JUNE-JULY 4th, 2011 — PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS
Summer begins in a few weeks and we will have more daylight and opportunities for time with family and recreation. Please remember those who don’t know the Creator.
Our list of nations is small but the different people groups that inhabit this part of the world is very large. They need to experience the love of God in their lives. Let us choose to be diligent in prayer and believe for a visitation to the nations of the Living God!
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
Although statistically Ghana enjoys a strong Christian presence, reality presents a much more significant challenge. The GEC conference in 1989 not only set ambitious evangelistic goals, but it also offered great insight into the real evangelistic status of Ghana.
Pray for a Christian vision for the nation.
These are continuing prayer challenges:
a) The 1.7 million who call themselves Christian but have no link to a church.
b) The millions of Christians who may attend church but whose worldview and values more reflect traditional animist beliefs than biblical truth.
c) Church planting throughout the nation, but especially in the north. There is significant
impetus through the GEC and National Church Survey of 2007–08. Thousands of villages in Ghana remain unchurched. A third NCS is due out in 2010.
Mature Christian leaders remain at a premium. As churches multiply, biblical faith
is challenged and doctrines become confused. Compared with some other countries,
however, Ghana is blessed by the number of training institutions. Among the many schools are Christian Service University College in Kumasi started by WEC, Maranatha University College (SIM), Ghana Christian University College and Good News Theological College & Seminary. There are over 30 other accredited denominational and interdenominational Bible schools as well as a range of TEE and lay training programmes run by different denominations and agencies, including a growing number in the AICs.
Pray for the instructors and students at these educational institutions.
Gibraltar is well placed for outreach – there are many tourists (especially Spaniards coming for duty-free goods), several thousand Moroccan guest workers as well as a Jewish and a Hindu community. The lack of churches for both southern Spain and North Africa makes Gibraltar a key position for regional outreach.
Pray that local congregations would gain a passion for outreach.
Muslims working in or visiting Gibraltar are very open to receive Christian material
and to hear about Jesus.
Pray that this opportunity might be utilized sensitively but decisively.
Pray for effective methods of reaching them and for more workers for this rare opportunity.
Ethnic Greek evangelicals are few.
Please pray for:
a) Courage to witness in a society where the extreme majority claim to be Christian yet do not have a living faith and relationship with Jesus. Greek society is not just secular and post-Christian, but is subject to a faith that is syncretistic – the amalgamation of Christianity, inherited superstition, atheism, paganism and such.
b) Wisdom in outreach and witness. Greek Protestants acknowledge that proselytism is
unnecessary, but that evangelism is. Greeks are more likely to experience new life in Christ through a revitalization of the Orthodox Church than through Protestants drawing Greeks away from their Orthodox background. Pray for ways that allow evangelicals to urgently communicate the need for salvation while respecting the great legacy and heritage of Orthodoxy.
c) Unity in the Spirit. Unfortunately, divisions still exist even among the various Protestant denominations; division can compromise the message they preach. The Pan-Hellenic Evangelical Alliance works as a mouthpiece for all evangelicals and challenges illegal discrimination.
Pray for all believing churches to join together and for the Evangelical Alliance to represent them with wisdom and clarity.
The culture of Greenland, so finely tuned to the inhospitable environment, is devastated by modernity. The dire results are widespread immorality and sexual abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and suicide. Deep emotional and spiritual healing are necessary for many to move beyond their pain and hurt. Thankfully, some indigenous believers, missionaries and short-term workers minister in counseling, healing and deliverance and see wonderful fruit as increasing numbers are transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Many of those working in Greenland, including many indigenous people, are newly empowered to minister as a result.
Pray for this to continue and for those receiving help to get plugged into communities of faith.
Indigenous believers and forms of church are growing. With input from faithful
Caucasian missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders, the Greenlandic Church is
expressing itself in ways that are culturally compelling as well as biblical.
Pray that the unique worldview and culture of the Inuit people might be made complete in Christ.
Christianity in Grenada accounts for the vast majority, but most are nominally Catholic because of the earlier French legacy. However, several mainline, conservative and emerging denominations enjoy a healthy existence.
Points for prayer include:
a) Unity among denominations. The mainline denominations enjoy strong connections
through the Conference of Churches of Grenada. Evangelicals are taking steps toward greater unity and cooperation through a recently formed Evangelical Alliance. Pray that such unity would be genuine and effective rather than superficial.
b) Moral and family decline, even in evangelical congregations. Sexual promiscuity and teen pregnancies are widespread; around 45% of households are led by women, with men absent (often abroad in search of employment).
c) Lack of vision in churches. There is very little missionary vision or evangelistic impetus, although there are signs of improvement in this area.
d) Support ministries. There are two Christian bookstores, one in St. George’s run by the
Berean Bible Churches, and an independent one in Grand Anse. Radio ministry includes
Good News FM broadcast from Grenada and Harbour Light, a Christian radio station that
broadcasts on AM and FM to Grenada and the Windward Islands. Churches consider the six Christian and church-run schools to be important ministries.
The grim legacy of slavery has left its mark in the endemic economic disparity and in the lack of meaningful marriage relationships. Over 40% of households have only one parent; 90% of these are led by the mother. Racial tension and class envy are other marks left by slavery’s long history.
Pray that the gospel may transform and uplift this society.
Christianity, especially Catholicism, is a cultural veneer for most. The rapid
growth of sects and evangelical groups highlights the spiritual emptiness. Occultism and
magic are widespread influences.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and bring many to true repentance.
Evangelicals hardly existed before 1946, but through the work of World Team,
Southern Baptists and AoG, a strong network of churches has sprung up, supplemented
by several other recent denominational arrivals. Many evangelical groups practice strict, even legalistic, codes of conduct in order to avoid moral compromise and occult influence.
Pray for a greater degree of unity, collaboration and a profound understanding of the freedom to be found in Christ.
The indigenous Chamorro have a long history of oppression and, more recently,
disorientation with the influx of US culture. The majority are nominally Catholic and
historically resistant to the gospel. Chamorro worldview is also rooted in animistic traditions.
Pray for the emergence of a true Chamorro Christian witness and culture:
Expatriate missionary work focuses on church planting among indigenous and
immigrant peoples, Bible teaching and development. Major missions are SdA, Korean
Presbyterians, LM, CoG( Anderson), CoN, Elim Fellowship. There are three Bible colleges, the main one being Pacific Islands University with about 100 students on site. Practical ministries include addiction recovery centers and vocational training for individuals with disabilities.
Missionary outreach from Guam is beginning to occur. The churches have the
capacity and desire to send missionaries to the Pacific nations, and the increasing influx of tourists from Japan, Korea and elsewhere makes for witnessing opportunities right at home.
The Prison Fellowship of Guam has a ministry to prisoners that is also penetrating
the indigenous population in a small but significant way. It has fostered a cooperative unity
among evangelical churches (with 85 volunteers), which is sadly lacking elsewhere.
Pray for resources to teach and train converts who remain in prison.
8. Guatemala: Sins of the past must be recognized, repented of and reparations made. Most notably this includes the terrible mistreatment of the indigenous population and a generation of war with atrocities on both sides. The part played by the USA in arming the oppressors and turning a blind eye to human rights abuses has only been partially acknowledged. There must also be recognition of the multicultural character of the country. Progress is being made in these areas.
Pray especially for evangelical leaders from both Mayan and Spanish-speaking
communities as they work toward the healing of the nation.
Violence is a present-day plague caused by the upheaval and ruin of the last few
decades. Murder is common, and life is cheap. Guatemala has the highest murder rate in
all Latin America. The causes: maras (youth gangs), drug traffickers, organized crime and “social cleansing” – a.k.a. death squads. Government forces can do little to tackle these issues, and private armed guards outnumber police two to one. Pray for a binding of the spirit of murder and for the peace of Christ to prevail.
The Catholic Church has declined in influence and number. Defection to
evangelicalism or to the revived Mayan spirituality is massive. Efforts by the Church to
limit the impact of the large, charismatic renewal movement have only further hastened the decline, with many Catholic charismatic’s leaving to start new churches or to join evangelical denominations.
Pray for new life to permeate the Church, and that charismatic’s may be rooted
in Scripture rather than in subjective experience.
Widespread evangelism occurs by many means – city crusades, nationwide efforts,
148 Christian schools and institutes, two Christian television channels, more than 50 local
Christian radio stations, numerous Christian magazines and newspapers as well as the fervent personal witness of individual Christians. Shallow professions of faith and an increased rate of backsliding are becoming common as evangelicals become more “popular”. Nominal evangelicalism is a new challenge facing the churches.
Pray that the fruit may be retained, the believers matured and the new generation won for Christ.
Leadership training for pastors and laymen is a great need. Guinea has three Bible schools, two run by EPEG/CMA and one by AoG. Six leadership training schools for laymen are run by the EPEC for the Kissi, Toma and Kpelle churches. PAoC and EPEG/CMA/MPA both run TEE programmes. Despite all of this, there is still an overall lack of leaders in most areas, which delays church growth and evangelization. Pastors and leaders also need to be trained as mission mobilizers.
Pray for more godly leaders to be raised up and trained.
The Church suffered serious numerical setbacks in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Some established denominations shrank significantly, and evangelism and church planting slowed – probably largely due to nominal Christians falling away.
Pray for believers who will persevere, and pray against the enemy who seeks to destroy these young or weak Christians before they can grow.
The Christian population is still a small minority and concentrated in Conakry and
the southeast forests. It is overwhelmingly Kissi, Kpelle and Toma in composition. The
Evangelical Protestant Church (EPEG) – primarily affiliated with the CMA and MPA – has long been the largest Protestant group.
Pray that their influence might be toward Spirit-led godliness, outward focus and genuine unity.
Over 37 peoples are still unreached; pray for their evangelization.
The less-reached groups for whom prayer is needed:
a) The Muslim Fula/Fulbe and Mandinka. Both are large, dominant groups in many West African countries with a rich history and much influence. They are largely responsible for bringing Islam to Guinea-Bissau; may they instead become responsible for spreading the good news. The Fula are increasingly responsive to the gospel, and in a few locations, groups of believers are forming. The Mandinkas are more resistant but have some individual believers in the cities.
b) Smaller-population peoples of mixed Muslim and animist beliefs. The Biafada, Nalu,
Masoanke, Jahanka, Jola-Fonyi, Soninke, Susu and Badyara have had very little, if any, work concentrated on them using their language and culture. Pray for ministry among them, and that fruit might be forthcoming.
c) Traditional-religion peoples are much more evangelized than the Muslim peoples. Praise God that there are Christians from almost all of these groups. These include the Balanta, Papel, Bijago, Manjaco, Mancanha, Jola-Felupe and Bayote.
Pray also for the gospel to reach the other smaller, and often overlooked, peoples.
Guyana seems to exist precariously on many levels. It is constantly under threat
from persistent claims on its land by Venezuela and Suriname. The political sphere is
defined along racial lines. The economy is vulnerable to the climate, as the disastrous floods of 2005 attest. Large-scale emigration has denuded the country of much of its population, including many of the most gifted. Pray that an enduring hope might come to Guyana, most expressly through the transformation that only the gospel can enact.
There is a vital, vibrant, growing evangelical witness, and evangelicals are found
in all levels of society. Pentecostal, charismatic (“clap-hand”) and evangelical denominations and fellowships continue to grow despite negative population growth. Churches are still largely divided along racial lines, but the multiracial congregations that do exist are some of the few ethnic bridges in the country. The cross-denominational work of the Guyanese Evangelical Fellowship is vital in this area.
Pray for all believers to demonstrate the power of the gospel in their unity, in their words and in holy living.
Haiti must find release from the bondages of its past. The Spanish genocide against
the indigenous Arawaks, and the cruel slavery instituted and maintained by the Spanish
and then the French, form a tragic background. The tyrannies, cruelties and use of voodoo as a means of control have fostered a spirit of fear that permeates every level of society. More recent interventions by foreign powers have not banished the endemic problems.
a) The powerful spirits underlying voodooism might be bound in the name of Jesus. Pray that the ubiquitous influence and enduring legacy of voodoo might be made subordinate to the authority of Christ – especially in the lives of Christians.
b) Haitians who call themselves Christian might experience the transforming nature of a personal relationship with Christ. Only through the regeneration and power of the Holy
Spirit will the heritage of voodoo be overcome.
c) This nation might enjoy stability, safety and sustained development by removing the systemic evils holding it back and by instilling biblical values and practices on every level of society.
The spiritual outpouring of faith in God in the aftermath of the earthquake
also shook the nation and moved the entire world. When the president called for three
days of prayer and fasting during Mardi Gras – traditionally a time of partying and excess – no one expected one million people to turn out. Throughout the country, churches were filled to overflowing and services were held amid rubble and in the ruined streets.
Pray that this spiritual shaking would not merely be an expression of grief, fear and desperation, but would shape itself into an unprecedented turning to God that redefines the spiritual life of Haiti.
Numerous traditions allege that Haiti was dedicated to Satan through its voodoo past;
Pray that today it might be known as a nation wholly dedicated to the Lord Jesus.
16. Holy See:
The Pope is head of the single largest religious body on earth and of a state that
is the outcome of a long history and of a unique conception of what the role of the
Church in the world should be. He exercises an enormous influence within and beyond the Roman Catholic Church.
Pray for the right man to fill the post for the right time.
Pray for the redemptive use of the Vatican’s formidable politico-religious influence.
Catholic charismatic renewal has an impact far beyond the 235 countries and 120 million involved.
Pray for spiritual renewal.
Pray for them to be a bridge to believers in other denominations and to not be absorbed or rendered ineffective by the system.
A large proportion of the Catholic missionary force is charismatic. At the same time, the Roman Catholic Church is expanding in many spiritual directions – theological conservatism, charismatic renewal, Marian devotion, folk religious practices and others.
Pray for nominal Catholics – many millions strong– to experience the radical conversion and cultural transformation that their pontiff insists is
essential to faith.
Catholicism’s influence is rapidly declining. In some polls, the 80% affiliation rate is reportedly as low as 47%. The greatest factors contributing to this decline include the lack of indigenous personnel, widespread nominalism, the influence of animism/paganism within the Church and large-scale migration to evangelical churches. Only about 20% of Catholics are actively involved in the Church. There is considerable agreement between Catholics and evangelicals on communal and social issues.
Pray for a Holy Spirit-driven revival to sweep through the Catholic Church; the impact of this could still transform Honduran society.
The growing number and influence of evangelicals is praiseworthy, as is the greatly
increasing number and size of many congregations. La Cosecha (“The Harvest”) is a
Foursquare church with a weekly attendance of 20,000, despite being founded only 20 years ago. Sadly, much of the progress among evangelicals in Honduras is undermined by their fragmentation into countless denominations and the resulting jealousies and isolationism. In part, this is due to the imported divisions and rivalries brought in by missionaries.
Pray for the Confraternidad Evangélica (founded in 1987), which represents 90% of evangelicals in the country. It works to cultivate fellowship and cooperation across denominations.
Leadership training becomes ever more vital as the number of congregations continues
to grow. Many seminaries and Bible schools face difficulties (costs, staffing, cooperation), enhancing the importance of networks of TEE programmes run by various denominations.
Pray that the trainers might impart biblical knowledge and be models for spiritual ministry.
Hungarians have lost contact with the gospel, despite enjoying a rich theological history. They seek answers in many places: materialism, hedonism, alcohol and, increasingly, false religion. Postmodern mentalities predominate. In recent years, public spiritual life is characterized by an alarming rise in occult activity and eastern mysticism, including pagan witchcraft, ancient Magyar shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism. Most common is a pick-and choose spirituality that is effectively non-religious, with some personal sentiment.
Pray for all falsehoods and empty philosophies to be exposed as such and for Christ to be exalted as the truth in this historically Christian nation.
Pray that Hungarians might see the truth of the gospel and the freedom it brings through Jesus.
The openness of the post-Communist 1990s has passed. It is now increasingly
difficult to openly witness – restrictions forbid teachers, doctors and such from sharing their faith in the workplace. The Church failed to respond adequately to the window of opportunity that is now largely closed. Christianity, while present and active, does not quite have the impact it should on society, politics, ethics, education and the economy.
Pray for a new revival in the Church – following on those from 1939 and 1946-50 – that gives birth to a new spirit of witness and activism.BR>
There remains a great need for evangelism, despite the increasing amount and types
of outreach and public ministry. Christians need to acquire confidence in the power of the
gospel and its effectiveness when shared in the right way and in the Spirit. The number of
nominal Christians is high, and millions of people have only cursory contact with the good news. There is still resistance to the gospel in much of Hungary. Thank God for increasing levels of collaboration in outreach among churches and denominations.
Pray for Spirit-led, creative forms of witness and for wisdom in how, when and where to reach out.
Traditional Icelandic life can be considered under threat. High-profile disputes divide opinion between conservationists wanting to preserve the environment and industrialists wanting to cash in on the resources. Although the total number of immigrants is not massive, Iceland’s relatively small population has seen possibly the largest migration rate in Europe, bringing other faiths and cultures into a traditionally guarded society.
Pray for wisdom for leaders and the people in dealing with these new challenges.
The Lutheran and the smaller, but similar, Free Churches are suffering the same
challenges as much of Europe – declining and aging congregations, low attendance and a
general lack of spiritual vitality. There is, of course, a segment of Lutherans who faithfully follow Jesus.
Pray that their numbers might multiply. And, there is actually a surfeit of young trainees – so much so that churches may “export” them to serve in Lutheran or Anglican congregations abroad!
Pray for a surge of new life in the congregations and the leadership.
Pray also for the theological faculty where all pastors are trained.
19- July 4: India:
India has more human need than any other nation – largely by virtue of its massive population, but also due to many areas of suffering that must be addressed through considered action and sustained prayer.
Over the next 14 days ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray for these States in India for a move of God and an increase in laborers for this area of the Vineyard:
Jammu & Kashmir
July 4th…….To those in the United States….Happy Fourth of July!
I believe that every time we pray the Lord hears, for it is His desire that all nations receive the news of His extravagant love for us. Thank you for praying.
Until next month.
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