Praise Reports - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

USA: ‘Turnaround’

From 22 to 24 February intercessors from across the USA gathered in Washington DC to pray for a ‘Turnaround’. Many felt this could prove to be one of the most historic prayer gatherings in America’s history. They filled the spiritual atmosphere over Washington with intercession and biblical declarations to bring the USA into a spiritual breakthrough that only God can give the nation. During the gathering they launched the next phase of what they believe will be a worldwide prayer movement, as they and many others sense change is coming across the nations.

Praise:

God for His worldwide prayer movements, His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. May they remain Holy Spirit led to bring an international turnaround. (Psalm 72:3-4)

More:

God’s messages behind a musical

The hip-hop musical Hamilton is now playing in the UK, delivering spiritual messages as it traverses a number of important social issues including race, gender equality, immigration and diversity. Black and minority ethnic actors play the roles of the Founding Fathers, a casting decision that turns audience expectations upside down as soon as the musical starts. After seeing Hamilton, the actress Rosie O’Donnell described it as ‘a religious experience, a spiritual cleansing. Hamilton is medicine that I need for my soul. It is vital to me; it feels like going to church’. People are saying that they are unexpectedly drawn into the presence of God as the atmosphere in the theatre changes. The audience collectively feels a weight, a tension, a presence – perhaps even the presence of God – as deeply spiritual themes saturate the musical. Hamilton built his life on the foundation of grace. See also

Praise:

God for entertainment that draws people towards God’s grace. (Psalm 73:25-26)

More:

Return to Top

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

Shortage of RE teachers

With a chronic shortage of qualified RE teachers in schools, greater incentives are needed to attract new recruits. Without such teachers, pupils in later life will fail to filter out the stereotypes that contribute to religious discrimination. The Religious Education Council (REC) believes that high-quality specialist teaching about all faiths, beliefs, and worldviews is essential for all school children, and is leading a consortium to relaunch the Beyond the Ordinary campaign, designed to attract career-changers and graduates to train as RE teachers. For entry into initial teacher training in 2017, 405 places were filled, well below the Government target of 643. To reach that figure requires 1 in 20 graduates with a relevant degree to elect to train as RE teachers. Currently 55% of staff teaching RE in schools have no post-A level qualification in the subject. The REC is pressing the Department for Education for higher bursaries for RE teachers.

Pray:

for graduates with a wide variety of degrees to apply for RE teacher training and so to boost religious literacy in our schools. (2 Timothy 3:16)

More:

Brexit: EU and UK plans for NI

Theresa May’s post-Brexit plans for Northern Ireland to be under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the UK and to leave the EU customs union were challenged in the EU’s 120-page draft withdrawal agreement that includes Northern Ireland in a future customs union. The draft requires checks on goods coming in from the UK; in order for this to happen, single market legislation will also apply. The EU plan would create a border through the Irish Sea, which the UK will not accept. Michel Barnier challenged May to offer something different. The DUP is propping up the UK Government; some believe one wrong decision could see their support withdrawn. Boris Johnson said that the Northern Ireland border row is being used to frustrate Brexit, and there were ‘very good solutions’ to avoid the need for a hard border. Pray for the UK’s future to be directed by God’s Spirit, prompting MPs in all decisions they make.

Pray:

for UK, NI, Irish and EU ministers to have wisdom, patience and self-control as further negotiations take place. (Proverbs 16:32-33 & Luke 1:37)

More:

Scotland: church and smacking ban

Scotland’s Catholic Church was savaged by children’s rights campaigners for opposing a ban on smacking. A top church official said plans to outlaw the physical punishment of children would ‘criminalise parents’, and it is not the role of the state to interfere in parenting. Scotland’s children and young people’s commissioner, Bruce Adamson, said that many nations with Catholic majorities – such as Ireland, Spain and Portugal – had already outlawed hitting children. Green MSP John Finnie, who introduced the ‘ban smacking’ bill, said the church is out of step with international opinion, adding, ‘Smacking is banned in the Pope’s home country Argentina’. The SNP government confirmed that the bill will become law.

Pray:

for national poll results to be considered seriously by parliament: 75% of Scots believe that parents and guardians should be allowed to decide whether or not to smack their children. (Proverbs 13:24)

More:

‘Ten AI commandments’

Bishop Steven Croft, who sits on the House of Lords artificial intelligence committee, has published a list of ten commandments on AI. He said Christians need to be part of the AI dialogue and make contributions for the sake of the common good. His ten commandments are that AI should: be designed for all and benefit humanity; operate on principles of transparency and fairness, and be well signposted; not be used to transgress data rights and privacy of individuals, families, or communities; not create inequality of wealth, health, or opportunity; not be used for criminal intent, subverting democracy values, truth, or courtesy in public discourse; enhance, rather than replace, human labour and creativity; never be developed or deployed separately from consideration of the ethical consequences of its applications; and never be given autonomous power to hurt or destroy. Everyone has the right to be adequately educated to flourish mentally, emotionally, and economically in a digital and AI world.

Pray:

for churches, NGOs, businesses and governments to research and develop the best ethical applications of AI and direct them toward the most urgent problems facing humanity. (Exodus 36:2)

More:

Freedom of religion or belief

On 1 March, MPs Jim Shannon and Norman Lamb led a debate on Christian freedom in the House of Commons. Earlier this month Barnabas Fund published a booklet entitled ‘Turn the Tide’ showing how religious freedoms in the UK are being eroded. It quoted the Magna Carta: ‘The English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired.’ The booklet gave many examples of the various ways in which religious freedoms in the UK have been eroded by political correctness and anti-Christian prejudice in universities, schools, social work, prisons, NHS, street preaching and much more. Barnabas Fund is calling for a new law ‘which positively affirms all aspects of freedom of religion that have been written into our laws’. View the debate at http://parliamentlive.tv/Commons

Pray:

for the House of Commons debate to lead to a more public debate about Christian freedom debate. May the erosion of Christian freedom be stopped. (1 Timothy 2:1, 2)

More:

Whiteout

No UK area has escaped snow showers, icy roads, or blizzard conditions. Please pray for the homeless at this time. Many charities and churches have opened their doors, but it is believed that some vulnerable people might have slipped through the nets of compassion. Some areas will soon see snow easing, but freezing rain threatens to make conditions even worse. Pray for safety on our roads when people resume their normal travelling arrangements. When weather causes havoc, the NHS’s workload rises as fractures from falls, chronic flu, and chest infections increase. The elderly are more susceptible to hypothermia. If people go outside in extreme weather, the heart works harder to keep them warm, leading to increased heart rate (causing more heart attacks) and higher blood pressure, risking strokes. Pray that our hospital departments, police, fire and all emergency services can cope with the added workload, and for all those driving in bad road conditions.

Pray:

for the ‘Beast from the East’ soon to become toothless in all areas. (1 Peter 5:7)

More:

Ken Livingstone – anti-Semitism claims

Ken Livingstone’s suspension from the Labour party over anti-Semitism claims has been extended indefinitely pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The former London mayor’s suspension had been due to expire on 27 April, but in his last official act as Labour general secretary, Iain McNicol signed off on an indefinite extension, the Huffington Post UK has revealed. Mr McNicol employed a rarely-used procedure to impose an ‘administrative suspension’ on Mr Livingstone. Mr Livingstone said he had been ‘suspended for stating the truth’.

Pray:

for this result to be a model for future action to be taken when any anti-Semitic views are aired by people in positions of authority. (Genesis 12:3)

More:

Return to Top

Europe - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Germany: a letter from Watchman International

‘Five months after the elections we still do not have a new government in Germany! We await approval of SPD party membership for the SPD to join the CDU/CSU in a ‘grand coalition’ new government. In February Watchman International intercessors joined Prince Philip von Preussen (descendant of Kaiser Wilhelm II), the Sisters of Mary, and Harald Eckert (who leads Christians for Israel), in obedience to a call for repentance on behalf of Germany, and to seek God’s face so that our land can be healed. We are now in a Lent period of prayer and fasting for our nation as we approach Easter.’

Pray:

for the Church and the people to turn again to God and return to His purposes for Germany. (Jeremiah 29:11)

More:

Italy: violent demonstrations ahead of election

Clashes between anti-fascist and far-right activists have increased ahead of a general election on 4 March. Recently, police in Milan used batons as left-wing demonstrators tried to break through a police cordon. The Anti-immigration League party leader, Matteo Salvini, told supporters that defence of the country was a ‘sacred duty’. There have been protests in Milan, Rome and Palermo as campaigning enters its final week. The right-wing Forza Italia party, backed by 81-year-old Silvio Berlusconi, could be in the lead. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement opposes Berlusconi, as does the far-right League and the Brothers of Italy parties. Former prime minister Matteo Renzi joined a National Partisans organisation with the slogan ‘Fascism Never Again’.

Pray:

for a wise and stable alliance under God’s direction to oversee Italy’s future. (Job 12:23)

More:

Turkey’s Armenian Apostolic patriarch

The state has again blocked the long-delayed election of a new Armenian Apostolic patriarch, arguing that an election would be contrary to the community’s traditions. Yet freedom of religion protects the right of religious communities to elect leaders in accordance with their traditions as they interpret them. The Istanbul governorship (a state institution under the Interior Ministry responsible for state administration in Istanbul province, where the patriarchate is based) argues that a new leader cannot be elected because the previous patriarch, unable to fulfil his functions since 2008 because of illness, is still living.

Pray:

for God to end state interference in how Armenians, Greek Orthodox and Jewish communities elect their leaders. (Jeremiah 30:21a)

More:

Return to Top

Worldwide - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Nigeria: more schoolgirls abducted

On 25 February, Nigeria’s information minister had a meeting with the family members of 110 girls who were abducted a week earlier. The frustrated families had criticised the government for taking so long to acknowledge the abduction. They presented the minister with a list of names of the missing girls, and complained that officials were being slow to respond. The girls’ fate is not known, but witnesses said the Islamic extremists specifically asked where the girls’ school was located. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing young women taken away at gunpoint. Air Force spokesman Olatokunbo Adesanya said that efforts to locate the girls are being conducted in close liaison with other security forces. It is feared the girls will become brides for Boko Haram extremists. Nigeria’s president said no effort will be spared to locate them.

Pray:

for the safe return of the 110, and the remaining 100+ Chibok girls abducted in 2014. (Psalm 103:5a)

More:

South Sudan: UN report – war crimes

60.5% of South Sudan’s population is Christian, with over 60 different major ethnic groups. South Sudan split from the predominantly Islamic north in 2011 and was expected to prosper as the split meant it inherited most of Sudan’s oil wealth. But civil war has robbed the nation, killed thousands, and left tens of thousands in need of humanitarian aid. Now a report by UN human rights investigators says that over 40 South Sudanese officials, including military generals and state governors, may be guilty of crimes against humanity, (rape, murder of civilians, and conscripting child soldiers). The report says, ‘Children have been recruited and forced to kill civilians. In many cases they have watched loved ones raped or killed. The scale of the hunger and destruction inflicted on the country by its political and military leaders defies description.’

Pray:

for the evidence in 60,000 documents now with the UN to bring the justice which leads to action that establishes peace in the region. (Malachi 4:1)

More:

Egypt: preparations for elections

Recently the Egyptian army and police launched a comprehensive anti-terrorism operation in the Sinai peninsula ahead of the 26-28 March elections in which President al-Sisi will be running for a second term. A spokesman said intelligence information revealed that extremist groups were planning to carry out terrorist attacks across Egypt during the election, to erode citizens’ trust in the state’s ability to secure the country and to prevent them from casting their votes. Armed groups are concentrated in three cities, Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and el-Arish, deep in the desert. Classes have been indefinitely suspended in all schools in the area. The roads linking north Sinai to the other governorates and the governorate cities to each other were closed, forcing residents to stay at home and making it difficult for university students to travel.

Pray:

for the state to eradicate extremism, and for a peaceful election season. (Lamentations 5:21)

More:

Israel: Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre closed

The Jordanian and Palestinian governments supported a decision by Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox leaders to close Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity’s holiest sites, because of a ‘systematic campaign of abuse’ directed at their community. Many Christians believe the church to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Millions of pilgrims visit every year. This decision was based on several issues, including a bill allowing the government to take over church properties leased to private companies; it also intends to begin imposing taxes on church properties. Under a 2013 agreement, Jordan’s King Abdullah II is the custodian of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. A Jordanian government spokesman expressed his country’s ‘full solidarity’ with the churches, saying the Israeli law violates international and humanitarian laws, and called on the Israeli government to ‘immediately reverse the decisions taken against churches.’

Pray:

for a reversal of all actions that breach existing agreements and international obligations. Pray for protection for Christians in Jerusalem. (Psalm 5:11a)

More:

Global: the silent Holocaust

Worldwide, there are approximately 42 million victims of abortion each year. That’s more people than the entire population of Iraq being killed. Abortion is not confined to one region or people group. It is a global tragedy, with roughly 83% of all abortions taking place in developing countries and 17% in the developed world. That is why it is called the silent Holocaust. 40 Days for Life continues until 25 March. This is a unified time of prayer and fasting for God’s mercy, healing, and restoration – that He would bring an end to abortion. Multitudes around the world are crying out to God for an end to the shedding of innocent blood. Prayer Alert readers are invited to cry out to God for the lives of those not yet born to have a future and a hope.

Pray:

for many to hear the call to intercede for those not yet born to have life. (Proverbs 31:8a)

More:

Malaysia: recognising conversion from Islam

The federal court has recently decided to allow four Christians who converted from Islam to begin to take steps to have their conversions from Islam legally recognised and have the word Islam removed from their identity cards. When this decision was announced on 28 February, the solicitor for the Christians began to receive death threats. Although the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the right to propagate it, there has been a pattern of religious discrimination in Malaysia. Now that this ‘apostasy’ case has been heard, it could uphold the constitution, clarifying a Muslim’s right to convert to other religions including Christianity. If the next hearing allows them to be registered as Christians, it could lead to amending the law and making it clearer for future cases. Meanwhile Baru Bian, their lawyer, continues to receive death threats. See also

Pray:

for Christians to have the right to preach the Gospel openly and for other religions to convert legally, which is not currently happening in many instances. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

More:

Nigeria: 13 dead in Christian-Muslim clash

At least 13 people were killed on 26 February in clashes between Christians and Muslims in Kasuwan Magani community in Kaduna state, central Nigeria. Many houses and shops were burnt down. Twenty suspects have been arrested, and extra police have been put on the streets to try to quell the violence. ‘The place is currently calm. I was in the village yesterday to implore the community and traditional leaders to direct the warring youths to sheath their swords,’ said the state police commissioner. ‘We don’t want to jump to conclusions as to what led to the mayhem. Speculation was that some Christian boys were unhappy that their girls are befriending Muslim boys.’ Local reports indicate the death toll is higher than the police have reported.

Pray:

for peace to reign in Kaduna state, and for astute security investigators to discover the cause of the crisis and exactly who was involved. (Psalm 103:6)

More:

Return to Top

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

Please feel free to distribute Prayer Alert to anyone you feel will benefit from its ministry.    All we ask is that you do not edit or change it in any way or charge for its use without contacting us first for written permission.


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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This