August 1-7 Prayer Agenda
In the closing days of summer and vacations we here at Word Ministries take time to say thank you for being willing to spend a few moments each day alone or with your prayer group covering the nations in prayer. We believe part of our mission and vision is to see the whole earth filled with the Glory of the Lord. We pray that the Lord of the Harvest will continue to send forth laborers into the darkest parts of our world and that the light of Jesus Christ will penetrate the hearts of men, women and children.
1. Madagascar: The Protestant Church has had a glorious history of faith despite persecution from heathen rulers and harassment from the French Catholic colonial authorities. It grew from 5,000 in 1861 to one million in 1900. There have been significant revival movements within the larger churches in 1895, 1941, 1948, and during the 1980s. Springing from the revival movements have been the indigenous lay movements of ‘shepherds’, which operate within the mainline Protestant Federation Churches from 50 centers across the island. Their emphasis on healing and exorcism has led to conversions and full churches in some areas.
Pray that this movement continue to grow and be rooted in Scripture.
Spiritual deadness rather than revival characterizes many congregations. Compromise with the old beliefs, veneration of ancestral spirits, and witchcraft are widespread and even increasing among those who claim to be Christians. The forms of worship remain, but many have little understanding of the biblical message of salvation. The Christian community is 80% Christianized, but not really evangelized.
Pray that the power of Jesus might be manifested, and that many may trust Him completely.
2. Malawi: The major issues to be tackled by the churches and that require prayer are:
a) Maintaining effective ministry in the midst of deep poverty and the growing AIDS crisis.
b) Training new workers for spiritually weak rural churches – few can afford the training or the subsequent support. TEE courses are run by the Brethren and Baptists.
c) Effective theological education. There are 13 Protestant and two Roman Catholic seminaries or Bible schools. Pray that the CCAP theological faculty at Zomba might take a more strongly evangelical stand. Pray for many to be called into the ministry, and for the provision of funds to enable them to complete their studies.
d) Unity. Pray for more cooperation between the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), the Christian Council (CCM) and the CHAPEL network of Pentecostals and charismatics.
Pray that the Malawi National Initiative for Mission and Evangelism may unite the churches in effective evangelism and outreach.
3-5 Malaysia: The Church continues to grow, but faces real challenges that need prayer:
a) Lack of Christian workers. Many smaller churches have no trained pastor. There are over 16 Bible colleges and seminaries. Too few are responding to God’s call to service.
b) Their marginalization creates anxiety, a ghetto mentality and desire to withdraw from being the witnesses Christians should be. There is a high emigration of professionals and Bible school graduates.
c) The need to re-think attitudes and effective service to non-Christian neighbors.
6. Maldives: Pray for lasting fruit through:
a) Witness to Maldivians in other lands – many travel as sailors, students, seeking medical care, etc. Also, there are Maldivian communities in Sri Lankan and Indian coastal cities.
b) The Scriptures which are being translated into Dhivehi – pray that this may be completed soon.
Pray also for ways to import Scriptures and Christian literature – there is a rigid censorship being applied. Only small portions of scripture are currently available.
Pray for the progress of the translation effort and for ways that the people may have free access to the Word in their heart language.
c) Christian Radio – FEBA broadcast 30 minutes weekly in Dhivehi despite government efforts to prevent this.
7. Mali: Missions have multiplied, and few areas of the country are untargetted, but the north has a much lower concentration of Christian work. For years there were only four Protestant missions – GMU in the centre among the Bambara, CMA in the east among the Dogon, Bobo, Minianka and Senufo, UWM in the west among the Malinke and Evangelical Baptists in the north among the Tuareg and Songhai. Only in the more receptive GMU and CMA areas have strong churches emerged. In the 1980s, over 20 missions began work in Mali, but it is still a pioneer country – less than 2% are Christians.
Pray for more missionaries to be sent out with the gifts needed to complete the evangelization of Mali – numbers did not increase in the 1990s.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
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