Palestinians are breaking with traditionA spiritual awakening in the White HouseDeclaring His GreatnessGreece – Unaccompanied child refugees detainedDenmark: Gangland shootings and terrorFriday Focus- Youth festivalsPrince Philip bows out of public lifeNHS: Drink deaths surge in Scotland – Vietnam: Nationalist gangs terrorise Christians – North Korea: What is the real threat? – More> 

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

ISSUE 31-2017

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Friday 4 August 2017

Dear Ron,

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ (1 Chronicles 16:31)

We are pleased to enclose this week’s edition of Prayer Alert.

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

Andy Page – For the Prayer Alert Team

Pray 4 Nigeria Website

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


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Palestinians are breaking with tradition

Palestinian women are scoring a sweet victory against gender discrimination in the West Bank by breaking with tradition and working alongside men at the largest pastry factory in Nablus. They are ignoring prejudices and competing with men for jobs that traditionally belonged to men. However the women only earn half of the amount of the men, even though they have proved to be more competent than the men. Now the factory, supported by women’s rights organisations, plan to provide pastry courses for other women who want to work.

Praise:

God for an initiative that gives women in the Palestinian territories independence and confidence. (Hebrews 10:35)

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A spiritual awakening in the White House.

Some of the most powerful Americans are gathering weekly to learn from God’s Word. The Trump Cabinet Bible Study is making history. They’ve been called the most evangelical cabinet since Jimmy Carter – men and women who don’t mince words when declaring where they stand on God and the Bible. Also on 11 July evangelical leaders spontaneously prayed with President Trump in the Oval Office during a day-long ‘listening session’ with the Office of Public Liaison. A former Liberty University vice-president posted pictures of the prayer time on social media saying, ‘It shows a substantive relationship between the evangelical community and this administration,’ See also

Praise:

God for prayer in the White House (Exodus 33:13) May the study of God’s Word shape policies.

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Declaring His Greatness

God is advancing His Kingdom in Turkey, despite last year’s attempted coup and the president’s cruel retribution on his people. Christian media are reporting more and more Turks having vivid dreams of Jesus. Christian prayer groups are springing up, people watch Christ preached on the Internet and respond. New Christians are evangelising openly to friends on the Internet. May God give protection, wisdom and boldness to the new converts living in dangerous areas.

Praise:

God that He is winning hearts in hard places (Romans 15:21)

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Friday Focus- Youth festivals

Festivals are often ‘mountaintop experiences’ where we feel the presence of God and hear his voice as Jesus did at the Transfiguration. Each summer we gather thousands of young people, seeing many encounter God in life-changing ways. The vital thing they – and we – must hear is that they are beloved children of God with whom he is well pleased. (Mike Pilavachi, Soul Survivor)

Pray:

Lord we pray that the young people in our church and community would know the love and acceptance of being children of God. We pray for those who make a commitment to follow Jesus at a festival or camp this summer that they may continue to grow in love for you and in understanding of your love for them. (Matthew 17:1-5)

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Intercessor Focus – Brexit smooth transition

It is now time to pray for the many ‘transition arrangements’ that are currently being talked about by government ministers ahead of the UK’s transition from EU control to British sovereignty. Financiers, bankers and investors believe transition arrangements will become the battleground of Brexit, and could become as controversial as the subject of membership itself. Different aspects of the UK’s departure from the EU will progress at different speeds. Some negotiations will take months to complete, some may take years. The Department for Exiting the EU estimates that 57 policy areas are affected by Brexit, producing potentially 57 Brexit varieties. Pray for God to establish strong, clear, negotiations for the break from EU control in each of the legislations and policies for agriculture, fisheries, customs, repatriation, immigration and justice. All very comprehensive with many dimensions, may God be in the new details and implementation at every step towards completion on 31 March 2019. (Linda Digby Prayer-Alert Team)

Pray:

for God’s perfect plans to be established in the UK and Europe. (Psalm 90:17)

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Update – NHS worker’s legal battle

Last week we prayed for religious freedom to be protected and upheld in the UK when Victoria Wasteney took her legal case to an Employment Appeal Tribunal. (see here) This appeal was refused and she is now taking her case to the European Courts. Victoria’s career has been damaged simply for reaching out to a Muslim colleague with whom she had a friendly, positive relationship, and who at the time seemed grateful for her Christian support. The ensuing court cases have not displayed justice. It evidences the increasing hostility towards Christians and Christianity in the UK.

Pray:

for Victoria and her legal team as they take her case to the European Court for breaches of her religious freedom and her right to a fair trial. (Psalm 103:6)

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Prince Philip bows out of public life

Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, bowed out of public life on 2 August with a final solo appearance at an official event, ending a distinguished royal career (also marked by occasional gaffes landing him in hot water). Prince Philip has been by the queen’s side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as ‘my strength and stay’. Arthur Edwards, a Christian, who worked with the royals for years, remembered his royal duties with fondness. He described the prince’s best attribute as kindness, saying ‘We saw that with Diana at her time of trouble. He’s a good Christian man, he attends a church service most weeks and when I’ve watched him in church he doesn’t just sit there – he has his own private thoughts and prayers.’ See also

Pray:

for God to give him continued good health and well-being.(Deuteronomy 2:7a)

More:

Jeremy Corbyn under pressure to condemn violent Venezuela regime

British MPs from all parties called for the Labour leader to state his current position with regard to supporting Venezuela’s leadership. International censure of Venezuela’s Mr Maduro grew following two opposition leaders being seized from their homes in the middle of the night after the sham election. (see this week’s Prayer-Alert Venezuela article, below). Mr Corbyn has previously praised Venezuela as a ‘better way of doing things’ under Mr Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chávez, and welcomed Chávez to London in 2006. Mr Maduro has described Mr Corbyn as a ‘friend of Venezuela’. The Labour leader lauded Mr Maduro’s regime in June 2015, saying that its achievements in housing, health, education and jobs were ‘a cause for celebration’. However, Venezuela has failed its citizens. There are food shortages, hyperinflation, citizens locked up, disappeared or murdered and there is a flow of cocaine from the country to Britain.

Pray:

for Jeremy Corbyn and all who stand for human rights in our government to evaluate the current Venezuela situation clearly and act with wisdom and discernment. (Job 34:4)

More:

NHS: Mental health unit delays in Northern Ireland

Adult mental health hospitals in Northern Ireland currently have a target of discharging patients within 7 days of their being declared medically fit. However, one mental health patient spent 1,235 days stranded in an acute unit awaiting discharge in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Over the past two years, 16 patients waited more than 100 days for discharge and five were delayed for more than a year. Discharged mental health patients are often placed in supported accommodation and a lack of these facilities can lead to delays. A spokesperson said, ‘Trust policy ensures community-based care and treatment is put in place as soon as possible for patients who can be safely discharged. But they can only be safely discharged when appropriate accommodation is available’.

Pray:

for adequate funding and staffing to enable trusts to develop more community-based care units for patients released from acute mental health wards (Job 30:24)

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NHS: Drink deaths surge in Scotland

Alcohol deaths are at their highest level since the peak of the recession. Health boards that have slashed funding for problem drinking are the worst hit. Six of the seven Scottish health boards cut spending on Alcohol and Drug Partnerships by around £700,000 last year, causing a surge in the number of people dying as a result of alcohol abuse. NHS Lanarkshire, which cut funding by 10% in 2016/17 experienced a 14% year-on-year increase in alcohol-related deaths, the highest number in the region for a decade. The statistics, produced by the National Records of Scotland, exclude suicides and accidental deaths where alcohol may have played a part. Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said, ‘I will be refreshing our Alcohol Strategy later this year’ and promised to consider taking steps to tackle alcohol-related harm.

Pray:

for the government and the NHS to provide more and better support to those who have a drink problem so that lives are turned around and not lost (Psalm 44:26)

More:

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Greece – Unaccompanied child refugees detained

The number of unaccompanied child migrants living in ‘dirty’ Greek detention centres has increased ‘alarmingly’, said Human Rights Watch. 117 were in police cells or custody centres in Greece at the end of July, compared to just two last November. Under Greek law the authorities should separate vulnerable minors into safe accommodation, where they are appointed guardians who represent them in legal proceedings. However, when there’s no room in safe shelters the authorities lock them in dirty, crowded police cells and immigration detention facilities, sometimes with unrelated adults, instead of being cared for.

Pray:

for God to prompt Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas to end automatic child detention and obey Greece’s duty of care for vulnerable children (Psalm 72:4)

More:

Denmark: Gangland shootings and terror

Copenhagen Police have extended a stop-and-search zone in an attempt to curb gang-related crime, after a series of shooting incidents in the city. The ordinances allow police to stop anyone within a predetermined area and search them for weapons without having probable cause. An organised crime group known as ‘Loyal to Familia’ is partly responsible for the gangland conflict behind the shootings. Loyal to Familia has spread across Denmark from its base in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen and now appears to have set its sights on Sweden. Swedish police said the gang is trying to build a presence in Malmö and Helsingborg. The gang became active in 2013 and has been involved in many conflicts with rival groups as it expands its territory. See also

Pray:

for God to give insights and heavenly discernment to the police, enabling them to protect local residents and remove criminals in ‘territory disputes’ in vulnerable areas (Psalm 12:7)

More:

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Israel: Lasting peace

Metal detectors placed outside a holy site in East Jerusalem brought long-existing tensions to a boiling point. Viewed as an Israeli attempt to assert control over the site, Palestinians responded with protests, boycotts, and even deadly clashes. This all came after the killing of two Israeli policeman by Israeli-Arab gunmen. Israel’s compliance in removing the detectors will not bring lasting peace. There is no end in sight to the conflict. Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, and Iran continue to threaten their existence. Every human attempt at reconciliation in the region has failed. Yet God is moving on both sides of this conflict. He loves Israeli Jews and Arabs and is actively drawing them to Himself. The number of Messianic Jews is rising dramatically, and the Christian Church in Israel is largely Arab. The peace and reconciliation Jesus offers transcends any man-made division. Peace in Israel rests in Him alone.

Pray:

for the peace of Jerusalem. Lord you say that if we ask for anything in your name you will do it so we ask in Jesus name for peace across Israel. (John 14:14)

More:

Vietnam: Nationalist gangs terrorise Christians

Churches must be officially registered with the authorities. A recently passed new law guaranteed religious freedom, but vague legislation banning religious activity that could ‘harm social order and/or national unity’ appears to give authorities freedom to crack down on religious freedom where it is deemed to be against the interests of the state. Vietnam’s communist government considers Christianity an opponent to the one-party state. Christians are facing harassment and violence. Gangs of nationalist youths have terrorised a Christian community in Song Ngoc, attacking a church and homes and targeting Christian business owners. Weeks of intimidation and low-level violence carried out in an orchestrated manner is being ignored by police. Church leaders helping impoverished local fishermen in a legal case following a marine pollution disaster have appealed to the authorities. Pray for church leaders to have strength as they stand against the government for the rights of poor fishermen.

Pray:

for the peace of God to guard the hearts and minds of the Christian community in Song Ngoc even as they face harassment and violence. (Philippians 4:7)

More:

Venezuela: A sham election

President Nicolás Maduro won a controversial election for a new Constituent Assembly with the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution, allowing him to replace the current National Assembly with an assembly of 545 members nominated by his administration. The impoverished nation – wracked by an economic crisis, hyperinflation, food shortages, medicine shortages, starvation, skyrocketing infant mortality, civil unrest and street violence – has endured months of anti-government protests with many violent deaths. Maduro said his new Assembly ‘would bring peace to a polarised country, with all branches of the government falling under the political movement.’ Two of Australia’s major trade unions pledged support for the socialist dictator of Venezuela and his Bolivarian Revolution Socialist Government while America has imposed sanctions and the international community are discussing ways to stabilise the country after allegations of election ballot fraud. See also

Pray:

for God to prompt the international community to help Venezuela to avoid a worsening crisis and to support Maduro through transition to a prosperous democracy, not dictatorship (Proverbs 28:2)

More:

Australia: Enemies of Christianity at work

A non-Christian journalist called the Christians of Australia to ‘open your eyes to what is happening around you and prepare for persecution in the dark days ahead’. He calls for strong Church leaders to arise. He said that ‘whilst I am not a Christian I stand amazed that Christian bishops and ministers are not warning Christians of what is already breaking over their heads.’ He comments on Queensland’s Education Department warning schools against letting students speak about Jesus in the playground; two Christian preachers summoned to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for preaching their faith’s stand on traditional marriage; Sydney University’s Student Union threatening to deregister their Evangelical Union unless it stopped members declaring their faith in Christ; Coopers Brewery being bullied into taking down a video of a Christian MP debating same-sex marriage; and IBM, PwC and Sydney University being lobbied to punish staff belonging to Christian groups opposed to same-sex marriage. And the list goes on.

Pray:

for God to protect and strengthen the mindset of Australian Christians, asking Him to use His Church to bless Australia with a demonstration of His mightiness. (Psalm 68:28)

More:

North Korea: What is the real threat?

An award-winning professor and author of four books on North Korea says that not only is North Korea’s current instability, violent attitude and weaponry, including missiles a threat to Asia, United States, key regions in the Middle East and Africa, but there is also the threat that North Korea’s collapse could unleash a variety of their military systems into the black market for sale to Iran and Syria. He, and others, believe that the two ways to contain this threat are tactical and strategic. A tactical approach would be an increased ballistic missile defence system providing a realistic umbrella against nuclear attack. The strategic way means going after banks and front companies globally where Pyongyang launders the dirty money it uses (much of it gained from military proliferation). It is important to note that when it comes to targeting North Korea’s dirty money there are mafia-like illicit financial networks in Singapore, Malaysia, Africa and China.

Pray:

for Japan, South Korea, USA, UK and others to be given wise strategies for the situation and for God to brood over the world, giving Kingdom integrity where it’s needed (Psalm 50:1)

More:

Laos: Homeless

‘A’ woke up to the sounds of someone burning her house down. She grabbed her baby son and escaped. This was one of many hardships she had faced since deciding to leave her tribe’s traditional religion and follow Jesus. Laotians believe Christianity is an American religion. When someone in the community becomes a Christian, the community worries that the spirits they worship will be offended, and that the community might also suffer ill-effects as a result. ‘K’, his wife and daughter were recently evicted from their home by their eldest son. ‘K’ is a Christian leader of a church that he planted years ago after moving to the unreached region as a missionary. ‘K’s son despises his parents’ faith and drank and used drugs. He demanded his inheritance from his father and said that the house should be his portion. K and his family now live under a roof in a rice field.

Pray:

for A and K and their families. Pray for protection for the other Christians in Laos helping the Christians and their families. (Romans 8:35)

More:

New Zealand: Income equality and housing

New Zealanders will elect 120 parliamentarians for its House of Representatives in the general election on 23 September. The Anglican Diocese of Wellington see the housing crisis as ‘a key issue’. Many can’t afford a home, struggle to pay rent, are forced to pay for a motel or sleep in their car because of the lack of social housing. Children get sick because their home is too damp and cold. Bishop of Wellington, Justin Duckworth is calling the diocese to a period of prayer, reflection and action ahead of the election. ‘As homeowners, renters, landlords, communities and voters we will consider the part each of us can play, and listen to God’s call.’ he said. Throughout August, the diocese is encouraging Anglicans to use reflection, resources and videos of other Christians’ creative responses so that their hearts and lives are opened to respond personally to this crisis. On 27 August churches will hold ‘services of lament’ for people living without stable or adequate housing.

Pray:

for a living wage and a more equal New Zealand where everyone has the resources they need to build a good life for their families and community (Psalm 107:41)

More:

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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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