October 1-16 Prayer Assignments
Word Ministries would like to thank you for the time you give each day in joining us as we pray around the globe. There are so many nations that are in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be planted, watered or stirred up again. As we pray we believe for a Move of God to occur. Let us enter into another month with joyful expectation that the wind of God is blowing across the lands and peoples of the earth!
“…For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers…” Romans 1:9
Ministry challenges that need intercession:
a) AIDS has become another nightmare for this beautiful, but tragic land. In 2000 there were at least 400,000 infected (11% of the population) and 270,000 orphaned due to AIDS.
Pray that more might be done by Christians in prevention and in care for those affected.
b) The Pgymy Twa are marginalized. Many are itinerant potters. Some reckon that up to 75% were killed in the genocide. Relatively fewer of this people are Christian.
c) Muslims have increased significantly in the 1990s through an aggressive mosque-building program. Many have been attracted by Muslim claims of the tolerance and peace found in Islam in contrast to the genocidal ‘Christians’. Estimates of their percentage vary between 2% and 5%. There is no specific ministry equipped or committed to reach them.
d) Detainees and prisoners languishing in over-crowded prisons face a long and hopeless future.
Pray for churches seeking to minister to their physical and spiritual needs.
The growth of Mormonism has been both spectacular and relatively unchallenged. Pray for all seeking to enlighten Samoan Christians of Mormonism’s errors and to win Mormons to Jesus. The whole nation has an obligatory quiet time for prayer and Bible reading at dusk.
Pray for renewal and revival.
San Marino: The Sammarinese are Catholic by tradition and culture, but most give only lip service to the Church and are very materialistic. The only non-Catholics are some JWs, a small group of Baha’i and several Waldensian Church families.
San Marino proclaims itself “Ancient Land of Liberty”. There is freedom to worship, but not to evangelize – any outreach by evangelical believers in the past has resulted in jailing and expulsion from the country. It is also almost impossible for foreigners to reside in the country. There is only one indigenous evangelical believer reported, but no evangelical church exists.
Pray that they may have a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Sao Tome:
The vast majority of the population is Catholic, but morals on the islands do not reflect this. Ninety percent of children are born illegitimately – the world’s highest rate.
Pray that the Church may experience a renewal that challenges people’s empty religion.
Evangelical growth has accelerated since independence – mainly through the work of the Portuguese Assemblies of God and more recently through Brazilian (YWAM) and Nigerian (Deeper Life) missionaries as well as a number of Pentecostal and other denominations in the late 1990s.
Pray that these missionaries might have a great evangelistic and church planting impact on these islands.
Pray for the development of locally-led congregations with effectively trained Christian leaders. Pray also for local support for national workers and for the launching of an interdenominational training centre
Less-reached sections of the population are the Príncipe islanders, the rural Angolares and the contract laborers, with each group having its own distinct Creole dialect.
Pray for their salvation.
3.-4. Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia once had a large Christian population. They were expelled when Islam gained control 1,300 years ago. It is now one of the least evangelized nations on earth. No Christian workers are permitted and all Christian “propaganda” banned. No Christian is permitted to set foot in Islam’s holiest city, Mecca.
Pray that one day soon this land may have many Christians praising the Lamb that was slain.
Pray that other Arabs might gain a burden to reach Saudis.
Although Saudi Arabia signed the U.N. Charter, which guarantees freedom of religion, Saudis who confess Christ face the death penalty if discovered. Still, a growing and substantial number are secretly seeking and finding Him. All converts discovered in the past have been executed. Pray for the preservation and multiplication of believers, and the legalization of Christianity for Saudis.
Pray that Saudi believers may be able to meet together in safety and have access to God’s Word.
Pray for the planting of strong churches among these unreached people groups:
a) Wolof. Despite much effort by, and increasing cooperation among the missionaries and others, results have been meager. There are possibly only about 100 believers and the beginnings of a few congregations. Pray that the advent of the Wolof New Testament, Jesus film and the patient friendship evangelism of Christian workers may break down the barriers preventing this proud people from seeking Jesus. Pray also for the breaking of the underlying spiritism which binds many and for the birth of a truly indigenous Wolof Church with its own hymnody and worship style.
b) Serer. Strongly fetishist until the 20th Century, now many are becoming Muslim or Catholic, and a good number Protestant Bible translation in three Serer languages (Ndut, Non, Safi) is underway.
c) Fulbe who are largely a pastoral people, some nomadic. Almost all are at least nominally Muslim. The Lutherans work among the northern Fulbe and WEC in the Casamance. In the latter area are two small congregations. The Fulacunda NT was published in 2000 (WEC).
d) Tukulor. Muslim for 900 years, and considering themselves as the defenders of that faith. It is a miracle that there are 15-20 believers (WEC, Lutherans, YWAM). The Tukulor NT was published in 1998.
e) Jola, speaking 14 major dialects and languages. Islam is more prevalent in the north of their area but all are bound by fetishism. There are now six Jola-led congregations and seven or more new, growing. The Kwatay NT was published in 2000.
f) Maures. All are Muslim, with only a few known believers. The majority live in inaccessible Mauritania, though many can be reached in the Senegal River Valley (WEC). There is a weekly local church radio program in the Hassaniya language.
g) Muslim Mande peoples. Those still totally unreached are: Mandinka, Jahanka, Bambara, Kassonke and Susu. Beginnings have been made among the Soninke but results have yet to be seen.
h) The smaller peoples on the southern border. Who are animistic or nominally Muslim. NTM has a major thrust to evangelize the Balanta-Ganja, Manjak, Budik, Bainuk, Badjaranke, Malinke and Jalonke, with plans also to reach the Mankanya. Some work has been done among the Konyagi but the fetishist Mankanya, Bayot, Bainuk and Ganja are unreached. The work has been disrupted by the Casamance unrest.
FEBA, with a radio ministry on Mahé, celebrated 30 years of broadcasting in 2000. The strategically-placed islands enable 290 hours of broadcasting per month in 25 languages to South Asia, 160 hours/month in 11 languages to Africa and 210 hours/month in 17 languages to Muslim countries of West and South Asia. Shortwave radio allows broadcasting into countries not open for residential missionary work.
a) The preparation of programs in receiving areas.
b) Continued permission to broadcast and for good reception in the listening areas.
c) Financial provision and efficient performance. Equipment and operating costs are expensive.
d) The six expatriate families and national staff running the station and for their physical and spiritual health in a hot, humid climate.
e) The growing response from Muslims throughout the reception areas and Hindus in India; for effective follow-up of listeners’ letters.
f) The development of broadcasting in more languages throughout the reception areas.
7. Sierra Leone:
Sierra Leone was the first West African country to be evangelized. The first Protestant Church was started among freed slaves in Freetown in 1785. Yet after over 200 years of effort, less than 12% of the country claims to be Christian. Very few denominations have grown significantly in the past 40 years or made a lasting impact on the country.
Pray for revival, a spirit of prayer and unity, a strong desire to live for Jesus alone and commitment to holistic outreach to their traumatized fellow-countrymen.
Restoration ministries are the great need as the nation and Church struggle to rebuild in the years since the war. Nearly every Christian ministry suffered loss of property and personnel, and many institutions had to shut down.
a) The Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone which has become a focal point for cooperation, vision and ministry for many agencies and denominations. It spearheaded vital research on the unreached in the 1990s and is now heavily committed to coordinating various restoration ministries.
b) New vision for compassionate outreach.
c) Few churches are equipped to cope with the millions of traumatized and impoverished people.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to gift and empower many to minister in this area and enable victims to become effective disciples.
Pray also for humanitarian aid agencies who seek to alleviate the suffering.
d) Child victims of war. Over 6,000 children were forced to become soldier killers. All are deeply affected psychologically. Many thousands of children lost limbs, homes and families. A number of international agencies are seeking to work with Sierra Leoneans in this exacting ministry.
Pray for all seeking to rehabilitate them.
e) AIDS has become a rapidly growing threat. In 2000 over 70,000 were known to be infected and a further 56,000 children orphaned.
Pray for these major challenges facing the Church:
a) Coping with affluence – while maintaining a spiritual cutting edge, and using wealth effectively for God’s Kingdom. Many young Christians become inactive once they marry and become enmeshed in the materialistic rat-race.
b) Handling restrictive government legislation limiting outreach. Christians need sensitivity in Singapore’s multi-faith context, but also boldness to stand firm when fundamental issues of freedom of religion are challenged.
c) Maintenance of adequate family life and witness in high-rise flats and full employment.
d) Unity among churches. The Love Singapore Movement has been a means of drawing churches together. There is great expectation of a significant harvest of people into the Kingdom from 2001 onwards. The Union of Chinese-speaking Christian Churches of Singapore brings together the Chinese-speaking congregations.
e) Mobilization. Creative ways of releasing more long-term workers must be found. Compulsory military service for men, career concerns in a competitive society and cultural perceptions about overseas service are obstacles.
Evangelical denominations are few and small. They suffer from a minority complex. Some congregations are growing but others are merely in survival mode. There needs to be a clear understanding and experience of the gospel within each congregation so that its truths are communicated to listeners hardened by centuries of Church history.
Pray for a clear expounding of God’s Word that results in obedience to His authority among young and old alike.
Slovakia, as a nation, needs a sense of direction after the years of foreign rule, Communist economics and the ‘velvet divorce’ from the Czech Republic.
Pray that as the economy picks up and becomes more linked with the EU, materialism and falling moral standards may not dull the present search for meaning and reality evident in many.
10. Solomon Islands:
Pray for the following Christian support ministries:
a) Bible translation. National believers are taking the initiative, and this long-underestimated ministry is now receiving the attention it deserves. Pray for the 17 translation projects by UBS and SIL (20 workers); 20 more languages may still need to be tackled. The major need is for the completion of the Bible in Pidgin (the trade language). Only 10 of the 66 languages have the New Testament.
b) The JESUS film has been viewed by over half the population in English. Two local language editions are in preparation.
c) GRN has gospel messages available in 85 languages and dialects – a good resource in a nation with so many small language groups.
d) Christian hospitals are significant for the country. The Solomon’s have one of the highest incidences of malaria in the world.
Somalia is the most lawless country in the world. In contrast, the unrecognized Somaliland has a good measure of stability and peace. After 10 years of violence and anarchy, Somalis are desperate for peace and restoration of civil order. Tentative efforts to form a government are ignored or derided by some of the warlords.
Pray that all factions may agree on the formation of a national government and that future rulers might learn from the past, govern the nation for the good of its people, respect human rights and also grant true religious freedom.
About 3.5 million Somalis live in surrounding lands. Ethiopia (approx. 2.8m); Kenya (511,000); Djibouti (192,000).
Pray for Christian aid workers and their tactful witness.
Pray that all these ministries may have an impact on Somalia itself and that viable Somali churches may be planted.
Pray for the wide dissemination of the Scriptures.
12.-14. South Africa:
Pray for the following Challenges for South African Christians:
a) Adaptability in the face of rapid social change. South Africa has become a pluralist society and Christians are no longer tied to the power structures. Denominations and congregations that cannot adapt are losing people – many traditional and even evangelical denominations are in decline.
b) A prophetic voice for the Church in a society that no longer holds to moral absolutes, and where the post-Christian worldview holds center stage in the media and has pushed through legalization of abortion, pornography, prostitution and gambling. Homosexuality is actively promoted.
c) Deep reconciliation. Evangelicals were reluctant to challenge the evils of apartheid. There still remain divisions and unfinished business. A number of denominations, including the NGK, AFM, Full Gospel and Baptists have gone through painful periods of dealing with the past. There has been the formation of a united evangelical voice in the launch of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa in 1995. There is, however, a long way to go before trust and understanding are built, and meaningful cooperation developed across cultural barriers.
Pray that the whole Church may be able to lay the sad past to rest and envision the future together.
d) Revival in mainline denominations. Whilst there is much spiritual life, there is also much traditionalism, nominalism and ‘churchianity’ in the Dutch Reformed family of churches, Anglicans, Methodists and others.
15.-16. The Kingdom of Spain:
Pray for these less evangelized minorities:
a) The Basques – an ancient and proud people without a single Euskera-speaking Protestant church. The ETA movement has terrorized and polarized society in the Basque region. The 100 evangelical churches in the four provinces where Basques live (Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya, Alava and Navarra) are Spanish-speaking. There are about 50 scattered Basque evangelical believers who find it difficult to worship or witness in their own language. Only the beginnings of evangelistic and literature ministries have been made. The differing dialects in an already difficult language complicate the task. There is an almost complete lack of evangelistic and teaching materials available – and at a time when Euskera is widely used in the education system.
Pray for those involved in ministry to them.
Pray that the centuries-old suspicions, fears and reserve of the Basque people may be broken down.
b) The Muslims number around 450,000. The Moors ruled much of Spain for 700 years and Muslims long to win back what they lost. Saudi Arabia funded the building of Europe’s largest mosque in Madrid. South Spain is a key base area for 16 agencies committed to evangelizing North Africa.
Pray for the Malaga Media Centre (GMU) and the Ibero-American Institute of Islamic Studies (PMI).
Pray for effective partnering in ministry to Muslims.
c) There is a large inflow of North and West Africans in southern Spain. Many make the hazardous crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar; over 3,000 drowned in the 1990s attempting this. There may be 250,000 illegal immigrants in southern Spain; they are often exploited and abused.
d) Chinese numbers have increased. COCM has planted one Church of 200 believers in Barcelona.
Pray for the effectiveness of these Christian help ministries:
a) Christian literature has been a major factor in church growth, yet the Spanish are poor readers, making literature work expensive and bookstores hard to finance. CLC has 4 centers and a distribution network serving evangelical bookstores throughout Spain. Christian books are both imported and published in Spain, but too few are written by and for Spaniards.
Pray for the 21 bookstores.
b) Pocket Testament League has impacted Spain through literature, well-publicized research and promotion of missions’ vision.
c) Christian radio. By 1997 there were 25 local radio stations run by Evangelicals, 17 of them by Radio Amistad (CoG). For several years the authorities have singled out evangelical stations for closure and 10 were shut down in 1999. Pray that this discriminatory process may be halted. REMAR has 3 radio stations. TWR broadcasts in Spanish from Monte Carlo.
d) Christian TV. A Christian channel has been launched in Madrid, and nation-wide coverage is planned. REMAR has two local television channels.
Thank you for the time you give in daily intercession for the nations of the earth. We continue to believe that they will have a visitation from the presence of the Lord. As you have prayed for others may the Lord answer the prayers of your heart.
Until we pray again,