God is our loving Father. He sent Jesus to provide a way of reconciliation. As we take time each day to pray over these nations and outreach tools, let us remember God’s plan for His family. In a time when divorce and economic struggles are hitting many family groups let us pray for the healing presence of Christ to touch every household on the planet. Let us pray that the hopes parents have for their children’s lives will be fulfilled. Most of all, during this special season let us pray that the message foretold so many thousands of years ago will ring fresh every time it is shared. Jesus loves and cares for us all.
1. Virgin Islands (USA): Tourism and the inflow of wealth have played havoc with the moral and social fabric of society.
Pray that the gospel might impact society, personal lifestyles and family life.
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 has grown through immigration of Puerto Ricans and also through charismatic renewal. Some denominational groups have also grown.
Pray for revival.
Wallis & Futuna Islands: Being a Catholic is part of the culture but few people have a living relationship with Jesus. Bible translation is a desperate need – although the Bible is available in French translations in Wallsian and Futunan are still being completed.
2.-3. Yemen: Yemen is one of the world’s least evangelized countries.
Pray for salvation to come to:
a) The Northern tribes – including the people of Sana’a, the capital, and the peoples of the northern mountains and north-eastern deserts. Many are semi-nomadic.
b) The Central Yemenis, the key cities being Taiz and Ibb.
c) The Tihama Arabs of the coastal plains. Many Gulf War returnees were settled in this region. The key city is Hodeida.
d) The Southern Yemenis of the cosmopolitan city of Aden and those of the Hadhramaut area (both Arab and Mahri).
e) The Soqotri islanders, who were nominally Christians until the 17th Century. There are no known Christians on this isolated Indian Ocean island.
f) Yemeni women – their lot is harsh, their opportunities for education and a life outside the home limited. How will they hear about Jesus and learn to live for Him?
g) The South Asians – many are traders and artisans in Aden. Most are Muslim or Hindu, some are Catholic Christians; also the 1,000 or so remaining Yemeni Jews.
h) The Somalis, many of whom are Yemeni residents, others refugees. A few have come to faith but most remain unevangelized.
There are a widening range of opportunities for expatriates to serve the Lord in business, education, health and development programmes. However corruption, official extortion, unrest, archaic laws and poor infrastructure drain time and resources.
Pray for Asian, Western and other Christians to respond to God’s call to this land and for them to have good opportunity to live and testify for Christ.
4.-5. Yugoslavia (Now known as Serbia and Montenegro): Pray for genuine forgiveness between ethnic groups that have been at war for so long.
Religious hatred often goes hand in hand with all the ethnic divisions.
Pray that people would be able to rebuild trust and cooperation.
Pray that Christians would be examples in their love, forgiveness and friendships with all people.
6.-7. Zambia: President Chiluba openly dedicated Zambia to God as a Christian nation at his inauguration in 1991. The out workings in public life have been disappointing; with many in the government becoming ostentatiously wealthy while half the population lives in dire poverty.
Pray for hearts, worldviews and structures to be molded by God’s Word, for democracy not to be discredited and for Christianity not to be debased or even rejected through such failures.
The widespread poverty and lack of economic progress could lead to unrest or worse.
Pray that the government may tackle the massive problems with honesty and courage. The foreign debt burden is one of the world’s highest, and the economic impact of the AIDS pandemic one of the world’s worst.
Pray for the less reached:
a) The many smaller peoples in the southwest are minimally reached – the Subiya, the 4 Khoisan groups, etc.
b) The urban satellite towns of Lusaka, the Copperbelt and Kabwe are spiritually needy. Many are squalid shanty settlements. Pray for the work of DM and others in evangelizing these areas where sin is rife.
c) The Indian Gujarati community is both Hindu and Muslim, but few are Christian. South African SIM and Asian missionaries from Tanzania are working among them.
d) Muslims are active in propagating their religion and making liberal use of funds to entice non-Muslims into their sphere of influence. Pray for effective outreach to Muslims. Few Zambian Christians are equipped for this.
8.-9. Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe needs a government that will serve the nation rather than those who govern. Malnutrition, threat of food shortages and unemployment are growing rapidly and the country is becoming a time bomb.
Pray for early, non-violent change and for this land to be brought back from the brink of a social and economic abyss.
The AIDS calamity in Zimbabwe is one of the world’s worst cases. A combination of government neglect, lack of healthcare resources, promiscuity and social reluctance to face up to the drastic measures required are the root causes. Over 25% of all adults carried the virus by 2000; the number of orphans had risen to nearly 1 million (9% of the population). Deaths rose to 700 a week and the economy and life expectancy has plummeted.
a) A radical change in hearts and attitudes to sex and to AIDS itself.
b) Effective government, NGO and church action to stop the spread of the infection.
c) Specific programs run by Christian agencies to address the issue. Pray that all churches might face up to the moral, spiritual and economic implications of the pandemic for their ministry.
The Church has grown, but so have the challenges.
a) A multiplication of mature leaders. Praise the Lord for godly men and women in leadership today, but their numbers must increase to cope with the rapid growth.
b) The Bible schools and seminaries. In 1992 there were 22 such institutions. There are an increasing number of church-based and TEE programmes being set up. Pray for effective teaching and discipling of those called to serve the Lord.
c) Spiritual unity. The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe links together over 160 churches and organizations, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Zimbabwe has brought together ten denominations and Fambidzano links other African Independent Churches for fellowship and theological instruction. Target 2000 helped to unite many denominations in a common goal for saturation church planting.
d) A prophetic voice for the Church. Politics has been left to the politicians. Christians are divided on how to cope with the burgeoning political crisis, and often remain silent when a clear moral stand is required.
e) A clear stand against witchcraft and demonic powers or veneration of ancestors in the guise of nationalism. Pray that Christians may not compromise, but know power in the name of Jesus to both protect and deliver from fear and bondage.
We invite you for the remainder of the month to take a few moments each day to lift up each of these tools that assist in the spreading of the Gospel.
Pray for increase in workers, funds, gifts of equipment and materials to get the message of God’s love to the whole world:
10. AUDIO CASSETTE TAPES11. CHRISTIAN RADIO
12. CHRISTIAN TV/ SATELLITE/ INTERNET PROGRAMS
13. JESUS FILM
14. INTERNET RESOURCES
15. BIBLE SOCIETIES AND TRANSLATIONS
16. CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
17. THEOLOGIAL EDUCATION
18. BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSES
19. RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
20. MEDICAL MISSION WORK
21. MISSIONARY AVIATION
22. MARITIME MISSION
23. CHRISTIAN TENTMAKERS
24. SHORT-TERM WORKERS
25. STUDENT MINISTRIES
26. MINISTRY TO CHILDREN27. OUTREACH TO SECTS/CULTS
28. URBAN EVANGELIZATION
29. INTERNATIONAL COOP. FOR WORLD EVANGELIZATION
30. OPERATION WORLD
31. THE LORD’S RETURN
As we prepare to go into a new year it is with the hope of the promise of God that he hears and answers the prayers of his people. Thank you for your consistency throughout 2008 and I hope a fresh commitment to pray with us through 2009. Remember the “…The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16b (AMP). This is the anchor for our faith and we believe to see the reward of our prayers in the nations of the earth. Let us enter into the New Year with renewed fervor, faith and fellowship with the Lord in daily prayer.Blessings,
Blessings,LaneLane M. Holland, M.Div.
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