JULY 24-31 PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS
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.)
24 LATVIA: The post-independence religious bubble has burst. The spiritual urgency of the early 1990’s has largely lapsed into general spiritual apathy. While religious freedom exists, only about 2% of the population regularly attends church. Although the smaller evangelical denominations continue to grow, the Lutheran and Catholic churches still struggle with nominalism and a lack of teaching and pastors.
Pray for healthy growth in the churches and harmony between believers of different ethnicities.
Leadership training is important, as great hunger exists in the churches for biblical teaching and training. There is also a need to equip believers to recognize false teaching. In addition to the Bible seminaries (Lutheran, Baptist and Catholic) and the Theological Faculty in Riga University, YWAM and the Baptists have established training centres. The Lutheran Church has a one-year training program for lay leaders and there are 2 Russian-language Bible schools. Financial support is often a problem for students.
Pray that students at all these institutions may be trained into godly, committed leaders.
25 LEBANON: Lebanon’s tragic history over the past 50 years with communal wars, foreign interventions and hostage-taking made world headlines. Its once-wealthy economy was destroyed, its middle class decimated and its delicate social balances disturbed. The war is over but not its effects.
Pray specifically for:
a) The government and its leaders. According to common practice, the President must be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker a Shi’a Muslim. They need to set an example in harmonious working together for the good of all Lebanese.
b) Full political freedom to be gained and religious freedom protected.
c) The healing of the deep hurts in communities, families and individuals. Over 80% of the population was displaced at one time or another during the war. All have lost loved ones, many lost homes and jobs.
d) A willingness to forgive those who caused the suffering. Pray above all, that a work of the Holy Spirit might make world headlines instead!
e) The rebuilding of the South after 22 years of military occupation – for spiritual, as well as physical renewal to take place.
26 LESOTHO: The newer, evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic denominations and agencies have seen growth (AIM, YWAM, IMB-SBC, and various South African groups).
Special items for prayer:
a) Bible teaching. There are four residential Bible schools, including the Apostolic Church Mobile School and the Jesu Evangeli Centre ministry with potential to provide this.
b) Leadership. The mainline, Catholic and Pentecostal churches in Lesotho have been under local leadership for many years, but a new level of leadership is emerging in the charismatic churches that is cooperating to win the nation for Christ.
c) A nation-wide prayer movement has brought a new dynamism to the witness of believers, but this vision needs to be maintained.
d) Empowering of women in Christian leadership – the absence of many men and the lower proportion of committed Christians among them makes this essential for the survival of congregations.
27 LIBERIA: For decades Christians compromised with evil on an alarming scale. Freemasonry imported by the early settlers fused with indigenous tribal secret societies to become a pervasive influence that corrupted and compromised politics and nearly every denomination, whether mainline, evangelical or Pentecostal. During the war, Christians who refused to compromise were persecuted in some areas. Stagnation, failure of the gospel to advance in Liberia’s hinterland, lack of concern for the lost, and spiritual impotence so widespread in the churches are due to condoned sin, witchcraft, alcoholism and polygamy among ‘Christians’.
Pray for the binding of these spiritual forces and for a new day of freedom and power in the Holy Spirit for the Church.
There are signs of hope. The agony of the nation has driven Christians to new prayer and earnestness for the gospel. Christians have had miraculous deliverances, soldiers have repented of horrible crimes, new leaders with vision have been raised up and there have been localized revivals in the midst of sorrow. Since the war ended over 150 churches have been started. The Association of Evangelicals has regrouped and begun to lay plans for future reconstruction and evangelization.
Pray that out of the fires may come a purified Church that can bring reconciliation between ethnic groups, a blessing to the many needing spiritual help and can resume the incomplete evangelization of the country.
28 LIBYA: The Christian community is large, but foreign. There are no more than a handful of Libyan believers, all facing many obstacles to fellowship, including fear of infiltrators. Christians among the expatriate population are largely nominal; few find opportunity for public worship, and most congregations lack pastoral care. There are some active Protestant, Catholic and Coptic Orthodox congregations, and several informal groups of believers of various nationalities from Asia, Africa, and Europe. There was a crackdown on home meetings in 2000.
Pray for the unhindered growth of a Christian witness among expatriates and for outreach to every national grouping among them.
29 LIECHTENSTEIN: Liechtenstein has changed from a feudal backwater in the 1930s to a leading banking and industrial centre today. Almost the entire indigenous population is Catholic. The majority of expatriates are nominal Christians and a growing minority is Muslim. Few in this country have ever been confronted with the necessity of a personal faith in Christ. Church attendance is only a small proportion of those who claim to be Protestant.
Pray that through increased contact with outsiders, many might encounter the risen Christ.
The first and only evangelical fellowship of believers was started in 1985 after an evangelistic campaign launched by British, Norwegian and Swiss believers.
Pray for the health and growth of this work.
LITHUANIA: There is a lack of trained leaders due to the rapid growth of the newer churches and the difficulties of the established denominations. Religious freedom has facilitated the entry of cults and theological error. Solid biblical foundations need to be laid locally. Those leaders who train abroad often do not return, and several who do find themselves out of touch with their home situations. The Catholics have 3 seminaries and 5 faculties in universities; the Lutherans have one. The Pentecostals founded a pastoral, mission-oriented training institute, Vilnius College. Word of Faith and other charismatic groups operate training centers. Another encouraging development is Lithuania Christian College, an inter-denominational Christian liberal arts college.
Pray that these institutions may be used to train godly, well-educated and visionary leaders for the nation.
30 LUXEMBOURG: Protestants are a small minority, and a high proportion of them are foreigners. Jehovah’s Witnesses have had more success among the nationals than Evangelicals, and other cults are making their presence felt. There are several small evangelical congregations from different traditions, but there is still a great need for more Bible-teaching, Christ-centered churches, and for workers to labor in these churches.
Pray that the Lord of the harvest may send out more workers to this field, and sustain those already there.
Foreigners are a major challenge for evangelization. There are some services and ministries in several other languages, but the vast majority of foreigners are in Luxembourg for employment, business or EU affairs, and show little interest in spiritual things.
Pray for both vision and strategy for reaching each group, and for receptive hearts.
31. MACEDONIA: The Macedonian Orthodox Church claims to be shepherd to the majority of the population, but their 1,100 churches remain largely empty. There are only 150 priests. Spiritually weak and steeped in tradition, the Orthodox Church often actively opposes any evangelical or evangelistic ministry.
Pray for new life to touch this Church and all those who belong to it.
Macedonia’s ethnic diversity dominates its political and social existence. Macedonian pluralism resembles segregation more than harmony. Finding a balance between the demands of the respective ethnic minorities, especially the large Albanian population, is a challenge for the authorities.
Pray for the government to sensitively seek peace and justice for all.
Pray also for God’s anointing upon President Trajkovski, who is a believer and has served as a lay preacher in the Methodist Church.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
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