This month I would like to challenge you to simply read through the list of nations we will be praying for this month before you begin the daily prayer. As you do, ask the Holy Spirit to show you one to pray specifically for each day along with the one assigned for that day. So many of these nations are in need of a strong witness and an outpouring of God’s loving presence. Listen for His instructions and follow them in faith. Ask the Lord for a compassionate heart for the people for whom you pray. Consider looking up additional information or keep a globe or map nearby to help you identify where your prayers are going. Whether you have only one minute or one hour to pray please remember that it is connected to thousands of others intercessors around the world and you are making a difference!
Please remember to pray for the armed forces stationed all over the world and their families. DAY:
1: Belgium is a deeply divided nation. Its territory has straddled the cultural divide between the Latin/Romance and Germanic worlds for 2,000 years. It has also long been oppressed and fought over by surrounding nations. Though one in Catholic culture, the Walloon-Flemish rivalry and resentments color the use of language, the economy, politics, religious life and worldviews of both communities.
Pray that national leaders at every level may successfully work for the unity of the nation.
The nation was shocked in the 1990s by the exposure of murderous pedophile rings, some with Satanist practices that reached into the top levels of society. Christian churches were even affected. These have led to a deep distrust of political and religious leaders. There is a rapid rise in neo-paganism and the occult.
Pray that these works of darkness might be bound, exposed and routed out and that many may be set free in Jesus.
The Protestant Church is only now recovering from the destruction of its 600 congregations by the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th Century.
Pray that the light of the gospel may shine clearly once more, overcoming fears and prejudices, and attract many.
2. Belize:Cultural diversity and denominational variety make unity and common goals for Christians difficult to attain.
a) The Mennonites, many of whom live in introspective communities with their own dialect of German. Belize has a higher percentage of Mennonites than any other country.
Pray for revival in their communities.
b) Effective fellowship, between Spanish- and English-speaking believers in united nation-wide initiatives for the Kingdom.
Pray for the less-reached:
a) The Mayan peoples – there are a few Nazarene and Mennonite believers.
b) The Garifuna have had their own NT since 1983. Their strong animistic culture has only been marginally penetrated (CoN, Brethren). There are some Nazarene and Brethren believers among them.
c) The Chinese have increased through immigration from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but only a few are evangelical believers.
d) The East Indians are almost entirely Muslim or Hindu.
3. Benin: There is a problem with Government corruption.
Pray that the commitment to genuine democracy might be honored and the endemic corruption in the country tackled.
Pray also that all of the leaders may work for the good of the people rather than for self-enrichment.
Bible translation is still a major need. Almost half of Benin’s 51 languages are without a Bible or NT. SIM translation teams are working in seven languages, the AoG in seven, and SIL in four.
Pray for the inter-mission linguistic centre which helps facilitate translation work by the provision of technology and resources. (Other literature is also being translated and printed: TEE materials, Bible commentaries, etc.)
Bermuda: Bermuda is an earthly paradise, but despite having numerous gospel-preaching churches, it is spiritually impoverished.
Pray for revival that brings lifestyles in line with biblical.
The impact of the churches is blunted by lack of unity and common spiritual goals.
Pray for a willingness to come together and build bridges for effective ministry in Bermuda and beyond.
Bermuda is the world’s wealthiest Black-majority territory, but it has little missions involvement.
Pray that Bermudans may make a significant impact on world evangelization.
4. Bhutan: Bhutan is one of the world’s least evangelized nations. The strongly isolationist policies of the government further reinforce the hold of Tantric Buddhism with much that is demonic and occultic.
Pray for true spiritual liberation for this land of the Dragon (Druk Yul).
Pray for King Wangchuk and his salvation.
The ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Nepali population has been vigorously promoted since 1990. Suppression of Nepali culture and language, beatings, destruction of homes, rape and many expulsions have created anger, fear and a large refugee problem with over 100,000 in UN refugee camps in SE Nepal.
Pray for a wise, enlightened government that gives peace and freedom to all the land’s peoples.
Bhutanese Nepalese have responded to the gospel and since 1970 there has been steady growth. There are little churches and house fellowships all along the southern half of the country that have been planted through several Indian agencies. Many groups have suffered harassment and persecution.
Pray for them.
Bhutan was closed to all Christian witness until 1965. There followed 25 years of slight relaxation during which Indian and other expatriates were able to witness through NGOs. Over the 1990s restrictions increased because of the success of that witness — especially among the Nepali. There are now a few legally permitted congregations with their own buildings.
Pray for the growth of the Church in this land.
5.-6. Bolivia: Democracy and freedom are new realities for Bolivia. The benefits are only now beginning to reach the Amerindian majority that has long been mired in poverty, exploited and politically marginalized.
Pray for courage and moral integrity for the national leaders as they grapple with the economic inequalities and social ills of society, not least of the latter being the cocaine “industry”. About 50% of the world’s cocaine is grown in Bolivia.
Pray that Bolivian Evangelicals may live holy, exemplary lives as they seek to bring change for the good of their land.
The growing of coca and manufacture of cocaine has become the major economic activity of many Bolivians. Poor roads and distance from markets make alternative crops far less viable. Government and international efforts to suppress the illegal industry have had limited success.
Pray for believers that have compromised, and also for those who stood against the pressure – and are impoverished as a result.
Evangelical Christians are a growing influence in society. The Association of Evangelicals (ANDEB) is a major fellowship link for them.
Pray for unity and continued commitment to prayer and outreach with a vision to see their nation transformed.
Growing churches are numerous, but so also are the needs and challenges. These include illiteracy, lack of understanding of the basics of true Christianity, apathy and widespread compromise with the social evils of fornication, family breakdown, violence and alcohol abuse.
Pray for revival.
The Catholic Church is confronted by multiple crises. Its long-held political supremacy is threatened; annual losses to other churches and religions have provoked local discrimination and pressures against non-Catholics. It has failed to develop an indigenous clergy or challenge the rampant paganism within the majority it claims to shepherd.
Pray that millions of nominal and Christo-pagan “Catholics” might come to a living faith in Christ.
7. Bosnia: The Bosnian tragedy was provoked by the political follies of the West and Serbian nationalism distorted by the megalomania of the Yugoslav Serbian leader Milosevic. The ‘ethnic cleansing,’ looting, destruction of 25% of all buildings (plus damage of a further 50%), and 250,000 deaths have left deep scars and an abiding hatred between communities that once lived together, spoke the same language and even intermarried.
Pray for greater wisdom and foresight on the part of world and Bosnian leaders in implementing a workable peace, a just settlement and a viable future.
The miniscule evangelical witness has grown since 1991. Then there were only 2 to 3 congregations, but this had grown to 29 in 2000 with 700 people attending services. Evangelicals have gained credibility as the only ones to bridge the gulf between ethnic groups. A small Bible School with 20 students was started in 1996 in Mostar.
Pray for the few believers and their witness in this war-torn land, amid a population uniquely receptive – for a while.
Bosnian refugees are scattered around the world as well as in Bosnia itself. Of the 1.3 million who fled to other lands only 400,000 had returned by 2000. Most of the internally displaced are still homeless.
Pray that Muslims, Orthodox and Catholics alike might find healing for their deep psychological wounds, peace with God and with one another through faith in Christ and willingness to forgive the perpetrators of their misery.
Pray for UN personnel, as well as secular and Christian NGOs who seek to help Bosnians rebuild their lives.
8. Botswana: The Tswana were the first Bantu people in Africa to respond to the gospel; several tribes turned to God in the 19th Century through the LMS from England. Other missions followed. Nominalism soon became a major problem, since each mission planted what became virtually a ‘state’ church for the tribe that received that group. The majority of Tswana are Christian in name but given over to immorality and drunkenness accentuated by the breakdown of family life. In some areas, over 90% of children are illegitimate.
Pray for a reversal of the moral decline.
Pray for the following Christian Media and support ministries:
a) The Bible Society oversees the translation program.
Pray for wisdom in choice of minority languages for translation projects, the most challenging being the many small San languages.
b) Radio broadcasts and Christian TV on the national network are supervised by the International Church Radio Council. TWR Swaziland broadcasts 45 minutes daily in Tswana. Radio LBOM is being constructed in Maun, NW Botswana. Plans are to broadcast 24 hrs/day in three languages of Botswana and neighboring lands.
c) Literature for the rapidly increasing literate population is scarce and often expensive. Little variety is available in Tswana, and virtually nothing in minority languages.
Pray for bookstore ministries.
d) The JESUS film is being used in 5 languages including Tswana, Herero, Kalanga and Afrikaans. Production is under way in Kgalagadi, Yeyi and one San language.
e) The Flying Mission serves the cause of Christ with 6 planes based in Maun and Gaberone.
f) GRN has available recordings in 26 languages – 18 of them San.
g) Botswana Christian Prison Fellowship (PFI) has a ministry in all the country’s prisons.
9-11. Brazil: The government continues to dodge the painful restructuring and righting the wrongs of the past. It is said Brazil is a paradise for some, purgatory for most and hell for 20%.
Pray that the endemic corruption, cronyism, injustices of society and discrimination – against the poor, underprivileged children and indigenous tribal peoples – may be ended.
Pray for effective outreach and church planting among the less evangelized peoples:
a) The squalid favelas. These slums are a highly visible blight in every major city – home to nearly 20 million poverty-stricken and needy people, and 20-25% of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo’s population. These lawless areas are rarely entered by the police and are hotbeds of crime, drugs, violence, prostitution and disease. AIDS is a major problem.
b) The northeast, which is poor and underdeveloped and also has Brazil’s lowest percentage of Evangelicals. About 15 million people live in the poor Sertão but only 3% are Evangelicals. There is a great exodus of poor to the Amazon and the cities of the southeast. Pray for wise Christian relief and development through an effective Brazilian and expatriate missionary presence.
c) The Amazon basin, which is larger than the whole of non-Russian Europe, and is of global importance because of its oxygen-generating forests and huge biodiversity. It is also spiritually needy. The challenges for outreach are the pioneer settlements springing up along new roads through the forests and the 36,000 yet unchurched river communities accessible only by boat. UFM, AoG, Baptists, YWAM and others are involved with MAF support in some areas. Church planting is made difficult by the relative poverty, loss of key members to cities, and geographical isolation.
d) The cities. Though they have numerous churches, cities also contain ethnic minorities and the nation’s elite which are far less reached. Pray that the Church may find effective means to break through into these groups.
e) The Japanese. Over 60% are Roman Catholic but only 3% Protestant. In 1992 there were 80 evangelical churches with 7,000 adult Japanese believers, with little increase since then. Pray for the witness of the Japan Holiness Church (OMSI), Japan Evangelical Mission and UFM. Many Brazilian Japanese have gone to Japan as low-paid labourers – the Holiness Church has sent missionaries to work amongst them.
f) The 180,000 Chinese, who live largely in São Paulo, where there are 12 small evangelical congregations, but the percentage of Christians (1.7%) is low. By contrast, there are more than 42 churches for the 60,000 Koreans.
12. British Indian Ocean Territory: Evangelism is a challenge in this complex, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. The Hinduization of government and culture, as well as strong ancestral and ethnic ties makes it difficult for Indians to become believers. Nevertheless, large numbers of Hindus are coming to Jesus through the bold witness of evangelical/Pentecostal churches.
Pray for much wisdom and discernment.
Among Evangelicals, growth has been most rapid within the Pentecostal and charismatic groups. Other evangelicals and independent house groups are also experiencing more modest growth, but not without opposition. Subtle discrimination when applying for official permits, as well as more open hostility towards those who share the gospel is common. In this hyper-ecumenical atmosphere, proselytizers are painted as imperialistic and intolerant. The Church has often suffered from internal division, but the formation in 1995 of the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Mauritius was a major step forward in promoting Christian unity.
Pray that Evangelicals might be united in their presentation of the gospel to non-Christians.
12. British Virgin Island: The tourist trade brings large numbers of pleasure-seeking visitors and also attracts many illegal and often less-desirable immigrants, with the resultant impact on the moral life of the island.
Pray for local Christians and their witness to the tourists.
This ‘Paradise’ is one of the most beautiful in the world, yet sin mars many. Most of the population profess Christianity and even belong to congregations that preach holiness, yet 75% of births are out of wedlock.
Pray for a Christian lifestyle that is in accordance with their confession.
The motto of the Virgin Islands is ‘Where there’s no vision the people will perish’.
Pray that the Christians might have a vision for the lost locally and globally, which is largely absent.
13. Brunei: Brunei Darussalam, (pronounced /bru?’na?/ in English) officially the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak. Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.
Muslims aim for a ‘pure’ Islamic state by 2020. Islamization by offers of houses, jobs and favors and by intimidation of Christians has yielded a slow but steady trickle of converts from among the tribal and Chinese minorities.
Pray for both the thwarting of these designs and the re-instatement of constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom.
The king is reputed to be the world’s wealthiest man.
Pray for conversions to Christ in the large royal family.
Pray also for political liberalization in the country.
Brunei students usually complete university education in Malaysia, Britain, Australia or other lands.
Pray that they may come into contact with a vibrant Christian witness, be won for Christ, and ultimately return home as witnesses to their Saviour.
Pray for these unreached people groups in Brunei:
a) The Malay majority is Muslim with no known Christians. Witchcraft and materialism are strong.
b) The Chinese feel insecure and are still treated as foreigners even if born in Brunei. Most still follow the traditional religions of China or are secular. Only 15% are Christian, but fewer are committed to Christ.
c) Tribal peoples have either been converted to Islam and absorbed into the mainstream of national life, or have remained isolated in jungle villages. Among the latter, many Iban, Kelabit, Murut and others have come to Christ through the witness of the Anglicans, Brunei Christian Fellowship and Bethel Chapel.
Pray for the evangelization of each of these communities.
d) The expatriate workforce continues to grow fast. The Muslim Bangladeshis, the Hindu Indians and Nepalis (the latter making up much of the Brunei army) and the Buddhist Thai are the largest and neediest spiritually.
The Christian Church is under much pressure in Brunei. No foreign Christian workers are permitted – even to visit, and all Catholic priests and nuns were expelled in 1991. No Bibles or Christian literature may be imported legally. All schools, including the 6 Christian schools must give instruction on Islam alone. There are three registered churches but many others’ applications for registration are ignored, and they must meet clandestinely.
a) Unity, courage and a wise boldness. The pressure has increased the earnestness of many and a moving of the Holy Spirit among locals and Filipinos is reported.
b) Provision of mature Christian leaders and teachers of the Word.
c) Further growth despite the restrictions. Most of those converted are local tribes and Chinese.
14. Bulgaria: Religious freedom is still not fully achieved. In the past, persecution was severe with many Christians imprisoned or killed and by manipulation through informers, infiltrators and imposters in the churches. The subversion of the Orthodox hierarchy was particularly widespread. Some leaders courageously suffered, others compromised–a fact that still breeds division, mistrust and lack of cooperation in Orthodox, Protestant and Pentecostal churches alike.
Pray for repentance, reconciliation, healing and spiritual unity.
The Orthodox Church needs renewal and new life. It has split into 3 denominations over leadership and political power and is trapped in a cycle of schism, corruption and compromise. This has created increased openness to consider a personal faith in Christ. There have been very few educated Bulgarians converted through evangelical Christian witness.
Pray for a deep work of the Holy Spirit in the Bulgarian people.
The growth and maturation of evangelical denominations has been accelerated by the pressures of the 1990s.
a) The Evangelical Alliance formed in 1993 but only officially recognized in 1998, that it may be a united and prophetic voice for God in a divided and discouraged nation.
b) The Alliance for Saturation Church Planting, which seeks to coordinate evangelism and multiplication of congregations across the country.
c) The body of Christ. It is poised to play a significant part in the reconstruction of the country where 50% live below the poverty line; abortions far exceed the number of live births, and where hope for the future is rare.
15. Burkina Faso: The Unreached. Despite church growth, increased missionary exertions and greater responsiveness, there remain 24 people groups without an effective witness; 11 of these are Muslim. A more comprehensive survey is currently being undertaken but needs more local denominational backing. Most unevangelized lie within the area of witness of existing missions. Churches and missions working in areas with unreached people often tend to favor more responsive or closely-related peoples.
Pray for the recruitment and deployment of pioneer workers from Africa and the world to evangelize the unreached. Specific challenges:
a) Muslims, who are stronger in the north, but continue to grow in nearly every ethnic group. Only a fraction of the missionary force in Burkina is specifically committed to ministering among Muslims: the urbanized Soninke, Jula and the rural Tuareg in the north (WH, AoG); Bolon in the northwest and the Kurumba with some believers in the north (AoG); Songhai in the northeast; Doghosie, Komono in the south.
b) The partly nomadic Fulbe who are beginning to respond through the witness of three SIM teams, and AoG workers. This outreach needs to be expanded.
c) Unreached non-Muslim peoples: the Dogon of the northeast, the Bulsa and Gurenne on Ghana’s border, many Senufo sub-groups in the southwest (CMA and Mennonites), and the numerous small groups of the south (WEC).
There is a serious spirit of denominationalism in Burkina Faso. Churches usually do not cooperate unless there is some obvious benefit. There is much talk of greater kingdom collaboration but rarely does any fruit come of it. Sadly, the larger denominations often seek to hinder the growth of the smaller or younger denominations and organizations.
Pray that the Holy Spirit might convict the hearts of believers and build unity among them for the greater glory of God.
16. Burundi: Centuries of oppression and cycles of killings, reprisals and counter-killings have left a legacy of pain and hatred that bode ill for any resolution. All national and international attempts at mediation have failed to bring Hutu rebel factions to the negotiating table.
Pray for reconciliation between Tutsi and Hutu and for peace to come to the land.
Both Protestant and Catholic leaders have been prominent in opposing ethnic hatred and ‘cleansing’, but many Hutu and Tutsi church leaders have been killed or driven into exile. Many churches have been destroyed in the fighting.
Pray for unity, wisdom, the love of Christ and courage for all who seek the good of the country and growth of the Church.
Pray also that the churches many be able to rebuild the schooling system which has largely broken down – the government has asked for this, but resources are lacking.
In the midst of suffering, evangelical Christians have continued to grow. The most significant are a number of Pentecostal churches, Anglicans, Free Methodists and Eglise Vivante
Pray for the witness of believers when all around has collapsed and so many people are embittered with the ongoing genocide being perpetrated by both sides.
Areas of greater spiritual need in this nation that requires prayer:
a) The Twa are relatively less well evangelized. About 7% are Christian.
b) Refugee camps in Tanzania and Congo where spiritual life is tough and where it is difficult to maintain a clear witness.
Pray for the churches in them.
c) Displaced refugees within Burundi.
d) The Muslim community which, though small, is growing because of the bad witness of the many ‘Christians’ involved in the killings. Over 700 Muslims perished in the 1995 killings.
Will you continue to believe with me that each month our prayers touch souls in need of a savior all around the world? Thank you for your commitment to pray.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
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