February Prayer Agenda—2009
We enter this second month of the year with renewed energy and commitment to pray unceasingly for the nations of the earth. There is one hope for our world and it is to embrace the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Transformation through mission outreaches, revivals and passionate preaching can be ignited by fervent intercession. Whether you pray alone, with a few or many, keep it up. Prayer will cause the atmosphere of our communities to blossom with the miraculous intervention of our God and all that heaven holds. We are grateful for the resources available to us to help form our petitions for the individual nations. Take time to print off the calendar for this month and keep it near you so each day you can carry a nation and its people before the Lord. May your times of intercession be rich with anointing, power and the hope of answered prayers.
1-3 Continue to pray for the continent of Europe.
4-6. Continue to pray for the Pacific region of the world.
7-8. Afghanistan: The need for the Scriptures. The whole Bible is available in Iranian Persian, but differences between this and Afghan Persian makes it difficult for many to read. A translation of the Bible was made in the 19th century but this is unavailable and its language archaic. The NT in Dari (Afghan Persian) and in a Pakistani dialect of Pashto have been well received. Translations into major dialects of Afghan Pashto are still needed. The OT is slowly progressing in Dari and Pashto.
Pray for their speedy completion. Translations do not exist in any indigenous minority language.
Pray that these might come to fruition.
Pray also for the entry and distribution of God’s word in this closed land, which the Taliban is seeking to prevent.
Two decades of unremitting war have brought most of the population to ruin and destitution. An estimated 1 million lost their lives, 2 million were maimed and 4 million children orphaned. The result is ecological disaster, a shattered infrastructure, over 12 million uncleared anti-personnel mines and the capital in ruins.
Pray for peace, reconstruction, an awakening to moderation and tolerance and a realization that Marxism and Islam cannot provide the solutions to heal their land.
Women in the cities have been severely repressed by the Taliban regime. They have been banished from public life, forbidden employment, restricted to the home, denied education (girls) and health services and suffer at the hands of men, with no recourse to any justice. One in four women are widows, and many are destitute. Depression and suicide are commonplace.
Pray for basic human rights to be restored to women.
The largely Pashtun Taliban swept to power with Pakistani military support, U.S. arms and Saudi money. Traditional and rural in outlook and using Islam to legitimate their authority, they have imposed a measure of stability after 22 years of war. A narrow interpretation of shari’a law has outlawed playing games, use of cassette tapes, videos and TV (and much more) and has tyrannized the Shi’a Muslims, women and anyone deviating from the Taliban’s interpretation of the law. In 2001 the death penalty was imposed for anyone converting from Islam or attempting to convert anyone from Islam.
Pray that the unprecedented openness to the gospel created by these sufferings may ultimately lead to a great harvest.
9. Albania: Religious freedom could be withdrawn. After Communism’s collapse the Muslims, Catholics (in the north) and Orthodox Christians (in the south) sought to regain their past influence and to limit any other religious activity.
Pray that the Balkan cauldron of ethnic and religious hatreds may not erode the present freedoms.
Muslim countries have poured in huge amounts of aid and missionaries. Over one million Qur’ans have been distributed, 900 mosques refurbished or built between 1993 and 1995, and thousands given scholarships to study Islamic theology abroad. The government secretly joined the World Muslim League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the dismay of many. Most of the mosques are poorly attended and ignorance of Islam is high among professing Muslims.
Pray that Albania may be spared the sorrows of extreme Islamism, and that Muslims may turn from the religion forced on the population in the 14th Century by their Turkish Ottoman conquerors.
Albania’s experience with Communism has been economically, morally and spiritually devastating. The savagery of the repression was such that 700,000 were killed or imprisoned for long periods. A high proportion of the population was coerced into spying on neighbors. The anarchy, chaos and corruption of the 1990s is an outworking of this grim past.
Pray for the peace and development of Albania and for the provision of just and fair government.
The evangelical witness in Albania has grown dramatically since 1991. Before WWII there was one functioning evangelical congregation — in Korçe. By the end of 1992 there were over 1,000 believers gathering regularly in 19 congregations and 17 home fellowships. By 2000 there were over 55 denominations in over 130 congregations and 55 emerging groups. Over 80% of these are linked with the Albania Encouragement Project. The Albanian Evangelical Alliance links together 60% of all evangelical churches and agencies.
Pray that Evangelicals may be recognized as having a wholesome role in the recovery of the country.
10. Algeria: Opposition to the gospel is intense. Over 160 years of tearful sowing by a tenacious succession of missionaries is only now bearing fruit. North Africans have long and bitter memories of “Christian” conquests, colonialism and atrocities.
Pray that centuries of prejudice and misunderstandings may be taken away and hearts opened to the gospel message.
Christian literature in the national languages and French is often requested but hard to supply. Pray for permission to import, print, and distribute Bibles, books, teaching materials, and audio cassettes, as well as BCCs. Postal censorship is severe, leading to confiscation of mail and interrogation of recipients; pray for deliverances in this. There is an increasing need for BCCs and other materials in Kabyle and Algerian Arabic.
Pray for those responsible for literature preparation and distribution.
Praise God for the witness through martyrdom of 19 Catholic clergy during the civil war. Pray that God would raise up more workers for the strengthening of the local church. Work is under way in many areas.
Especially pray for:
a) Relief work – an urgent priority.
b) Christian music. Much is being written in local languages; it needs to be disseminated.
c) Work among the children of Christians.
d) Protection for those who witness in the course of their daily routine.
e) The leadership of the Algerian church in Europe, and for missionary calls to their homeland. There are over 1,000 Algerian Christians in Europe.
f) The spiritual and financial support of local missionaries and their fruitfulness in ministry.
g) Local leadership training — vital for the development of a strong indigenous church.
h) The Berbers, who have the potential to sweep across the whole of North Africa with the gospel! Pray for the resources to realize the growing vision.
11. American Samoa: Samoans in this U.S. territory are relatively well-off in comparison to independent Samoa to the west, but are adversely affected by the dominant materialistic culture and wealth of their rulers.
Pray for the indigenous people that they may find their destiny in wholehearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Spectacular Mormon growth demonstrates the spiritual poverty of the mainline churches who have lost large numbers to this erroneous system. Praise God for the evangelical ministries and churches making an impact for the Lord. The Assemblies of God have grown through evangelism. There is also a large YWAM base in the islands.
Pray for new spiritual life and vigor in these churches.
Materialism holds Andorra in a tight grip. Once a smugglers’ refuge, Andorra now attracts well-heeled tourists and international finance.
Pray that the myth of fulfillment through materialism would be exposed for the lie that it is.
The occult is a stronghold in this beautiful principality. Most people consult mediums, seers, and astrologers for guidance and advice, usually at great financial cost. Few seek out priests of the majority Catholic Church.
Pray for God to break down these strongholds and to open the eyes of Andorrans and expatriates alike to see the light of the gospel.
Biblical Christianity is gaining a foothold, slowly but surely. There are now three evangelical churches when there were none a few years ago, and there are now some indigenous Andorran believers. This is a change from 5 years ago, when nearly all of the handful of Christians were expatriates.
Praise God for the first-fruits of the harvest in Andorra, and ask that it may grow.
12-13 Angola: Continual war since 1962 has been devastating. The 25-year civil war has become an unscrupulous battle for power using aid programs, NGOs and the suffering civilian population as weapons of war. Anti-personnel landmines outnumber the population, and by 1999 there were 100,000 amputees. Forced recruitment of young people is widespread. A large proportion of the rural population has fled to urban areas due to widespread famine. The psychological, social and spiritual wounds are even more harmful and long-lasting.
a) The healing of the nation at every level.
b) Lasting peace and a righteous government sensitive to the well-being of the people.
c) Those seeking to alleviate suffering by clearing mines, rebuilding the infrastructure, homes, hospitals, schools and churches. In many areas the destruction is over 80%. Many agencies including WVI, TEAR Fund and a consortium of churches and agencies called Church Action in Angola are involved.
13. Anguilla: Anguilla is a remnant of a bygone era as a little colonial outpost. There is religion, but without much vision for evangelism, committed discipleship or taking the gospel to other parts of the world.
Pray that this little island and its churches may not be bypassed by the Holy Spirit.
Inter-denominational cooperation has not been the best despite the island’s smallness.
Pray that Christ’s followers may function effectively as His body.
Antigua: Antiguans are almost all Christian in name, with many Evangelicals among them, but they are complacent in the face of serious moral and spiritual breakdown.
Pray for revival which galvanizes Christians to prayer and involvement which impacts their society.
Strongholds of sin are drug-dealing, violence, gambling, prostitution and a growing kidnapping ‘industry’.
Pray that these may be broken down.
Oneness in fellowship and vision is a great need.
Pray for effective cooperation between the constituent congregations and agencies of the United Evangelical Association.
Social and spiritual needs to cover in prayer:
a) Many refugees from Montserrat have fled to Antigua since the 1997 volcanic eruption on their island.
b) The small Hispanic, Lebanese, Muslim and Hindu trading communities.
14-15. Argentina: Spiritual hunger has led to growth. Evangelicals were under 1 million in 1980, but had increased to nearly 3m by 2000.
Pray for a deepening of the work of the Holy Spirit in believers. The spiritual hunger in the nation is also winning large followings for cults and Umbanda occultism from Brazil.
Renewal has impacted nearly every denomination. Revival based on Scripture (rather than emotion) is needed, which deeply changes individuals, congregations and the nation. Godly and humble leadership, holy living and high ethical standards are in short supply.
Pray that the Church might also impact every level of society for good.
Spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness has played a prominent part in Christian ministry, with decisive blows struck against bondage, witchcraft and sin.
Pray for the protection and continued spiritual health of all in the forefront of the battle.
Pray for specific sections of the population with definite ministry and outreach needs:
a) The estimated 500,000 strong Jewish community, mostly in Buenos Aires, is the world’s sixth largest. They are highly secularized and prosperous. Chosen People Ministries and 10 other agencies have ministry to Jews. There are five Messianic assemblies in Buenos Aires.
b) The sophisticated upper class of the capital, who have been harder to reach with the gospel.
c) The urban poor. Local churches are doing more to address social needs among them, but the challenge is enormous.
d) University students, many living below the poverty line, number 927,000 in 1700 tertiary institutions, over half being in Buenos Aires. There are few actively witnessing students.
e) Quechua and Aymara from Argentina, Chile and Bolivia have flocked to Buenos Aires where they have become a laboring under-class.
f) Chinese number 30,000 and come from both Taiwan and the mainland. Pray for CMA ministry among both groups.
16. Armenia: The 1700 years of Armenia as a Christian nation, the world’s first, was celebrated in 2001.
Of the surrounding nations, few have a significant indigenous church. Over the past 10 years a number of Armenians have gone to serve the Lord in Russia and Muslim lands.
Pray that Armenian Christians might become a source of light and blessing to surrounding nations
Pray that this movement may grow.
The Armenian Church Loving Brotherhood is the evangelical arm of the Apostolic Church which has its roots in the fifth century. The Brotherhood suffered much in past centuries and under Communism, but has been able to operate openly since the late ’80s as an autonomous body within the Apostolic Church. Their main emphases are on biblical preaching, personal witness, charitable works and publishing and distributing evangelical literature and Bibles. By 1999 they had grown to 20,000 active members and had 500 preaching points all over Armenia.
Pray for this movement and its influence for good on the nation.
The Kurds are mainly of the ancient Yezidi religion; some are Shi’a Muslim. The growing Kurdish church is reaching out to Kurds in Armenia, the CIS countries and elsewhere.
Pray for the necessary resources for them to continue this outreach, and that the 25 million Kurdish people may be reached.
Evangelical Christianity has thrived among the 3.5m Armenians of the diaspora, with many congregations in the Middle East, North America and elsewhere. Most Armenians have retained close links even after many generations. Since 1988 a number of Armenian churches and ministries have given generously and invested in reaching their homeland, with remarkable results.
Pray for the world to be blessed through this global people.
17. Aruba: There has been growth in evangelical witness – predominantly among the more recent arrivals. Considerable numbers have immigrated from Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. There are nearly 40 evangelical congregations with outreach, about half in English. Inter-church rivalry has harmed overall witness. The major spiritual growth is in AoG– and TEAM-related churches, though the Methodists too have experienced a strong move of the Spirit.
Pray for a greater impact on the Papiamento-speaking population.
Media. Radio Victoria (TEAM) and the AoG station broadcast to the Antilles and to the whole Caribbean in Papiamento and other languages. TWR broadcasts from Bonaire 14 hours a day in Spanish.
Pray for enduring fruitfulness for this ministry.
18-19. Australia: Secularism and a pursuit of leisure, pleasure and wealth characterize Australia. Although 68% of Australians claim to be Christian, negative attitudes towards authority and tradition make it hard for the average man in the street to see the gospel as meaningful or the church as relevant. There is widespread interest in spirituality, but people are not turning to the churches to explore it.
Pray that many might find solutions to life’s problems and find their identity in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Evangelicals are strong in the Sydney Anglican diocese and a growing minority in the Melbourne diocese (30%). Several mainline churches have evangelical majorities while all of the rest have significant and active minorities. However mainline churches are in varying degrees of polarization over such issues as the ordination of women, homosexuality and traditional church structures which are leading to further divisions. The casualty rate among pastors is a concern — there are over 10,000 ex-pastors, almost the same number as presently serving pastors.
Pray for a greater understanding of the post-modern world, more effective proclamation of the gospel in relevant ways and use of appropriate structures for growing the Christian community.
Although some Australian churches have a good mission focus, there is a general lack of missions vision in most churches. The relatively large number of Australian missionaries suffers from lack of support at every level. The vision for world evangelization has to be imparted to pastors during their theological training. Mission awareness courses, such as Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, are now being used in every state of Australia and the steady growth in numbers is encouraging. Students of all ages are being changed and are getting involved as goers or active senders.
Pray for them and that churches may be enthused through them.
Pray also for the missionary force, especially those who have gone to pioneer areas.
There has been a drastic drop in Sunday School attendance, and alternative methods must be found to reach the younger generation. The Christian school systems are growing rapidly. The Inter-Schools Christian Fellowship (SU) has a valuable ministry in secondary schools. In every State but South Australia religious instruction is conducted in schools by volunteers from the churches. Many groups, such as Youth For Christ, the Crusader Movement, God Squad and others are seeking to evangelize young people. The innovative Fusion Ministries has developed a well-researched and culturally relevant range of ministries to youth and to families based in 25 centers with 200 full-time workers across the country.
Pray for the young people and children to experience genuine encounters with Jesus.
The 350,000 indigenous Aborigines have been demoralized in their contacts with Western culture and greed and have been frustrated about their lack of control over their lands and their heritage. Recognition of the land rights of the first Australians has become a major political issue in recent years. Reconciliation between black and white Australians is a crucial issue yet to be resolved. Some have adapted to the invading culture, but many have been marginalized, and others have retreated into the more inaccessible and inhospitable parts of the country. There are a number of areas, especially in the north and west of the country where there are strong congregations with effective outreach.
Spend time in prayer for the following specific issues:
a) Pray for the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship, a key coordinating body of Aboriginal Christians, as it encourages leadership development through its training college, outreach and church planting in every Aboriginal community.
Pray that believers may boldly proclaim the liberating power of the gospel in the face of hostility from political activists.
b) Pray for the nearly 500 missionaries in 26 denominational and interdenominational agencies working among these people (such as the Aborigine Inland Mission, United Aborigine Mission, CMS and MAF).
c) Bible translation is in progress in 19 of these small language groups (through the 38 SIL and UBS workers); 26 languages have a portion of the New Testament. About 13 may still need translators.
d) The use of GRN records and cassettes in 86 languages is a vital contribution to the task because of the great linguistic variety among the Aborigines.
20-21. Austria: Austria is a cultured nation famed for its music, art and beautiful scenery. Yet Austrians need a personal faith in Christ, and only a small minority has clearly heard how they may find one. Over 75% of the population is Christian in name, but with no meaningful link with any church, yet an estimated 80% have had dealings with the occult. The high suicide, abortion and alcoholism statistics indicate the spiritual need.
Pray for this nation to be set free by the power of Jesus.
Austria is Catholic by culture, not commitment. The annual membership loss accelerated in the 1990s to 35-40,000. The number of priests has declined and the priesthood has been stained by prominent sex scandals. Twelve years of religious education during childhood ‘inoculates’ the population against vital personal faith in Christ and results in rejection of both the Catholic Church and any others. In 1539 over 90% of Austrians were following the Reformation; today 3% of the younger generation go to church. There is a small renewal movement in the Catholic Church.
Pray that prejudice and antipathy may be broken down.
Newer evangelical/Pentecostal churches are few and small in number, but growing. During the 1980s, congregations almost doubled in number, rising from 57 to 97, and attendances tripled, but in the 1990s this growth slowed. Born-again believers in these churches and in the mainline denominations combined may still number less than 20,000. Pray for the multiplication of congregations where the Lord Jesus Christ is proclaimed and honoured.
Pray also for the efforts of both the Evangelical Alliance (ÖEA) and the Fellowship of Evangelical Congregations in Austria, (ARGEGÖ) to bring more cooperative action to the fragmented evangelical cause.
Witness among the 222,000 students is one of the most fruitful in the land today. Over half of these are in Vienna, where there are also 15,000 international students. Strong groups in the seven universities are growing in depth and outreach.
Pray that these young Christians may have an impact on the land and its churches.
Pray also for the ministries of ÖSM(IFES), CCC and Navigators on the campuses of Austria. Both CEF (with 18 workers) and SU have an appreciated, but limited, ministry to school-age children.
22. Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan’s political situation is complex and potentially dangerous. The unresolved conflict with Armenia and the growing international confrontation between Armenia, Russia and Iran on one side and Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and NATO countries on the other over the exploitation and transport of oil could lead to war.
Pray for peace with a just resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict—a legacy of Stalin’s border re-alignments.
Azerbaijani believers continue to increase in number. Many are in Baku where there are several congregations with a majority of Azeris. Pray for the maturing of upcoming Azeri leaders, their growth in ministry and for good fellowship among them. There are several small Bible schools in Baku. There needs to be better coordination of training ministries.
Pray for a strong Church with an effective witness to non-Christians.
Expatriate Christians have difficulty obtaining visas, but a number are seeking to live for the Lord through secular openings and NGO projects. They are forbidden to engage in ‘religious propaganda’.
Pray for the calling and entry of new workers and the long-term fruitfulness of their ministries despite the restrictions.
23. Bahamas: Materialism stimulated by tourism and drug money has deeply affected every level of society. Nearly all Bahamians claim to be Christian, but nominalism is widespread. A 55% illegitimacy rate, widespread drug addiction and family breakdown are symptoms of spiritual need.
Pray for God-glorifying changes. Among Christians, commitment is low despite the large percentage of Evangelicals in the country. Few are willing to commit themselves to the Lord’s work, and many congregations are without adequate pastoral care.
Pray for revival, and for a missionary vision among believers.
23. Bahrain: Bahrain is a political and spiritual key for the whole Gulf area – more so since the Gulf War in 1991. Islam impacts life less comprehensively than in surrounding states. Pray that democratic and religious freedoms might be fully implemented.
Bahrain has provided a good base for Christian ministry for over a century. The American Mission Hospital is well known and highly regarded.
Pray that this may continue and that there may be fruit from the tactful witness of believers.
The largest Arab Christian community in the Gulf states is here – most being expatriate. There are several informal networks of these believers.
Pray for them and their witness.
Amongst the large expatriate community, predominantly from South and East Asia and also the West, are a considerable number of active Christians meeting formally and informally.
Pray that individuals may have courage and wisdom to share their faith outside their own cultural group.
The labor force of nearly 200,000 is 58% expatriate and drawn from 45 nations. The less evangelized of these expatriate communities are the Iranians, Hindus and Muslims from India and Pakistan. Nearly half the congregations and house groups are Indian.
Pray that Christians within some of these national groups may win people for Christ.
24-26. Bangladesh: The downward spiral of poverty and suffering cannot be reversed without good, honest and impartial leadership for the nation. The majority of the population is illiterate, malnourished and without adequate medical care.
Pray for political stability and a government that is courageous to stand against Islamist demands for increased Islamization and against corruption. It also needs to make tough decisions to improve the quality of life for all.
Discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, under pressure from extremist Muslim groups, has increased. Christians, Hindus and Buddhists suffer many disadvantages and there have been cases of destruction of churches and persecution of Christians for their faith.
Pray for the binding of the powers of darkness operating in the religious, social and ethnic realms.
Pray also that constitutional freedom for all to practice and propagate their own religions might be maintained.
The churches have been growing at twice the population rate over the past 40 years.
Though still constituting officially only 0.3% of the population, they are having an increasing impact on society. Over 80% are literate.
Pray specifically for:
a) Growing churches such as the Bangladesh Baptist Fellowship, Assemblies of God and the Bangladesh Free Baptist churches which have set bold outreach goals for the future.
b) The Great Commission Movement, launched in 1991, which brought together evangelical congregations with the commitment to prayer, research and cooperation in planting a church in every one of the 464 sub-districts and each of the ethnic groups of the country by the year 2000. Pray that this momentum might be maintained.
c) The people-movement tribal churches. Nearly all the Bawm, Pankhu, Garo and most of the Oraon, Mahili and Khasi have become Christian, and the Santal and Munda peoples have a large and growing minority of Christians. Pray that these churches may become strong, mature and full of missions vision.
d) The churches among sections of the Hindu population. Response has largely been among the Namasudra and Muchi castes. Pray that these Christians may be able to reach other Hindu castes still little affected by the gospel.
Revival of the Church is the greatest need.
Pray that the Holy Spirit may move in these areas:
a) Nominal Christianity. Early people movements brought thousands of marginalized sections of society into the Church. Poverty, illiteracy and lack of trained and godly leadership have led to shallowness and nominalism.
b) Unity. Imported and indigenous divisions have hindered the effectiveness of witness in the past. Pray for the National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh as it seeks to encourage evangelical unity and cooperative action in evangelism, teaching and aid programs
c) Outreach. After years of little interest, there is growing involvement in reaching out to the major non-Christian communities.
27. Barbados: Since settlement in 1627, Barbados has been Protestant. Despite religious profession and a large number of Evangelicals, real commitment to the Lordship of Jesus is not the norm. Materialism, decreasing church attendance, increased violence and crime are the symptoms of spiritual malaise.
Pray for the renewal of God’s people and a spiritual awakening throughout the country.
The Church needs a fresh touch from God. There is much disunity, competition and mistrust between leaders of denominations.
Pray that there might be a loving commitment to fellowship and prayer among those in Christian ministry.
Pray for the Barbados Evangelical Association that seeks to provide the platform for this.
External challenges to the gospel are evident in the activity of Satanist groups and increased efforts by Muslims and Mormons to win those disillusioned with what they see of traditional Christianity.
Pray for the confounding of these efforts and for Christians to demonstrate the love and power of God.
28. Belarus: Belarus stumbled into an unexpected independence and is still searching for a national identity. Progress is crippled by the lack of political and economic freedom needed for growth.
Pray for true democratic and religious freedom.
The cultural dominance of Poland and Russia lasted for many centuries.
Pray for a truly indigenous expression of Belarusian Christianity to be developed and then spread using all methods: church services, theological education, literature, and broadcasting.
Belarus has received far less attention from missions than her Slavic neighbors, Russia and the Ukraine. Pray that the Lord might call more people to serve long-term in this needy land.
Pray that Western missionaries in Belarus might have a sensitive and humble spirit, working as servants with the local churches.
Pray for a spirit of wisdom in ministering which avoids drawing negative attention from hostile authorities and the media.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5 KJV) Our prayers continue to be that the light of the world will shine brightly in those places most in need of both the love and the light of the gospel. May your life be enriched as you take time to pray for the nations of the earth.”
LaneLane M. Holland, M.Div.
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
Copyright © 2009 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.