GLOBAL PRAYERS FOR MAY 2008
We begin a new month with the opportunity to pray for another part of the world and its needs. We start our prayers on the day that America has set apart as the National Day of Prayer. It is a wonderful reminder of the place prayer has had in shaping a people and a nation. As you pray this month may you be reminded once again that the scriptures declare “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance”. (Psalm 33:12)Please remember to pray for the armed forces stationed all over the world and their families.
1. Equatorial Guinea: Equatorial Guinea has attempted to rebuild the country, but corruption is still a massive problem – and most people think that vote fixing is still widespread. Democracy is not as real as it seems. Huge offshore oil reserves could really make a difference for Equatorial Guinea, but any money is only really likely to benefit the wealthiest. Since the ‘80s there has been more freedom for churches to share the gospel and the number of missionaries is increasing.
Pray that a new generation of church leaders can stand firm and have the courage to put God first in every part of their life.
Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as they tell people about Jesus and that their actions would be as loving and life changing as their words.
2. Eritrea: 70,000 people died in trench warfare between 1998 and 2000, when a peace agreement was finally reached. Roughly half the population is Christian and half is Muslim – this delicate balance means that churches and religious organizations are sometimes restricted in what they can do.
Government restrictions have stopped Christian organizations from bringing help and aid into Eritrea and made it hard for any Christians to go and live or work there.
Pray that these restrictions would be lifted.
A third of the population is Tigre – who are almost entirely Muslim. Pray for the few Tigre who are Christians, that they can be a powerful witness in their lives.
3. Estonia: Estonia is the most northerly of the Baltic States and includes more than 1,500 islands. Since gaining independence in 1991 Estonia has been pushing to be more closely related to its Nordic neighbors to the north. The Estonian people and language are closely related to the people of Finland, living just over the water.
Praise God that Christians can now meet and worship freely in Estonia.
Estonia is slowly getting richer but while a few people live in luxury, most live in poverty.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would stir in all people a desire to search for God.
In an attempt to restore Estonia’s national identity and pride, many ethnic Russians have been left out in the cold and alienated.
Pray that the government would act with wisdom and fairness, for all its people.
4-5. Ethiopia: Ethiopians are proud to claim that they discovered coffee – it is still the one of the country’s major exports. Just think about this – a cup of caramel macchiato venti from Starbucks will set you back around $3, which is about the same as what an Ethiopian farmer will earn in a day. Only 2% of what you pay for a cup of coffee will make it into the hands of the people who worked to produce it. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has survived for centuries almost cut off from Christians around the world and surrounded by Islamic nations. Many Ethiopians belong to the church without having a personal relationship with Jesus and a living faith – and many are also caught up in the occult.
Pray that Holy Spirit can bring new life to this Church.
With over 80 languages spoken across Ethiopia there is an ongoing need for Bible translation. The Bible or the New Testament is available in 18 languages – and a further 12 languages are in development. Training courses are given regularly to train Ethiopians in translation.
Pray that many would be able to use their skills in this way.
6. Faeroe Islands: These 18 islands lie midway between Iceland and Scotland in the Atlantic. It’s most likely that the first people to visit these islands were Irish monks – bringing a few sheep with them. Over a quarter of the population are evangelical Christians and the islands have are really committed to sending out missionaries to other countries.
Pray for the impact that they make in their communities at home and abroad.
Falkland Islands: The Falkland Islands lie off the Argentinean coast in the Atlantic, but are a British dependent territory.
Pray for Christians among the Falkland Islanders, or ‘Kelpies’ and among the British troops. Pray that God would put in their hearts a passion for the lost.
Fiji: In the South Pacific, Fiji is made up of two main islands and nearly 900 smaller mini-islands. The Indians on Fiji are the largest non-Christian community in the Pacific – only 6% know Jesus.
Pray that there would be lively, evangelistic churches planted on all the islands – many of which are very isolated.
7. Finland: Finland’s history and people have always been closely linked with the competing interests of its two neighbors – Sweden and Russia. Finland was ruled by Sweden for 700 years until it was lost to Russia in 1809. The Russian revolution in 1917 allowed Finland to finally declare its independence.
Pray for greater unity across all the churches in Finland and that diversity across all the churches can reach out to all different kinds of people.
Some of the poorest people in Finland are asylum seekers from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
Pray that many would hear the gospel for the first time – and meet with Jesus.
8. -10. France: France has a long history of persecuting religious minorities and religion is still regarded with suspicion. Recent laws have been introduced that limit the activities of religious ‘sects’. Many smaller bible-believing churches are in danger of being labeled as ‘cults’ or ‘sects’ under these laws. 80% of the population have never even seen or held a Bible! Since 1960 the evangelical community in France has risen five fold to half a million! The Gypsy community is really leading the way – a quarter of them are now Christians. Occult practices are widespread across France. 50,000 full-time occultic practitioners out number Christian workers by a long way. The spiritual impact on every level of society is obviously huge.
Pray that the presence of Jesus would be stronger in even the darkest places.
France used to be known as the ‘graveyard of missionaries’. The drop-rate for missionaries continues to be high and many are discouraged.
Pray that the Holy Spirit would refresh and encourage all those who have come to France to serve Him.
11. French Guiana: Sandwiched between Brazil and Suriname, French Guiana is the only remaining colony in South America. For years Guiana was infamous for the off shore prison colony – Devil’s Island.
There has never been any permanent work established among the tribes who live in the equatorial jungle.
Pray that Christians from tribes in Brazil and Suriname would be called to share the gospel and disciple people from their tribes who live in Guiana.
French Polynesia: A scatter of 150 South Pacific islands forms French Polynesia, in an area the size of Europe. Tahiti is the largest island where 80% of the population lives.
Tahiti is a Paradise gone wrong. It used to be strongly Christian nation, which sent out missionaries all over the world, but now alcoholism, prostitution and drug abuse are everywhere.
Pray for a powerful move of God on the island that will bring islanders into the kingdom of God.
12. Gabon: Gabon lies on the Equator, with three quarters of the country covered in rainforest. It is one of the most urbanized and richest countries in Africa – although like most of the developing world it still has huge debts from the ‘70s to pay back to western banks and governments.
People living in rural areas, who have never heard about Jesus before, are starting to hear the gospel through Operation Village for Jesus! The number of evangelical churches in the capital Libreville has grown from just 16 in 1990 to 125.
Pray that churches can build effective witness to the growing number of Muslims in Gabon.
The majority of Gabonese claims to be Christian, but alcoholism and is a growing problem and many fall back on traditional religions.
Pray that Christians in Gabon will find a fresh passion for evangelism and catch the vision for mission that many of their leaders have.
Nearly 1,000 people every year are becoming Christians at Bongolo hospital.
Pray that this would continue with more lives being healed and changed by the power of Jesus.
13. The Gambia: This small country is really dependent on the peanuts it grows, which are sold to other countries to make peanut butter, oil and sometimes-even paint. Tourism is another big money spinner, bringing 91,000 visitors a year.
The majority of Gambians are Muslim – but few churches and missionaries have any contact with them.
Pray that more Muslims, from all different ethnic groups, will have the opportunity to hear the gospel.
Pray that Gambian Christians can be encouraged and trained to lead and disciple others.
14. Georgia: Over the centuries the Georgian Orthodox Church was the one stable factor preserving Georgian culture and nationalism. Georgia and neighboring Armenia are surrounded by Muslim ethnic groups; many are small and part of Russia. Since independence, some Orthodox leaders have sought to deny non-orthodox Christians the opportunity to build churches and to evangelize openly.
Pray for religious freedom and an acceptance of the validity of diversity of beliefs which this implies.
15. -17. Germany: The cost of rebuilding East Germany has been high and unemployment has shot up in recent years but Germany remains one of Europe’s most powerful and richest countries. Count Zinzendorf started a non-stop prayer meeting in Saxony (Germany) in 1727…everyone took an hour each and it kept going for an amazing 100 years!
More than half of German Christians are over the age of 50.
Pray that churches can find new ways to reach and disciple young people.
Because of its wealth and size Germany is a key player in European politics.Pray for wise and honorable leadership in Germany’s politicians.
The church is widely seen as irrelevant in today’s culture. Although 70% of Germans would call themselves Christians, only 45% believe in God and less than 10% go to church. While Christianity has become less popular, New Age philosophies, the occult and Satanism are on the increase.
Pray for an awakening to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform lives.
18-19. Ghana: In 1957, Ghana was the first British colony to gain independence. It is the second largest producer of gold in Africa and also supplies 15% of the world’s cocoa. With these kinds of resources Ghana should really be a lot better off, but the corruption and mismanagement of governments in the ‘60s and ‘70s have left the country in poverty. 45,000 children have ended up abandoned and homeless on the streets. Since 1965, 39 more languages have a translation of the Bible or New Testament – an awesome achievement which can impact the lives of so many! There has been a significant increase in evangelism to Muslims and people who follow traditional religions.
70% of villages have no church – Ghanaian Christians want to see more churches planted across the country in every community.
Pray that this goal can become a reality.
Over 64% of Ghanaians call themselves Christians, but only 12% actually go to church. Pray that the truth of Jesus can break the power of the occult, which runs deep in society.
Pray that the millions of people who are ‘Christians’ would really know how amazing, exciting, loving and powerful God is.
20. Gibraltar: Gibraltar is the rocky tip of Spain that protects the western entrance to the Mediterranean. Since 1704 it has been a British colony – but the local population has resisted pressure to give the areas back to Spain. The majority of the population is Catholic.
Pray that there would outreach for the 6 million tourists.
There is one small Arabic-speaking church within the community of 7,000 Moroccans who work in Gibraltar.
Pray these few Christians can be effective in sharing the gospel both here and with friends and families in Morocco.
Greece: The southernmost country in the Balkans, Greece includes more than 200 islands. Greece was the first European country to ever hear the gospel – when Paul took his second missionary journey (Acts 16:10).
Pray that people will have an opportunity to respond to Jesus personally.
The Orthodox Church is at the heart of Greek culture and identity, so any other expression of Christianity is often felt as a threat.
Pray for complete religious freedom in Greece and an end to end to prejudice.
Pray that evangelical Christians would have a balance of courage and sensitivity in their evangelism.
Ethnic minorities in the north are often ignored and marginalized.
Pray for effective and loving outreach to these people.
21. Greenland: Greenland’s arctic climate means that most of the island is permanently ice covered –nearly all of the 56, 000 Greenlanders lives in the towns on the edges of the island.
Living conditions in Greenland are harsh and each community on the coastline is quite isolated. There are still at least 60 settlements with no Christian witness.
Pray that more people will get to hear the gospel.
A Greenlandic translation of the JESUS film was shown on national TV in 2000.
Pray that this revelation of Jesus would continue to impact people’s lives.
Grenada: Grenada is the most southerly of the Winward islands. It is the second largest producer of nutmeg! It also makes money from banana and cocoa crops.
Most people are descended from Africans who were brought here as slaves from the 16th century onwards to work the sugar plantations. Slave owners didn’t allow their slaves to marry and even now this legacy continues – most children don’t know their dad.
21. Guadeloupe: Guadeloupe lies at the northern end of the Winward Islands in the Caribbean. A French colony since 1635, Guadeloupe is now an Overseas Department of France. Culturally most people have grown up in the Catholic Church but are involved with the occult as well.
Pray these people looking for spiritual answers and meaning would find Jesus.
Guam: A third of this Pacific island is used as a US military base. Nearly 45% of Guamiams are employed to work for the government or military. Christians are reaching out to the prisoners of Guam.
Pray the churches would be able to support and disciple those are becoming Christians.
22. Guatemala: Throughout history Guatemala has been controlled by plantation owners making a healthy profit and then by military dictators hungry for power. The richest 10% of the country own half the country’s wealth while 90% of the population lives in poverty.
Pray that churches will be able to help them deepen their faith in God and live out what they believe each day as more and more people become Christians.
Pray that each new generation will respond to God for themselves, rather than just turning up to church meetings ‘cos it’s the thing to do!
23. Guinea: After gaining independence, Guinea was ruled by a Marxist regime, which proved to be a disaster. Millions fled the country and food aid from abroad was the only thing preventing widespread famine. Since 1984 Guinea has moved through a military style government towards greater democracy.
Less than 5% of the population is Christian, and mostly concentrated in a few ethnic groups.
Pray that these Christians can make a radical difference in their families and communities.
Guinea is one of the least evangelized countries in Black Africa. There is still a massive challenge in reaching the Muslim majority. Reaching the Fulbe people is crucial across the whole region of West Africa.
Pray that missionaries can effectively serve the local churches and build close relationships there.
24. Guinea-Bissau: Guinea-Bissau lies on Africa’s west coast sandwiched between Senegal and Guinea. Whilst a Portuguese colony, the Catholic Church was favored and other Christians were discriminated against. Since independence, there has been growing freedom for all religions – many people in Guinea-Bissau take a pick and mix approach, mixing up beliefs from Catholicism, Islam and African traditional religions.
Many Christians were forced to move inland during the war – as a result more people got to hear the gospel and more churches were planted.
The Muslim Fulbe and Mandingo spread across much of West Africa, and have played a significant part in bringing Islam to Guinea-Bissau.
Pray for opportunities for key people to be saved and take the good news about Jesus to these people.
Bibles are available in loads of the spoken languages, but three quarters of the population cannot read.
Pray for inspiration so that the Bible can be used creatively to communicate to everyone.
25. Guyana: Guyana lies on the northeast coast of South America. The colonial rulers used to ship slaves from India and Africa to work on the sugar plantations here and the legacy of the slave trade has created racial diversity and political tension today.
Christians are working together with greater unity and having an impact in every area of society.
Pray that they will see their country change as they stand together – working and praying for transformation.
Most African-Guyanans are Christians – but for many it doesn’t go deep and what they believe is also twisted up with witchcraft and Rastafarianism.
Pray that they will really meet with Jesus and understand his truth and love.
26. Haiti: A slave revolt against French rulers in 1804 created the first black republic in the world. Since then Haiti has been in chaos with a troubled history of bloodshed and dictatorships. The US intervened in 1994 to try to establish a fairer government, but all elections since then appear to be corrupt. Most people in Haiti live in extreme poverty and more than half are unemployed. In recent years the political turmoil and desperate poverty have led many to emigrate illegally, often risking their lives, to the USA or the Dominican Republic. Slaves revolting against the French in 1791 dedicated their country to Satan – as a way to oppose the religion of the people who had oppressed them. Christians today have stood up against the voodooism and Satanism that grips Haiti in the name of Jesus! The rich Mulatto elite live a completely different life from the majority and do not have any contact with the evangelical churches.
Pray that they will hear the gospel and open their hearts to God.
Most of the population lives in appalling conditions – living in filthy slums without running water. According to the United Nations around 80% of Haitians cannot meet their basic daily needs – which mean they fight each day to survive and feed their families.
Pray for honest and godly leaders who can address the country’s desperate situation.
27. Honduras: Since the 1960s the number of people becoming Christians has kept growing. Now a fifth of the population are committed Christians.
After years of exploitation and being ignored indigenous people have won the right to protect the rainforest where they live from logging companies and big-scale farming businesses.
Hurricane Mitch killed 11,000 people and left millions with absolutely nothing. It will take decades to repair all the damage done. Pray that families will be able support themselves again and rebuild what has been lost.
The indigenous Amerindians have been exploited, murdered and oppressed through history. In recent years many have become Christians.
Pray for an end to all exploitation and that churches would grow in their communities that reflect their cultural identity.
28. -29. Hungary: Thank God for Hungary’s peaceful transition from communism to democracy. In the last decade Christians have had so much more freedom to tell people about Jesus. There are now Christian schools all over the country. Hangovers from communism still affect relationships between churches – where divisions and mistrust exist.
Pray for reconciliation and unity across all churches.
At the moment young people are really open to hearing about Jesus.
Pray for Christians who are working with young people and discipling them.
Pray for 200, 000 refugees from former Yugoslavia who are uprooted and unsettled in Hungary.
30. Iceland: The first people to live in Iceland were Irish monks, who came here in the early 9th century. Iceland’s first permanent settlers arrived later from Norway. Because of Iceland’s strategic location in the North Atlantic Denmark was keen to get involved – occupying Iceland until 1944. Iceland is now independent, but cut backs in how much fishing can go on have damaged the economy and caused unemployment to climb.
Iceland is a secular society, drifting away from God. Most people are involved with New Age ideas of the occult and suicide rates and substance abuse are on the increase.
Pray that people would really know how much they need God and turn to Him.
Although many people would call themselves Christians – it doesn’t really mean anything to them. Most of the Lutheran churches are struggling.
Pray for fresh life and vision from Jesus for those who are Christians and are leading these churches.
31. India: More than a billion people live in this huge country, which dominates south Asia. Recently they have suffered unusual weather patterns, the 2004 tsunami and the 2005 quake. Many people still have no homes to rebuild their lives in. India is the spiritual home of Hinduism. Of the 820 million people in the world who follow Hinduism – 96% of them live in India. The whole of Indian society is based on Hinduism, which divides everyone into different ‘castes’ (classes). Hindu ways of thinking even effect parts of the church and faith of some Christians. India’s economy has grown quickly in the last ten years and India is now a nuclear power, but it is home to many of the world’s poorest people. Over 600 million people in India live in deep poverty and another 300 million don’t have enough to live on each day. Yet in the past 10 years poverty has been reduced by 10%.
Half the children and young people of India live in poverty and many more are malnourished. Millions of children work sweatshops or are sold into slavery to pay off their parents debts. There is also a growing trade in child prostitution, buying children from neighboring Nepal and Bangladesh. There are 4 million orphans in india alone.
The church in India is growing.
Pray that the church will develop models of discipleship and ways of worship that reflect their own culture.
There are 41 million Indians without a home, many living in the slums of India’s largest cities.
Pray for those whose lives and health are at risk everyday.
Pray for the Indian missionaries working in India who face persecution and opposition. Some have been martyred in recent years because they have shared their faith, shown films about Jesus or tried to distribute Bibles.
Your prayers make a difference! As you have petitioned the Lord on behalf of others may you find yourself refreshed and encouraged that your personal requests have also been heard on high. A special thanks to you for your continued commitment to join with us as we cover the globe with effectual prayers.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
© Operation World 2001
With thanks to Dawn Ministries and Operation World
Hosted by 24-7Prayer.com, Edited by Eloise Armstrong
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