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

ISSUE 30-2017

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Friday 28 July 2017

Dear Ron,

My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)

We are pleased to enclose this week’s edition of Prayer Alert with apologies for the later delivery.

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Thank you again for standing with us in prayer over the nations.

David Fletcher – Editor

Pray 4 Nigeria Website

Prayer Alert from the Prayer Forum of the British Isles and Ireland


Praise Reports - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Eurasia: summer Bible camps

Praise God for the summer Bible camps that provide one of the only opportunities available to plant the seeds of faith in the hearts of millions of children throughout Eurasia who are trapped in poverty, hopelessness, and conflict. Many of these precious children live in areas hostile to Christianity or dominated by paganism and superstition, and we are called to love them as Jesus does. In Bible camps led by Next Generation Christian leaders this summer, an estimated 20,000 children will experience the love of Christian mentors and hear the gospel message in a fun, safe environment – away from the fear and poverty of their daily lives. For many of these children, this is the first and only time they will hear about Jesus.

Praise:

God for the eternal impact these camps have on young lives, and ask Him to release more camps and the finances to train teachers. (Romans 10:14,15)

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Radical Muslim gives life to Christ

Most stories coming out of war zones are disheartening, but every now and then there will be a reminder that God is still at work. Recently, Open Doors USA reported on the miraculous conversion of a Muslim extremist in war-torn Syria. He decided to give his life to Christ after witnessing a Christian church service. One of the pastors choosing to stay in the city was hosting a church event, feeding the community and then sharing the Gospel message. As he was preparing his sermon he saw a man with a beard without a moustache, an indication of fundamental, extremist Islam. They were concerned and prayed about it, then they invited him in, keeping an eye on him. They fed him, he heard the sermon, and then gave his life to Christ.

Praise:

God for such encouraging stories in places where people have lost so much. (Psalm 104:27, 28)

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

Friday Focus: the gift of rest

Do we know when to stop and how to take time out to restore our souls? Let’s remind ourselves that our God is a God of rest, a God who understands balance, who values down time. It is not good to be always busy, always active, always working. To give to others we must allow ourselves to rest in God. (Jude Levermore, the Methodist Church)

Pray:

Gracious God, we come to You mindful of our need for rest. Enable us to enter that rest. We ask not just for lazy days and sunshine, but for that deep refreshment that only You can give. Restore our souls, give us balance, that, revived and whole again, we can rise with You to the challenges of this world. (Hebrews 4:9-11)

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Modern church: keeping up with world values?

Justine Greening, equalities secretary, says the church should reflect ‘modern attitudes’ and public opinion, keep up with the modern world and allow same-sex couples to marry in church. The issue has split the church, which would have to call on the Government to change the law. Ms Greening told Sky News, ‘I think it is important that the church keeps up and is part of a modern country.’ Pray for God to lead His people; may they reject ‘modern man’ agendas in parliament and the media. Meanwhile disaffected conservative evangelicals are expressing wishes for an alternative Anglican structure in Britain. See also

Pray:

for the church to be full of boldness proclaiming the unique Kingdom values that are undiluted by human reasoning. (Romans 10:2,3)

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Modern church: digital labs

The Church of England has launched a programme called Digital Labs, and is looking for coders, creatives and techies with the skills and passion to use technology to reach more people for Christ. Pray for God to prompt those with the knowledge and ideas to create apps, websites, social media campaigns and programmes to hear His call into ministry. May God breathe Holy Spirit-powered innovative ideas and excitement about faith in Jesus across the internet, bringing renewal and addressing some of the deep-rooted missional challenges.

Pray:

for Digital Labs to break out across the nation becoming a key pillar of evangelism, reaching young and old with God’s presence and empowerment for future generations. (Isaiah 34:17)

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School holidays, hungry children

Foodbanks are appealing for more food than normal; the school holidays have started. For many parents, the summer holidays bring fresh challenges for meagre budgets. The Trussell Trust handed out 4,412 more three-day emergency food parcels for children last July and August than during the previous two months. Almost half go to primary school pupils, and 27% to children, including babies, under the age of four. School holidays financially stretch families struggling to get by. Without free school meals, and with extra childcare costs, families who just about stay afloat risk going under. There is a food poverty crisis in the UK, and the government is starved of ideas. In 2016 teachers reported children returning to school in September sluggish and visibly thinner. Pray for the parents skipping meals, or working out the smallest number of calories they can get by on, or only eating what is left on their children’s plates.

Pray:

for an end to holiday hunger austerity in one of the richest economies in the world. (Matthew 25:40)

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Grenfell Tower highlights inequality

Nearly two thousand homes are empty near the Grenfell Tower, while 100+ families are homeless. Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the tower, revealed that dozens of vacant homes may have been empty for 11 to 15 years. 260 properties stand vacant in southern parts of the borough, the opposite end to Grenfell in the poorer north. These vacant homes are associated with the ‘buy-to-leave’ phenomenon, which involves super-rich foreigners buying high-end properties not to live in, but as an investment. The fire has revealed a terrible message about social inequality in today’s cities. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced controversy when he called for Kensington homes left vacant by rich overseas investors to be ‘requisitioned’ for survivors, calling the borough ‘a tale of two cities’.

Pray:

for God to break into the conscience of those becoming rich at the expense of others. (Psalm 49:16,17a)

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Christian NHS worker’s legal battle

Yesterday Victoria Wasteney attended court in the next stage of her long legal battle. As head of forensic occupational therapy at a London hospital she was suspended for ‘gross misconduct’ for nine months and received a written warning, following allegations of ‘harassment and bullying’ by a Muslim staff-member. She appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal when the judge recognised the significance of her case in protecting religious freedom. The judge said that the tribunal should consider whether the original ruling had properly applied the European Convention on Human Rights’ strong protection of freedom of religion and expression. When she lost her appeal, Victoria applied for permission to appeal the tribunal’s decision to the Court of Appeal, but this was refused. She is now seeking to challenge this, with support from Christian Concern..

Pray:

for religious freedom to be protected and upheld in the UK. (Psalm 103:6)

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Sexual predator’s victim was failed at every turn

Care of the vulnerable is a measure of a civilised society. Care home placements for adults with complex needs are assessed and funded according to the nature and severity of mental/physical disability. T is unable to speak, has severe autism and epilepsy, and has been assessed as lacking the mental capacity to make decisions. He needs specialist care. He was stabbed 20+ times by another resident in his previous accommodation and had been moved to Hillgreen. JL, by contrast, is a predatory sex abuser, has mild learning disabilities, no mental disorder and a long history of sexual offending. He was transferred to Hillgreen while awaiting trial, charged with raping an autistic woman in his previous home. The two should never have been living under the same roof. Everyone at Hillgreen was aware of the risk JL posed. Outside the care home he was permanently under supervision. Inside, despite many warnings, he was subject to no such restrictions. JL raped T.

Pray:

for inspection units, the Care Quality Commission, police, homeowners, managers and carers to apply tougher standards of care and accountability in all cases. (Psalm 140:12)

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UK-EU freedom of movement ‘to end in March 2019’

A new immigration system will be in place by March 2019 when the free movement of people between the EU and the UK ends, said immigration minister Brandon Lewis, as the government commissioned a detailed assessment of the costs and benefits of EU migrants. That report is expected in September 2018, six months before Brexit. Home secretary Amber Rudd has promised business there will be no ‘cliff edge’ on immigration; the government’s final EU migration policy will be drawn up after the committee has produced its report. In the meantime there will be an ‘implementation phase’ which will involve new EU workers registering their details when they come to the UK. Immigration was one of the central topics of last year’s EU referendum campaign. Pray for God to be in the midst of all the extensive consultations that will need to take place as government ministers listen to the views of businesses, unions and universities.

Pray:

for the economic and social impact of Brexit to be a blessing not a curse. (Psalm 3:8)

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Europe - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Prayer needs of Europe

Holiday venues: pray for God to pour out his blessings on all the Christian summer camps for youth and adults during the next few weeks. Pray for protection from terror attacks wherever people gather this season. French politics: may God give grace to President Macron, who secured a majority in the National Assembly last month. He must seize a small window of opportunity for radical economic change, while not falling into the same trap as President Sarkozy, who faced a wave of paralyzing strikes after unveiling his first radical proposals. Pray for Macron to reverse France’s decline through wise management of the National Assembly. Migration crisis: pray for European and African ministers trying to regularise the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, coupled with a much tougher strategy to deport illegal migrants from Italy and break up smuggling rings. See also

Pray:

for God’s wisdom and creative ideas to flow through European leaders in this season of turbulence and change. (Proverbs 24:14)

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Poland’s constitutional crisis

The limits of the EU’s integrationist ambitions are being exposed by a fight between Poland’s hard-line conservative government and the European Commission, because Poland is failing to maintain the ‘rule of law’. There has long been a simmering east-west split over migration, and fundamental values have burst into open warfare. Many believe this constitutional crisis could pull Europe apart. Poland is accused of reneging on the commitment it made to maintain ‘stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and human rights’. An Article 7 sanction procedure will be triggered against Poland if it fails to address concerns over judicial reforms or starts firing Supreme Court judges. On Wednesday the European Commission set a one-month deadline for the Warsaw government to ‘solve all the problems identified’ in its judicial overhaul. The commission also set a red line for Poland, ‘if it decides to fire any of the Supreme Court judges’. Poland criticised the threats from the EU to halt their voting rights in the bloc as ‘blackmail’.

Pray:

for conversations to replace the bullying tactics currently being used to debate. (Proverbs 10:6)

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Worldwide - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

USA and UK aggression

‘A Study of War’ reports that from 1480 to 1940 England or the UK was involved in 77 of the 278 wars involving European countries. That percentage, 28%, is more than any other nation. The USA has been at war at home or somewhere in the world 219 years out of her 240 years of existence. On Monday Donald Trump’s senior military officer warned, ‘A strike against North Korea is not unimaginable’. Pray for Donald Trump to be a man of peace facing down warmongers. Meanwhile, Theresa May has been urged to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia. An Independent survey found that an overwhelming majority of the public are against Britain supplying billions of pounds of weapons to the kingdom. Since bombing Yemen began in 2015, the UK has licensed £3.3bn worth of arms, including £1.1bn worth of ML4 licences, which relate to bombs, missiles, and other explosives. See also

Pray:

for the Lord to place men and women in positions of authority in the UK and USA who will follow His ways of peace. (Luke 1:78b, 79)

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Canada: a call to prayer

Pray for Canadian young people to experience a true move of God, calling them to faith. Cry out for the new edition of Youth Alpha which will be launching this autumn; may the Lord use this tool and many like it to encounter a generation. Intercede also for businesses which are dedicated to kingdom purposes to have favour, breakthrough and supernatural activity. May they have divine strategies for wisdom and timing. It is vital that the Church becomes more Christ-centred. Pray for this summer to be a season of restoration, health, relationships, unity and faith. May whatever has been worn down over the past season receive supernatural restoration. It is time to see signs and wonders following and confirming gospel preaching. Cry out for these powerful, supernatural confirmations to be released from heaven. May healings be as common in the Canadian Church as they were in Jesus’ day and the Book of Acts.

Pray:

for the Canadian Church to be drawn anew into sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3); may all other distractions, fears, or goals fade into the background.

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USA: fewer are identifying with denominations

Americans have become less likely to identify with an official or formal religion in recent decades, and nowhere is this more evident than in the dwindling percentage who identify with a specific Protestant denomination. In 2000, 50% of Americans identified with a specific denomination; by 2016 that figure had dropped to 30%. The result of the poll showed that ‘while many Americans remain religious in a broad sense and may continue to seek spiritual guidance and community experience, a formal structure in which to do so has become less important’.

Pray:

for God to ignite fresh expressions of Church both in the USA and wherever in the world people gather in the power of the Holy Spirit, to meet with God through His Son Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19)

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Saudi Arabia: student sentenced to be beheaded

Mujtaba al-Sweikat, a Saudi Arabian young man, was accepted as a student at Western Michigan University, but is now facing imminent beheading in his home country for participation in pro-democracy protests. He was arrested and charged in 2012 at a Saudi airport on his way to the USA. He has been held since then and his execution sentence was given recently. Thirteen other minority Shi’ites are facing the same fate. After the recent sentencing, Mujtaba and the others were transferred to a prison in Riyadh where Saudi Arabia routinely carries out its executions. Many human rights groups and a large US teachers’ union are becoming involved, calling on President Trump to intervene. We can praise God that it is getting news coverage and drawing international attention because it involves a potential American student, but this is normal behaviour in Saudi Arabia.

Pray:

for God to use the current media interest to bring about powerful changes in Saudi laws and behaviour that currently reject the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ philosophy. (Isaiah 10:1)

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Iraq: ongoing power struggles

For centuries the social and political organisation of many Iraqis has centred on the tribe. Socially, tribes were divided into related sub-tribes, which further divided into clans, and then into extended families. Today 75% of Iraq’s people are members of a tribe with a strict honour code. Despite the liberation of most of IS-occupied areas, political differences and a struggle for power remain. There have been clashes between the Popular Mobilisation Units and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces near Kirkuk. Also, last week clashes between the Sunni Nineveh Guards and the Shi’ite faction of Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada took place in Mosul. There are fears that these clashes might expand into open warfare amid deep differences over the disputed tribal areas extending from the Iranian border, through Kirkuk province and into Yazidi areas near the Syrian border. Terrorists have also been exploiting tribal differences for years. For historical roots, see here

Pray:

for God to raise up a man of peace to bring stability to the land. May God break all divisive roots and bring the reconciliation, vision and hope that only He can bring. (1 Kings 4:24)

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Turkey: journalists defiant at terrorist trial

On Monday, at the start of their trial for terrorism, journalists from one of Turkey’s few remaining independent newspapers told an Istanbul court that they were facing persecution for being ‘independent, questioning and critical’. Seventeen reporters, editors, columnists and cartoonists from the Cumhuriyet newspaper, which has become a symbol of the collapsing press freedom in Turkey under the Erdogan government, appeared in court. Prosecutors accused them of being members of a terrorist organisation, the Islamist Gulen movement, which Mr Erdogan blames for last year’s attempted coup against him. In defiant statements before a courtroom packed with human rights activists and foreign diplomats, the journalists said they were victims of a government crackdown on a free press. Journalist Kadri Gursel was a strident critic of the Gulen movement but prosecutors say he was a secret member, and he faces fifteen years in prison if convicted. The chief executive could face up to 43 years in prison.

Pray:

for a just and free trial; for the international media interest in it to daunt the Turkish authorities and cause them to respect freedom of expression in the media and a healthy democracy. (Psalm 17:13,14)

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Nicaragua: despite suffering, God is on the move

Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, civil wars, and oppressive dictatorships all play a part in the story of Nicaragua. This nation of only 6.3 million people is physically the largest of the Central American republics. As it continues to face unending obstacles, leaving it one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, it also suffers from the ongoing conflict and violence associated with drug trafficking. There is poverty, there are broken families; but the suffering of many Nicaraguans has softened their hearts toward God. They are asking spiritual questions. Evangelicals have grown forty-fold in fifty years! Believers are growing in considerable influence, even in the government, but deep-seated poverty has also opened doors for false teachings such as liberation theology and prosperity gospel. Pray for seekers to be wise and discerning and for false teaching to be revealed for what it is – fake news, not good news.

Pray:

for God to bless, encourage and grow the ministry teams working in communities. May God magnify his work in Nicaragua, drawing many millions to Himself in these days of revelation. (Matthew 11:27)

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Prayer Alert is produced in partnership with The World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG, England.
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Prayer Alert – World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel street, Birmingham, B2 4BG United Kingdom

 

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