JULY 18-23 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.)
18 KIRIBATI: The once strong Congregational Church (Kiribati Protestant) is losing members and pastors to other Protestant groups and also to Catholics, Baha’i and Mormons. The theological college in Tarawa is not evangelical.
Pray for a return to biblical preaching and for New Testament Christianity to counteract nominalism and the underlying power of the occult.
Evangelical Christians are steadily growing in numbers – largely through the witness of the Church of God with rapidly growing congregations, 33 pastors and a Bible School with 79 students in 1992. The AoG also has a growing presence.
Pray that every island may have a clear, resident gospel message preached and lived.
KOREA, NORTH: The Church in North Korea was the birthplace of Korean revival – Pyongyang was known as the “Jerusalem of the East”. But most Christians fled to the south during the Korean War or were martyred, and churches were bulldozed. Little is known about today’s underground church; only that it has survived amidst great suffering. There are three propaganda “show” churches in the capital, but over 100,000 Christians are interned in labor camps.
Pray for physical and spiritual safety for North Korean believers, that they hang on to their Savior in what is possibly the most difficult country to be a Christian.
As many as 3 million died of starvation from 1994-2000, yet the government stockpiles rations for the military and refuses assistance on any but the strictest of terms. Floods caused by deforestation continue to devastate crops and reports of cannibalism are leaking out of the country. Some Christian agencies have been able to offer aid, but never with permission to share the gospel.
Pray for aid to reach the needy population, and for wisdom on the part of foreign governments and NGOs in handling this tragic and delicate situation.
19-20 KOREA, SOUTH: The less-evangelized sections of the population which need special approaches and prayer in ministry:
a) Shamanism is resurgent, though few openly claim to be followers of this ancient Korean religion. There are about 600,000 shamanist practitioners – mainly women.
b) Buddhists are probably over a quarter of the population. There are a number of indigenous religions such as Chondokyo (one million followers) and pseudo-Christian sects with Buddhist/shamanist ideas (1-2 million followers).
c) Korean Muslims. These are growing in number as a result of Islamic missionary efforts among Koreans working in Saudi Arabia. There are about 40,000 Korean Muslims and 60% of them live in Seoul. A Korean Islamic University is being planned. There is no specific outreach to them, and also a lack of knowledge of how to reach them.
d) The Chinese. There were 7 congregations with 800 members in 2000. They were then 1.4% Protestant.
e) The 250,000+ illegal migrants – often working in appalling conditions and for long hours.
21 KUWAIT: Many Kuwaitis travel to other lands as tourists, businessmen, and students and a number have come to know Christ. Fear of reprisal often prevents them from returning home.
Pray for wisdom and boldness for the converts and a burden to reach their own people.
Expatriate Christians gained recognition for their prayer and relief aid during and after the Iraqi occupation. There are eight sites where churches publicly meet in Kuwait, two of which are Catholic. The National Evangelical Church has become an umbrella for 35 Christian communities, which meet on a former hospital compound. The majority of these are Indian, with some Arab. Main services are held in English, Arabic, Urdu and Malayali.
Pray that believers may be granted full freedom of worship and witness and that their lives might commend the Lord Jesus as Savior.
KYRGYZSTAN: The Kyrgyz have an unprecedented opportunity to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray that the present harvest may continue. Pray down the barriers to faith:
a) History. For centuries foreigners have ruled the Kyrgyz and imposed their religions – Turkic armies in the 17th Century brought Islam, and the Russians in the 19th brought Orthodoxy, then in the 20th imposed Communism.
b) Restored Islam. The Kyrgyz are culturally Muslim, but practice and understanding of Islam is low. The Kyrgyz of the north are more influenced by Russian culture, but those in the south are more traditional. The 33 mosques in the country under Communism have multiplied to 120 buildings and 2,000+ prayer houses. Pakistani, Turkish and Saudi Arabian missionaries seek to strengthen Islamic institutions and commitment. A Kyrgyz becoming a Christian is seen as betrayal of ethnic identity and family cohesion.
c) Spiritism – the actual religion of the Kyrgyz. The ubiquitous shrines are more visible than mosques. Fear of the ‘evil eye’, use of amulets, the occult, shaman priests and demonization are widespread.
23 LAOS: Much of Laos is still unevangelized. After years of hard work missionaries saw significant breakthroughs among the Hmong and Khmu, but since 1975 little could be done by expatriates. Christianity has not moved easily across the diverse ethno-linguistic boundaries, leaving many groups completely unreached.
Pray that the entire country may be made open for the gospel to be proclaimed.
Over 90% of all trained leaders left Laos in 1975. Today, leaving the country for training is difficult and dangerous. Recently over 200 Laotians were trained in church planting and leadership based on a house church model.
Pray that these methods, supplemented by TEE and radio, might equip leaders thoroughly for their ministry.
A Catholic seminary opened in 1998 to train Laotian priests.
Pray that permission might be granted soon for the establishment of an evangelical Bible school.
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
Mission Info Bank. Used by permission.
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