JULY 1-7 PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS
We are preparing to celebrate another birthday of this great nation of America. During this month we will remember other nations in prayer who have their independence as well as those who are still praying and fighting for a different future for themselves and their families. The Word of God is true and we pray based on its promise that:
“…If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land…” II Chron. 7:14 (Amp.)
1. Iraq: The international community has made Iraq a pariah among nations. The effects have been devastating but have not ended the power of the ruling elite.
Pray for the following issues:
a) Wisdom for the UN and world leaders in balancing retribution and humanitarian needs and in application of sanctions.
b) A viable, indigenous alternative government to arise that unites and rebuilds the shattered country. There are no clearly visible options.
c) Adequate material and social help for the million or more refugees in Iran (150,000), Jordan (350,000), Turkey and the West.
d) The provision of the needs of children and young people. One million children are suffering from chronic malnutrition and 300,000 were estimated to have died from sanctions-related causes in the 1990s. The UN ‘oil-for-aid’ program has, though inadequate, somewhat alleviated the situation.
2. Ireland: Ireland has long been one of the great missionary-sending countries of the world – from the early Celtic Church onwards. Many Catholic and Protestant missionaries have gone to the ends of the earth. Catholic numbers are falling from the high of 7,085 foreign missionaries in 1965 to 3,884 in 1994.
Pray for the release, training and funding of more Irish missionaries and leaders by evangelical churches and fellowships.
Ireland is a young country, with half its population under 28 years old. Their spiritual need is underlined by the dramatic rise in suicides, unwed mothers and marriage breakdowns. They are responsive to the gospel. Christian camps are run by Scripture Union (with some 2-3,000 children per year), CEF, BCM International, the Faith Mission and others. IFES-Ireland has an island-wide ministry in 25 colleges and universities. There is an increasing openness in Dublin to presenting the gospel by street drama and sketch board.
Pray that more of Ireland’s young people may come to know Jesus, who is The Truth as this new spiritual openness is also being tapped by many cults.
3-4. Israel: Animosity against Christianity is a barrier to be overcome in Jewish minds. ‘Christian’ nations are seen to be destroyers of the Jewish nation whether by persecution (as in the Holocaust) or by proselytization.
Pray that the gospel may be understood as a fulfillment of their Jewish heritage and that a widespread turning to their Messiah might come.
Pray also that all attempts to limit freedom of religion and to deny the Jewish identity of Messianic believers may fail.
The intense half-century of conflict between Arabs and Israelis urgently needs resolution. Both sides lay claim to the land.
Pray for a just, lasting and adequately guaranteed settlement.
Pray for the current upheaval regarding Israel’s right to defend itself as well as the fallout from the recent raid of the ship caring humanitarian aid.
5-7. Italy: This great and gifted nation has decisively affected Western and world culture in legal systems (Roman law), language (Latin), culture (Renaissance art, music), and innovation (clothes, cars), yet is in deep spiritual need. After the fourth century collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church became a political as well as a spiritual power, deeply impacting the politics of Europe, the Muslim World (the Crusades) and Italy itself. The Church’s temporal power, though reduced since 1870, was in conflict with its spiritual responsibilities – destabilizing, dividing and impoverishing Italy in the process. Most Italians are Catholic in culture, but deeply cynical about the Church.
Pray for the removal of the multiple barriers that conceal a true understanding of the gospel.
Protestantism has had an 800-year history in Italy. The world’s oldest Protestant denomination, the Waldensian Church, began in north Italy, but was subjected to terrible persecution for centuries. Italian Catholic bishops officially apologized for this in 1997. The Waldensian Church is now in federal union with the Methodists and some Baptists but rather influenced by deadening liberal theology. The Protestant witness is weak and divided, especially between the growing Pentecostal majority and non-Pentecostal minority. New churches are often begun through bitter splits rather than strategic church planting. Most congregations are small, introspective and largely ignorant of the biblical challenge to missions and the few large congregations in the south are committed to ‘prosperity’ teaching.
Pray for revival that breaks down barriers of individualism, mistrust and doctrinal extremes and leads to cooperative outreach.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
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