a group worthy of prayer. Every year, thousands attempt the dangerous sea voyage to the Canary Islands in hope of finding work and a new life in Europe. Some die at sea or are repatriated; those who make it often find a hard and lonely life. Numbers are dropping due to increased vigilance by Spanish and other naval forces.
Pray for compassionate ministry to those in Spain and that, in their new situation, they would be open to the gospel.

23. Serbia:
Serbia is a nation with a public relations problem. It sees itself as defender of Europe and the Christian faith against Muslim aggression, as misunderstood and betrayed by the rest of Christendom and as victim of a propaganda war. Conversely, much of the world perceives Serbia as a war-mongering, hyper-nationalist power guilty of ethnic cleansing and atrocities, and as a perpetrator of ethnoreligious hatred. Both views have some justification. A long history of victimization by other nations (Turks, Austrians, Germans, Croats and others) has left a legacy of bitterness.
Pray for the healing and redemptive transformation of Serbian identity; a mighty work of God is necessary for this to happen.
The Romani people are very responsive to the gospel. Their total population is unknown but may number as many as 200,000. Romani denominations, such as the Protestant Evangelical Church, have the fastest growing churches in Serbia and enjoy a cultural expression that resonates strongly with the Romani people. Their spiritual growth is matched only by their material needs – they are uniformly the poorest ethnic group.
Pray for lasting fruit in these churches and for evangelization of the entire Romani people.

23. Seychelles:
The vast majority of Seychellois claim to be Christian, but evidence of true spiritual transformation seems outweighed by superstition and nominalism. Gris-gris, a voodoo-like African spiritism based on black magic and herbalism, permeates the lives of Christians. Despite the disapproval of religious leaders, most Seychellois remain happy to mix religion into this dangerous cocktail.
Pray that the Holy Spirit may bring new life evidenced by repentance and sustained fruit.
Evangelical vision is growing. Despite being small in number (only 2,000 regularly attend an evangelical church), evangelicals in Seychelles have a large vision. All evangelical groups share the goal of saturation church planting throughout the country.
Pray for this vision to have a powerful and positive impact on the spiritual life of the nation.

24. Sierra Leone:
Sierra Leone remains a land of suffering. The people are still mired in desperate poverty, most surviving on less than a dollar a day. It has  With the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world and widespread disease (malaria, HIV, others), life expectancy is age 47 and not rising. Much work remains to ease the suffering of these who have already endured so much.
Pray for more attention from the worldwide community – especially from Christians – to address these needs.
Sierra Leone was the first West African country to be evangelized. The first Protestant Church started in Freetown, among freed slaves, in 1785. Yet after over 200 years of effort, only 13% of the country claim to be Christian. Very few historic denominations have grown significantly in the last 40 years or made a lasting impact on the country. The newer, more dynamic groups tend to be spiritually shallow and overly focused on prosperity teaching and miracles.
Pray for churches that balance the Word and the Spirit, for hearts of unity and prayer and for a deep desire to reach out in loving witness to the non-Christian majority.
The fallout from the conflict remains – the human suffering of survivors.
Pray for the following groups:
a) Those with emotional and psychological trauma from their experiences. This could include the majority of the population, but especially those who suffered rape. Proper trauma counseling and Christian love can see these wounds healed, but much remains to be done in ministry and especially in training people to minister to these needs.
b) Victims of mutilation and maiming. Sierra Leone’s conflict was particularly noted for amputation of hands, arms and feet – for no reason other than pure cruelty and evil. Those who survived such treatment need loving acceptance and integration into normal society as well as vocational training for future employment.
c) Former child soldiers. Over 10,000 fought in the conflict, enduring as well as inflicting much suffering. The stigma associated with this role makes their reintegration very difficult. As they grow into men, they remain troubled and troublesome, knowing no life other than one of crime and violence.
Pray for ministries that will reach out to these and provide opportunities for them to live whole and wholesome lives.

25. Singapore:
Singaporean society is built on dedicated labor, discipline and self-reliance. These engender stability, good governance and a corruption-resistant culture, but also an emphasis on performance and wealth. Materialism has noticeably increased. Much of Singapore’s affluence is now dependent on imported labor from poorer countries; entire sectors of the nation’s economy would collapse without it. Pray for justice and fair treatment for all those from abroad; despite good legal safeguards, exploitation does exist.
Pray that churches might become more active in assisting those at risk. Pray also that the admirable strengths of Singapore might not in themselves become idols.
The increase of the Church’s size and impact brings challenges.
Pray for the following concerns:
a) Coping with affluence. There is the threat that believers mistake riches for spirituality and trade discipleship for wealth management. Many young Christians become inactive once they marry and become enmeshed in the materialistic “rat race” for the “five Cs”: career, cash, car, club and condo.
b) Spiritual pride is a constant temptation for such an influential, affluent Church. The same traits of sophistication and success that draw much of cosmopolitan Singapore to Christianity could be the very things that cripple and undermine it. The poor and working classes (heart Landers) are significantly under-reached and marginalized.
Pray for urgent correction to this imbalance.
Pray for transformed lives inside and out – for humility, continued brokenness and greater dependence on God.

c) Fear of control and intimidation in a closely governed and multi-religious society. Legislation against overt proselytism exists, but the only force preventing effective outreach is the Church’s own unfounded fears.
Pray that Christians would know how to maintain inter-religious harmony without compromising on evangelism.

26. Slovakia:
Slovakia is a nation in the midst of significant change. Economic reforms and EU membership both created as well as solved problems. Increasing wealth (for some) is accompanied by the new influences of materialism and moral relativism. Depression and suicide rates are among the highest in Europe.
Pray that many might seek for hope and truth, and find these in Christ.
Slovakia enjoys a strong Christian heritage, but Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed churches, while many, suffer from widespread nominalism and low attendance. However, renewal movements are growing in these churches, especially among Lutherans as they focus on young people and small groups (Family Fellowships).
Pray that these movements would expand and increase.
Pray that the strong foundation of Christianity in Slovakia would be brought to vibrant life by a new move of the Holy Spirit.

Vision for the future must be recaptured. Previous church planting initiatives have waned, but there are new ideas via the Slovak Evangelical Alliance, Natural Church Development and others. Discipleship, evangelism and church multiplication – on the grassroots level – are essential for the gospel to reach the entire nation. Many desire to see churches in every city and town, but to achieve this, thousands of new congregations must be planted.
Pray for this ambitious desire to be achieved.

27. Slovenia:
A long history of Catholic tradition is under threat. The three main Christian groups (Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran) are lacking in spiritual vitality. They are rapidly declining into irrelevance while agnosticism, New Age and different forms of Eastern religious beliefs are increasing, as is general spiritual apathy, even among those who notionally believe in God.
Pray for an awakening in the mainline churches that draws the many nominal Christians into personal faith in Christ.
Evangelicals are few, underfunded and divided. There is an evangelical presence in only 28 out of 210 municipalities, so church planting teams are clearly needed. The tiny evangelical population often reflects the divisive culture of the South Slavs – pray for unity and the formation of an Evangelical Alliance. Of the few dozen fellowships, almost none are self funding; most pastors rely on secular employment or external financial support, and there is little teaching in churches on stewardship and giving.
Pray for Slovene believers to rise to the challenge of personal evangelism, to support their own pastors and even to send missionaries.

28. Solomon Islands:
Ethnic diversity and fragmentation as well as geography render the Solomons a patchwork of tribes and political groups rather than a unified nation. This hinders not just national identity but also Christian ministry. Myriad languages and cultures necessitate a specific approach for each small tribal group, with resources and translation required. Neo-tribalism is expressed through denominationalism.
Pray that Christianity might take root in each group in a relevant way, one that can help overcome division.
Pray that God might knit these many islands and tribes together in the gospel.

Training of pastors and leaders is a strategic need for church growth both in numbers and in maturity.  TEE programmes (especially ones developed in Fiji) and preaching seminars (run by the Langham Partnership) show great growth and impact. Hundreds are being trained and are in turn training and discipling whole congregations, with valuable input from Papua New Guinea, where such programmes have had similar impact. The South Sea Evangelical Church, in particular, is experiencing a burst of vitality as a result.
Pray for the several Bible schools and denominational seminaries of traditional churches, evangelical groups and newer charismatic churches

29.-31. Somalia:
Africa’s most failed state continues to struggle for stability. More than 20 years after the start of war, violence and anarchy still reign. Several attempts to restore law and order failed – the “transitional” federal government (TFG) still does not control most of the country or even most of Mogadishu. Strong clan structures have thus far undermined rather than strengthened attempts at governing the south. Al Shabaab and other fundamentalist factions control significant amounts of territory, even driving the TFG from its former stronghold.
Pray that all Somalis would support the government and that its authority would be established throughout the country.
Pray that future rulers might learn from the past, govern the nation for the good of the people, respect human rights and grant true religious freedom.

The economic, social and physical health of the nation is terrible, the result of years of war and neglect. More than 750,000 people are internally displaced, and 500,000 died as a result of the fighting. Warfare/upheaval and a particularly strict form of Islam make outside assistance very difficult to give.
Pray for:
a) Order and stability. Chaos has created a haven for smugglers, bandits, pirates and terrorists, only fueling the problems. Such danger and an oppressive interpretation of Islam also prevent aid and workers from assisting anyone.
b) Structures of sin allow great wrongs to persist. Most women suffer female genital mutilation. Many women have been raped, many divorced and left by their husbands and many children have been smuggled out of Somalia and into exploitation or abandonment.
c) Medical need. Somalia has the lowest health budget of any nation, and the highest infant mortality rate – nearly 12% of all children die as infants. Droughts and warfare-induced famines render huge numbers dependent on food aid.
d) Wise administration of aid. Access is difficult and opportunities limited; violent reactions to perceived “Christian” aid occur.
Pray for protection and effective ministry for aid workers, many of whom are Christians.

I believe that every time we pray the Lord hears, for it is His desire that all nations receive the news of His extravagant love for us. Thank you for praying.  Until next month.

Blessings,
Germaine Copeland and the Staff of Word Ministries

Sources:
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
Copyright © 2013 Global Mapping International. All Rights Reserved
Use and reproduction subject to User Agreement.
© Operation World 2001
With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World
Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong
This information is only about 20% of what is available in the ‘Operation World’ book and CD-ROM.
To find out more click here, to buy the book click here.

PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS FOR OCTOBER 1-16

October 1, 2013

 

“For God so loved……..that He gave……” As we remember that this month I want to encourage you to continue giving a few moments each day in prayer so that these nations can experience the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and be counted as a part of the Kingdom harvest.

1. Paraguay: Paraguay still suffers from the effects of two centuries of devastating wars and bad government. The nation’s progress has been hindered by the failure of its leaders to govern, through corruption or outright folly. Thankfully, there are politicians on the scene today who seem to be dedicated to changing that. Pray for them, that they might establish a legacy of uprightness and wisdom for the sake of Paraguay’s suffering people. A large proportion of Paraguay’s believers are from immigrant backgrounds: German speaking (Mennonites and Lutherans), Brazilian (Pentecostals), Ukrainian (Baptists and Pentecostals) and Korean (Presbyterians). These immigrant communities are sometimes inward looking and isolated from mainstream national life. But there is a growing awareness of their responsibility to reach out with the gospel; Mennonites actively work with indigenous peoples in the Chaco, and Koreans are involved in outreach also. Pray for a spiritual awakening and great mission vision in the immigrant churches.
2. Peru: Peru remains a nation facing urgent challenges. Among the prayer challenges are: a) Political stability. A stable government, able to implement just and strong policies, is needed after decades of dictatorships, corruption and threats to the nation’s security (such as the Shining Path terrorists). b) Economic progress. Peru has greatly improved in the past decade, but vast economic disparity and widespread poverty still hamper the nation. Further increases to the GDP and income are little improvement if they do not assist the neediest segments of society. c) Social change. Many still suffer in the aftermath of the leftist terror groups and the death squads. Amerindian minority groups face gross racial injustice, and rapid urbanization has created a new underclass of poor migrants from rural areas. Pray for justice and righteousness for the downtrodden and oppressed.

3.-5. Philippines: Philippines’ great economic and political potential is not yet realized despite a wealth of natural resources, deeply democratic sentiment and a well-educated population. Failures by successive governments to deal with serious economic and social issues hold back development, accelerate unsustainable urbanization and keep half the population in poverty. Pray specifically for: a) A government that actively pursues justice and righteousness. Increasingly, committed Christians take major posts of leadership; Pray that they may decisively influence the nation for good. Pray for the Fellowship of Christians in Government, which promotes biblical standards in state structures and among Christian public servants. b) The end of corruption and graft, which has robbed the country of $48 billion in the last 20 years. A flawed political system helps maintain endemic greed and cronyism and keeps the country’s elite in power and wealth. The fact that the Philippines is Asia’s most Christianized nation – yet is the fourth most corrupt – is scandalous. c) Recovery from the tropical storms of 2009. A series of storms battered the country, displacing millions of people, killing over 1,000 and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The aftermath revealed the need for change in a number of areas: government that mishandles disaster relief and assigned relief funds, deforestation that leads to flooding and landslides, and poverty that leads to illegal shantytowns forming in high-risk areas. There are no easy solutions, but many pressing problems. d) Much needed reform to land ownership issues. Most farmers are landless. Changes would hugely improve the lot of the tens of millions of poor. Reform laws passed in 1988 are not implemented; continued injustices produce frustration and violence and perpetuate poverty for millions of farmers. Long-term investment into health, education and other basic infrastructures is also greatly needed, but requires commitment, huge sums and long-term vision by the government. e) Peace in Mindanao among the marginalized, resentful Muslim (Moro) population, the government and the local “Christian” majority. Islamist factions, such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, will not compromise. They claim four provinces, two with Muslim minorities, for an Islamic state. Pray for a fair, workable solution that ends the cycle of military presence, violence, kidnappings and suffering. Pray also that centuries of perceived “Christian” oppression might end with freedom and respect for the gospel.
6. Poland: The materialist dream of wealth post-independence proves elusive and hollow for most. Violence, immorality and the loss of a moral compass haunt the younger generation in particular, and much of the rural population remains mired in unemployment and poverty. Praise God for the stability, progress and freedom that allow the good news to be preached. Pray that the Polish quest for material advancement might be subordinated to their search for God. Bible training for church leaders, a much-needed ministry, developed quickly but has recently fallen off the pace. There are about 25 Protestant institutions ranging from seminary level to part-time or correspondence Bible schools. The current shortfall in students could spell trouble for several of these schools as well as intensify the current lack of evangelical leadership. Well-trained, experienced pastors are in short supply, and many who complete their studies leave Poland for other lands. Pray for a new surge of students and for biblical faithfulness, spiritual power and missions vision to be hallmarks of graduates’ ministry.
7. Portugal: Religious and political freedoms gained in 1975 have transformed the nation, but high religious affiliation and freedom does not translate into genuine faith. This is reflected in the challenges of materialism, individualism and increasing substance abuse. The religious freedom gained is taken advantage of by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and New Age philosophies. Pray for the truth about Jesus to be made known by wise Christian leaders of all confessions. The Roman Catholic Church is strongly traditional and retains much influence, but it is in need of renewal. The north is more loyal to Catholicism, but in the centre and south, religion is becoming irrelevant to the secularized majority. In some southern areas, less than 3% attend mass, despite efforts of several congregations to reach young people and young families. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work so that many are freed from traditionalism and encounter the Scriptures and the Savior in a meaningful way. Many congregations lack full-time workers with adequate theological depth and spiritual maturity; church growth exacerbates this problem. These institutions are therefore highly strategic: Assemblies of God, Portuguese Bible Institute (GEM, ECM), Presbyterian, Baptist and Brazilian-founded Bethel Bible Institutes. TEE programmes and Núcleo, a widely used Bible correspondence course, are also strategic. Pray that these may contribute to meeting the ministry needs of the churches.
8. Puerto Rico: The issue of Puerto Rico’s political identity divided the nation in the past. Independence, US statehood or the current arrangement of commonwealth are all options, but most people now seem content with the status quo. Many are concerned with the increasing Americanization of government. The biggest problem may be, however, the high levels of corruption that plague local government. Pray for wise governance that works for the best interests of the islands’ inhabitants. Puerto Ricans number nearly as many in the mainland USA as in their own land. Urbanization and unemployment in Puerto Rico crowd the cities and fuel emigration but leave rural areas fairly empty. But the traditional stereotype of a US Puerto Rican – that of a ghetto-dweller in New York City – paints an incomplete picture. There are now pockets in Florida, New England, Chicago and elsewhere, and they span the entire economic spectrum. Pray for those ministering to Puerto Ricans living in the USA.
9. Qatar: Qatari believers number but a few. From Arab, Persian and Bantu (former slaves) extraction, Qataris are almost without exception Muslim. Pray that a Qatari church would be birthed and that Qataris at home and abroad would hear about Jesus. The Christian impact on society needs our prayers: Pray that the many groups of believers among Filipinos, Westerners, Lebanese, Indians, Pakistanis and others may bear fruitful witness to their own communities. Pray also that there might be opportunities to share with non-Christians of all people groups in the country. Expatriates are drawn from many nations by the high earnings in Qatar, but Christians are limited by strict anti-proselytism laws. Pray for the employment opportunities (from manual labour up to executive positions) to be filled by Christians who would be an intentional Kingdom presence in Qatar.
9. Réunion: The dark legacy of slavery, abolished in 1848, still overshadows the present. The Creole population are descendants of those slaves. Poverty (over half the population), unemployment (25-33%), alcoholism, dysfunctional families and high illegitimacy marginalize this large underclass. A deep work of healing and laying to rest the legacy of the past is far from complete. Pray for the entire population to come to terms with the past, possible only through faith in Christ. Young people need prayer: a) Christians in the churches. Pray that they have high standards of holy living and that spiritual leaders for the future might be raised up. b) The disadvantaged. The gap is widening between the disadvantaged and the sophisticated, educated youth (also clearly along racial lines), hence the protests/riots in 2009. There are many challenges to reaching them effectively. c) YWAM has a good ministry in motivating youth for evangelism and missions. CEF has a significant ministry to children through camps and Good News Clubs.
10.-11. Romania: A legacy of brokenness endures from the days of Ceausescu’s regime, a moral vacuum being filled with every kind of social evil. Substance abuse, prostitution, pornography, human trafficking and challenges to child welfare are widespread. Romania has one of the highest abortion rates in the world, with three or more abortions for every child born. Poverty is still common, with widespread unemployment and economic instability, caused to a large degree by rampant and entrenched corruption. Divisions in government reduce its effectiveness; major strides forward are needed in its legal, education and health care systems as well as police and local administrations. Pray for leadership that has the wisdom to chart the right path and the integrity to implement the right policies. Romania is one of the world’s most Christian nations by percentage, yet this is hard to perceive in society. A worldview shaped by atheistic Communism persists. Nominalism, legalism, hypocrisy and slander of other denominations are problems in all confessions, and such antagonism does not glorify Christ nor edify the Church. Folk religious practices and the occult permeate beyond rural superstitions even into the practice of some clergy. Very little practical ministry is being done to address community needs; the Church neglects many poor people. Pray for a breakthrough of love, holiness, discipleship and prayer in all denominations. The Orthodox Church dominates society with 87% of the population affiliated. Cultural pressure to remain Orthodox, however nominal, persists. For many, this affiliation is inherited rather than reflective of a deeply held personal faith. Some Orthodox priests frequently oppose, sometimes violently, evangelical outreach. Yet within this ancient confession there is life and potential for great good. Pray for renewal from within and for the Holy Spirit to awaken those whose faith lies dead or dormant.
12.-16. Russia: The government faces many daunting tasks, present and future. Lift up to the Lord the many threats facing Russia. a) Russia is prone to authoritarian rule and admits that in the current climate good governance is more important than democracy and personal freedoms. Current and forecasted troubles would further erode freedoms and entrench a centralized power. Pray for political wisdom. Pray for the balancing of strong government with democratic accountability and respect of basic freedoms. b) Economic stability is threatened by hopelessly inadequate infrastructures – both physical and legal/financial – including disappearing investment, a huge budget deficit and dwindling cash reserves. The struggles of millions with poverty and general hopelessness raises to alarming heights crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, family breakdown and suicide. Yet, vast natural resources and potential for greater output hold much promise. Pray for wise fiscal policies and for the long-term vision and strength to follow through on them. c) Corruption must be rooted out. The power of oligarchs is being reined in, but criminal networks remain highly influential at home and abroad. They cripple honest business initiative and subvert the bureaucracy. There is no chance of change for the better without confronting these dark forces, a war that will require immense resolve and courage. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) survived Communism and remains the one major symbol of Russian identity. It regards itself as the preserver of Christian civilization handed down from Rome and Byzantium. Its liturgy and teachings continue to mould Russian culture. The number of openly professing Orthodox increased from 30 million in 1985 to 87 million in 2010 (up to 100 million in some sources). The Church is using every possible means to regain its exclusive spiritual dominance lost nearly a century ago. Pray for: a) An emphasis on the many positive elements of this ancient confession – foremost among them are the beauty and greatness of God, the mystery of Christ and His resurrection. Protestants can learn much from Orthodox theology. b) An end to the ROC’s intolerance, which is instead increasing thus far in the 21st Century. The ROC’s claims – as the one true apostolic Church and that all other Christian expressions are invalid or sectarian – stimulates repression and bigotry. Inflexibility and heavy-handedness often characterize the ROC’s relationship with other groups and even with its own constituents. The ROC is complicit in the laws passed and implemented that discriminate against other Christian groups. c) True spiritual life. The ROC claims to speak for all Russians, and the majority of ethnic Russians confess some sort of affiliation, but only 6-10% are actively involved. Factors contributing to this lack of involvement include Church leaders cozying up to and collaborating with the state, poor education of church leaders, lack of unity (both within the ROC and without) and sincerity, and neglect of the younger generation’s unique spiritual needs. Pray for leadership that will address all these issues in a biblical manner. d) Renewal movements within the ROC. Traditionalists are the more powerful but are increasingly out of touch, clinging to a Slavonic Church liturgy which few understand, and grasping for political power. The reformers are often marginalized but are more Bible focused, open for change and tolerant. Pray that future leaders may come from this more spiritual movement.
I believe that every time we pray the Lord hears, for it is His desire that all nations receive the news of His extravagant love for us. Thank you for praying. Until next month.
Blessings, Germaine Copeland and the Word Ministries Staff
Sources: Mission Info Bank. Used by permission. Copyright © 2012 Global Mapping International. All Rights Reserved Use and reproduction subject to User Agreement. © Operation World 2001 With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong This information is only about 20% of what is available in the ‘Operation World’ book and CD-ROM. To find out more click here, to buy the book click here

 

Prayer Assignments for September 16-30

September 15, 2013

Summer is swiftly coming to its final sunsets and restful days. School is starting and the regular routines are once again falling into place. As we fold up the picnic tables let us also take time to fold our hands in prayer for the nations of the earth.

16. New Zealand:
The increasing presence of other religious and spiritual options presents a challenge for Christians. The influx of immigrants from other faith backgrounds is an opportunity for Kiwis to share the gospel cross-culturally. More pressing, though, is the permeation of society with New Age spirituality. Its individualistic, non-structural, nature attuned character appeals to many who are disillusioned with Christianity. Jesus is still attractive to many who are turned off by organized religion.
Pray for ways for the gospel to be shared in an engaging and relevant manner.
Christian division is a threat. There are tensions in many denominations over a variety of issues, and cooperation among denominations has declined. Some tension exists among Pentecostal churches. The activity of some churches in politics is criticized by others. New Zealand Christian Network (formerly Vision Network) is a national body linking denominations and agencies that represent the majority of New Zealand’s Christians.
Pray God’s wisdom for this group in what is a vital ministry for the health of the Church and its testimony to non-believers.

17. Nicaragua:
Rapid evangelical growth in an impoverished and dysfunctional society creates both challenges and opportunities.
Pray about the following:
a) The deep trauma suffered by many who are now turning to the churches – bereavement, family break-ups, material loss and other traumas.
b) Division among and even within churches on liberation theology, the work of the Holy Spirit and interpersonal conflicts. The Evangelical Alliance of Nicaragua (FAENIC) represents 62 denominations and is crucial in forging a healthy national Christian presence.
c) The emergence of US-style mega churches with their dynamism and confidence. Nicaragua needs culturally appropriate churches that serve the people and do not just mimic foreign models.
d) Economic programmes by the churches. With widespread poverty, churches are ministering to the most destitute (such as street children) and developing ways to assist their most needy members.

18.-19.Niger:
Christianity is growing, but more slowly than the population overall; the same applies for evangelicals, who remain a tiny minority. People are coming into the Kingdom in a trickle.
Pray for the trickle to turn into a torrent.
Positively, many previously unreached people groups now have their first believers, and pastors, who converted from Islam themselves, lead the majority of congregations. But social and cultural pressure to remain in or revert to Islam prevents many, who would otherwise do so, from following Christ.
Pray for a critical mass of open, practicing Christians that begins larger people movements to Christ.
Pray for these issues facing the church:
a) Many believers are isolated, often illiterate and rarely have systematic Bible teaching available.
Pray for literacy programmes as well as oral methods of learning scriptural truths and becoming disciples.
Pray for groups to form, even if only very small, for the sake of those who need fellowship with other Christians.

b) Unity is needed. Despite the small size of the Church, a number of denominations have split.
Pray for greater unity, especially through the work of AMEEN.
c) Leadership training. The EERN and UPEEN denominations run two middle-level Bible schools. Also, SIM and its five church partners operate a higher-level Bible school (ESPRiT) in Niamey. Many small Bible training schools and modular/TEE schools are run by different denominations, such as Institute Biblique Baptist de Soir.
Pray for effective ways to train more leaders and to further train those currently in pastoral work.
d) Educational needs provide an opportunity for Christians to make a huge difference in Niger. The government cannot afford to educate all children, so many – especially girls – receive no schooling at all. Agencies such as SIM, Tearfund and World Horizons, as well as denominations such as EERN, open and run schools that offer valuable education for primary-aged children and open doors for demonstrating the gospel.
Pray for material and human resources to properly seize this opportunity.
This pioneer land still needs missionaries for all parts of the country. Loving ministry by Christian missionaries – working through aid, development, health and education – has won credibility for the gospel and increased interest and response from both Muslims and animists.
Pray for more labourers. There is a growing contribution to missions by Nigeria and Brazil.
Pray for sensitivity in helping small, young churches and their leaders to maturity.

20.-22. Nigeria:
Nigeria’s unity has survived, almost miraculously, despite countless threats. The cumulative effects of ancient tribal rivalries, Muslim conquests, British colonial policy in which the north and south were handled differently, the bitter Biafra war of 1967-70 and heightened religious tensions have left deep scars.
Pray for healing and reconciliation.
Pray also for leadership that will serve to reconcile and unite rather than to embitter and divide.

The challenges facing the government are myriad and urgent – extremist Muslim agitation in the north, armed militias in the disgruntled and oil-rich southeast, pervasive corruption, a self-serving network of bureaucratic elite, emigration/brain drain, widespread poverty and an apparently disintegrating sense of national identity. These are challenges enough for any established government, never mind a fledgling democracy.
Pray for the right balance between caution and decisiveness in addressing such threats, and between prudence and ambition in economic development and in combating poverty.
Church growth has been massive and remains so. Nigeria has a large majority of West Africa’s evangelicals. But such growth is not without its own dangers.
Pray against:
a) A failure of discipleship: the emphasis on evangelism and soul winning without adequate follow-up and balanced biblical teaching. Africa’s – and Nigeria’s – greatest spiritual challenge is not Islam, not corruption, not even the need for missions, but discipleship. If the Nigerian Church were truly discipled and brought to maturity in Christ, it would be an unstoppable force.
b) Unbalanced prosperity theology and chasing after dubious miracles cheapen the good news. Numerous doctrinal distortions, greed masquerading as biblical prosperity, spiritual charlatanism and unethical fundraising not only exchange the truth for lies, but they also inoculate millions against the real message of the gospel.
c) Second-generation nominalism in both traditional and younger churches is a big problem. Double standards are widespread, and immorality, membership in secret societies and compromise with the world bring strife and disrepute to the gospel.
d) Syncretistic Christianity. Many newer indigenous groups have a desire for God but also much admixture of unbiblical worldviews and practices. Many are open to greater gospel light but are often isolated from, or shunned by, the more orthodox churches. They are increasingly benefitting from access to solid evangelical seminaries and sound theological literature.
e) Enthusiastic and aggressive but uninformed approaches to African spirituality. This is often and most sadly expressed in witch hunters, who identify and accuse children of being witches or being possessed by demons and then administer harsh, even fatal, “cures”.
Pray that biblical truth and practice might prevail over superstition.
f) Division and disunity. There are several major networks of churches in Nigeria. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the umbrella body for five major Christian blocks – the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN); ECWA/TEKAN (Protestant mainline); PFN/CPFN (Pentecostals); and the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC). Praise God for their vital contribution to national Christian life and unity. Some mega churches and newer denominations do not bother to integrate into the wider Christian scene.
Pray that leaders and in turn believers might look past the denominational and tribal rivalries that may exist to focus on their underlying and more profound unity in Christ.

23. Norway:
The Lutheran Church, while a pillar of society and the most evangelical of all state churches in Europe, faces challenges nonetheless. It has, in the past, seen revivals, prayer and mission houses and many mission and volunteer agencies formed. But today it faces the same pluralistic challenge as other European societies as well as an internal battle over homosexuality.
Pray for new revival and for a deep commitment to biblical faith and practice.
The formation of independent mission organizations within and without the Lutheran Church is bringing high levels of member-commitment to congregational life and to missions. These groups blend Lutheran heritage with informal Pietist-rooted evangelicalism. The hubs of these movements are found in mission houses – informal nodes of worship, prayer and community where the lay organizations were founded. Almost the entire foreign missionary effort of the Church of Norway, and a considerable amount of domestic evangelistic work, are carried out by these organizations; the Norwegian Missionary Society, Norwegian Lutheran Mission, Normisjon and others are part of this movement.
Pray for their continued role and impact in a changing society.

24. Oman:
Almost the entire Christian population is expatriate. There are four centers where Christians of over 30 denominations or languages meet and where services in many languages are held. There are no restrictions on evangelism among expatriates, and there is a steady stream of conversions among Asians in both the newer and more traditional churches. Churches are very active, conducting home groups, TEE and Alpha Courses.
Pray for the Christians to live godly lives that clearly display Christ to their unbelieving neighbors, both expatriate and Omani.
Christian professionals and workers. The door remains open for Kingdom workers to share the gospel effectively through words, actions and lifestyles that honor Jesus. The Reformed Church in America has had a good witness here since 1890, when Samuel Zwemer, the famous missionary to Muslims, began his work in Oman. Its hospital, clinics and missionary workers have been incorporated into the government health service. Christians also have a strong presence in the education and business sectors.
Pray that more workers would be willing to serve here.
Pray also that, despite obvious limitations, mission-minded Christians might be fruitful and effective in planting, watering and reaping a spiritual harvest.

25.-28.: Pakistan:
Fundamentalist Islam, driven by the Taliban, is upheld by a minority, but impacts the whole nation. It has escalated violence against religious minorities (including Shi’a Muslims), shattered social cohesion and divided the country. It also disables economic development and keeps millions in poverty through the disruption it causes and the values it endorses.
Of particular note for prayer:
a) The violence and war conducted by insurgents, especially in the scenic northwestern Swat Valley, emptied hundreds of villages, towns and schools, cost thousands of lives and disrupted the lives of millions. The militants’ success gave them temporary control over the region and forced concessions by the government, which has largely wrested control back.
b) The imposition of shari’a in the northwest – a result of government compromise with the militants – spells woe for many, epecially non-Muslims. It also invites further aggression from the militants, since such tactics previously yielded significant gains and concessions.
c) The proliferation of madrasas (estimated at 20,000 in number) – religious schools that in shari’a-controlled areas usually offer little education beyond memorizing the Quran and pushing the brand of Islam favoured by the militants. These schools, located throughout Pakistan, exist in part due to the lack of quality state-run schools and the expense of private ones, and they produce a new generation of recruits for the militant cause.
d) The status of women under such militant values is miserable. They endure almost no freedoms or rights, minimal education and widespread domestic abuse; social structures and cultural morés make it extremely hard to evangelize them.
Pray that the true nature of such an expression of Islam might be exposed for all to see, and thereby rendered powerless.
Pray for safety for those most at risk under the rule of shari’a.
Pray for the government to have insight in how to deal with this force that appears impossible to root out.

The Church continues to grow despite many obstacles. In effect, most Christians exist as second-class citizens, coming from poor backgrounds and classes.
Pray for:
a) Revival. Poverty, illiteracy and lack of teaching have hastened corruption, carnality and lowering spiritual standards. Substance abuse occurs frequently enough among Christians to be a terrible testimony to Muslims. There are pockets of real devotion (perhaps 10% are reckoned to be committed, vivid believers), but the large majority of the Church is nominal or immature.
b) Spiritual leadership in churches. Leadership struggles, court cases, factions and divisions are far too common. Many minister for the financial gain to be had.
Pray for the raising up of humble, committed leaders with a passion to serve the Church.
c) Unity. Recent intensified persecution and violence serve to bring somewhat more unity among Christians, but much further progress is needed. The National Council of Churches and the Pakistan Evangelical Alliance aim to draw Christians together and foster united prayer and collaborative ministry.
d) Finances. Most Christians are from poor backgrounds, and material support from the outside world appears to be decreasing. Secure compounds for churches, Bible schools and other Christian facilities are now necessary for higher security measures, which are financially costly or downright unaffordable. Much of Christian-used infrastructure is in disrepair with few resources just to maintain, let alone increase, buildings.
Pray for creative solutions to this long-term issue.
e) Relationship to the state. Despite discrimination and often outright hostility from the government, most Pakistani Christians love their nation and wish it to prosper. Believers are considering demonstrable ways they can be both Christian and Pakistani.
Pray for a healthy dynamic between state and Church, and that Christians might be a blessing to their land.
f) Education is an area in which Christians could potentially have great strategic impact on Pakistan. In the past, schools run by Christians helped shape many of the country’s top leaders. But many Christians who receive quality higher education leave Pakistan for better opportunities abroad.
Pray that more might stay as redemptive influences in Pakistan.
Leadership training is a hugely critical need for the Church.
Pray for educational and training institutions, for an increase in students, for wise and godly leadership, for sufficient qualified faculty and for adequate financial resources.
Give thanks for the new generation of emerging Pakistani leaders.
Pray that a higher proportion of them may be able to serve in national churches without needing the support of foreign agencies.

29.-30.: Palestine:
Pray for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in the following areas:
a) A just settlement of the land issue and the future of both Jewish settlements in the Palestinian areas and Palestinians in Israel itself. Both sides feel strong legitimate claims to the land, but their respective national aspirations are mutually exclusive.
b) The improvement of living conditions. Estimates are that 70% of Gaza lives in deep poverty and 80% are dependent upon external aid. Widespread unemployment and Israel’s imposition of economic controls prevent the majority from working their way out of poverty.
c) A fair apportionment of the water resources. Palestine has access to only 17% of the available water resources, with the remainder used by settlers, by Israel or sold back to Palestine. Only 28% of Gaza has regular access to clean water.
d) The political leadership of Palestine and Israel. The Palestinian National Authority is an elected quasi-government which all know has no real power to govern.
Pray for a means by which legitimate and effective leadership might govern Palestine.
e) The future of Jerusalem, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, each as their exclusive capital.
Pray not only for the peace of the land, but that both Jewish Israeli and Palestinian Arab meet the Prince of Peace. It is through Him alone that any meaningful reconciliation will come.
Palestinian Christians find themselves attacked or betrayed from all sides. They are regarded as Arab Palestinians by Israel and as Western collaborators by extremist Muslims, and they are generally ignored or abandoned by the global Church. Yet they trace their roots back to pre-Islamic times. Their numbers in Palestine itself have declined at an accelerating rate, largely due to emigration. The pull to leave is strong, with a vastly greater quality of life available elsewhere, and with increasing pressures from Israel on one side and Islamists on the other.
Pray that those who remain might continue to stay strong in both their Christian faith and in their commitment to live out the gospel in very difficult conditions. Pray that they might also know God’s protection.

29. Panama:
Panama’s strategic location and stability also attract many other forces to the area. Proximity to Colombia and the prevalence of offshore finance mean that drug cartels and other undesirables are strongly present and using much of the economy to launder money.
Pray for a government that will root out corruption and oppose wickedness.
The Church’s impact is significantly less than its size. Nominalism is widespread in both the Catholic Church and in many English-speaking churches. Catholicism has lost much impetus to the more dynamic evangelicals, JWs, Mormons and Muslims. The Church lacks the strength to turn this trend around and is further compromised by many of its members dallying with the false teachings of New Age, astrology and psychics.
Pray for the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for the less-reached sections of the population:
a) The upper-middle classes. They are under-represented in the churches, but a number of lively charismatic fellowships have started in recent years. There are now many professional and business people who follow Christ.
b) The Chinese. Most still speak Hakka (60%) and Cantonese, with many traditional Chinese religionists and some nominal Catholics among them. Allegedly, the Chinese population in Panama has spiraled upward to 300,000, most of them recently arrived illegal immigrants. There are only 11 congregations among them (none of them speaking Hakka) and a mere handful of workers.
Pray for more workers and fruit in this rapidly growing community.
c) The South Asians, who are largely Gujarati-speaking. Most are Muslims, some Hindus, and others Sikh. There is no known specific outreach to them.
d) The 9,000 Jews. There is a Panamanian Christian outreach to them called Messianic Association “Remnant of Israel”. Most Jews are Orthodox and hard to reach.

30. Papua New Guinea:
The nation faces many crises just to prevent meltdown, never mind to oversee progress. Some groups and governments involved with PNG see an impending failed state and social chaos. Corruption is endemic and hampering progress. Pray for a government that will act with courage and foresight, moral integrity and wisdom.
Pray for the following challenges facing the churches:
a) Effective discipling is the most urgent and prevalent need. Nominalism, syncretism and pollution of Christianity with spiritism and the occult are sadly widespread. Culturally appropriate ways of building biblical faith, character, lifestyle and worldview must be developed.
Pray for creative, insightful groups to achieve this.
b) Failure to engage with Scripture. Lack of Scripture translations and widespread functional illiteracy generate both spiritual stuntedness and vulnerability to nominalism or theological error.
Pray for more Bible and discipleship material specifically developed for oral learners.
c) The Wantok (“one talk”) system is one of mutual sharing – important in a society of subsistence hunting and farming. Yet the communal, trans-generational sense of obligation and mutuality can not only hinder economic progress but also restrain those who wish to press on in their Christian walk.
d) Continued divisiveness based on ethnicity. Strong tribal ties, ancient animosities and diversity of languages persist. These barriers hinder fellowship and the flow of spiritual blessing.
e) Denominational division is less now than in the past, but unity and cooperation are far from achieved. The PNG Council of Churches draws together mainline denominations; the Evangelical Alliance does the same for most Protestant and many independent groups. They see good progress at the leadership level. Pray for divisions to be broken down, particularly on the local congregational level.
f) Attempts to Islamize PNG are underway and will be an increasing challenge to the Church. Pray for adequate preparation and equipping that will enable Christians to wisely face such encroachment.

30. Bougainville:
There is still a need for forgiveness and reconciliation. The slow move towards independence is being handled cautiously, but reopening the copper mine could reopen old wounds as well.
Pray for long-term peace after decades of bitterness and hatred between the PNG government and the Bougainville islanders.
The spiritual need of Bougainville is much greater than in PNG, as the evangelical presence is quite small.
Pray for revival throughout the Bougainville Church, and for leaders to develop vision and initiatives reflective of Christ’s mission.
a) Overall church membership is decreasing, though Pentecostal churches such as Foursquare (21 congregations) are growing and beginning mission work in neighbouring Solomon Islands. Syncretism and nominalism abound.
Pray for sound teaching and discipleship that matures believers and for effective outreach across denominations that bears lasting fruit.
b) Genuine faith in Christ needs reviving. During the Bougainville civil war many people flocked to churches professing faith in Christ, only to fall away once the war ended.
Pray for wisdom as believers strive after unity, understanding and respect for one another in these days of restoration.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for the nations of the earth.

Blessings,
Germaine Copeland and the Word Ministries Staff

Sources:
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
Copyright © 2012 Global Mapping International. All Rights Reserved
Use and reproduction subject to User Agreement.
© Operation World 2001
With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World
Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong
This information is only about 20% of what is available in the ‘Operation World’ book and CD-ROM.
To find out more click here, to buy the book click here.

Prayer Assignments for September 9-17

September 8, 2013

September 9-17 Prayer Assignments

Vacation days are almost gone and we now enter a new rhythm for the next season. We will soon start to see the beginnings of fall here in the United States. But for many of the people we pray for, every day involves some level of struggle just to survive. For others it is a repetition of sameness even in the midst of evident prosperity. And for others it is a hope of peace and a safe dwelling place. How wonderful it is that our prayers can interrupt their lives with the promise of peace, hope and joy through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Seasons may change but our God is always faithful. May we include these nations in our prayers during the coming days.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!  Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:7-8)
9. Palestine: Christian Palestinians trace their roots back to pre-Islamic times. The antagonisms of the conflict have provoked many to immigrate to Western countries, and their numbers have declined dramatically from around 10% in 1940 to 1.4% in 2000. Many see the Christians as having been the glue for, and a bridge in, society.

Pray that Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians alike may stand for and witness to the Truth, and be protected amid rising levels of intimidation by their Muslim neighbors.

Pray for solutions to these major issues:

a) An equitable settlement of the land issue, and the future of the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian areas. Both sides feel they have strong legitimate claims to the land.

b) A fair apportionment of the water resources – Israel uses 115% of the land’s renewable water and makes little available to the Palestinians.

c) The future of Jerusalem – claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, each as their exclusive capital.

d) The unresolved future for the Palestinian exiles who make up 55% of all Palestinians. Two million live in 61 refugee camps in surrounding lands.

Pray not only for the peace of the land, but that Jewish Israeli and Palestinian Arab may meet the Prince of Peace, through whom alone any meaningful reconciliation can come.

10.-11. Papua New Guinea: The government faces a daunting task of uniting such a variety of peoples into a single nation. Tribal fighting and revenge killings still occur, especially in the Highlands. The messy war in Bougainville was badly handled. Corruption in government seriously impaired several administrations in the 1990s. Social dislocation caused by the drift of people to the cities, and unemployment for the educated youth, have led to social problems, including crime and violence.

Pray that the leaders of this land may seek righteousness and the guidance of God in the affairs of their nation.

Leadership training is a priority. Many small Bible schools are run by churches and missions. There are a number of denominational theological colleges. The well-known interdenominational Christian Leaders’ Training College (CLTC), with 120 full-time students and an international faculty, trains leaders for churches from all over PNG and the Solomon Islands. Churches are recognizing the value of TEE as a tool for training the many marginally-literate rural pastors and church workers who have received minimal grounding in the faith.

Pray for:

a) Men and women called of God to full-time service as pastors, missionaries, etc. The lure of highly paid secular jobs is strong for those with good education.

b) Bible teachers who can impart a love of God’s Word to students and the desire to apply its truths to their own cultures.

c) The provision of mature, articulate Christian leaders who will significantly influence the spiritual life of the nation, and establish the church on biblical foundations.

d) Specialized urban training programmes to prepare leaders for urban ministries (CLTC Centers in Port Moresby and Law; Baptist Urban Pastoral Training Centre [BUPTC] in Port Moresby).

e) The excellent TEE programmes in English run by CLTC to serve PNG and the Pacific, and development of more TEE programmes in Tok Pisin in the country.

12. Paraguay: Most of Paraguay’s Protestants are German-speaking Mennonites and Lutherans, Ukrainian Baptists and Pentecostals and Korean Presbyterians. These immigrant communities are often culturally isolated from the mainstream of national life, and therefore lack outward vision. Nominalism is also a common problem.

Pray that these communities might experience a renewal of spiritual vigor and the birth of a vision for a transformed Paraguay.

Evangelical church growth continued through the 1990s, with the majority of growth coming through Mennonite, Pentecostal and Independent churches. Most of these groups have entered Paraguay from Brazil and Argentina, and have retained their characteristic zeal and initiative. Unfortunately, there is need for Biblical input on such issues as fellowship with other Christian groups, attitudes towards wealth, and leadership models.

Pray that all of these groups might submit their beliefs and practices to Scripture.

13.-14. Peru: Peru needs an effective democratic government with the courage and strength to deal with the real issues.

Pray for the strengthening of:

a) The fragile peace. Major societal change is needed – corruption, racism, religious freedom and an unfair judicial system are endemic. The problem of terrorism has not ended.

b) The tentative economic recovery. Some have benefited, but the majority have not been positively affected. The massive slums ringing Lima are little changed. Over 200,000 rural Peruvians are involved in cultivating narcotics.

The Quechua and Aymara peoples, the descendants of the Incas, have begun to emerge from centuries of oppression, cultural deprivation, grinding poverty and isolation. Quechua was recognized as an official language in 1975. The Quechua Church has grown rapidly as Christianity at last becomes indigenized in Scriptures, structures, worship and music. Whole villages have been turning to Christ.
Pray for:

a) Millions of mountain Quechua and Aymara who are still bound by superstitions of pagan and ‘Christian’ origin. Many migrated to the cities during the war.

b) Bible translation which has been a major factor in the Quechua renaissance and church growth. The Cuzco and Ayacucho languages have the whole Bible and 3 other Quechua languages the NT (UBS, SIL, IEP, SBC); a further 12 languages are being translated. Pray for translation and literacy teams as they make these vital Scriptures available and understandable.

c) Breaking down centuries of pain, resentment and prejudice between Quechua and Spanish-speakers and a unity at the Cross of Christ as brethren.

 15-17. Philippines: Filipino Evangelicals have multiplied – but so too have the challenges.

Pray for the spiritual health of the Church and a facing up to dangers:

a) Rapid growth with inadequate discipling. Damaging splits in denominations, erroneous teachings, syncretistic worldview and superficiality are the result.

b) Complacency and second-generation nominalism. The successes of the 1980s were not fully repeated in the 1990s. The hype about growth should be counterbalanced by recognizing spiritual shallowness at the grass roots. Pray for new vision, new direction from God for setting biblical priorities and goals, and renewed momentum for growth in the new millennium.

c) Poverty in many congregations. The availability of foreign funds and an expectation that foreigners take charge can lead to passivism and a dependence on man rather than on God. Pray that these believers may be spiritually enriched by a greater dependence on God. Pray for a spirit of generosity for those whose economic situation has improved. Pray also for a loving sensitivity to this on the part of foreign workers and donors who seek to help them.

Thank you for the time you give in daily intercession for the nations of the earth. We continue to believe that they will have a visitation from the presence of the Lord. As you have prayed for others may the Lord answer the prayers of your heart.

Blessings,

Germaine Copeland and the Word Ministries Staff

http://www.prayers.org

Sources:

Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2013 Global Mapping International. All Rights Reserved

Use and reproduction subject to User Agreement.

© Operation World 2001

With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World

Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong

This information is only about 20% of what is available in the ‘Operation World’ book and CD-ROM.

To find out more click here, to buy the book click here.

Prayer Assignments for September 1-8

September 1, 2013

September 1-8 Prayer Assignments

Vacation days are almost gone and we now enter a new rhythm for the next season. We will soon start to see the beginnings of fall here in the United States. But for many of the people we pray for, every day involves some level of struggle just to survive. For others it is a repetition of sameness even in the midst of evident prosperity. And for others it is a hope of peace and a safe dwelling place. How wonderful it is that our prayers can interrupt their lives with the promise of peace, hope and joy through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Seasons may change but our God is always faithful. May we include these nations in our prayers during the coming days.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!  Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:7-8)
1.-2. Nigeria: The combined effects of ancient tribal hatreds, Muslim conquests, British colonial policy in which the North and South were handled differently and the bitter Biafra war of 1967-70 have left deep scars. Pray for healing and reconciliation.
Pray for healing and reconciliation.

Massive church growth has its dangers. Pray for the following areas:

a) Widespread evangelism unaccompanied by follow-up and balanced teaching. Numerous doctrinal distortions (lack of preaching Christ and salvation by grace alone), an over-emphasis on material prosperity, undue stress on certain spiritual gifts and unethical fundraising are bringing dissension to the Body of Christ.

b) Divisions. A profusion of competing denominations and sects has emerged. There are too many one-man ministries with little accountability to the Body of Christ. Pray that the pride, carnality and tribalism underlying this may be replaced with humility, simplicity of lifestyle and holiness.

c) Second-generation nominalism in both traditional and younger churches is becoming a big problem. Double standards are widespread, and immorality, membership of secret societies and compromise with the world bring strife and disrepute for the gospel.

d) Syncretistic Christianity. Many indigenous groups have sprung up with a desire for God, but with much admixture of unbiblical world-views and practices. Many are open to greater gospel light but are often isolated from, or shunned by, more orthodox churches. A number of large Pentecostal denominations are also showing syncretistic tendencies.

3. Norway: The Lutheran Church of Norway is unique in Europe, for although it is the State Church, many of the pastors are theologically evangelical. Out of revival and persecution have sprung up many voluntary organizations within the Church – agencies, prayer houses and fellowships – which have been a source of good in promoting Christian schools, theological education and foreign missions. The State Church has been polarized by the efforts of some bishops to bring in new freedoms for homosexuals within the Church.

Pray that this large Church and its leadership may be committed to biblical theology and faith. Pray also for revival once more.

The (non-State) Free Churches are a significant minority with high levels of member-commitment to congregational life and to missions. Since 1983 the number of new churches planted has increased significantly – both in the older Free Churches, Pentecostals and also many newer independent and charismatic congregations. DAWN conferences have been catalytic for promoting this. In 1998 churches committed themselves to planting 500 new churches by 2003.

Pray that the present up-turn in outreach and spiritual life might be strengthened and increased.

4. Oman: Rapid social change since 1970 has transformed Oman. Oil wealth, rising education levels and the opening up to the wider world have broadened the minds of Omanis. The younger generation in particular is outward looking and interested in new ideas. Though slavery was abolished many years ago there still remains a ‘spirit of slavery’ in attitudes, creating another obstacle to the gospel in the hearts of Omanis.
Pray that many may become receptive to spiritual change too.
The entire Muslim majority is a big challenge. There are no known believers among the Mahra of Dhofar, the Baluch of the eastern coasts, the rural population or the Swahili speakers.

There are perhaps a handful of indigenous believers, none professing Christ openly.
Pray that they may grow and begin to meet with other believers.

5.-8. Pakistan: After half a century of misrule, Pakistan needs a government that allows a real democracy to develop and spends its income on economic rather than military development, ends a culture of uncontrolled corruption and gives a fair deal to all its citizens.

Pray for the binding of the spirit of lawlessness and violence that has crippled this nation, and for the raising up of leaders of integrity.

Shari’a law has only been partially implemented, but its effects for minorities are dire. There is a mandatory death sentence for ‘disrespect to the Prophet’ and a life sentence for desecration of the Qur’an. The potential for malicious rumors and false charges against Christians has been realized. Innocent people have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Any judge that seeks to dismiss the charges is intimidated and threatened.
Pray for the abrogation of discriminatory legislation – specifically, the blasphemy law – implementation of a fair system of justice and a police force that impartially applies the law.

Christian missions have been working in the land since 1833. Christian standards and institutions have had a deep impact on the country – a fact which Islamists want to ignore. Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists and, later, Salvation Army missionaries pioneered the work. There was a great turning to the Lord from among six of the 30 scheduled Hindu castes between 1890 and 1930. This was accompanied by revival in 1904. Other missions, predominantly evangelical, entered Pakistan around the time of independence. There are few Muslims who would think of becoming Christians. Most despise the humble origins of the church here which first reached the Hindu ‘untouchables’, or Dalit of the Panjab, or tribal peoples of the Sindh.
Pray that these barriers of culture, religion and history may be broken down. Pray for more effective partnering between groups in their ministry.

Thank you for the time you give in daily intercession for the nations of the earth. We continue to believe that they will have a visitation from the presence of the Lord. As you have prayed for others may the Lord answer the prayers of your heart.

Blessings,

Germaine Copeland and the Word Ministries Staff

Sources:

Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 Global Mapping International. All Rights Reserved

Use and reproduction subject to User Agreement.

© Operation World 2001

With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World

Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong

This information is only about 20% of what is available in the ‘Operation World’ book and CD-ROM.

To find out more click here, to buy the book click here.

Prayer Assignments for August 16-31

August 16, 2013

PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS FOR AUGUST 16-31, 2012

In the closing days of summer and vacations we here at Word Ministries take time to say thank you for being willing to spend a few moments each day alone or with your prayer group covering the nations in prayer. We believe part of our mission and vision is to see the whole earth filled with the Glory of the Lord.

We pray that the Lord of the Harvest will continue to send forth laborers into the darkest parts of our world and that the light of Jesus Christ will penetrate the hearts of men, women and children.

16. Liechtenstein:

Liechtenstein has changed from a feudal backwater in the 1930s to a sophisticated and affluent modern state. The last remaining vestige of the Holy Roman Empire; the prince’s family has always been Catholic and the vast majority of native citizens are likewise, albeit most only nominally. Expatriates represent several Christian confessions, but non-religion and Islam are growing rapidly. Few in this country have ever been confronted with the necessity of a personal faith in Christ.

Pray that, as the immigrant population increases, encounters with the gospel might likewise multiply.

The first and only evangelical fellowship of believers was started in 1985 after an
evangelistic campaign launched by British, Norwegian and Swiss believers. The evangelical population, mostly expatriates, is now slowly increasing. Campus for Christ had a part-time presence hosting evangelistic breakfasts. Some members of the extended royal family profess personal faith in Christ, with links to the Catholic charismatic renewal movement.

Pray for continued growth and discipleship among them.

17. Lithuania:

Freedom has brought progress. Doors for the gospel remain open, and evangelical
positions can have a hearing in society. However, with freedom came many dangers –
increased materialism, hedonism and nihilism. Substance abuse, suicide and, most sinister, trafficking women for prostitution in the West all disintegrate the nation’s foundations. Often, the most gifted leave Lithuania for more lucrative positions elsewhere. Economic growth must be paired with real social and spiritual transformation.
Pray that God would bring massive societal change through His people.

Catholicism retains a crucial role in Lithuanian society, but has not fully emerged
from old ways of thinking to embrace its potential for godly influence in society. Pray that the Catholic Church uses its significant influence to draw people to Christ. Only one-sixth of Catholics attend church weekly. Fellowship with and acceptance of other Christian groups must be improved. Several Franciscan, charismatic and evangelical-style networks in the Church bring young leadership, new thinking and fresh spirituality;
Pray for their further growth.

17. Luxembourg:

Luxembourg’s strong Catholic heritage remains, but is slowly dwindling. Sea changes
in Catholicism have had little impact here, and while the majority profess Catholicism, only a small percent regularly attend mass or practice their faith. A melange of secularism, materialism and a fuzzy personalized spirituality all weigh in heavily in shaping the prevalent worldview of this highly affluent Grand Duchy. Veneration of Mary plays a great role in cultural tradition and ritual. It is tradition more than conviction that keeps Luxembourg Catholic.

Pray that people discover the power of the living Christ.

The growth of other faiths presents a challenge to traditional faith. Islam, Orthodoxy,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Eastern mysticism and the multiplication of Protestant and
Independent groups have transformed this small nation into a melting pot of religious
expression.

Pray that believers in the Lord Jesus might seek and make use of chances to share the gospel, and help shape the nation according to biblical principles.

18. Macedonia:

Macedonia’s ethnic composition dominates its political and social existence, where segregation is more prevalent than harmony. The large (and growing) Albanian minority feel more connected with their own kind in Albania and Kosovo than with the other ethnicities of Macedonia. Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia also have agendas for Macedonia. Economic difficulties cause significant emigration and urban pull; many of the 2,000 villages are dwindling or disappearing altogether.

Pray for wisdom for the government, and pray that the divided communities might find ways to build their nation together.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church claims to represent almost two-thirds of the
population, but more than 1,000 churches remain largely empty, and most Macedonians
are secular and unreligious in practice. The Macedonian government effectively endorsed this Church’s hegemony by imprisoning the local bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from which the Macedonian Orthodox illegitimately split. The Orthodox Church sometimes opposes new religious expressions such as evangelicalism, but dialogue is increasing.

Pray for new life to touch this Church and all those who belong to it.

19. Madagascar:

Madagascar is locked in a battle with poverty, even though it is often called the “8th continent” and is rich in ecology, ethnicity and history. The majority live on an average of less than $1US/day and survive by subsistence agriculture. The common slash-and-burn technique is destroying the rainforest cover as well as many unique plant and animal species. About 80% of the original rainforest cover has already been lost. Repeatedly, cyclones further hamper development and destroy property.

Pray for appropriate and sustainable development that lifts people out of poverty, and for a long-term approach to this complex challenge.

The Protestant Churches have a glorious history of faith despite their persecution by
heathen rulers and harassment by the French Catholic colonial authorities. It grew from
5,000 in 1861 to one million in 1900. There have been significant revival movements within the larger churches in 1895, 1941, 1948, and during the 1980s. Springing from the revivals, movements of indigenous lay “shepherds” are operating within the mainline churches. Their emphasis on healing and exorcism – which relate strongly to the spiritist mentality – has led to conversions and full churches in some areas.

Pray that this movement might continue to grow and be rooted in Scripture.

The northern and southern extremities of the island host the least evangelized of the Malagasy peoples. Animism prevails with strong Muslim influence in the north and northwest, and 80% of the south is still non-Christian. Inaccessibility is the greatest challenge, and missionaries have thus far failed to penetrate these regions effectively. Malagasy evangelists travel for days to reach such villages.

Pray for health, bicycles, finances and faith for them.

20. Malawi:

Malawi faces serious challenges in the future, such as the combination of poverty, high population growth and increasing pressure on agricultural land. High levels of national debt, AIDS and unemployment, when added to the aforementioned economic factors, produce challenges that will require wisdom, long-term planning and proactive policies by the government. The grip of poverty hampers development not only in the financial sense but also in terms of education, AIDS prevention, family life and even effective ministry and discipleship.

Pray for leaders in Malawi, most of whom are church members, to act with wisdom, humility and long-term planning on biblical principles.
Pray that both Malawian and expatriate workers may effectively share the love of Christ with the following least evangelized groups:

a) The Yawo, mostly Muslim, remain the biggest missional challenge in Malawi. Currently,outreach attempts are made by a partnership of evangelical missions – SIM, Brethren in Christ, AoG, Frontiers, Australian and South African Baptists, FEBA, CAPRO, Deeper Life and others – but few have come to Christ. Bible translation, audio resources and radio broadcasts are all being developed, and a Yawo church is coming to life!

b) The various tribes that still practice traditional ethnic religion. All of these have some
Christians among them, but usually a smaller minority. They include the Southern Nyanja
(11.6% of the population), the Kokola (1.7%), Nyungwe (0.1%) and a few smaller groups.

c) The Asian peoples, including Gujaratis, Kachis and Tamils. Only sporadic attempts are made to evangelize these predominantly Hindu and Muslim peoples.

21-22: Malaysia:

The Christian community faces many challenges beyond the external issues of religious freedom and evangelizing Muslims.

Pray for:

a) Unity among Christians. They face social ills, injustices and growing discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. The Christian Federation of Malaysia represent evangelicals, Catholics and mainline denominations before the government. The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) consists of evangelical churches and organizations focused on building unity, prayer, ministry and mission. The NECF assists evangelicals in transforming the nation by promoting economic sufficiency, justice/advocacy and national righteousness.

b) Godly leadership within the Christian community.

Pray for godly leaders who are prepared, at considerable cost, to lead their churches by nurturing and empowering members to live godly lives – in the discipline of prayer and the task of evangelism – as they manifest witness to the concerns and needs of every sphere of society.

c) Lack of Christian workers. Many smaller churches have no trained pastor, even with a
healthy number of Bible colleges, seminaries and church-training programmes. Too few
respond to God’s call to service because of family expectations, materialism, a lack of role models and the perception that years of theological training are required.

d) Marginalization creates anxiety, a ghetto mentality and the desire to withdraw from being the witnesses Christians should be. Emigration rates of professionals and Bible school graduates are high.

Since Malay became the official national language, Christians have been confronted
with a series of challenges.

Pray for improvements in:

a) The need for Christian literature in the Malay language. Writers are few and the market is still small, yet the younger generation is educated in this medium. There are numerous Christian bookstores, including online ones, and an active Bible Society.

b) Restrictions on the use of the Malay language Bible and other Christian books. These were banned when the government deemed their contents to be detrimental to public peace. One main issue is the use of the word Allah for God in such material. After forcing Malaysians to use Malay as a common language, the government now fears that such use in Christian literature and services will induce Malays to become Christian.

Pray for Christian publishers and ministries to be strong and shrewd in defending their legal rights over this issue.

c) The language used in church services. Many churches, especially Catholic and the SIB, have congregations that use Bahasa Malaysia. Implementing an official and national language could be a positive development; pray that freedom to use the language in its entirety, by all faith communities, would reflect the multi-faith and multi-cultural make-up of the nation.

21-22. Peninsular Malaysia:

The Church is small, but growing. Only 3% of Peninsular Malaysia (PM) is Christian. PM has 80% of Malaysia’s population but only 25% of its Christians. Christianity, however, is growing among all non-Muslim ethnic groups; about 10% of the Orang Asli, 10% of Chinese and 8% of Indians are Christian. Still, the continual external pressures from Islam at every level and from non-Christian families undermine progress.

Pray for continued church growth, but also for a deep work of the Holy Spirit in preserving, building up and emboldening believers to thrive amid the pressure.

The relentless pressure from Islamist circles has manifested in court decisions related
to religion, apostasy and conversion. Decisions reflect fear by the judiciary and weakening of the civil courts’ constitutional power.

Pray that the government might uphold the religious rights of all citizens.

Pray also for the thwarting of radical Islamist elements seeking to oppress all other expressions of religion.

Church practices must adapt to changing realities. Cell groups are thriving,
especially among the Bumiputeras (both Malay and non-Malay). Using Bahasa Malaysia
in church services can also introduce complications because of certain laws. The lure of
materialism and worldly lifestyles tempts many young urban Christians of all ethnic groups; meanwhile, traditional congregations are increasingly aged. Effective discipleship and community must be developed.

Pray for wisdom for church leaders and for renewal that sees churches full and relevant.

23. Maldives:

Behind the facade of island paradise lies a darker reality. Freedom of expression and belief is strongly curtailed by powerful societal and regulatory forces. One of the highest divorce rates in the world, rising crime and gang activity, abuse of children and endemic drug use among teens (possibly up to 70%) indicate that all is not well. Beyond
Islamic beliefs lies a widespread adherence to pre-Islamic occult practices called fanditha.

Pray for the light of the gospel to shine into the lives of Maldivians.

Pray against strongholds of pride, fear, duplicity and sensuality.

The desire to honour human rights and increase freedoms has been expressed by
the current government, but freedom of religion is highly unpopular and violent opposition to it has been promised. Grassroots religion has shifted in a decidedly Islamist and Arabized direction, losing its indigenous Maldivian roots.

Pray for the future of the people of the Maldives, torn between oppressive religion and empty freedoms.

The Maldivians are still among the least evangelized on earth. Neither mission
work nor Christian literature has ever been allowed. Paradoxically, the government denies the existence of Christianity among Maldivians while arresting those who do believe. The perception of Christianity is so bad (largely due to Western media and tourist immorality) that political opponents use the term “Christian” to slander one another.

Pray for the true name and nature of Jesus to be made known in this nation.
Pray that the state’s contradictions and heavy handedness toward Christianity would generate great curiosity.

24-25. Mali:

Mali’s socio-economic quandary is sobering. It is one of the poorest nations on earth,
with people making on average $1.5US/day. Cotton growing employs one-third of the
population but is highly vulnerable to world market fluctuations and competing growers
elsewhere. Functional literacy is low and secondary school enrolment is under 20%. About one fifth of children will not survive to the age of five, and of those who do, one-third will be malnourished. Two-thirds of the land area is desert or semi-desert, and the threat of desertification is ever present.

Pray that Mali’s leaders have wisdom and insight in knowing how to provide health, education, gainful employment and long-term stability to their people.

The number of Christians has not increased by enough to even keep pace with
Mali’s rapid population growth – evangelicals fell from 0.91% of the population in 1990
to 0.69% in 2010. Most growth is biological, and many who make decisions for Christ return to their former religion. This could be addressed with better follow-up through evangelism activities, discipleship programmes, pastoral training and Bible schools, but lack of funds to train for and support such ventures is a real problem. There are nearly 700 evangelical congregations, but most of them are not actively engaged in evangelism and outreach, despite many in Mali being spiritually open.

Pray for boldness, passion and a burden for the unsaved to awaken in the churches and for a new wave of evangelism such as happened in the 1980s.

There are a few strategic people groups among whom pioneer work has been established,but for which prayer is requested:

Pray for the Following People Groups:

a) The Bambara are a key people for the evangelization of the country. Many agencies work among them, and most denominations include some Bambara speakers. There are small victories in evangelism but no major breakthroughs.

Pray for the spiritual and numerical growth of the church among this strategic people.

b) The Fulbe (mostly Fulbe Maasina), who are often semi-nomadic, reside throughout the country but are concentrated in central Mali. Several groups of believers are discipled by workers from nine different agencies, including the Norwegian Lutherans, CRWM, Pioneers and the Eglise Protestante. Some solid foundations are laid for a more significant spiritual breakthrough among these peoples.

c) The Northern peoples are more strongly Muslim, yet hard pioneering work has resulted in some congregations and believers among the Tamacheq/Tuareg and Songhai.

i Work among the desert-dwelling, semi-nomadic Tamacheq is often disrupted by frequent insurrections, but upheaval, desertification and urbanization create opportunities for the gospel. The Idaksahak, a distinct Muslim people living among the Tamacheq, appear responsive. There are now congregations of Tamacheq believers and a NT.

ii The Songhai, once rulers of an empire, practice folk Islam with strong elements of sorcery. There is Baptist work among them, and the JESUS film and portions of Scripture
especially in audio format – are proving effective.

d) The Dogon, including 15 sub-groups, are known for their traditional religion with rich
mythology, songs and masks. But many looking for alternatives now turn to Islam. The
Dogon are more evangelized than most groups in Mali through the CMA, and they have a relative wealth of Christian resources (NT, the JESUS film, audio resources, holistic ministry projects); this unprecedented opportunity for the gospel must not be missed.

e) The Soninke group, including the four Bozo fishermen peoples, has very few Christians but are engaged by teams from many different missions. The Soninke presence across much of West Africa makes them strategic. A spiritual breakthrough amid all the ministry in Mali could easily spill into several other countries.

26. Malta:

Malta was the first nation in Europe to embrace Christianity, after the Apostle Paul’s shipwreck on the island. From the Phoenicians in 1000 BC onward, many power seized the islands (including the Romans, Arabs, Normans, Ottomans, French and British), but the Maltese have retained their identity throughout. This identity has long been staunchly Christian.

Pray that Malta’s enduring Christian identity might be truly appreciated and lived out by its people.

The most religious nation in Europe, Malta has deeply Catholic sensibilities. The
majority regularly attend mass and over 80% feel that their religion is important to them.
However, not many Maltese enjoy a personal walk with the living Lord Jesus.

Pray that their strong religious tradition may serve as a door into and not a barrier against greater commitment to the Kingdom.

Protestant evangelical witness did not exist until after independence in 1964 – British
rulers did not permit it. Praise God for steady, albeit slow, growth since then. There are
around 500 evangelicals in the 10-14 Protestant congregations and house churches in Malta.

Pray for:

a) The Baptist and Pentecostal groups and their increasing outreach to the Maltese and to
tourists. Official opposition to Protestant activities is a thing of the past, but social pressures
on seekers and new converts can be intense. For most, to be Maltese is to be Catholic.
Pray for multitudes to come to living faith in Christ.

b) The older, English-speaking mainline denominations, which have long catered to the
needs of the expatriate community. There is much nominalism and little effective outreach to the indigenous population.

26. Martinique:

Martinique can be a dangerous place to live. It periodically suffers major volcaniceruptions and earthquakes – in 1902, Mt. Pelée erupted, killing 30,000. Tropical storms and misuse of pesticides are more recent blights upon the population. But spiritual apathy is the most dangerous element that grips much of the population.

Pray that they may see their basic instability and be shaken out of their carelessness about the things of God.

There is an evangelical presence through the Assemblies of God, Mission Chrétienne Evangélique, Eglise de Dieu, Baptists, Nazarenes and among some Adventists. Many Christians come from dysfunctional or single-parent families and from a background of immorality and drug abuse.

Pray for churches to be grounded in the Word, and for young people to be called into full-time service.

27. Mauritania:

Pray for: Unreached minorities:

a) The Haratine or Black Moors, who are Moors by culture and language as well as the former slave class of Moorish society.
b) The African peoples of the Senegal River Valley, including the Pulaar (Tukulor and
Fulakunda), Soninke, Bambara and Wolof. Some of these peoples have suffered much
persecution, yet many previously exiled are now returning to their homeland. Their persecution and dispersion, as well as assistance from Christian agencies, have opened them for the gospel.

c) The nomads of the desert, descended from Berber and Arab Bedouin tribes, are even less accessible for evangelization due to their nomadic ways.
All Mauritanian peoples remain essentially unreached, and the vast majority have
yet to hear the good news of God’s grace through faith in Jesus. There are only a small
number of Mauritanian believers worldwide, although the exact number is unknown. Believersin Mauritania have at times been imprisoned, beaten for their faith, or have endured ostracism by family or tribe. Pray for godly indigenous leadership to develop.
Pray for increasing freedom of religion, both socially and legally.

Pray for seekers to encounter Jesus, and that any who follow Him might be courageous in the faith. Also pray that God might minister to believers despite the lack of fellowship.

Mauritania is one of the world’s neediest countries. One-third of children face
chronic malnourishment, and many families struggle to afford basic necessities. Widespread divorce also causes social difficulties. Desertification threatens the remaining arable land, which amounts to perhaps only 1% of the total land area. The discovery of oil and new mineral reserves could either bring wealth to the country or increase corruption and the divide between rich and poor.

Pray for political stability and wisdom for the government to enable revenues from
Mauritania’s natural resources to benefit the poor.

28. Mauritius:

This complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious society makes evangelism a Challenge. The Hinduization of government and culture, as well as strong ancestral and ethnic ties, make it difficult for Indians to become believers. However, large numbers of Hindus are coming to Jesus through the bold witness of evangelical/Pentecostal churches.

Pray for great wisdom and discernment among Christians.

Most older churches face slow decline and are nominal in faith. Roman Catholics
are seeing Hindu beliefs and practices make their way into churches in some places. But
the charismatic movement is making a big impact on Catholics, with many coming to personalfaith in Christ. Many of those impacted formed their own independent groups. The Roman Catholic Church is experiencing a move back to Bible reading, and now runs several active ministries on the island.

Pray for a greater spread of this spiritual vitality among traditional churches in Mauritius.

Training leaders is of prime importance. The AoG School of Ministry offers multilevel
programmes ranging from correspondence to degree-level courses. TEE is utilized by
most denominations and there are several correspondence schools, one being the Emmaus BCC. To train clergy and laity, the Anglican Church opened the Training Centre for Ministries and Community Development in Curepipe. The most exciting development is the rebirth of the Mauritian Bible Training Institute, an evangelical Bible school started with input from SIM, which now enjoys a partnership with Vose Seminary in Australia. Praise the Lord for the development of Bible training.

Pray that Mauritius might receive more teachers of the Word who are well-trained models of godliness.

28. Mayotte:

Pray for the Muslim majority. The indigenous people of Mayotte are 99.9% Muslim.Although there is religious freedom and direct, open-air evangelism is permitted (and practiced by the AoG), response has been very slow and most converts have returned to Islam. Maore folk Islam is heavily shaped by magic and cults practicing spirit possession. Despite this, a spirit of complacency rests upon the people, exacerbated greatly by the increased economic assistance from France and the EU.

Pray for a spiritual breakthrough.

The name Mayotte means “place of death”.

Pray that it may become a place of spiritual life in Christ.

The three evangelical churches in Mayotte need a greater degree of unity and
cooperation, although there are signs of improvement in these areas.

Pray for an approach to evangelism that is culturally appropriate yet effective, and pray for a great emphasis on discipling converts.

Long-term ministry is needed, especially Francophone Africans. Those already here do a great job in a difficult field.

Pray for encouragement and unity and for an increase in their number and their fruitfulness.

A mission team is in place, working among the Shimaore, and one is being prepared to work among Shibushi speakers.

Pray for more laborers to be called to Mayotte.

29-31. Mexico:

Mexico is a growing nation that is still discovering its own identity. Meso-American origins, Hispanic history and a dynamic but turbulent relationship with its neighbors all shape Mexico profoundly. This search often manifests itself through religious identity (bothanimist and Catholic) and the inevitable accompanying anti-Protestant sentiment.
Pray that Mexicans, both indigenous and mestizo, might find their ultimate identity and destiny in the love of Christ and the purposes of God.

Many socio-economic challenges face Mexico. The state recognizes the difficulty of
traditional solutions and increasingly invites Christians and churches to show initiative and partnership in meeting the many human needs.

Pray for:

a) The poor, both the impoverished rural poor and the exploited slum-dwellers. While the
president’s top-priority goal is to reduce poverty, the gap between rich and poor in Mexico is the widest of all OECD nations. Fully 60% of Mexico’s population struggle with poverty.

b) The marginalized native Amerindians. They officially number 9.4% of the population, but many more are partly or mostly Amerindian without such official status. They tend to face greater poverty, lack education and live in areas with the most upheaval. Radical political expression has also contributed to unrest. There is significant response to as well as opposition to evangelical ministry in those regions.

c) Corruption in politics and the police. The advent of multiparty politics unseated the
increasingly corrupt PRI, but the problem remains in all levels of government. Corruption
in government has seen millions embezzled, and corruption in the police forces allows for
greater growth in organized crime.

d) The massive drug trade and gang violence that accompanies it. Drug trafficking is big
business in Mexico – thanks to both the USA’s insatiable habit and Mexico’s own growing troubles. Sadly, this structure of sin brings huge amounts of money into Mexico’s economy, so the desire to halt it is less than the cost and effort to do so.

i The 500,000-plus addicts, whose number has grown rapidly due to increasing availability of cheap drugs. Mexico is poorly positioned to cope with the number of addicts in terms of prevention, treatment and ministry to those afflicted.

ii The wealthy, powerful cartels that control it are ruthless. Most of their violence is directed toward each other, but police, armed forces, journalists and helpless citizens also die at their hands.

Pray for a way to reach out to the cartel leaders and members.

iii The government and police face great difficulties in combating the drug trade and those who run it. Informers and corruption undermine the effort, and fear of the heavily armed gangs prevents decisive action.

Pray for courage and wisdom in dealing with these great challenges.

Persecution of evangelicals occurs in certain parts of Mexico. In general,
acceptance of Protestants is higher in recent years as their profile increases. But in
the southern states, particularly Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, believers face prejudice,
harassment, evictions and church and property damage. This mostly occurs due to
believers’ refusal to participate in community religious events that involve traditional
Christo-pagan practices.

Pray that the believers may demonstrate the meekness and love of their Savior when maltreated.

Pray also for full implementation of religious freedom at both national and local levels.

May you know the joy of seeing the Lord answer your personal prayers as you sacrificially spend time in prayer for the nations of the earth. May your life be blessed this month!

Blessings,

Germaine Copeland and the Staff of Word Ministries

Sources:

Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.

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