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:
17. Cambodia: The spiritual darkness of Cambodia must be lifted by prayer. That darkness is shown by the ubiquitous spirit shrines, the strong opposition of Buddhism to any ideological rival and the moral collapse. The sex industry thrives, but a third of all prostitutes (an estimated 50,000) are children. Cambodia has the highest rate of child abandonment in SE Asia. HIV is spreading rapidly with 180,000 known to be infected in 1999 and 3,500 children born with HIV each year.
Pray for the light of the gospel to so shine that the structures of society as well as individuals may be decisively changed.
The Cambodian Church has survived against all odds. Beginning in 1923, CMA missionaries labored for 47 years before the breakthrough began. There were only 700 believers in evangelical churches in 1970, but by 1975 this had grown to 9-12,000. Only 2,000 survived the slaughter – many fled to Thai refugee camps where a great harvest was reaped for the Kingdom. During the 1990s churches spread to all 19 provinces.
Pray specifically for:
a) Freedom from government manipulation and interference, and wisdom in how to relate to the authorities.
b) Freedom and deep deliverance from past sin, hatred, suffering and abuse through faith in the precious blood of Jesus.
c) Children and young people to be effectively discipled in the churches. Few are equipped for this, yet over half the population are under 21.
d) Many Christian families to be raised up who can live for Christ as examples of his power to save and change.
e) A vision for the lost and to take the gospel to every person.
These are the less reached. There is a window of opportunity for the land that must be prayerfully kept open.
Pray intensely for:
a) The Buddhist majority. Though reviving, Buddhism has lost some of its monopolistic grip on the people.
b) The Cham are almost entirely Muslim. Probably 60% are deeply involved in spirit worship. They have increased rapidly in numbers. Few are Christians and there are no churches among them.
c) The tribal peoples. Only among the Mnong have significant numbers come to Christ. There are small, but growing churches among the Tampuan, Krung, Kravet and Jarai. Pray for an adequate survey of the need, and the calling of pioneers to reach them.
18. Cameroon: There is a need for godly leaders well trained in the Scriptures. Today’s spiritual disaster has its roots in a failure in theological training. Church leadership is more noted for pride, power-struggles, disunity, moral failure and misuse of funds than for holy living.
Pray for the provision of born-again, godly national and expatriate staff for the 10 accredited denominational and interdenominational schools in Cameroon. Pray also for a spiritual revolution in these theological faculties and seminaries which will bring new life and biblical standards to churches so long deprived of these.
The spiritual poverty of the churches is the country’s greatest tragedy. Nominal Christianity is a bigger problem in this land than in any other in Africa. The early pioneer work of Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Baptists was damaged by compromise and the arrival of liberation theology. These large churches lost spiritual life and opened their doors to millions who had no personal faith in Christ and with no one to lead them to Him. Tribalism, pagan practices, alcoholism and low moral standards are endemic. Most in these churches have no concern for the unreached of the north, nor do they have a prophetic voice to address the major ills of society.
Pray for deep repentance, lasting deliverance, true revival, restoration of Bible reading, preaching and holiness among Christians.
Some claim Cameroon is the most corrupt nation on earth – and there are many ‘claimants’ for that title. Massive corruption in the government, administration, police, the legal system and business have debased living standards, crippled economic growth and brought despair and hopelessness to the great majority of the population.
a) True Christians of integrity may be raised up to lead the nation and make the radical reforms needed to lift it from its sorry state.
b) There may be freedom for a national consultation that paves the way for a new era for the country.
c) The Lord might raise up committed and God-fearing Christian leaders to play key roles in national decision making in the public arena.
19.-21. Canada: Canadian indigenous peoples are largely Christian in name, but active evangelistic churches among them are desperately few.
There are 2,400 reservations without an ongoing evangelical witness.
a) Pray for a moving of God’s Spirit to overcome the shameful treatment of these people by whites in the past. The government has finally admitted the dismal failure of its policies towards indigenous peoples in the last 150 years. The church is assuming an increasing role in this reconciliation, but court cases against churches are rising over involvement in residential schools earlier in the 20th Century. Only the grace of God can enable the indigenous people to receive Christ despite serious economic and social problems, and strident anti-white, anti-Christian propaganda that draws many back into old animistic customs.
b) Pray for the growth of strong, well-led churches that are culturally appropriate. Especially pray for the development of indigenous leadership. There are many encouraging signs of growth and renewal in the native evangelical community, where a contextualized church is beginning to flourish.
c) Pray for missions seeking to evangelize and plant churches – often in the inhospitable northern parts of the country. Both denominational (Native Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, CMA, PAOC) and mission agencies, united as Inter-Mission Cooperative Outreach, are dedicated to this. Indigenous mission’s movements to evangelize their own are also developing.
d) Pray for the translators with SIL and other groups. There are also an increasing number of Christian radio and TV programmes aimed at aboriginals. Bible translation or revision is still needed. Revisions or translations are required in several of the 25 actively used languages. Five new translations of the New Testament or Bible have been completed in the last few years, leaving 12 works currently in progress.
e) Pray for the hundreds of thousands of native Canadian Indians living outside reservations are neglected and spiritually needy, especially in the cities, where poverty and substance abuse continues to afflict them.
The Inuit (Eskimo) in the Arctic are mostly Anglican in name, but the impact of the worst of Western civilization has greatly altered and harmed the Eskimo way of life. The suicide rate is four times the national average. The recent establishing of a new Inuit Territory, Nunavut, has given autonomy and hope to the local people. Likewise, since 1982, there has been evidence that the Holy Spirit is stirring, by waves of conversions and awakenings from nominalism. Helpful is the fact that the church is still often the centre of the community in these isolated northern towns.
Pray that the new-found autonomy of the Inuit people would be made complete by finding freedom in Christ.
Missionary vision has been great in the past, but the number of missionaries declined by 15% between 1992 and 1999. Giving to national missionaries and relief and development programmes, however, has increased in recent years. Pray for increased involvement by churches and individuals in the evangelization of the unreached in Canada and around the world.
Pray for increased missionary concern in the many growing evangelical churches among the ethnic minorities; such a vision is vital for Canada, and could be strategic for the evangelization of their lands of origin.
Pray also for the unifying and strategic work of the Task Force for Global Mission of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
22. Cape Verde: The political leaders must address the ecological and economic problems confronting the nation. Scant resources were poorly managed in the past, exacerbating the Republic’s poverty.
Pray for stable and wise government, and for social and economic betterment.
Caboverdians are Christian in name, but in practice are more influenced by superstitions and African fetishism.
Pray for true conversions among them. Christian literature is lacking in Creole, and most understand Portuguese only partially.
The increasing growth of Evangelicals has been largely though the ministries of the Nazarene Church and the more recently-arrived Pentecostal groups.
Pray that more indigenous workers may be trained up for these growing groups.
Pray that believers might mature and increase despite the poverty and geographical isolation.
There are 350,000 Caboverdians who live in migrant communities, the largest being in New England, USA (170,000), Portugal (37,000), Angola, Senegal, Italy, and France.
Pray that many in these communities may become true disciples of Jesus and be a blessing to their homeland.
23. Cayman Islands: Much of the wealth passing through the nearly 600 banks has been ‘laundered’ by international criminals. There is one bank for every 50 people, and a registered company for every inhabitant. The Caymans were vulnerable to manipulation by international drug traffickers but laws were tightened.
Pray that the wealth of the islands may be used to extend God’s Kingdom.
Christianity is numerically strong.
Most of the 70+ churches are evangelical.
Pray that the government and people might hold fast to Christian values.
Pray that Christians may live exemplary and consistent lives in the midst of wealth and the materialistic, complacent lifestyle it brings.
Over a million tourists a year visit the islands.
Pray for many to be confronted by the claims of Christ while in the pursuit of pleasure.
24-25. Central African Republic: The unity of the Church is a fundamental need. There is some working together within the main Baptist, Pentecostal and ‘Evangelical’ blocs, but this needs to be widened and deepened.
a) The AEC (Alliance Evangélique Centrafricaine) and others that they might work effectively for a unified, God-glorifying witness in the country.
b) Cooperative research of the harvest force and harvest field in the CAR. The AD2000 Movement, AMI/CMF and others have made a beginning in this. Pray for its completion and application of its results to mobilize the Church for discipling, church planting and pioneer missions. There is, at present, little concern in local churches for wider outreach.
Mission agencies have played an important role in education and health as well as in planting churches, translating the Scriptures, etc., though personnel are now much reduced in numbers. The largest are Baptist Mid-Missions (41), Grace Brethren (21), InterAct (12), Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (8). The great challenge is for effective partnership as equals between the national churches and missions. Pray for good relationships and cooperation for outreach and support ministries.
26. Chad: Freedom of religion is a precious reality, but is threatened by the polarization of the country. The population is almost equally divided between the politically dominant Muslim northerners and the increasingly marginalized Christian/ethnic religion southerners. Their cultures are so different and their history is one of northerners enslaving southerners. Although most of the schooling is in French, many in the north only read Arabic. Pray both for continued freedom of religion throughout the country and peace between the different religious and ethnic communities.
Islam has been in the ascendant for the past two decades, Muslims now controlling all the levers of power – government, trade and the armed forces. Muslim missionaries are multiplying, mosques are being built in non-Muslim areas and large sums of money are being invested in constructing two Muslim universities. Christians are ill-equipped to withstand such an onslaught and untrained in how best to witness to Muslims.
a) The overcoming of the many emotional, cultural and historical barriers for southerners witnessing to Muslims.
b) Various denominations which have a vision for Muslim outreach. Pray for Chadian Brethren and EET national missionaries seeking to plant churches in Muslim areas. At Ba Illi is a missionary training college (EET/MEU-AIM) for cross-cultural workers. CERFEM is a Chadian research and resource centre which focuses the Church on the unreached.
27. Chile: Chile lies on the west coast of Latin America. It is a long, thin country, which has the Pacific Ocean to the west and the mountains of the Andes on the east.
Pray for an outreach among the less reached people groups:
a) The Mapuche (speaking Mapudungun) are the largest and most independent of Chile’s indigenous peoples. A strong nationalist movement is agitating successfully for improved land rights and cultural recognition. About 70% are nominally Catholic, but the old animistic religion is still the most influential spiritual force and years of abuse, exploitation and oppression by outsiders have bred deep mistrust. The work of the Anglican Church has resulted in a strong community of 4,000 Christians. CMA, AoG, MttW and others have initiated work among them; SIM is developing Mapudungun TEE programmes. The Pentecostals have won many Mapuche migrants in the cities. Two SIL workers completed the New Testament into one of the dialects in 1997.
b) Rapa Nui (Easter Islanders) are a largely Polynesian people. The majority now live on the mainland. Their society is in disintegration and many are losing hope. Tourism, movie-making, AIDS, alcohol and emigration have all exacted their toll. Most are nominally Catholic, but there are about 50 evangelical believers in two small fellowships. One SIL couple is seeking to translate the NT into their language.
c) Drug abuse is a major problem in the cities. Pray for those seeking to bring deliverance to those affected.
d) The Jews of Santiago.
e) The Roma (Gypsies) have been neglected. Only the S.D.A. have a church among them.
f) The handicapped. Little has been done to reach the deaf, blind and other handicapped.
28.-31. China, PRC: There may only be a ten-year window of opportunity for receptivity. Materialism with increasing wealth, the debilitating effects of spreading corruption, the moral decline and the social impact of the one-child policy all are conspiring to blunt the cutting edge of the Church. Pray that present openness in the midst of opposition may be used to the full.
Communist Party members are the elite and number some 60m. All are officially atheist, but among them are many who are secretly religious and even Christian.
Pray for the collapse of the whole atheistic system and its lies so assiduously propagated in the education system.
Pray for the conversion of those within the Party.
The ‘One Child’ policy is a draconian means of taming the growth of the population. Family life has been deeply impacted, shown in: a higher divorce rate, 10m abortions a year (nearly all girls), suicide (40% of the world’s suicides are in China), pampered children with poor interpersonal skills and the abandonment of baby girls and older people. The rising generation will pay a heavy cost – in 2000 there were 90m marriageable unmarried men; in some areas young men outnumber young women by 30-40% – rape, abductions, female slavery, incest, prostitution and the rapid spread of AIDS could all be the result.
Pray for family stability and health.
Pray also for wise policies to be implemented that will stabilize the population.
The social and health needs in China overwhelm the available resources. Diseases are a challenge – 1.9m with tuberculosis, over 300,000 with HIV/AIDS, 10m mentally retarded through iodine-deficiency, 60m disabled, 13m blind and 520,000 registered drug addicts. Then there are the unemployed and the numerous victims of famines, floods and earthquakes due to the density of the population.
Pray that Christians may find many openings to serve such in the social and caring professions and opportunities to show and speak about the love of Jesus for them.
China faces environmental disasters on many fronts – deforestation causing massive flooding, the unknown impact of the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, polluted rivers filled with industrial and human waste, nine of the ten most polluted cities in the world, desertification in the north and east, and the continued increase of the population.
Pray for a government courageous and trusted enough to take the difficult decisions required for the long-term well-being of the nation.
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.