September 1-8 Prayer Assignments
Vacation days are almost gone and we now enter a new rhythm for the next season. We will soon start to see the beginnings of fall here in the United States. But for many of the people we pray for, every day involves some level of struggle just to survive. For others it is a repetition of sameness even in the midst of evident prosperity. And for others it is a hope of peace and a safe dwelling place. How wonderful it is that our prayers can interrupt their lives with the promise of peace, hope and joy through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Seasons may change but our God is always faithful. May we include these nations in our prayers during the coming days.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:7-8)
1.-2. Nigeria: The combined effects of ancient tribal hatreds, Muslim conquests, British colonial policy in which the North and South were handled differently and the bitter Biafra war of 1967-70 have left deep scars. Pray for healing and reconciliation.
Pray for healing and reconciliation.
Massive church growth has its dangers. Pray for the following areas:
a) Widespread evangelism unaccompanied by follow-up and balanced teaching. Numerous doctrinal distortions (lack of preaching Christ and salvation by grace alone), an over-emphasis on material prosperity, undue stress on certain spiritual gifts and unethical fundraising are bringing dissension to the Body of Christ.
b) Divisions. A profusion of competing denominations and sects has emerged. There are too many one-man ministries with little accountability to the Body of Christ. Pray that the pride, carnality and tribalism underlying this may be replaced with humility, simplicity of lifestyle and holiness.
c) Second-generation nominalism in both traditional and younger churches is becoming a big problem. Double standards are widespread, and immorality, membership of secret societies and compromise with the world bring strife and disrepute for the gospel.
d) Syncretistic Christianity. Many indigenous groups have sprung up with a desire for God, but with much admixture of unbiblical world-views and practices. Many are open to greater gospel light but are often isolated from, or shunned by, more orthodox churches. A number of large Pentecostal denominations are also showing syncretistic tendencies.
3. Norway: The Lutheran Church of Norway is unique in Europe, for although it is the State Church, many of the pastors are theologically evangelical. Out of revival and persecution have sprung up many voluntary organizations within the Church – agencies, prayer houses and fellowships – which have been a source of good in promoting Christian schools, theological education and foreign missions. The State Church has been polarized by the efforts of some bishops to bring in new freedoms for homosexuals within the Church.
Pray that this large Church and its leadership may be committed to biblical theology and faith. Pray also for revival once more.
The (non-State) Free Churches are a significant minority with high levels of member-commitment to congregational life and to missions. Since 1983 the number of new churches planted has increased significantly – both in the older Free Churches, Pentecostals and also many newer independent and charismatic congregations. DAWN conferences have been catalytic for promoting this. In 1998 churches committed themselves to planting 500 new churches by 2003.
Pray that the present up-turn in outreach and spiritual life might be strengthened and increased.
4. Oman: Rapid social change since 1970 has transformed Oman. Oil wealth, rising education levels and the opening up to the wider world have broadened the minds of Omanis. The younger generation in particular is outward looking and interested in new ideas. Though slavery was abolished many years ago there still remains a ‘spirit of slavery’ in attitudes, creating another obstacle to the gospel in the hearts of Omanis.
Pray that many may become receptive to spiritual change too.
The entire Muslim majority is a big challenge. There are no known believers among the Mahra of Dhofar, the Baluch of the eastern coasts, the rural population or the Swahili speakers.
There are perhaps a handful of indigenous believers, none professing Christ openly.
Pray that they may grow and begin to meet with other believers.
5.-8. Pakistan: After half a century of misrule, Pakistan needs a government that allows a real democracy to develop and spends its income on economic rather than military development, ends a culture of uncontrolled corruption and gives a fair deal to all its citizens.
Pray for the binding of the spirit of lawlessness and violence that has crippled this nation, and for the raising up of leaders of integrity.
Shari’a law has only been partially implemented, but its effects for minorities are dire. There is a mandatory death sentence for ‘disrespect to the Prophet’ and a life sentence for desecration of the Qur’an. The potential for malicious rumors and false charges against Christians has been realized. Innocent people have been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Any judge that seeks to dismiss the charges is intimidated and threatened.
Pray for the abrogation of discriminatory legislation – specifically, the blasphemy law – implementation of a fair system of justice and a police force that impartially applies the law.
Christian missions have been working in the land since 1833. Christian standards and institutions have had a deep impact on the country – a fact which Islamists want to ignore. Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists and, later, Salvation Army missionaries pioneered the work. There was a great turning to the Lord from among six of the 30 scheduled Hindu castes between 1890 and 1930. This was accompanied by revival in 1904. Other missions, predominantly evangelical, entered Pakistan around the time of independence. There are few Muslims who would think of becoming Christians. Most despise the humble origins of the church here which first reached the Hindu ‘untouchables’, or Dalit of the Panjab, or tribal peoples of the Sindh.
Pray that these barriers of culture, religion and history may be broken down. Pray for more effective partnering between groups in their ministry.
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.
Germaine Copeland and the Word Ministries Staff
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