September 9-17 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)
9. Palestine: Christian Palestinians trace their roots back to pre-Islamic times. The antagonisms of the conflict have provoked many to immigrate to Western countries, and their numbers have declined dramatically from around 10% in 1940 to 1.4% in 2000. Many see the Christians as having been the glue for, and a bridge in, society.
Pray that Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians alike may stand for and witness to the Truth, and be protected amid rising levels of intimidation by their Muslim neighbors.
Pray for solutions to these major issues:
a) An equitable settlement of the land issue, and the future of the Jewish settlements in the Palestinian areas. Both sides feel they have strong legitimate claims to the land.
b) A fair apportionment of the water resources – Israel uses 115% of the land’s renewable water and makes little available to the Palestinians.
c) The future of Jerusalem – claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, each as their exclusive capital.
d) The unresolved future for the Palestinian exiles who make up 55% of all Palestinians. Two million live in 61 refugee camps in surrounding lands.
Pray not only for the peace of the land, but that Jewish Israeli and Palestinian Arab may meet the Prince of Peace, through whom alone any meaningful reconciliation can come.
10.-11. Papua New Guinea: The government faces a daunting task of uniting such a variety of peoples into a single nation. Tribal fighting and revenge killings still occur, especially in the Highlands. The messy war in Bougainville was badly handled. Corruption in government seriously impaired several administrations in the 1990s. Social dislocation caused by the drift of people to the cities, and unemployment for the educated youth, have led to social problems, including crime and violence.
Pray that the leaders of this land may seek righteousness and the guidance of God in the affairs of their nation.
Leadership training is a priority. Many small Bible schools are run by churches and missions. There are a number of denominational theological colleges. The well-known interdenominational Christian Leaders’ Training College (CLTC), with 120 full-time students and an international faculty, trains leaders for churches from all over PNG and the Solomon Islands. Churches are recognizing the value of TEE as a tool for training the many marginally-literate rural pastors and church workers who have received minimal grounding in the faith.
a) Men and women called of God to full-time service as pastors, missionaries, etc. The lure of highly paid secular jobs is strong for those with good education.
b) Bible teachers who can impart a love of God’s Word to students and the desire to apply its truths to their own cultures.
c) The provision of mature, articulate Christian leaders who will significantly influence the spiritual life of the nation, and establish the church on biblical foundations.
d) Specialized urban training programmes to prepare leaders for urban ministries (CLTC Centers in Port Moresby and Law; Baptist Urban Pastoral Training Centre [BUPTC] in Port Moresby).
e) The excellent TEE programmes in English run by CLTC to serve PNG and the Pacific, and development of more TEE programmes in Tok Pisin in the country.
12. Paraguay: Most of Paraguay’s Protestants are German-speaking Mennonites and Lutherans, Ukrainian Baptists and Pentecostals and Korean Presbyterians. These immigrant communities are often culturally isolated from the mainstream of national life, and therefore lack outward vision. Nominalism is also a common problem.
Pray that these communities might experience a renewal of spiritual vigor and the birth of a vision for a transformed Paraguay.
Evangelical church growth continued through the 1990s, with the majority of growth coming through Mennonite, Pentecostal and Independent churches. Most of these groups have entered Paraguay from Brazil and Argentina, and have retained their characteristic zeal and initiative. Unfortunately, there is need for Biblical input on such issues as fellowship with other Christian groups, attitudes towards wealth, and leadership models.
Pray that all of these groups might submit their beliefs and practices to Scripture.
13.-14. Peru: Peru needs an effective democratic government with the courage and strength to deal with the real issues.
Pray for the strengthening of:
a) The fragile peace. Major societal change is needed – corruption, racism, religious freedom and an unfair judicial system are endemic. The problem of terrorism has not ended.
b) The tentative economic recovery. Some have benefited, but the majority have not been positively affected. The massive slums ringing Lima are little changed. Over 200,000 rural Peruvians are involved in cultivating narcotics.
The Quechua and Aymara peoples, the descendants of the Incas, have begun to emerge from centuries of oppression, cultural deprivation, grinding poverty and isolation. Quechua was recognized as an official language in 1975. The Quechua Church has grown rapidly as Christianity at last becomes indigenized in Scriptures, structures, worship and music. Whole villages have been turning to Christ.
a) Millions of mountain Quechua and Aymara who are still bound by superstitions of pagan and ‘Christian’ origin. Many migrated to the cities during the war.
b) Bible translation which has been a major factor in the Quechua renaissance and church growth. The Cuzco and Ayacucho languages have the whole Bible and 3 other Quechua languages the NT (UBS, SIL, IEP, SBC); a further 12 languages are being translated. Pray for translation and literacy teams as they make these vital Scriptures available and understandable.
c) Breaking down centuries of pain, resentment and prejudice between Quechua and Spanish-speakers and a unity at the Cross of Christ as brethren.
15-17. Philippines: Filipino Evangelicals have multiplied – but so too have the challenges.
Pray for the spiritual health of the Church and a facing up to dangers:
a) Rapid growth with inadequate discipling. Damaging splits in denominations, erroneous teachings, syncretistic worldview and superficiality are the result.
b) Complacency and second-generation nominalism. The successes of the 1980s were not fully repeated in the 1990s. The hype about growth should be counterbalanced by recognizing spiritual shallowness at the grass roots. Pray for new vision, new direction from God for setting biblical priorities and goals, and renewed momentum for growth in the new millennium.
c) Poverty in many congregations. The availability of foreign funds and an expectation that foreigners take charge can lead to passivism and a dependence on man rather than on God. Pray that these believers may be spiritually enriched by a greater dependence on God. Pray for a spirit of generosity for those whose economic situation has improved. Pray also for a loving sensitivity to this on the part of foreign workers and donors who seek to help them.
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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