Supporting International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church
Observed annually in November
The times in which we live are times of escalating persecution. Anti-Christian hostility is on the rise globally, due mainly to Culture Change. This is true in the West, which is rejecting its own cultural foundations forcing Christians to become counter-cultural, and in the developing world where counter-cultural Christianity is viewed as divisive, offensive and an intolerable problem to be either controlled or eliminated.
Forces are rising against the Church the world over. Ultimately however, the LORD will be exalted -- not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6) working in and through the Church that Christ is building.
We must never forget that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood . . .
. . . With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
(from Ephesians 6:11-18)
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
So may "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Father, we pray for . . .
• for President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah: for wisdom and courage; and that God will use them for his purpose.
• that the Taliban will be hamstrung, isolated and ultimately defeated.
• that the Lord will sustain, comfort and build his Afghan Church -- may the gates of hell not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18). May Jehovah jireh (God our provider) provide Afghan believers with their every need -- whether they are inside Afghanistan or in the Afghan Diaspora. May God continue to bless the Afghan church in the Diaspora with great growth; and may the LORD of hosts break through in Afghanistan. "And God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light." (Gen 1:3)
where the government's tenuous peace with Islamic fundamentalists depends in part on its willingness to restrict and repress Christianity.
• May the largely young, growing and now vulnerable church grow in faith and grace, trusting in the LORD in all circumstances and for all things. May Christ continue to build his church in Algeria.
• May al-Qaeda and Islamic State not get a foothold in Algeria.
• an authoritarian state threatened by the rise of intolerant fundamentalist Islam. Lord, give grace to the authorities that they may distinguish between good and bad, blessing and threat; so that the church need not be swept up in anti-terror measures that target 'non-traditional' and 'foreign' religion (i.e. jihadist and revolutionary Islam coming in from outside). Grant your people wisdom. May the church grow in faith and numbers.
• that the nation's secular roots will be preserved, along with liberty and rule of law. May Bangladeshi's reject intolerant fundamentalist Islam. May Bangladesh's persecuted Christian minority not lose hope. May they endure their trials and hardships as shining lights, with wisdom and grace. Lord, be their shield and defender, and add to their number.
• that these days of oppression under President Lukashenka might be redeemed, so the people might come to treasure liberty and hunger for truth. May the Church grow in faith, wisdom, grace and unity in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3) across denominational lines, ready for the future.
• for the young, reformist King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (33); may God give him and the parliament courage and conviction as they address the people's fears concerning change. May people grow in confidence that openness and liberty need not spell the end of that which is precious, good and beautiful in their culture.
• May the local church have wisdom, sensitivity and grace in all things as they face a resurgence of hostile, popularist Buddhist nationalism. May the Lord add to their number.
• that there will be a profound rejection of the intolerant, imperialistic, jihadist Islam that threatens liberty and peace. May true reconciliation emerge out of truth via repentance. May the church be a shining example of love and unity in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3) across denominational and ethnic lines, for the sake of the Gospel of Grace, which is Bosnia's only hope.
• that there will be an end to the racial (ethnic Burman) and religious (Buddhist) supremacy that is at the root of Burma's multiple internal military conflicts. May peace and religious freedom be realised. Father, sustain your long-suffering, persecuted church and intervene on behalf of Burma's ethnic minority Christian peoples -- the Chin and the Kachin, as well as the Karen (who have a large Christian minority). May the Lord be glorified in Burma.
• that God will sustain and preserve his church in face of the great insecurity and continuing violence from Islamic militias. May CAR's Christians (76%) - especially church leaders - put their faith in the LORD as they navigate this crisis.
• May the Lord deliver CAR from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and bring Joseph Kony and the LRA to an end.
• May the Church look to YHWH Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts (the commander of heaven's hosts/armies) -- for grace, strength and security. Deliverance will not be found anywhere else. Jehovah -nissi: the Lord our banner. (Exodus 17:15)
• Lord, grace Central Asian leaders with a commitment to religious liberty and discernment in matters of national security.
• Bless and comfort your church Lord, especially those who have been imprisoned, fined or beaten for their worship or witness. Build and fortify your church in Central Asia, Lord, supply her needs and add to her number.
• for President, Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang; may they heed the call for religious freedom so that China's Christians may worship freely without fear or danger; so that Bibles and theological studies may be accessible to all who desire them; and so China's evangelists may witness freely and safely across the nation and throughout the world.
• that the church may continue to grow in grace and number in spite of escalating oppression and hardship. Lord, raise up more pastors and evangelists to meet the enormous demand (Matthew 9:37-38). Be a shield and fortress to those courageous believers who, despite the threat of beatings and imprisonment, witness for Christ and gather to worship and pray for their nation.
• Bless China's imprisoned believers: heal their physical and emotional wounds, and may the ever-present Holy Spirit comfort, counsel and uplift their hearts -- for the glory of the God.
• May grace be granted to this profoundly divided nation that has suffered betrayal and Islamic violence at the behest of Western nations pursuing Western 'interests'. May the Church look to the Lord for the healing of the nation. 'I am the Lord your healer.' (Exodus 15:26)
• May increased security pave the way for increased witness and church growth. Father, send out workers into your harvest field (Matthew 9:38).
• that tentative steps towards reform would continue so that Cuba's long-suffering, faithful and growing church might soon know real freedom.
a nation transformed by amazing revivals in the 20th century, but now suffering from endless conflict on account of greed, corruption and occultism.
• Lord, sustain your church as she seeks to serve and heal. Be a shield and fortress to every mission station. Protect your children from the appalling violence of armed militias and occultists. May DR Congo know revival again, and may the power of the evil one be broken.
• that more and more Egyptians will awaken to the reality that Islam is not the solution to corruption, immorality and economic malaise; and that fundamentalist Islam leads only to increased repression, regression and strife. May Egyptians seek and find the truth that will set them free and bring healing to their land.
• Lord, be a shield and fortress to the long-suffering, persecuted Copts (Egypt's indigenous Christians). May Coptic and Arab believers lean on the LORD for wisdom, strength, protection and comfort. May they hold on to the promise of Isaiah 19:16-25 and never lose hope. May they resist the temptation to put their trust in earthly 'saviors'. May they instead, in faithfulness and trust, fix their eyes upon Jesus Christ their healer and Saviour. "Blessed be Egypt my people."
a violently repressive nation of secret prisons and torture where more than 1000 Christians are imprisoned because of their faith.
• Intervene, O Lord, for the sake of your people. Liberate Eritreans by your own hand (Isaiah 59:14-19), ending the rule the cruel totalitarian despoit, Isaias Afewerki.
• Sanctify your church and redeem her suffering. May she grown in faith, grace and unity in the Holy Spirit across denominational lines to emerge from this trial refined and glorious.
• may the government be graced with wisdom and conviction in these days of rising Islam and regional instability. May justice and rule of law prevail in Muslim majority areas for the sake of church. May religious liberty be preserved and may the Church be united across tribal and denominational lines, particularly for the purpose of mission and prayer.
• that Europeans will remember the Lord and "return", so that the battle might be turned back at the gate (Isaiah 28:5-6) before judgment falls upon them (Deuteronomy 8:11-20). As degradation, Islamisation, repression and conflict loom large as a consequence of Culture Change, please O Lord, grace Europe with a fresh outpouring of your Holy Spirit for awakening, revival and reformation. May Europe's Christians look to the LORD for peace and the transformation of society, rather than to human works, worldy means and modern-day 'towers of Babel' (such as the EU) which are doomed to confusion and failure. (See: Turn Back the Battle)
• that Indians will reject Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) and religious apartheid, in spite of having just elected a Hindu national government. May the hindutva agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP be thwarted, paralysed, hamstrung and even turned on its head. May God use everything for HIS good purpose. (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28)
• We pray for a breakthrough with the upper castes, especially the seemingly impenetrable high caste Brahmins (priestly caste) for whom egalitarian Christianity is nothing but a threat to their inherited power and privilege.
• Lord, grant Christian leaders great wisdom as they advocate for religious liberty, equality and security and navigate Hindu nationalist policies including anti-conversion laws and seek protection from Hindutva violence, forced conversions and impunity. Lord, protect the courageous pastors and evangelists who risk life and liberty to witness and lead worship and prayer, and to baptise new believers in this hostile, incendiary environment.
• Sanctify your Church O Lord, ridding her of any ingrained racism and caste discrimination. Bless every courageous act of witness, for the glory of the LORD in India.
• Lord, sustain, protect and bless your church in Indian-administered Kashmir where a wave of Islamic persecution has hurt the church and forced many Christians to flee. Give your church boldness along with great wisdom in this increasingly dangerous environment, and bless all witness.
• for President Joko Widodo (Jokowi); may the Lord give him wisdom and courage and use him for his divine purpose. May the opposition - the Suharto-era political elite, who hold a majority in parliament - not be permitted to thwart much needed and wanted reforms.
• for Basuki (Ahok) Tjahaja Purnama, the ethnic Chinese Christian Governor of Jakarta; may the Lord protect him from Islamic militants who are threatening to get rid of him; refusing to have a Christian over them. May God use Ahok for his purpose and for his glory.
• May Indonesians profoundly and loudly reject intolerant, fundamentalist Islam. May religious liberty be preserved, treasured and advanced. Lord, frustrate the ways of the wicked (Psalm 146:9) and protect your churches, pastors, evangelists and worshippers during these days of Islamic radicalisation and terrorist threat. Sustain and sanctify your church. May she shine as a beacon with a message of hope for millions of disillusioned, still wonderfully open Indonesian Muslims.
• Lord, we pray President Widodo will be have the support he needs to bring real reform to Papua (formerly Irian Jaya / West New Guinea). Lord, intervene in Papua that the slow, systematic genocide of your people might cease; that cruelty and racial-religious hatred might cease. Lord, clear the way for Papua's Church to blossom in security and liberty, in all grace. Sustain and protect those courageous Papuan voices, including many church leaders, who risk much to speak out for justice, righteousness and liberty. Bless and comfort your people; may they not lose hope. May they look to the LORD of hosts for deliverance from tyranny.
a most strategic nation, rich in history and culture, now captive to revolutionary Islam and a belligerent theocracy.
• Intervene, Lord, for the sake of your church and for Israel. Liberate this nation so your church might bring your message of salvation and healing to those who are hungry for truth and brimming with potential. Meanwhile, sustain and preserve your persecuted and threatened church, adding to their number daily those who are being saved. Protect and bless Iran's pastors and evangelists, her numerous Christian prisoners and her new believers (apostates) for whom life is tenuous.
• We pray especially for imprisoned pastors, Saeed Abedini (34) and Farshid Fathi (35) who have been transferred to a maximum security prison housing the state's most violent Muslim criminals: may the Lord protect, preserve and deliver them. We pray for all Iran's imprisoned believers who are suffering greatly on account of their faith and courageous witness for Christ: may they know the loving presence of the Lord. 'But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.' (Psalm 3:3)
• Lord, continue to bless the Iranian church in the Dispora with great growth. May she stand as a witness to the whole world, that Jesus Christ is Lord -- that he is merciful, gracious, faithful, powerful and absolutely wonderful.
• May God continue the amazing and exciting work he is doing amongst Persians. The spiritual battle is heating up and persecution is intensifying. Please Pray!
where virtually the entire indigenous Christian Assyrian-Chaldean population has been displaced and yet is still at risk of genocide at the hands of Islamic State (IS). Lord have mercy!
• Lord, sustain and protect pastors and believers from Islamist attack and lawless violence. Comfort your people and anoint the church with strength from the Holy Spirit, so she may endure and be "salt" to Iraq and "light" to the Iraqi people.
• Bless all those who are aiding and assisting your traumatised Church including local Christians who are carrying the bulk of the burden; and donors around the world who are giving generously to help those churches cover the cost of food, clothing and shelter; and the local peoples who are putting aside religion differences to aid those in need. We pray a special blessing on the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan - may they truly come to see the Christians as a blessing. May the Lord be mightily at work in and through his people in the midst of the Kurds.
• We praise the Lord that, while well over 130,000 Christians were expelled from their homes in Nineveh Province, they were not slaughtered. This may well prove to be a miracle of God's grace to preserve his people - to preserve the Assyrian nation. May the displaced and traumatised Assyrian Christians hold on to faith and not lose hope. May they remember the promise of Isaiah 19:23-25, and that Assyria -- the nation that will be "a blessing in the midst of the earth" -- will be the work of HIS hands.
• We pray especially for those Christians who were abducted by Islamic State (IS) during the conquest of Nineveh. Aware than many -- including very small children -- are now being Islamised, sexually abused, gifted to IS jihadis and sold into slavery, LORD we plead for your mercy! Protect them, sustain them and deliver them; restore them to their families and heal their trauma.
• May the LORD deal with IS and end its reign of terror.
where Islamic State (IS) is literally "at the gate" and a largely supportive, restive Palestinian majority could cause serious trouble for the church should security collapse.
• Lord have mercy; guard your Church, may she grow in faith and unity in the Holy Spirit across ethnic and denominational lines. May she lean on you and trust in you through these days of uncertainty. May openness and religious liberty survive – for the sake of your gospel in the region.
where religious liberty is in decline and Soviet methods of social control -- such as forced psychiatric treatment -- are making a comeback.
• May God intervene in Kazakhstan to reverse its slide into darkness. May Kazakhstan's citizens be awakened to reject and protest this shameful and dangerous regression. May the Holy Spirit bless all gospel witness with effectual transforming power.
where thriving churches are being targeted for violence, as intolerant fundamentalist Islam grows and spreads; as coastal Muslims call for independence; as radical Muslims reject anti-terror laws; and as jihadists (particularly al-Shabaab) enact revenge for Kenyan military counter-terror operations in Somalia.
• Lord, be a shield around every church and a fortress to every believer. Grace the government with clarity and conviction to uphold religious liberty and rule of law. Awaken Muslims and frustrate the way of the wicked (Psalm 146:9b).
where many decades of pro-Albanian, anti-Serb policies – initially under the Turks, later under Tito and eventually under NATO – have resulted in this province, the historic heartland of the Serbian nation and Orthodox Church, being colonised by Albanian Muslims and separated from Serbia.
• Lord, comfort Kosovo's remnant Serbian church. May the mostly Protestant Albanian church reach out to her, demonstrating love and unity across ethnic and denominational lines, for the future of Kosovo and the glory of God.
where the Communist regime has vowed to "eliminate" Christianity, deeming it a "foreign religion" that threatens national security (Communist control) and local harmony.
• Lord, intervene in Laos to end cruelty and tyranny and bring justice and liberty. Lord, sustain and protect your sorely persecuted church. Bless those who have been dispossessed, beaten, imprisoned and tortured on account of your name; comfort them and supply their every need. Bless their witness and build your Church.
which has been heavily infiltrated by Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) militants who are now threatening the peace of this fragile, multi-confessional state.
• Lord, grace Lebanon's leaders with cool heads, wisdom and discernment.
• May Christian leaders have divine wisdom to lead the Church in the way of the LORD. May they look to you and trust in you amidst insecurity and threat.
• Father we pray for the many thousands of Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq who are now facing the prospect of insecurity in Lebanon. Protect, sustain and preserve your people O Lord. Sanctify your Church and forge unity in the Body.
where conflict, radicalisation and Islamic intolerance are threatening the church's continued existence.
• May the church have wisdom and courage as she just seeks to survive and witness as they are able. O Holy Spirit, bless all witness and may Christ build his Church in Libya.
a melting-pot of Asian cultures where harmony is sometimes tested by racial and religious tensions.
• Intervene Lord, so that Malaysian Muslims might reject the intolerant fundamentalist Islam that threatens peace, in preference for diversity with freedom which advances prosperity. May they reject politicians who play the Islam card for political gain, adding fuel to the fires of religious intolerance.
• Lord bless the Malaysian church; may there be unity in the Holy Spirit across racial and denominational lines. May your Church shine as an example of the harmony that is achievable through Jesus Christ. Grant church leaders wisdom as they face the effects of advancing Islamisation.
• Father, give Christian leader divine wisdom to navigate the sensitive language issue and the ban that prevents Christians using the word 'Allah' (the Malay word for 'God') - a ban that effectively renders Malay-language Bibles illegal. Lord help them!
• where a glorious tropical island setting hides a cruel, repressive, Islamist reality. Lord, we pray for an awakening amongst Maldivian Muslims and an empowering of reformist voices, so that Maldivians might profoundly reject intolerant fundamentalist Islam. Lord, shield the long-suffering and imperiled church. Bless and comfort them and supply all their needs while adding to their number.
• that issues of poor governance will be rectified and that legitimate Tuareg grievances will be addressed so the pattern of regular unrest might end. Bless churches and ministries with fruit for their labour as they seek to spread the good news of the Gospel through a desperately needy nation.
which is awash with intolerant fundamentalist Islam and wracked with insecurity and repression.
• Lord, bless all those ministries that witness in this region -- especially gospel radio and satellite TV ministries -- provide all their needs so the gospel can continue to infiltate this closed region. Awaken the lost to their need of a Saviour who can not only forgive sin, but radically transform the individual and society.
• Lord, sustain and preserve your threatened Church in this the birthplace of the Church. Add Jews and Muslims to your church daily as they are being saved. Bless, comfort and encourage your people – may they never lose hope.
• Forge unity in your Church Lord: may historical and political grievances be forgiven for the sake of solidarity, brotherly love and unity in Christ Jesus (John 17:21). May Jesus Christ be praised all across the Middle East and may peace reign for the glory of God.
• that Moroccan openness, tolerance and progress will not be thwarted by advances in fundamentalist and political Islam. Lord, grace King Mohammed VI -- the driving force behind reforms -- with discernment and conviction, that he might be an instrument in the hand of God to do good for all Moroccans. May Islamists not be permitted to set the agenda and may true religious freedom be observed in practice.
• Bless the church with wisdom and strength for endurance, adding to her number daily.
where forces for openness and liberty are struggling against Hindu nationalist elements and politicians prepared to play the race or religion card for political gain.
• Lord, grant wisdom and boldness to Christian leaders who advocate that Nepal's recently embraced religious liberty be retained despite calls for restrictions including anti-conversion legislation. Bless the Church Lord, as she serves the nation in the name of Jesus.
• that the LORD himself will burst through against Boko Haram, Fulani Muslim aggression and Islamic imperialism. May jihad and intolerant fundamentalist Islam be rejected. May peace return to Nigeria.
• May the Lord generously anoint Nigeria's pastors and evangelists with the Holy Spirit of power to lead many to Christ, especially in the troubled Muslim north where Christians are severely persecuted and threatened. In this land of immense spiritual warfare, may the Lord raise up more workers and send them out into the harvest field.
• Bless the churches Lord, and Bible colleges, as well as the courageous believers who continue to witness and worship despite threats of violence and terrorism. Be their shield and fortress. Frustrate the ways of the wicked: may their plots come to nothing! May the Lord be praised throughout all Nigeria!
• that God will intervene to bring justice and liberty to this land of severe oppression and unspeakable suffering. May cruelty, hunger and totalitarianism come to an end; may the prisoners be released; may the nation open up; may the King of Glory come in (Psalm 24).
• Reverse the fortunes of North Korea, O LORD, so that Pyongyang may once again be a city where the Lord is worshipped and praised. And may deliverance come quickly (Psalm 31:2).
• that God will give the Pakistani government the strength and resolve it needs to pursue justice and security for all Pakistanis regardless of religion.
• Lord, awaken Pakistani Muslims to the reality that intolerant Islam brings nothing but conflict, repression and pain, while inhibiting growth and development. May those who have hated and persecuted Christians without cause be ashamed. May Pakistan experience a miraculous reversal of direction.
• May the Lord, bless, sustain, protect and comfort Pakistan's sorely persecuted and gravely imperilled Church. Father, be with those who are in prison or in hiding because hostile Muslims have persecuted them, threatening them with violence and/or accusations of 'blasphemy'. Lord, preserve their lives. Be with those have been displaced by violent Islamic pogroms. Lord, grant them justice and recompense. Be with those who grieve because Islamic hatred and terrorism has robbed them of their loved ones. Lord, be their comforter. Father, be a shield and defender to all Pakistan's imperilled believers. Supply all their needs and empower their witness as they seek to follow you, to serve their nation and to lead disillusioned Pakistanis to the peace that is found only in Jesus Christ.
• that the government would have great wisdom as it seeks to negotiate a just peace on Mindanao in the south -- peace with the MILF and with the MNLF. May the Moro Islamic insurgency come to an end without appeasement that would negatively impact the constitutional rights Philippinos. Bless those who risk much to witness and serve amongst the Muslims of the south; may their sacrificial labours not be in vain.
• that God will graciously restore the years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25) by bringing revival and reformation to the Russian Church. May the Russian Church be free of corruption. O Holy Spirit, bring conviction of sin and deep repentance to those who have been complicit in evil or insensitive to needs. May God's love be shed abroad in the hearts of Russian Christians enabling unity in the Holy Spirit across racial and denominational lines, so that together they might tackle Russia's immense social problems -- the fruits of decades of brutally enforced atheism -- in the name of Jesus. Lord, grace Russia's leaders with wisdom as they tackle the jihadist threat. Embolden and fortify the church for mission and spiritual warfare.
where the Spirit of God is at work proving that nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
• We praise you LORD that the crucified and risen Christ is being worshipped, albeit secretly, in the heartland of the Arabs and of Islam. Lord our fortress, place your protective hand over each precious Saudi Christian, for their lives are gravely imperiled. Lord our shepherd, lead each Saudi convert in your light and wisdom.
• May the Lord protect and preserve Christian expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia - especially poor Asians and Africans who are routinely persecuted and arrested for meeting together.
• May the Lord protect Saudi Christian refugees, hiding them from Saudi intelligence and the agents who hunt them down in to the farthest corners of the earth. 'Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.' (Psalm 17:8)
• May the church in Saudi Arabia live and grow in faith and in number; and may "justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5:24).
a traumatised, war-ravaged land of new believers, secret believers, persecuted believers and martyrs.
• O Lord, sustain, protect, bless and comfort your remnant church; bring al-Shabaab's terror to an end.
• O Creator God, speak order into the chaos and light into the darkness.
• O Holy Spirit: awaken this devastated nation to the truth that can set them free. "And God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light." (Gen 1:3)
• that the Lord would bless this newest of nations, restoring the years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25).
• Lord, grace South Sudan's leaders with wisdom, discernment and humility; rid all leaders of corruption and selfish ambition. May this war-weary people be blessed with peace and unity in spirit across tribal lines. May this war-ravaged land be blessed with fruitfulness, aid and development. May the church that grew through years of war, now grow amidst peace with thankfulness.
• that Sri Lanka's political leaders the wisdom and strength to resist the political temptation to play the race-religion card and appease Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists at the cost of religious freedom. May there be genuine reconciliation based on truth and justice.
• Lord, bless and protect your church as she serves the nation in the name of Jesus and models peace, love and unity before a war-weary, suspicious and divided people.
• that President Omar el Bashir's reign of racist and Islamist terror will come to an end and that ethnic cleansing, Islamic jihad and persecution of the church will cease.
• O Lord intervene and reverse Sudan's direction so that justice, equity and liberty might be realised and so hundreds of thousands of refugees from Sth Kordofan and Blue Nile, presently languishing in camps in South Sudan, can return to liberty and security with hope for the future. (Psalm 10)
• Lord, comfort and bless your imperiled church -- particularly the church in the Nuba Mountains which suffers constant aerial bombardment and the threat of regime-engineered famine (starvation as a weapon of mass destruction). Bless those who risk their lives to get food and medical aid to this closed region - keep them safe and provide all their needs. Lord build your Church; may the gates of hell not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
• where Christians outside of government-held areas are either living under Islamic State (IS) terror, or they are at risk of jihadist-rebel attack.
• Pray especially for the Christian remnant in al-Raqqa and al-Hassekah which have been claimed by IS and incorporated into in its Caliphate. Lord have mercy! Sustain and deliver your people and liberate their lands.
• Lord, in your mercy, intervene to rescue your gravely imperiled church. Assure believers of your loving presence (Romans 8:35-39). May they look to you for all things in all circumstances. Comfort and encourage them and supply all their needs. Lord, quiet the tumult of the peoples (Psalm 65:7) and bring the counsel of the nations to nothing (Psalm 33:10), that the will of the LORD may prevail.
• May the Lord sustain and protect all the Christian refugees now struggling to survive in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.
• May the LORD deal with IS, al-Nusra, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and all Islamist factions - and end their terror.
• May this land -- the land where the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians (Acts 11:26) -- become a land of mission, grace and blessing once again.
where an increasingly radical Muslim minority is becoming more aggressive and assertive.
• Lord we pray for a revival in the Tanzanian church so the land might be re-evangelized; and for an awakening amongst the political leadership -- may they realise what is at stake. May the authorities have courage and conviction to reject appeasement and uphold rule of law.
where the volitile and threatening situation created by the Arab Spring has settled and people are finding their feet.
• May the church's voice be heard in these days of disillusionment. May there be an awakening amongst Muslims and a turning to Christ as the Gospel is recognised as truth.
which boasts of being a model of Muslim democracy and an ally of the West when in reality it is a repressive and belligerent emergent Islamic state advancing its own interests.
• Lord, may the voices of thousands of anti-Islamists and pro-secular dissidents imprisoned on false charges of conspiracy still be heard. May injustice not prevail.
• Grant your church wisdom as she navigates her steadily Islamising environment. May there be an awakening amongst Turkey's disillusioned Kemalist Muslims that leads them to Jesus Christ. Lord, sustain, protect, encourage and bless your church, adding to her number daily.
where hundreds of thousands have been displaced in a conflict that is tearing Ukraine apart.
• Lord, give the church clarity and insight, wisdom and grace, courage and strength to do what is right and what is needed to bring reconciliation and healing to the land.
• may violent, racist, ultra-right (neo-Nazi) groups be reigned in and not empowered. May Ukraine learn how to sit comfortable in between East and West; for the sake of your Church and for the gospel in Ukraine.
• that she will remember the Lord and 'return', before God's judgment falls upon her (Deuteronomy 8:11-20).
• In mercy, O Lord, pour out your Spirit and embolden your church with zeal for your truth, for mission and for prayer. Bless, sustain and encourage faithful Christians whose livelihoods, reputations and even security are being threatened on account of Culture Change. May the church embrace your call to be counter-cultural, so she might shine rather than fade through these days of deepening darkness. May the Spirit who worked in and through William Wilberforce to transform Britain once before, move through the UK again with awakening power that the battle might be turned back at the gate (Isaiah 28:5-6).
• that the Spirit of God who transformed America through Great Awakenings, would, in mercy and grace, transform America again. Instead of burning with zeal for "religion" and "rights", may the hearts of Americans burn with humbling love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Bless, sustain and encourage faithful Christians whose livelihoods, reputations and even security are being threatened due to Culture Change. In this increasingly godless age, as selfishness, materialism, indulgence, corruption and violence escalate, may the church embrace your call to be counter-cultural, so that she might shine as beacon, exalting the LORD of hosts and turning back the battle (Isaiah 28:5-6). May America remember the Lord and 'return', before God's judgment falls upon her (Deuteronomy 8:11-20).
• that the Vietnamese would reject totalitarianism and racism and be able to discern Communist propaganda from truth. May the masses develop a hunger for justice, righteous, equity and truth.
• Lord, raise up more courageous Christian leaders, pastors and advocates and bless their service in the name of Jesus. Sustain and comfort those who are in prison on account of their faith, ministry and advocacy. Redeem their sufferings and sanctifying your Church that she might emerge refined and united in the Holy Spirit across ethnic and denominational lines.
• for God to deal with those who persecute the church for political and personal gain. May the nation be liberated from despots who exploit racism, hatred and greed to advance their own ends: may their end be their downfall. Reverse Zimbabwe's fortunes Lord, cultivating a desire for justice, peace and unity. May the church be in prayer and may praises and thanksgiving resound across Zimbabwe.
"[Lord], we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name." (from Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9)
"So now, O Lord our God, save us from [our enemy's hand], that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord." (from Hezekiah's prayer in Isaiah 39)
Now unto him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)
"Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb." (the chorus from heaven: from Revelation 7:9-12)
CPR for Strategic Nations
by Elizabeth Kendal
author of Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today
(Deror Books, Dec 2012)