Prayer Alert Issue 21-2017 –

Italy: thousands march for lifeActs of kindness Friday Focus: Thy Kingdom ComeElection manifesto agendasKnife crime increasing alarmingly – Afghanistan: warlord joins the governmentIsrael: Netanyahu sees hope for peaceSudan: government campaign against Christians – More>

Prayer Alert - Informing and equipping Christians - Online and to Inbox
Informing and equipping Christians – Online and to Inbox

ISSUE 21-2017

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Friday 26 May 2017


Praise Reports - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Acts of kindness

Monday’s devastating attack in Manchester can cause us to think that there is nothing good in the world. It can feel paralysing not to be able to do anything, but it is good for the soul to hear of small kindnesses. In between spreading fake news, social media has been filled with examples of helpers supporting the emergency services, and their community. Here are some examples:. #RoomForManchester saw people and hotels offering up their spare beds. #Anybody stuck in Manchester tonight I have a spare room and I just made some really nice soup. #I live 5 mins from the Manchester Arena. I have sofa bed, food/drink and phone chargers if anyone needs any help. Cabbies offered their services free to get people back to where they needed to be; some even drove from Liverpool to help. People queued to donate blood, or brewed tea for the police and emergency services still on call.

Praise:

God for the response of the community in acts of compassion, kindness and care. Pray that this event will not be used by the enemy to generate fear and hatred. (Matthew 5:44)

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Italy: thousands march for life

Last Monday In Rome, thousands of Italians marched against abortion and euthanasia at their annual March for Life. Participants included Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the USA. The march is ‘taking on a life of its own,’ said a commentator. There were various groups of priests, Franciscan friars, youth groups, families, a group of bagpipers from Tradition, Family, Property, the Italian branch of Rachel’s Vineyard, and many other Christian organisations. The march ended with a rally at which abortion survivor Gianna Jessen urged pro-lifers to be ‘unashamed of Jesus’.

Praise:

God for the development and drive of this march. Pray that He will win this life or death battle. (Psalm 118:17)

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British Isles and Ireland - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Protection

A declaration posted on Passion for the Nation states, ‘In the Name of Jesus, we release hope, healing and comfort to all those affected by Monday’s terrorist attack: victims, families, young people and all the emergency services. We come into agreement with God’s word in Job 22:28, ‘You shall declare a thing and it shall be established’. As Your Ekklesia, we stand and declare over our nation that ‘God’s plans are for good and not for evil’. In the Name of Jesus, we enforce God’s original plans for peace, mercy and hope over and against every plan and purpose of Satan to bring death or destruction and we declare this nation will be a place of safety. We declare that You, Lord God, are the one in whom we put our trust. We declare to every enemy cell, group, network and structure that exists within our communities, regions and nation – your relationships will falter, arguments and disagreements will increase and funding structures, recruitment structures and internet connections will dissolve.’

Pray:

for light in every dark place, for evil plots to be discovered and defeated, and for those who work and plan death and destruction to be discovered. (Job 12:22)

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Friday Focus: Thy Kingdom Come

Prayer happens when we have a challenge we can’t meet by our own resources. As none of us has the resources to bring someone to faith in Jesus Christ, we have to ask the Holy Spirit for help. Thy Kingdom Come is an invitation to do just that – so that through our witness others can come to know Jesus Christ. (written by the Thy Kingdom Come team)

Pray:

Almighty God, Your ascended Son has sent us into the world to preach the good news of Your Kingdom. Inspire us with Your Spirit and fill our hearts with the fire of Your love, that all who hear Your Word may be drawn to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Luke 11: 9-13)

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IS warns of further attacks on Christians

The UK terror threat is at its highest level of ‘critical’ after the Manchester bombing. There are fears that more attacks may be imminent. IS praised the Manchester bomber, and promised ‘more severe attacks on the worshippers of the Cross and their allies’. Pray for secular and Christian event organisers as they work with police and paramilitaries reviewing security ahead of the summer season of celebrations. Pray for the stalls of exhibitors to hold no secret devices, and for tent event activities and outdoor celebrations to be unhindered – for example at the ten-day Hay Festival, from 25 May to 4 June, which draws crowds of thousands. See also

Pray:

for the values being celebrated at events to advance, for campers and visitors to feel safe and at peace, and to allow extra time for arrival and be prepared for luggage and bag searches. (Psalm 17:8)

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Every vote counts

Every election is important, and many believe this next government will be strategic in this season of praying and working towards a harvest. Across the UK we are seeing significant numbers of people becoming Christians, more unity between churches and organisations, and people of other faiths having visions of Jesus. But there is growing uncertainty, with more mental health issues, homelessness, poverty, addiction, and broken families. Elections are contested spiritually. Satan will be resisting God’s sovereign purpose. It is time to pray that our extraordinary, merciful Father will touch our nations. Paul reminds us that it is God’s plan to have the right people in authority to enable people to be saved (1Timothy 2:1-4). With this in mind the World Prayer Centre has put together a document with prayer points for each day from 25 May to 12 June. To access this resource click the ‘More’ link.

Pray:

for many to seek God and rely on Him to lead and inspire our prayers at this time. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

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Britain and Albania’s children

One in eight young people seeking asylum in the UK are from the impoverished Balkan state of Albania. There is little to do in Skenderbeu, a remote town in the mountains where jobs are few and poverty rife. Edison sees only one way out: ‘I want to go to England for a better life. I’ll do any work. My brother and my friends have already gone. I’m jealous. This is my dream.’ His brother left the town four years ago, one of hundreds of boys from this region – some as young as thirteen – whose families pay thousands of pounds to people-smugglers to take them to Britain. Every family seems to have at least one relative in London, many of whom end up working illegally on building sites or in car washes. The little town survives on money sent from Britain. Officials estimate youth unemployment in Albania could be as high at 80%.

Pray:

for support for those entering the UK, fleeing poverty. Pray also for wisdom for governments and policy-makers in the midst of the ongoing refugee crisis. (Psalm 140:12)

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Election manifesto agendas

The main parties have published their policies. But how many voters will read the manifestos? Prophecy Today has highlighted things that reveal the spirit behind their promises. Two of the social issues cropping up across all three are extending sex education to all children and promoting LGBT+ lifestyles. The Conservatives ‘will introduce comprehensive relationships and sex education in all primary and secondary schools’. Labour will ‘make age-appropriate sex and relationship education a compulsory part of the curriculum, and ensure all teachers receive ongoing training on how to address relationships and sex education that is LGBT inclusive.’ The Liberal Democrats will ‘include teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content’. For further insights into how the parties will tackle hate crime, strengthen equalities laws, and promote humanist values, click the ‘More’ button.

Pray:

for the next group of politicians who will govern the UK to be morally in tune with God’s word, and avoid being driven by current culture values and society’s ‘standards’. (John 17:15)

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Knife crime increasing alarmingly

The latest Office for National Statistics report shows increases in high-harm / small-volume violent crime. On the day it was released, a Londoner received critical stab wounds to his head while trying to stop a robbery. Londoners fear that they are in the midst of a crime wave. ‘The demographic of hospital patients is changing from a night-time activity involving drugs and a dark alley to attacks in broad daylight. It’s no longer unusual to go to stabbings of schoolchildren outside their schools in daylight hours,’ said an Air Ambulance medical director. Scotland Yard has set up a specialist task force to combat the problem, with community leaders claiming that some children as young as six are carrying knives. So far this year, thirty people have been stabbed to death in London, a rise of almost a third. 300 knives were seized in seven days by officers across the capital. See also

Pray:

for police, parents and teachers to be in step with God’s Spirit as they combat crime. (Galatians 5:25)

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Europe - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

European leaders hoping for Trump’s favour

Brussels, which he called a ‘hellhole,’ the European Union, which he called ‘a vehicle for Germany,’ and NATO, which he called ‘obsolete,’ welcomed President Trump on Wednesday. Security was tight after the Manchester terrorist attack on Monday, with police brought in from all over Belgium and some neighbouring countries. The two-day visit was studded with deliberately brief meetings and only modest substance. This was a chance for President Trump to meet and greet about thirty European leaders, and for them to try to get him to understand more fully the importance of the EU and NATO in keeping the peace. They hope for praise and support from Mr Trump, who has aligned himself more with the critics of the EU.

Pray:

for positive dialogue between the president, the EU, and NATO to be the foundation for future cooperation – particularly with regards to counter-terrorism. (1 Chronicles 13:4)

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Italy: Mediterranean journeys from Libya

Italy’s coastguard reports that at least 34 migrants (some of them children) have drowned off the Libyan coast. The overcrowded boat was carrying about 500 migrants when it listed, sending about 200 people into the water, and triggering a frantic search for survivors. Good weather has prompted an increase in the number of migrants leaving Libya for Italy. The waters are busy with Italian and Libyan coastguard boats, humanitarian vessels, and even scavenger boats hoping to recover abandoned equipment. An NGO reported a Libyan coastguard vessel firing gunshots as it conducted a rescue. The boat was already carrying migrants, presumably picked up from other vessels, who panicked and threw themselves overboard, only to be shot at. ‘We cannot say whether and how many dead there were,’ the 25-year-old captain, named Jonas, was quoted as saying. ‘We had to be careful not to get a bullet ourselves. We are speechless against this crude violence.’

Pray:

for the migrants fleeing war, poverty and persecution, housed in Libyan camps (notorious for human right abuses) as they wait for opportunities to make terror-ridden journeys to Europe. (Psalm 10:1)

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Worldwide - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Afghanistan: warlord joins the government

A missionary writes, ‘Thank you for praying for our recent International Board meeting (see here). Board members and country directors are freshly united in our vision to see unreached people groups reached with the Good News. We ask for further prayers for an increasingly dangerous situation. The Taliban now control 50% of Afghanistan, and the former Hisbi-i-Islami leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar is ‘working with’ the Afghan government. He is nicknamed the Butcher of Kabul, for killing thousands of Afghans. At a rally in Kabul he asked his Taliban ‘brothers’ to join the peace process while outside the stadium Afghans demonstrated against him. This sad decision by parts of the government has caused further division in the government and the people.’ The inclusion of Hekmatyar in the volatile political powderkeg of Afghan politics is a gamble. He has never been a team player, and has never worked for anyone else. The influence of the Taliban, their allies and IS needs to be completely broken.

Pray:

for wisdom for the government in dealing with an unrepentant war criminal who could destroy the fragile unity among the different ethnic and political groups. (1 Chronicles 5:20)

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Egypt: Jesus and tourism

Egypt’s tourism minister recently met Vatican tourism officials in Rome, to discuss the idea of expanding the country’s religious tourism map by adding the route that Jesus, Mary and Joseph are believed to have used when fleeing Palestine. Egypt aims to boost an industry that has been hit hard since the 2011 revolution, and hopes that highlighting its religious heritage will attract many visitors. In 2005, there was a plan to feature the holy family’s connection and journey, but it never got off the ground. A committee was established last year to revive it, but little has been accomplished so far. Tourism has long been a major source of income for the country. Historically Egypt was a sign of hope, refuge and help. When the region suffered famine, Jacob and his sons went to Egypt. When Jesus was persecuted, he was taken there. Pray for Jesus, not tourism, to bring hope to Egypt today.

Pray:

for Egyptian Christians to play a key role in bringing harmony and hope to Egypt. (Jeremiah 29:11)

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Kenya: police abuse of power

Praise God for the release of a new advocacy song by a Kenyan artist calling for an end to police abuse of power. The International Justice Mission (IJM) has been working with partners in the human rights community in Kenya to raise awareness of police abuse and create public demand for change. IJM hosted an event for the launch of the song, which was covered widely by local media and highlighted the need for radical transformation in the police service. Please pray that this support will continue to grow, and that we will see a response from Kenya’s leaders to bring this abuse to an end. Last year a television channel broadcast shocking images of police descending on protesters with water cannons, batons and tear gas, beating and bloodying people. Kenya’s police chief called for internal investigations, but not much has changed. See also

Pray:

for God to remove the roots of repression that spring up repeatedly through the years. (Isaiah 58:6)

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Israel: Netanyahu sees hope for peace

This week, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope for the possibility of a diplomatic resolution with the Palestinians, and with the Arab world in general, under Donald Trump’s tutelage. Speaking at a festive dinner at his residence in Jerusalem, Mr Netanyahu told Mr Trump that he looked forward to working closely with him to advance peace in the region – ‘because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners’. Mr Netanyahu was referring to the reported change in the stance of Sunni Arab states in the region, who are shifting away from animosity towards Israel towards a possible working relationship.

Pray:

for new and promising agendas of hope and change. (Romans 5:3b- 5b)

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Ukraine: media crisis

The Russian media is repeatedly criticised for the use of misleading images, false narratives, misrepresentation, suppression and fabricated news stories when it comes to Ukraine. A regular claim has been that the Ukrainian army is committing ‘genocide’ against Russian-speakers who state that they strongly desire Russia to ‘protect’ them against Kiev. The media battle between the two countries has not gone away: neither has spasmodic cross-border fighting, regardless of ‘ceasefires’. On 15 May, a decree banned access to the country’s most popular social networking sites and other Russian-based web businesses. This was described as a ‘national security measure’, part of economic sanctions against Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has sent weapons, equipment, and troops to support and fuel the separatist side in the war in eastern Ukraine.

Pray:

for an end to cross-border battles fuelled by media. Pray that Russia will not retaliate. (Genesis 26:28b)

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Global: terrorism and prayer

On Wednesday in Iraq, an IS booby-trap killed a family of twenty-three, including pregnant women and children. In Indonesia, two suicide bombs detonated outside a bus terminal, killing three guards. In Somalia, five people were killed by a Shahid suicide bomber, and in Syria children were among fifteen civilians killed by IS. Last Saturday Islamic terrorists opened fire on Nigerian villagers, killing at least seven. The list goes on. Manchester brought terrorism to the UK, but so far this year there have been 496 terrorist attacks globally, with 3,292 fatalities. We can’t remove terrorism, but God can change hearts, situations and nations. He can use situations and circumstances in Iran, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia, Bangladesh and other nations being shaken to achieve His purposes. Terrorism is a big concept, but our God is bigger.

Pray:

for God to break Boko Haram, IS, PKK, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, Taliban and all satanic systems. (Rev. 7:10)

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Sudan: government campaign against Christians

Recently, members of the Sudan Church of Christ gathered for worship in the Khartoum suburb of Soba al Aradi. Before the service began, a bulldozer rumbled toward the church and demolished it, the last church still standing in the area. In 2011, the Sudanese government demolished twelve churches in the same suburb, as part of its announced plan to destroy 27 churches. Sudan’s president, Umar al-Bashir, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes. Nevertheless, he continues his campaign to rid Sudan of Christians, demolishing church buildings around Khartoum and routinely bombing Christian villages in the Nuba Mountains to the south. Pray for pastors who are experiencing persecution and have had property confiscated, for Christians in various prisons throughout Sudan, and for Christian communities experiencing bombing campaigns in their schools and hospitals.

Pray:

for God to protect, encourage and embolden the Sudanese Christians, and for the Lord Jesus to reveal himself powerfully to those not yet in his Kingdom. (Psalm 72:13)

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Prayer Forum of British Isles and Ireland - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

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Prayer Alert is produced in partnership with The World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG, England.
The views expressed in Prayer Alert and on our website are those of the authors, organisations and websites named, and are not necessarily those of the Prayer Alert Editorial Team, the Prayer Alert Steering Group or the World Prayer Centre or any of its employees or trustees. While we try to ensure that the information we provide is correct, mistakes do occur and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our material. If you do notice any mistakes then please let us know.

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