October 17-31 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
17.-18. Sri Lanka: Pray for the unreached people groups of Sri Lanka:
a) The Moors are generally traders, bureaucrats and farmers. Until recently there were few converts out of Islam, but through one indigenous ministry over 100 Muslims have believed in Christ. The
AofG has a good ministry among economically depressed Muslims in Colombo.
b) The Malays are syncretistic Muslims, and potentially more open. Pray for a specific ministry to them.
c) Other unreached social groups: the educated Buddhists, coastal-belt fishing communities, the Tamil and Sinhala refugees, villages being set up under the ‘Village Re-awakening’ programme, and the Tamil and Sinhala militants who continue to polarize the country. There is also a resurgence of the radical Marxist party, the JVP.
d) Tribal groups: the Rodhiya (7,000), Gypsies (1,000) and Veddah. Kithu Sevana Ministries (YFC) has a work among the Rodhiya.
19. St. Helena, St. Kitts: Evangelical Christians are largely linked with the Baptist Church and the Salvation Army and tend to be of the older generation. Few young people are active Christians and many move away seeking better employment opportunities. There is no evangelical witness on Ascension or Tristan. The Christian community is increasingly materialistic and nominal with church attendance in rapid decline. Most are indifferent to the gospel.
Pray for revival for a weakened Church and a spiritual awakening that will result in the evangelization of this generation of Islanders.
A large proportion of the working population lives and works on the communications and military bases of Ascension and the Falklands Islands because of the lack of employment opportunities.
Pray both for the evangelization of these transient communities and for a restoration of strong Christian family units, the latter being adversely affected by the unstable patterns of the society.
19. St. Lucia: The number of churches alive in the Spirit has multiplied – but so have divisions.
Pray for unity among believers. UFM has entered with a church-supportive ministry in discipleship and equipping pastors for effective service.
The majority of St. Lucians and Dominicans speak a French Creole. A WBT team is facilitating translation of the New Testament for them. CLC has a Christian bookstore in Castries.
Pray that the Word of God may thereby become more precious, understood and applied in daily life.
St. Pierre & Miwurlon: These isolated islands and their people have long been Catholic. Traditions are strong and change has been hard in the large economic and social upheavals affecting the islanders.
Pray for many to come to a vital, personal faith in the Lord Jesus.
The first active evangelical congregation was formed in 1998. The French AoG have also started a work.
Pray for this small congregation of Baptists and Assembly of God, that they may live lives that commend the gospel.
19. St. Vincent: St. Vincent is a religious country, but most are not related to God through a personal faith in Jesus Christ. There is a crisis of holiness, lack of spiritual fruit and growing apathy, especially relating to missions.
Pray for revival and the restoration of a Biblically-based, Spirit-led Church.
There is a general lack of Biblical leadership in the churches, especially in the area of Bible teaching.
Pray for the encouragement of such through the three Bible School extension programs.
20.-21. Sudan:, Sudan’s civil war has been one of the world’s longest conflicts in the 20th Century. Pray for peace and the formation of a viable multi-cultural, multi-religious society. Wrongs have been done – the British colonial rulers (they brought peace, honest administration and an end to slavery, but were short-sighted in handling the south), the atrocities of both northerners and southerners and the bitter divisions among the southerners themselves.
Pray for repentance, restitution and rebuilding of communal life.
Pray for these less-evangelized people groups:
Many are in the west, east and north of Sudan. There are also some peoples in the Nuba Mountains and in the south which are still largely unreached.
Pray especially for:
a) Darfur Province in the west which was Christian a millennium ago. It is now one of the least evangelized areas on earth. There are no known believers among the indigenous peoples – the Fur, Masalit, Zaghawa, Daju, Tama, Bideyat, Midob, Fulbe and Hausa.
b) The Beja >on the Red Sea Coast were famed as the ‘Fuzzie Wuzzies’. They were once Christian. Now only 4 believers are known. There is a limited outreach to them.
c) The Nubians of the Nile valley are an ancient people with great kingdoms who were Christian for 1,000 years. Relentless Muslim pressure led to their Islamization 600 years ago. There are only a handful of believers today. Several Christian agencies have ministry to them.
d) The nomadic and semi-nomadic Baggara tribes in the central belt of the country are numerous, but few have had much exposure to the gospel, and little has been done to reach them. They speak 3 to 4 major Arabic dialects, but many are of non-Arab origin.
Nearly half the population professes to be Christian, but few know much of a personal faith in Christ and Christian belief is often mixed with spiritism. Both the Moravian and Catholic Churches have large followings. In the Moravian Church are some evangelical leaders, revival prayer groups and also spiritual awakening among young people.
Pray for revival to sweep through the traditionalism of the majority of Christians.
Christian leaders with a warm personal faith and biblical message are few.
Pray for the three small Bible schools (two Pentecostal and one Baptist), and also for the ministry of Christian leaders in re-laying biblical foundations and standards in a nation that has lost its way morally and ethically in the confusion after independence.
23. Swaziland: The Church faces many challenges. Please pray for the following areas:
a) Nominalism has become a major problem. The churches are not holding their young people. They reject the spiritual weakness and compromise of their elders.
b) The African Independent Churches have gained a following of over half the population – especially among men. They range from an evangelical theological position to a high degree of compromise with polygamy, witchcraft, ancestor veneration and appeasement sacrifices. The ‘Ethiopian’ churches broke away early from the mission-planted churches and tend to be oriented to the Old Testament. The large ‘Zionist’ movement has a strong emphasis on both Pentecostal gifts and traditional customs.
Pray that these many congregations may be increasingly molded by the Scriptures. Pray that other churches may be more welcoming to them and also learn from their often more effective integration of Christianity and Swazi culture.
c) Christian unity. Denominational rivalry has long characterized the Church.
Pray that the SET goals may further enhance the new spirit of togetherness.
d) Quality Christian leadership is in short supply. The multiplicity of small congregations means that most pastors are poorly trained and paid, and are therefore part-time in ministry. Few congregations are confident to confront either traditionalists or intellectuals, and so have little impact on the unchurched.
Pray for changes in attitudes, patterns of giving, and the level of commitment among leaders and led alike. There are seven Bible schools or seminaries in Swaziland.
24. Sweden: Please pray for the following ministry challenges in Sweden:
a) Youth. A whole generation of young people are growing up who have no meaningful exposure to the gospel. Few churches and agencies are equipped to handle this challenge.
b) The Saami peoples of Lapland in the north speak five languages. All are nominally Christian. Bible translation is in progress in 2 of the languages and one other was published in 2000.
Pray that there might be an authentic Saami expression of the Church.
c) There are rural and urban areas with few evangelical churches; the latter are unevenly distributed due to localized revivals in the past.
d) The Balkan Wars of the 1990s, with the horrendous ethnic hatreds and ‘cleansing’, led to a flood of up to 300,000 Albanian, Croatian, Bosnian and Serb refugees into Sweden. Some have since returned home, but many of these tragic, distressed people remain.
e) Political and religious refugees, first from the Communist Bloc, but increasingly from the Middle East and Africa have been given a refuge in Sweden. They are more open to the gospel, but workers among them are few.
f) Muslims have grown from a handful in 1960 to around 300,000 in 2000. Many are from the former Yugoslavia, Turkey (Turks and Kurds), Iran and North Africa. Pray for the calling of workers to minister to them and for the provision of the outreach tools needed.
g) The Chinese number around 7,000. COCM has been used of God to plant three churches among them. A newer challenge is the number of Mainland Chinese students coming to Sweden.
25. Switzerland: The great reformers, Calvin and Zwingli, expounded the truths of Scripture in this land, but few today have any interest or understanding of what real Christianity is. Wealth, comfort, indifference and a vague religiosity have become the norm. The socio-politico upheavals towards the end of the 20th Century stirred an uncertainty and identity crisis in the hearts of many, but it is the occult and eastern religions that the younger generation is exploring. Many baptized as children no longer retain any church link, and enrolled membership of Protestants and Catholics has halved in 30 years.
Pray that the Swiss may find the true way in Jesus Christ, and that the nation might be stirred again by the Holy Spirit.
26. Syria: Syrian Christians have been a respected minority since the time of the church in Antioch (Acts 13). The Orthodox and Catholics survived the rule of the Byzantines, Muslim Arabs, Crusaders, and Ottomans. Most Christians are Arab, but there is also a large Armenian community. Christians are influential in the cities, professions, politics and the armed forces, but their percentage of the population is shrinking due to a high rate of emigration to the Americas and Africa.
Pray that believers may rediscover the zeal of the church of Antioch, and experience spiritual renewal.
Pray that they may move past tolerating, fearing or even despising their Muslim neighbors’ and adopt an attitude of warm-hearted love.
Pray for these unreached people groups:
a) The Sunni Arab majority, very few of whom have heard the gospel.
b) The Alawites who are a rural community, but very influential in the army and government. Their beliefs differ much from orthodox Islam. Little specific effort has been directed to them.
c) The Druze in the far south who are a secretive offshoot of Islam. They have been largely unresponsive, but there are a handful of converts.
of the north and northwest who might be more receptive. Some are Orthodox Christian, others are Yezidis and Shi’a, but most are Sunni Muslim.
e) The Bedouin, Circassian, Turkmen and Gypsy minorities who are solidly Muslim with no known Christians.
27. Tajikistan: The Christian Church is largely composed of ethnic Europeans, but has been drastically reduced by emigration. During the civil war, those fleeing were almost entirely non-Tajik, and represented much of the country’s skilled labor.
Pray for the establishment of a strong multi-ethnic Christian witness in each city which can then reach out to rural areas.
Pray for the leaders and volunteers of the following Christian support ministries:
a) Bible translation is now being tackled in earnest. There are 10 translation programs under way, but a further 45 of a possible 79 languages definitely need translation teams.
b) Christian literature is vital.
Pray for more Tanzanians with the gifts and calling to write appropriate Christian articles and books.
Pray also for the:
Central Tanganyika Press (Anglican)
Africa Inland Press, Kanisa la Biblia Publishers (Bible commentaries and theological books)
The Pentecostal Churches Association (they have an extensive publishing and printing ministry) Pray for effective distribution of their products.
The Gideons are active in placing New Testaments in schools.
c) Missionary flying is an essential service ministry to the Church and mission agencies because of the lack of good roads.
Evangelism and the showing of the JESUS film at airstrips is one evangelistic spin-off!
d) Christian radio has greatly expanded.
Pray for lasting fruit in lives to result.
e) The JESUS film is being widely used in 15 languages and a further 27 are in preparation.
f) GRN has recordings in 82 languages. Cassettes are widely used for evangelism, Scripture reading and teaching
30.-31. Thailand: Thailand means Land of the Free because it successfully retained its freedom when surrounding countries were colonized by Western powers. It is believed that a special guardian angel, Phra Sayam Devadhiraj, protected the land, and a golden image of this spirit being was made. It has been worshipped ever since. The land is in bondage to a complex web of culture, spirit appeasement, occult practices and Buddhism, with a social cohesiveness out of which few have dared to come. For many Thai, their nationality and religion are inextricably linked.
Pray for the spiritual breakthrough so that in the Lord Jesus the Thai may be free indeed.
Sectors of the population with special ministry needs:
a) Bangkok, one of Asia’s most influential cities, and known as the city of angels and city of sin. Over 2 million derive their income from the sex ‘industry’. Most of the country’s 100,000 male and 700,000 female prostitutes cater to the lusts of Thai and foreign ‘tourists’.
Crime, drugs and alcohol abuse are widespread. AIDS has become a major scourge – some estimate that 40 – 80% of prostitutes end up with the disease. There are only an estimated 40,000 evangelical believers in the city.
Pray for Thai and expatriate Christians seeking to win people from sin to Christ in this traffic-clogged, polluted city
b) Children in crisis. Many girls are kidnapped or sold at a very young age into prostitution – which includes terrible abuse and, in all likelihood, an early death. Many come from Thai ethnic minorities and the surrounding nations. It is estimated that 20% of all Thai girls between 11 and 17 become involved. There are over 35,000 homeless street children. There are over 5 million children involved in child labor.
Pray for all involved in reaching out and seeking to rescue these tragic little ones.
c) AIDS victims.
d) Of the 73 provinces 14 had fewer than 1,000 Christians of any type in 1992, and three had less than 100 (Phangnga, Ranong and Angtong); four had no evangelical congregations.
e) The middle and upper classes, wealthy and educated, but showing little response to the gospel. By contrast, interest in the occult and necromancy is reported to be strong.
f) Students. Witness to them is small but growing. Twelve Christian hostels for students, run by six agencies, have proved valuable for discipling students and initiating Christian campus groups.The vast majority of the 1.2 million students remain unevangelized.
g) Buddhist monks number over 300,000. The monastic institution has been discredited by high-profile scandals.
Pray for Christian outreach to them – many are genuinely seeking peace.
h) Refugees – hundreds of thousands from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam found refuge in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Only the Hmong from Laos are still a major challenge, most of the refugees having been resettled elsewhere or returned home. There are possibly 1 million more recent arrivals from Myanmar, whose military government wages a brutal war against the ethnic minorities – especially the Karen.
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,
Lane M. Holland, M.Div.
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