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

ISSUE 34-2017

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Friday 25 August 2017

Dear Ron,

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

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.

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

Victory for a street preacher

Ian Sleeper, a Christian street preacher, was arrested and held for thirteen hours in a police cell after displaying placards depicting love for Muslims and criticising the ideology of Islam. He was released on bail as the CPS could not decide whether to charge him. Strict conditions were imposed, preventing him from going into Southwark. He was on bail for six weeks before the police finally decided to take no further action. He said, ‘It is reassuring that I have not been charged for seeking to expose the truth about Islam. Truth cannot be taken for granted in our modern world, so I will be back out on the street soon.’

Praise:

God for the UK justice system and the laws upholding freedom of speech; may they never be changed. (Psalm 37:28a)

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Papua New Guinea: translation training courses

People in PNG travel many miles to study Bible history, culture, and grammar. They learn how to translate scripture into their own language so that their people can see the full, precise beauty of God’s Word. Each translator has a unique story of how God led them into this important work. Kika shared a little of her testimony: ‘I had been teaching children’s ministry for 27 years, and didn’t expect God to call me to something new. Then I dreamt that the sky opened and two people came down from heaven. I could feel the presence of God upon me, it was a very holy moment.’ The next year she joined the Bible translation team. ‘The work is hard but I am thankful to God for the opportunity to serve my people through Bible translation. I know that the Lord is with me, and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.’

Praise:

God for people like Kika who recognise the call of God on their lives and are obedient to His voice, regardless of the cost, knowing He is with them every step along the way. (Isaiah 30:21)

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

Friday Focus: pray for our family

As an evangelist my greatest calling is to reach my family. ‘Your whole family is going to be in heaven with you, son’ was the whisper of the Spirit into my heart months ago as my youngest daughter met Jesus. Years of prayer answered. Pray daily for your wider family: I still pray with that promise in my heart. (Carl Beech, the Message Trust)

Pray:

Heavenly Father, I pray today for my family, immediate and wider. Please rest Your Spirit upon them, reveal Yourself to them, and visit them with Your grace. I know You desire that all would know You, so I ask You now to touch the lives of all those in my family who don’t yet know Jesus. Amen. (Acts 16:34)

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Education systems and human prejudice

America’s founding statement that ‘all are created equal’ is forgotten as racism grows there. It grows wherever cultures clash. In the UK teachers spend considerable amounts of learning time dealing with bullying, hate crime, and non-attendance arising from prejudice. One teacher said, ‘I’ve spent countless hours dealing with verbal and physical conflict rooted in fear of difference. In some cases this was triggered by children repeating the views of parents harbouring prejudices of their own.’ She added that there had been an upswing in racism incidents since the 2015 election, when UKIP anti-foreigner rhetoric cascaded from parent to child to playground. Prejudiced views left unchallenged within the education system could ultimately lead to involvement in hate groups and hate crimes by young people who deserve better.

Pray:

for education about difference/prejudice, compassion/inclusion to be in school curricula so that people in the future will no longer be attacked because of skin colour or accent. (Matthew 7:1)

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56,000 migration attempts in a year

More than 56,000 attempts were made to get into Kent from France in 2016. That is an average of 153 attempts a day and is the second highest in seven years, despite dropping by 25,000 compared to 2015. The Home Office said the decrease was a ‘success’. Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said it was shocking: ‘The figures underline the true scale of the challenge we face, and why we need more investment at our border.’ Pray for the Home Office, Border Force, and their French counterparts as they maintain border security and keep legitimate passengers and trade moving.

Pray:

for asylum seekers to be given the help they need, for those seeking work to find it at the point of entry to Europe, and for authorities to discern undercover slavery and terrorists. (Deuteronomy 4:6)

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Manchester Resilience Hub

The Manchester Arena attack on 22 May was a traumatic event which has caused severe emotional shock to many of those directly affected by it. These could be survivors, family members of victims, professionals who dealt with the event at the time, or professionals seeking clinical advice about their service users needing help. In response to these needs, the NHS Manchester Resilience Hub has been established. It will coordinate care and support for children, young people, and adults whose mental health and/or emotional well-being has been affected by the incident. The Hub is based in Greater Manchester but is for everyone who was affected, wherever they may live. It offers phone-based advice, support, and information, and can make calls on survivors’ behalf if they are struggling to get the help they need. Pray for the trained mental health professionals and voluntary sector counselling agencies who will be delivering this service.

Pray:

for promotion of this service to be widely generated so that all who need counselling help will come to hear about it and receive the therapies they need. (Philippians 4:7)

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Widespread flash floods

West Yorkshire fire service received 23 flood-related calls on Wednesday, the day after over a hundred people had been rescued in Northern Ireland (NI) after being trapped by overnight flooding. In Londonderry and Tyrone 93 people were trapped in cars or homes by floods. At one point the NI fire service received emergency calls every 45 seconds. 63% of the average August rainfall fell in nine hours. The coastguard rescued over thirty people, with helicopters brought in from Scotland, Wales and Sligo. Three thousand homes were without power after lightning struck transformers, bridges collapsed, and Derry Airport was flooded. The NI department for infrastructure said the Red Cross and Western Trust had organised temporary accommodation centres. Emergency financial assistance, administered by councils, will help residents significantly affected by flooding within their homes.

Pray:

for compensation to be released quickly to all whose businesses and homes have been destroyed, and for well-organised communication between the agencies repairing infrastructure. (Psalm 23:3a)

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Disabled people and spending cuts

Campaigners claim that disabled people are being ‘increasingly marginalised and shut out of society’ as they bear the brunt of Government spending cuts, most notably in their right to independent living. There are calls for the UK to take the human rights of disabled people more seriously, as officials prepare for an examination on the issue at the UN. The UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had previously commented that the UK’s welfare reforms led to ‘grave and systematic violations’ of disabled people’s rights. The Government strongly disagreed, saying that the UK is a world leader in disability rights and spends billions of pounds to support those with disabilities and health conditions every year.

Pray:

for disabled people to receive the support they need to live independently and exercise choice and control over their support. (Psalm 41:1a)

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Hospital ‘fed patients pills in ice cream’

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth has been given a formal warning by the Care Quality Commission over its very poor care standards. Staff were seen secretly feeding antibiotics to patients by hiding the medication in their ice-cream. Two others had medicines secretly mixed with their meals, with no records to support the practice, which is against medical guidelines. Inspectors had to intervene and help a choking patient when two staff members failed to act. The CQC raised concerns about two babies being sent home despite having ‘bruising of unknown origin’. Inspectors learned of two mental health patients absconding from a unit which treated vulnerable teenagers alongside suicidal adults. Patient Jenny White said she witnessed an elderly lady being ‘torn off a strip’ for wetting her bed after being told no commode was available.

Pray:

for more people to train in medicine and elderly care, for improved ratios of staff per patient on busy wards, and sturdier implementation of quality care within NHS line management. (Proverbs 28:4,5a)

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Europe - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Germany: feud with Turkey, Alternative for Germany (AfD) perjury

President Erdogan labelled mainstream German political parties and their leaders – including Mrs Merkel – ‘enemies of Turkey’, and called on Turks not to vote for them in Germany’s elections on 24 September. This raised hackles on the German side; Mrs Merkel called it ‘meddling’ in German elections, saying that voters had the right to vote freely, regardless of background. SPD leader Martin Schulz said Erdogan ‘had lost any sense of proportion.’ Meanwhile, AfD leader Frauke Petry faces a perjury fight. Ms Petry moved the AfD to the right after it was founded as an anti-euro movement. In 2016, amid the influx of migrants and refugees into Germany, she suggested that police should ‘if necessary’ shoot at migrants seeking to enter illegally. Now there are calls for her to lose her immunity from prosecution over allegations of perjury (she is suspected of making false statements under oath before a parliamentary committee in November 2015). AfD hopes to enter Berlin’s parliament in September’s election. See also

Pray:

for angry exchanges between Germany and Turkey to be limited to verbal jousting, and for God to raise up wise and honourable politicians to stand in Germany’s election. (Proverbs 8:16)

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Europe: terrorists posing as migrants

Faiez Serraj, head of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli, has said that Europe is at risk from terrorists posing as migrants unless western capitals help Libya stem the numbers crossing the Mediterranean. He claimed that would-be terrorists were among the tens of thousands of people passing unvetted into Italy across its open southern borders. If this is the case, all the EU will be affected. His comments follow last week’s terrorist attacks in Spain, which police have linked to radical groups in North Africa. Nearly 98,000 migrants have crossed from Libya to Italy this year, almost as many as last year, and there are at least another 700,000 in the country. There is clear evidence of a modern-day slave trade on these routes, and Italy’s social and democratic fabric is under threat amid growing public intolerance to migrants.

Pray:

for God to inspire the Libyan, EU and UN leaders with a workable plan to police borders and end the modern day migrant slave-trade. (Proverbs 18:5)

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Worldwide - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Mongolia: Christian outreach

CBN News joined 46 Christians from Russia going to remote Mongolian provinces where few have heard of Christ’s love. 17-year-old Alena Barsokov said, ‘What I am attempting to do is raise a new generation of Russian believers who will have an understanding of Christ’s love for the world and the role they must play in bringing that Good News to the unreached.’ This is her third visit to Mongolia. She has wanted to be a missionary since the age of 9. Accompanying her was Natasha Gorodnuk, on her first trip. She wants to serve as a missionary to Nepal. ‘Every time I think about it, my heart breaks because I know the calling on my life and I know what I’m supposed to do,’ Natasha said. For several weeks Natasha, Alena and 44 other Russians partnered with Mongolian Christians to hold evangelistic camps for young people in remote regions of the country.

Pray:

for God to continue to reveal His purposes to the nations through this generation. (Matthew 11:25)

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Asia: blasphemy battles

The Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued a report on blasphemy laws globally. The five worst-scoring nations are Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Qatar, while 71 of the world’s 195 countries penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and death. In Indonesia the influence of radical Islam is being felt, with some districts adopting highly restrictive bylaws; but, praise God, a Jakarta Baptist pastor reports that Christianity is growing there. Pakistan’s Christians fear a rise in persecution after the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pray for God to cover them with His canopy, particularly the growing 24/7 prayer cells. The Iranian government is particularly concerned about the rise of Christianity, especially among youths. Islamic seminary officials are calling on the government to ‘stop the spread’ of the faith. Ask God to release even more of His angels into the battle between dark and light over Asia.

Pray:

for God’s powerful protection, and a mighty evangelistic anointing for all His people working where there is no religious freedom. (Ephesians 6:12)

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Pakistan: millions at risk from arsenic

It is called the largest mass poisoning in history. Wells drilled in the Indian subcontinent in the 1970s exposed millions to arsenic leaching into their drinking water from surrounding rocks and soil; this has caused skin lesions, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodevelopmental delays. A new study now suggests that up to sixty million Pakistanis might also be exposed to contaminated water. The World Health Organisation warned in the 1990s that up to 77 million people in Bangladesh were in danger of drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, and 200 million people in Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam were exposed to concentrations exceeding the recommended limit. Experts hope this new study will motivate Pakistan’s authorities to test wells in high-risk areas and to warn communities. If people are aware of the risks they could use water from deeper aquifers that are in contact with older sediments, or invest in treating groundwater to remove arsenic.

Pray:

for policymakers and aid agencies to recognise this public health threat and to take appropriate steps to provide suitable medical aid for those who have been exposed to arsenic. (Proverbs 25:11)

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Afghanistan: unreached people, US military

Thousands of missionaries worldwide depend on our prayers for strength. Afghanistan is just one of the nations where people groups have not yet heard about Jesus Christ. Cultural traditions that have survived centuries of invasion are guarded and observed, like that of offering extraordinary hospitality. A strong national identity and their characteristic hard work ethic will doubtless serve community members well as Afghanistan rebuilds. In addition to Islamic beliefs, spiritism (using charms and amulets) is also widespread. Pray for the Christians in the extra American military soon to be deployed to Afghanistan by President Trump. May God inspire them with a spirit of evangelism as they meet the locals who have known frequent war and internal tribal strife. Ask God to restore political peace and stability among tribes, and call for more Christian workers who are trained in the various language dialects to enter Afghan’s mission fields. Pray for Christian relief workers in Pakistan as they witness among displaced Afghans. See also

Pray:

for the growth and development of Christian media resources being used by Afghans to reach their own people through radio, TV, the internet, and literature. (Romans 10:14)

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Kenya: Christian in camps plead for help

Al-Shabaab fighters killed four Christian men in a village in Lamu county on 17 August. Three were hacked to death with machetes; the fourth was burned inside his home. Al-Shabaab surpasses Boko Haram as Africa’s deadliest terror group. Christian pastors from the region revealed that the victims left the safety of camps to check on their homes and crops despite the warnings by Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president. He had urged families to remain at displacement camps as the army attempts to eradicate the terrorist threat. The village chief admitted that the ‘desperation’ in the camps is making people return to their villages despite government orders. Christians in the camps are asking the global community to remember them in prayer. They need food, shelter, water, medicine, sanitary pads and soap.

Pray:

for God to give comfort and provide for those mourning and living in uneasy environments. (Psalm 5:2)

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Rwanda: children are future leaders

Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of Rwanda, told children to see themselves as future leaders of church and country. He made his comments as children gathered at an event organised by the Mothers’ Union of the Anglican Church in Rwanda. Their provincial coordinator said the MU is ‘helping to create an environment that is sympathetic to the protection of children and the advancement of their rights’. The archbishop asked them to do everything with a target to aim for, and encouraged leaders to build self-confidence in this generation of blessed children. Foreign missionaries and church-linked non-governmental organisations operate in the country. The missionaries are encouraged to promote their religious beliefs, and the government welcomes their development assistance. Pray for a strong Christian ethos to grow in Rwanda through these Christian bodies.

Pray:

for the children developing their gifts and talents under Christian canopies, and for Holy Spirit protection as they grow into church leaders, government officials, and pillars of society. (Proverbs 22:6)

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‘Teach young people about slavery’

On Wednesday, the director-general of UNESCO remembered the universal demand for freedom that led to the 1791 insurrection by slaves in what is now Haiti. Irina Bokova emphasised the importance of teaching this history to young people. ‘We are counting on the teaching of this history to place tomorrow’s citizens on the path to peace and dignity. Everyone must know the scale of the crime of the slave trade, the millions of lives broken and the impact on the fate of continents up to this very day’, she said. UNESCO has played a leading role within the UN system in fostering understanding and recognition of the slave trade. See also

Pray:

for more people to be informed and aware of modern slavery and human trafficking. (Psalm 10:12)

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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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