Monthly Prayer Agenda
Welcome to the October 2018 Global Prayer Agenda featuring major concerns affecting the nations of our world, and the growth of Christ's church universally for the advancement of world evangelism and the establishment of God's Kingdom. This agenda was specially prepared for use during the Monthly Global Prayer Teleconference sessions by a few members of the team of leaders facilitating these monthly global prayer calls. The agenda is structured into three main categories for the convenience of our users. As you join us in prayer about these various issues, during this month, we trust that you will find the experience spiritually rewarding. We also extend a special invitation to join us for our next Monthly Global Prayer Teleconference.
Prayer for North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe
Psalm 93 – "The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Your throne, O Lord, has stood from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past. The floods have risen up, O Lord. The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves. But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore— the Lord above is mightier than these! Your royal laws cannot be changed. Your reign, O Lord, is holy forever and ever."
Revival in the United States of America
Pastors Across America
Pastors across America that are leaving the ministry in droves.
Top 2 Causes for Pastors Leaving Ministry and More Statistics
More than 70% of pastors do not have a close friend with whom they can openly share their struggles. The dominant cause for pastors to leave the pastoral ministry is burnout. Number two is a moral failure. These are alarming statistics. And there are many more:
- 80% of pastors believe the pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families (Life Enrichment Ministries – 1998)
- Only 50% of pastors felt that the education they received adequately prepared them for ministry. Most pastors rely on books and conferences as their primary source of continuing education. (George Barna – 2002)
- 25% of all pastors don’t know where to go for help if they have a personal or family conflict or concern. 33% have no established means for resolving the conflict. (George Barna – 2002)
- 40% have no opportunity for outside renewal like a family vacation or continuing education. There is a very clear relationship between the amount of time a pastor takes for personal renewal and his satisfaction in his job. (George Barna – 2002)
- At any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit. (Church Resource Ministries – 1998)
- More than 1000 pastors are leaving the ministry each month. (Marble Retreat Center 2001) (Source: www.Standaloneministry.org)
- For pastors across America experiencing loneliness, the burning out effect, other challenges of the pastoral ministry that impact negatively on their families or considering quitting the ministry as a result of discouragement to turn to the Lord, the only Rock of our Salvation for spiritual comfort, assurance, and strength. Indeed, all other grounds or bais of faith or worship are sinking sand.
- For all pastors facing all types of moral failure that continue to undermine the credible witness of the church as salt and light of this nation, to turn to the Lord in prayer and repentance to help to facilitate revival in the church for the spiritual healing and transformation of the nation so urgently needed at this time.
- For those institutions and agencies that provide all types of spiritual support to pastors, including seminaries, denominations and the local church to do a more effective job of training, mentoring and caring for the spiritual, emotional, social and family needs of the pastors they serve.
Prayer for the Government, Upcoming Mid-term Elections, and Appointment of New US Supreme Court Justice
1 Timothy 2: 1 -6
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, four who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, six who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
As we pray for the US Government, the upcoming Mid-term elections and the new Supreme Court Appointment, let us do so with Paul’s instructions in 1 Tim. 2: 1- 6
- For President Donald Trump and his Cabinet, All Members Congress, the Judiciary, State Governors and other State Legislators and Mayors, across America for wisdom to govern the nation in equity and fear of God. Pray also that God’s divine intervention in the affairs of the nation’s Government will result in the healing of our deeply divided nation, and in the advancement of the moral, social and economic well being of the nation for general the benefit of all Americans and the advancement of His kingdom locally and internationally.
- For all candidates seeking offices in the upcoming mid-term elections and also for God’s will to be done in the appointment of persons to these offices, who are honest, God-fearing and committed to serving the nation in pursuit of justice and equity for all regardless of their political allegiances.
- For, God’s will to be done in the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice, a person that not only knows the law and can apply it but one who will do so in fear of God and through the admonition of the Word of God.
Prayer for Children Across America
- excerpted, Boone, NC
WATAUGA — Watauga educators are starting an initiative to go the extra mile when it comes to an understanding more about students in traumatic situations.
Hardin Park social worker Denise Presnell explained that three of the nine schools in the district are incorporating a new program called the Compassionate Schools Initiative. Schools that are currently participating in this initiative are Hardin Park, Mabel, and Parkway schools.
Some children in the school system undergo traumatic experiences, which affects their capacity to learn and focus throughout the school day. For Watauga students, trauma could stem from extreme poverty, being placed in foster care, sexual abuse, parents who are in jail, parents who are gone in the military and other causes…
… “These are the kids that we used to look at and say, ‘They’re apathetic, they’re unmotivated, they don’t care, they’re lazy,’” Presnell said. “Those are the kids that now we can hopefully look at and understand that because of what they’ve been through, their brains work differently.”…
… Calm corners is a technique that Presnell said she finds really effective. Calm corners are inside the classrooms of teachers who choose to participate. These are places in a classroom where a student can go, set a timer for five minutes and calm down while they are in distress.
- Lord, we pray for all our elementary, middle school and high school teachers. Their challenges today are so much greater than “simply” teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. I pray you to give them great compassion, wisdom, love, and patience for many of their students who, mostly through no fault of their own, are living in traumatic situations. May those teachers and administrators who know You pray daily for their students.
- We pray, Lord, for supernatural peace to come over the students as they enter both the school grounds and their classrooms. We declare these to be stress-free and danger-free zones.
- We ask, Lord, that the students will be able to focus and concentrate on the lessons being taught and for unity and cooperation in the classrooms.
South America and The Caribbean
Brazil front-runner moves in from far right
With popular but imprisoned Lula da Silva now out of the race, Jair Bolsonaro has moved in front of other presidential contenders in Brazil's October 7th elections. Bolsonaro calls his party coalition “God above all.” For the growing evangelical voting bloc in Brazil, he offers a robust social conservatism. In a country known for hedonism and freewheeling sexuality, evangelicals are seeking a radical turn to godly values. Accordingly, Bolsonaro strongly opposes same-sex marriage, the LGBT agenda, abortion, drug liberalization, and secularism.
But his opposition has veered toward harsh extremes. In 2011 he said that “I would be incapable of loving a gay son.” Also, he added that he would prefer any such son “to die in an accident.” A court fined him the US $37,500 for anti-gay “hate speech” spoken in that same year. Bolsonaro had stated that because of their “good education,” his children ran “no risk” of ever becoming gay or producing a gay child.
Bolsonaro's first four children were male. For his fifth child, he said in 2017 that he produced a female in “a moment of weakness.” Another sexist remark occurred after he declared that the law should treat minors like adults when they commit murder or rape. In response, Congresswoman Maria do Rosario called him a “rapist”. He replied by saying Rosario was “not worthy of being raped.” Later a court sentenced him to pay a US $2500 fine to Rosario.
Bolsonaro's dictatorial tendencies
Moreover, many question his commitment to democracy. In the 1990s, he said in a TV interview that if he ever became president, he would shut down the National Congress. He even added that he would stage a military coup. "I have no doubts. I would begin the coup on the very first day! And I am sure that at least 90% of the people would commemorate or give me an ovation. The Congress today is good for nothing...let's make this a dictatorship.” He was serving as a congressman at the time and has continued to do so for 27 years.
During the 1990s Bolsonaro, a former artillery captain often praised the military dictatorship which ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. He called it a “glorious” period when Brazil enjoyed “20 years of order and progress.” Furthermore, he praised Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile. In 1998 Bolsonaro said Pinochet's regime, which killed over 3000 of its own citizens, “should have killed more people.”
Now Bolsonaro proposes to appoint six generals to his cabinet. Furthermore, for his 2018 running mate Bolsonaro chose the hawkish General Hamilton Mourao. Mourao has said that if the judiciary “couldn't heal the existing politics in the country, this would be imposed by the army in a military intervention.”
The existing politics in Brazil have displayed much disorder. Two years ago Brazil’s Senate impeached recent president Dilma Rousseff for breaking budget laws. This past April another former president, Lula da Silva, started serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering. From prison, he continued to compete as front-runner in the 2018 presidential campaign. Now the courts have upheld his conviction. So Lula is endorsing his running mate, Fernando Haddad.
Because of the many corruption scandals, in a June poll, 60% of Brazilians said they distrusted the government. The same poll showed the military had gained the confidence of 78% of voters. Accordingly, throughout the country, the number of military men running for president or governor has doubled.
Assassination attempt on Bolsonaro
A wave of public sentiment lifted Bolsonaro's standing in the polls after he got stabbed in the abdomen during a September 6 public rally. He is now in the hospital recovering after life-saving surgery. The attack prompted the top army chief Villas Boas to question the stability and legitimacy of the next government once elected. Currently in second place in the presidential polls, leftist Fernando Haddad accused the army chief of interfering directly in the elections. (Haddad's running mate is Communist Party legislator Manuela d'Ávila.) Close behind Haddad, Brazilian Socialist Party candidate Ciro Gomes said that if elected, he would dismiss and imprison the army chief.
Now in fourth place, centrist and environmentalist Marina Silva is the only other candidate given a chance to survive the first round of voting. Pro-abortion and pro-drug legalization former Green Party candidate Eduardo Jorge is her running mate. The runoff election for president, if needed, will take place on October 28.
- Bring to each candidate a serious assessment of their responsibility to use law and order to protect essential freedoms in their threatened democracy.
- Impress on candidates and voters the importance of supporting traditional families as the building blocks of a stable society and an ethical, accountable government.
- Keep His churches in Brazil growing and praying for their authorities, that they may freely live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
- Also, for Venezuelans, we pray that God will show them, even in their extreme distress, His plans to prosper them again and not to harm them, plans to give them a hope and a future.
Revival across Europe
- Our Religious Freedom: Scottish government replacing one blasphemy law with another?
Barnabas Fund| September 4, 2018 [adapted]
The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), which currently runs the Scottish government, has decided to abolish Scotland’s ancient blasphemy law. That law, a section (XX:4) of the Confession of Faith Ratification Act passed by the Scottish parliament in 1690, only protected the beliefs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which was the dominant belief system in eighteenth-century Scotland. It has not been used since 1843
Hate Crime: Scotland’s new blasphemy law
However, at the same time the Scottish government has been keen to abolish its Christian blasphemy law, it has allowed, what is in effect, a new blasphemy law to develop, which has led to multiple arrests of those criticizing politically correct beliefs in twenty-first-century Scotland.
For several years now, Christian street preachers in Scotland have been targeted using hate crime laws by activists seeking to silence them by deliberately asking questions about Christian teaching on Islam or sexual ethics. When the preachers explain what the Bible says, no matter how respectfully, the activists make a police complaint, leading to the preachers being arrested.
Not only are Police Scotland now treating respectful expression of disagreement with LGBT beliefs as a “hate crime”, but they are also arresting entirely peaceful street preachers simply because a complaint is made – without even checking to see if there is any evidence to support that complaint.
Scotland’s new blasphemy law in all but name
What we are seeing here is the replacement of one blasphemy law in Scotland with another. The Scottish government is keen to get rid of a law which theoretically protected a specific form of Christian belief from criticism. However, at the same time, what is, in effect, a new blasphemy law in all but name is being created by the backdoor using hate crime laws. These laws are being used by Police Scotland to arrest those who express even the most respectful disagreement with beliefs that are now part of the dominant politically correct orthodoxy, such as LGBT beliefs and Islamic beliefs. This is an issue which the Scottish government really needs to grasp, not least because laws which can be used to protect beliefs rather than people empower extremists, who threaten Christians and other minorities.
It is therefore a matter not merely of disappointment but of real concern that the Scottish government is focusing its energies on abolishing an ancient Christian blasphemy law which hasn’t even been used for 175 years, while at the same time ignoring sustained and serious attempts to misuse hate crime laws to ban any criticism of Islam and other politically correct beliefs which, in effect, create a new Scottish blasphemy law in all but name.
- That Scotland’s review of their blasphemy law will result in the protection of the free expression of Christian beliefs and practices in the country.
- For the Spirit-empowered re-evangelization of Scotland.
- That the Christians in Scotland will experience a renewed commitment to Scripture-based spiritual renewal.
- Russian Orthodox Church warns of violence and schism over Ukraine
Moscow freezes ties with Constantinople patriarch over Kiev's independence bid
Daniel McLaughlin |IRISH TIMES |Sun, Sep 16, 2018 [adapted]
The Russian Orthodox Church has warned that Ukraine’s bid for spiritual independence could lead to bloodshed and a schism in the eastern church, as it froze ties with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople – traditionally the “first among equals” in the Orthodox world.
Russian clerics are furious over Bartholomew’s apparently favourable response to Ukraine’s request that he grant full independence to its church, which is currently divided between rival patriarchates that are loyal to Moscow and Kiev. The split occurred after a sovereign Ukraine emerged from the Soviet Union in 1991, and animosity between the country’s Moscow and Kiev patriarchates has intensified since the start of its bloody but undeclared war with Russia in 2014.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko appealed to Bartholomew in April for church independence – also known as autocephaly – and he says the formation of a national church is a crucial step in Ukraine’s bid to escape centuries of Russian domination. Earlier this month, the Istanbul-based patriarchate said it was dispatching two bishops to Ukraine “within the framework of preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine”
This followed apparently frosty talks in Istanbul – formerly Constantinople – between Bartholomew and Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill, under whom the church maintains very close ties with the Kremlin of president Vladimir Putin.
“If the church...is condemned as the church of the country-aggressor, as they say now, if it is deprived of legal rights, we can expect anything,” Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of external relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, warned on Saturday.
He told Russian television that in such an event “we can expect that the schismatics will take control over major monasteries...then, of course, the Orthodox faithful will defend these sacred places, so we can expect bloodshed.”
- Pray that followers of Jesus Christ across the political divides will distinguish themselves from both nominal Christians and non-Christians by demonstrating love, peace and unity among themselves.
- Pray that followers of Jesus Christ will lead the way in resolving the differences in the various camps in peace and reconciliation and so overcome the hatred and conflict that threatens war and bloodshed.
- Pray that more and more people will choose to align themselves with the name of Jesus Christ over and above their political persuasions.
- Swedish professor accused of bigotry for saying men and women ‘biologically different’
Published time: 17 Sep, 2018 15:18 |Edited time: 18 Sep, 2018 10:51 [adapted]
A Swedish university is investigating a professor for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said there are biological differences between men and women. He is being urged to retract his comments.
The professor, Germund Hesslow, who works in neurophysiology at Lund University, was accused by a student of making “transphobic” and “anti-feminist” statements in a lecture — but he has refused to back down.
During his course on ‘Heritage and Environment’ at the leading academic institution, Hesslow cited scientific research which supports the idea that there are differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and therefore genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone”.
The complainant suggested that Hesslow’s comments were at odds with the Swedish values which requires all schools in Sweden to adhere to a common ethical policy, which includes upholding values like egalitarianism, individual freedom and equality of the sexes.
Hesslow said that some students, “for ideological reasons,” don't like to hear certain scientific facts about biological differences between men and women. He said that the comments which prompted the complaint were not even necessarily part of his course material, but that they were answers to students’ questions during the course of the lecture.
“… I used wording which I think was completely [harmless], and that apparently the student didn't,” Hesslow said.
Hesslow was summoned to a meeting by Christer Larsson, the chairman of the program board for medical education, after one female student complained that the professor had expressed his “personal anti-feminist agenda,” Academic Rights Watch reported.
The university asked Hesslow to “distance” himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that whether transsexuality is a sexual orientation is “a matter of definition”. The professor refused to back away from the comments, saying that he had “done enough” already to “explain and defend” his choice of words.
“At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” he said in a written reply to Larsson.
Hesslow also rejected the notion that he had a “political agenda” and said his only agenda was to let scientific fact, not new conventional wisdom, steer university proceedings.
Hesslow told RT that he believed the student in question was simply “someone who dislikes the lecture and is trying to find various pretexts for attacking it.”
Hesslow also told RT that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all” and that the university could use his age as a“pretext” to take him off the course, because he is past retirement age
- That Professor Hesslow will be vindicated in his commitment to scientific facts about physical differences between males and females.
- That it will become increasingly obvious that these and other scientific facts fully support what is revealed in the Bible.
- The Biblical revelation will prevail in peoples’ minds and consciences and that it will shatter the ideological biases and distorted values that the devil is using to blind people to the truth of the Gospel.
Israel, the Middle East, and Africa
Scripture (Psalm 66:1-9 NIV)
Israel and Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday revealed what he said was a previously unknown Iranian nuclear site, saying it could contain up to 300 tons of nuclear material, and accused the International Atomic Energy Agency of failing to investigate findings that he presented earlier this year about Iran’s nuclear program. Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly (full text here), Netanyahu also revealed what he said were Hezbollah precision missile sites hidden in Beirut, warned that Israel would act against Iran “whenever and wherever,” praised US President Donald Trump for defunding the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, and attacked the Palestinian Authority for paying monthly salaries to convicted terrorists.
The prime minister said the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear agency, had failed to take any action after he revealed in April a nuclear archive that Israeli spies managed to spirit out of Iran, and so he was now revealing what he said was a “secret atomic warehouse” in the Turquzabad district of Tehran, a few miles from the archive. Netanyahu claimed the warehouse was used for “storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret weapons program,” which was quickly being moved to other parts of the city.
He claimed some 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of radioactive material had been recently removed from this atomic warehouse and squirreled away around Tehran, endangering the capital’s residents. The site may contain as much as 300 tons of nuclear-related equipment and material in 15 shipping containers, he added. He did not specify what nuclear material was contained at the site. (Michael Bachner and Times of Israel staff, 27 September 2018)
As the United States has recently re-imposed sanctions against Iran, Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, recently wrote about how Iran has ramped up its persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. Last month, four other Iranian Christians were arrested, including the widely reported arrest of Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Despite ongoing persecution in Iran, the Iranian house church movement continues to grow. (Samuel Smith, CP Reporter, Aug 21, 2018)
- Thank God that the US government continues to publicly support Israel.
- Pray for the exposure of any Iranian attempts to produce nuclear weapons.
- Thank God for the growth of the house church movement in Iran.
- Pray for the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been given a 12-year prison sentence for His faith in Christ.
- Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Iran and Israel respectively.
Addis Ababa (AFP) - At least 58 people were killed during ethnic violence at the weekend on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, an Amnesty International researcher told AFP on Wednesday. And another source involved in the investigation, who saw and counted the corpses, told AFP a total of 65 people had been killed, mostly in the city's western suburbs.
The figures are more than twice that given by state media which on Monday said the death toll from violence in and around Burayu stood at 23.
Fighting broke out last week in Burayu, a western suburb of Addis Ababa, and continued through the weekend, forcing hundreds to flee and sparking protests that paralysed the city on Monday during which police killed five people. Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, the investigation source said most of the deaths had occurred in the city's western suburbs although others were killed in the centre.
"The 65 cases are from Burayu, Ashewa Meda, Kolfe and Kirkos," the source said, referring to three areas in the west and Kirkos in the centre. Some of the victims had been stabbed while others died after being beaten with sticks and rocks. None had been shot and the toll does not include five alleged looters killed by police on Monday. (Chris STEIN, AFP Wed, Sep 19, 2018).
- Pray that those responsible for murdering 65 persons in Ethiopia will be brought to justice.
- Pray for an end to ethnic violence and discrimination in Ethiopia.
- Pray for the Lord to use His Church to bring healing and comfort to the loved ones of the 65 persons murdered in Addis Abba.
- Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Ethiopia.
Egypt's persecuted Coptic Christian minority has been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, reportedly the first ethnoreligious group given such an honor. While the Norwegian Nobel Committee doesn't release the names of nominees, the charity Coptic Orphans announced the nomination on their Facebook page in a post from Tuesday, noting that they were nominated for their refusal to retaliate against recent acts of anti-Christian violence.
"According to a 2018 report by the Christian charity Open Doors, Christians in Egypt face 'unprecedented levels of persecution.' Last year, according to the report, 128 Egyptian Christians were killed for their faith and more than 200 were driven out of their homes," the organization said. "Despite this, Coptic Christians have consistently refused to retaliate and continue to practice peaceful coexistence." (Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter, Sep 27, 2018)
A group of Muslims attacked a Christian village in southern Egypt last week in an attack that injured two Coptic believers and a firefighter, each of whom needed to be hospitalized. The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese announced that at least four Christian homes in the village of Demshaw Hachem were attacked and looted last Friday by "extremists" who objected to the houses being used as churches. "Extremists attacked Copts, stole quantities of jewelry and money, destroyed household appliances and set fire to property," the diocese's statement reads, according to AFP.
Although the church informed authorities of the threat of a possible attack, the diocese statement explains that authorities only came to the Christians' aid after the attack occurred. As many as 38 suspects have reportedly been arrested in connection with the attack. (Samuel Smith, CP Reporter, Sep 6, 2018)
An Egyptian teen embraced Christianity after witnessing the faith of his father, who was brutally murdered by Muslim extremists for refusing to convert to Islam.
Prior to his father's death, Marquos cared little about Christianity. But Baghat's unflinching faith in the face of death made him want to know more about Jesus Christ. "I was proud of my father, for standing by his faith until the last moment," he said. "It made me curious. When my father was still alive, he woke up every morning at 5 am to study the Bible and pray. Apparently, that helped him become a strong believer. My father's death for Christ has made me search for Jesus." Fawziya said she's seen a noticeable change in her son's heart and habits since embracing Christianity. (Leah MarieAnn Klett, CP Contributor, Sep 4, 2018)
- Thank God the Coptic Christians refusal to retaliate against their persecutors has resulted in them being nominated for a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Pray that the Egyptian government and law enforcement will take action to prevent additional attacks of Christians by Moslem extremists
- Thank God for helping an Egyptian teen to embrace Christianity after witnessing his being killed for his faith in Christ.
- Pray for the strengthening and growth of the Church in Egypt.
The month started with a national shutdown march, where women marched across the country against the rape and abuse of women and children. Many women responded, sending a strong message that women are concerned.
However, the suicide of rape victim Khensani Maseko a few days later demonstrated that it will require more than a march for things to change in our nation.
The horror reports of violence against women didn’t stop with Khensani. We heard of more cases of rape of children and grandmothers, gruesome murders, and violent acts. A child was killed in Daveyton by necklacing — a horrific act of placing a tire over a person and setting it alight.
Our country has become a hub for women from all over Africa to come and kill unborn babies because abortion is not permitted in their countries. Many countries still understand that this practice is an abomination to the Lord and that shedding innocent blood calls for vengeance which gives the spirit of violence and death more legal right to keep on taking innocent lives.
The violence and trauma to families caused by young people who are hooked on drugs – whether it’s called "nyaope, tik or cocaine – is just too painful to watch. These are the very children we celebrated as gifts from the Lord when they were born, but today we shout that they must rot in jail. When did the blessing change into a curse? (Linda Gobodo, IPMI Facilitator, Thursday, 06 September 2018)
- Pray that the South African government will take strong action to eliminate the rape and abuse of women and children in South Africa.
- Pray that abortion would become illegal in South Africa
- Pray for a major drop in drug addictions and drug use in South Africa.
- Pray for an end to the drought affecting Cape Town and other parts of South Africa
- Pray that the Church will pray, intercede, and proclaim the gospel with power in South Africa.
Prayer for Movement Day Global Cities, the Persecuted Church and Other Critical Concerns of Asia
Scripture - Psalms 95: 1 - 7
Movement Day Expressions
- Pray for new team member Elizabeth Bloodworth as she navigates her new role supporting events management.
- Pray for financial provision as Movement Day Oslo leader, Joakim Magnus and his team are strategizing and handling logistics for this first time gathering. Joakim Magnus is a young leader, who has a true passion for youth. Along with spearheading this Movement Day gathering he also works with Youth with a Mission (YWAM)
- Pray that God will continue to guide Rev. Adam Durso and the LEAD.NYC team planning Movement Day New York City on Friday, October 26, 2018. This restructured gathering will host 400 NYC leaders to strategically plan ways to collaboratively advance gospel movement in the next 3-5 years.
- Prayer for Arthur Thangiah (Mumbai, India), Jeyakaran Emmanuel and Mark Visvasam (Chennai, India) as they plan Movement Day Expressions January/February 2019 respectively to advance high-level city transformation in the face of heightened religious persecution.
100 Cities Summit
- Pray for high attendance at our 100 Cities Summit Closing Ceremony at the National Presbyterian Church. We have the capacity to seat 1,000 guests!
- Pray as we gather all Movement Day expression leaders for our inaugural Executive Directors gathering on November 26th. Pray that God would use each leader to cast the vision for the future of their respective expressions of Movement Day
- Pray for financial provision as leaders are coming from a wide array of countries all over the globe.
The Global Persecution of Christians
Open Doors Lists Top 10 Persecutors of Christians Worldwide
Over 215 million believers are persecuted with intimidation, prison, and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ across the world, Open Doors USA says in a report, listing the top 10 persecutors of Christians.
The report, released this week, notes that hostility against Christians is particularly intense in some areas "due to the focused efforts of either one person or a larger system bent on smashing or squeezing out Christians in the region." Half of the top 10 human rights offenders toward Christians are Islamist terror groups, including the Islamic State terror group, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. The brutal and targeted attacks from ISIS have driven many Christians to flee countries like Iraq, where Christianity has had a presence for nearly 2,000 years, the report says. "Ten years ago, there were nearly 1 million Christians living in Iraq, with a large majority of the population living in Mosul. Today, ISIS has been driven out of Iraq and Syria for the most part, but now they are spreading to Southeast Asia. Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi is the current leader of ISIS in western Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan," it notes. While Islamic State was listed as No. 1, the list is not comprehensive or in particular order, the ministry notes.
The second persecutor of Christians listed is the al-Qaeda terror group, which has not been in news much but "has continued to fight in countries throughout the Middle East, often marking Christian communities as specific targets." The report mentions particularly Yemen, where Christian converts from Islam are particularly at risk as they are already treated as outcasts by their own communities. "As Al-Qaeda takes advantage of distracted governments, Christians in their path experience intense persecution. Ayman al-Zawahiri is the current leader of Al-Qaeda."
The far-right Hindu nationalist movement" seeks to wipe out any religious expression, including Christianity, that falls outside of the Hindu faith, the report says. It mentions the Hindu nationalist association Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, which "has created a culture war and made it very dangerous and difficult for many Christians living in the region who are often forced out of villages, beaten and arrested for believing in Jesus." The governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in India is seen as the political wing of the RSS.
Fifth on the list is the al-Shabaab terror group, which is "in many ways the Eastern African version of al-Qaeda." "Al-Shabaab has terrorized the country of Somalia for the past decade and is recently focusing its attacks on the neighboring country of Kenya. In 2015, a Kenya college campus faced an attack where Christian students were specifically targeted, killing 148 in total. Any place al-Shabaab controls or operates under Sharia law, which includes the slaughtering of anyone who identifies as Christian."
Another top persecutor is the Boko Haram terror group in Nigeria, "whose belief is that any sort of Western influence is heresy, especially Christianity." "Boko Haram has conducted raids, bombings, and assassinations against any target it deems Western, especially churches and schools. They have taken out contracts on influential Christian leaders and are also at war with the Nigerian government," says the ministry.
Next on the list are Muslim Fulani herdsmen in northeastern Nigeria, who have been accused of aligning with Boko Haram.
The 2017 Global Terrorism Index described the herdsmen, who attack Christians regularly in southern Adamawa, as terrorists in 2014. According to the index, the Fulani are responsible for as many as 60,000 deaths since 2001. This week, Nigerian Christian leaders warned that if the current rate of massacres continue, with hundreds of believers being killed each month, Africa's most-populous nation is on the brink of decimating its Christian population by 2043.
Open Doors further identified as a top persecutor radical Islam, which continues to spread, "aiming to bring many parts of the world under Sharia Law." "The movement, which often results in Islamic militancy and persecution of Christians," is expanding in Asia, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and in African countries like Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia.
Also making the list are drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico. "On top of the danger that these groups bring to ordinary citizens, Christians are specifically targeted," the report says. "A soul won for Jesus is a soul lost for them," it quotes a pastor from Colombia as saying. "They know that too." "For this reason, Christian evangelists are particularly targeted. Drug cartel leaders know that they are the greatest threat to their way of life."
Rounding out the top 10 on the Open Doors list is "the ultimate enemy," or Satan. "It's easy to read this list and feel hopeless in the face of so much evil. However, in Ephesians 6 we're told our war isn't a physical war, it's a spiritual one. Behind all of the atrocities listed above is Satan, who prowls this world as a roaring lion," the ministry explains. "We are also told that God's kingdom is forcefully advancing, and that in the end, Satan is overthrown and all things are made new."
Open Doors said it published the list because "Jesus commanded us, directly, to pray for our enemies." "Pray that God would stop their actions, change their hearts and shine the brilliant light of the gospel onto their path." (Source: Christian Post - June 2018)
- For the over 200 million Christians worldwide suffering persecution with intimidation, prison, and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ across the world to experience the blessings of the Kingdom promised by Christ to those who suffer persecution for righteousness;
- For the leaders of ISIS, al-Qaeda terror group, Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations involved with the wide scale persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa to halt their evil actions against Christ and His church, to come to a full knowledge of Christ, and aid in the spread of the Gospel and expansion of God’s Kingdom worldwide.
384 Dead, Hundreds Injured in Indonesia Quake-Tsunami
Indonesian officials say at least 384 people died and 540 were injured following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake Friday and a subsequent tsunami that hit two cities - Palu and Donggala - in central Sulawesi province.
Authorities said Saturday hundreds of people were on the beach in Palu for a festival when the earthquake and tsunami struck, sweeping many people away to their deaths in the giant waves. National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the tsunami hit with a speed of 800 kilometers per hour, destroying buildings and infrastructure. He said thousands of houses, hospitals, shopping malls and hotels collapsed and a landslide has cut off Palu's main highway.onesi
An Indonesia emergency official said, "Bodies of victims were found in several places because they were hit by the rubble of collapsing buildings or swept by [the] tsunami." Power and telecommunications lines have been knocked out, hampering the rescue operations Saturday. There are conflicting reports about damage to the local airport and whether it will be able to receive relief aid. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. officials were in contact with Indonesian authorities and “stand ready to provide support as required.”
Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on Earth. It sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific basin. (Source: VOA News, September 29, 2018)
- For the success of aid operation now underway to provide relief to those afected by the earthquake in Indonesia.
- For the safety and protection of those involved aid operations.
- For God, by His sovereign grace to open the door for the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed throughout Indonesia.
North Korea continues to be the most hostile place in the world to be a Christian. According to Open Doors, anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 Christians are suffering in labor camps in that country.
In 2016, a report by the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide revealed the gruesome methods the communist government in North Korea has used to torture and kill Christians. "Documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot. A policy of guilt by association applies, meaning that the relatives of Christians are also detained regardless of whether they share the Christian belief."
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, met with President Donald Trump at a summit in Singapore in early June for an agreement on denuclearization. (Source: The Christian Post, June 28, 2018)
- For total intellectual and religious freedom of North Korean Christians that hangs in the balance and the rapid growth of the church in North Korea.
- For the Lord to respond to the desperate cries of the persecuted Church in North Korea, including the approximately 50,000 fellow believers serving long, harsh prisons terms in concentration camps.
- For the ongoing US Government’s peace settlement negotiation with North Korea to result in the advancement of religious freedom in North Korea.
Pastors in China Prepare to Lose Their Lives for Preaching the Gospel, Defying Communist Crackdown
In the face of an ongoing Communist crackdown, pastors in China have vowed to continue preaching the Gospel, even if it costs them their lives. Aaron Ma, a representative of Open Doors' Ministry in China, told The Christian Post in an email on Thursday that the watchdog group has so far heard of one case of Bible burning in the country.
"In this case, the authority confiscated belongings of the churches (including Bibles) and burnt them all," Ma said.
The incident, where Communist Party officials burned Bibles and crosses in Henan, was captured on video and shared online earlier this month by activists, including ChinaAid President Bob Fu, whose group monitors the persecution of believers in China. Concern has also risen over instances where state officials have been forcing some Christians to sign papers rejecting their faith. Ma relayed information from local Chinese pastors who revealed that the people pressured to sign such papers are secondary school students.
"They are tempted [and] threatened not to admit their Christian faith to avoid trouble. Their Christian faith is being challenged and tested," the Open Doors representative explained. As for how much weight such renunciation papers carry, and whether the believers who sign them are indeed considered to have left Christianity, he said: "Whether they would leave the Christian faith would depend on how their pastors and brothers and sisters in churches guide and encourage them to rebuild their faith."
Ma noted that the circumstances leading to the increasing crackdown on churches in recent years have been building for decades. While the country has had different religious regulations to manage religious activities since the Open Policy on economic development in the 1980s, enforcement of such regulation had been loosened. This allowed for churches to bloom throughout several provinces after the 2000s, with only larger unregistered churches with close overseas connections experiencing sporadic crackdowns. President Xi Jinping, and especially the revised religious regulations that took effect in February, have changed things. Ma said the regulations have led to more cases of shutting down churches, confiscation of church property, and the growing threat of landlords refusing to lease premises for church meetings.
"Along with the enforcement of revised religious regulation in February 2018 and increasing pressure of banning church meetings in unregistered religious venues, more and more local churches are preparing to divide into small groups for church meetings (depending on the region, some from 200 to less than 100, some from 100 to 30, some from 30 to 10), or even revert back to house meetings," he added. (Source: The Christian Post, September 22, 2018)
- Praise God for the survival, resilience and continued growth of the Christian community across China despite the various attempts by the Communist government to decimate the Christian faith in China.
- For all attempts by the Chinese Government to crack down on churches in an attempt to restrict the growth of the church across China to fail.
- For the continued growth of the church across China to facilitate the expansion of Christianity across Asia.