Praise Reports


British Isles and Ireland


Praise Reports

The broken cup

A recent Barnabas Aid editorial reads: ‘CH Spurgeon often said that before God could use someone He had to first break that person into pieces. Jeremiah knew the truth of this. From his youth (Jeremiah 1:6), he was called to do an impossible task that involved grief, suffering, abuse and rejection. He is known as the weeping prophet. The Lord reminded Jeremiah, as he watched the potter at work, that it was His sovereign choice to destroy and remake His people, as the potter reworked the soft clay from one shape into another (Jeremiah 18:6). He also used the image of a pot, shattered to pieces and impossible to repair, as a warning to the people of Jerusalem in their iniquity (Jeremiah 19). And yet God did restore His repentant people and, in the end, brought them back to Jerusalem out of their Babylonian captivity. God took the broken fragments and restored them into something useful. So brokenness does not have to be the end. It can be the prelude to glory. God can restore even the broken cup and use it for His purposes.’

Praise: God that brokenness does not have to be the end. It can be the prelude to glory. (Romans 15:13)

USA: children return $700

Jamie Carlton posted a video on Facebook showing three children – Haylie, 13, brother Reagan, 6, and their friend Ashley – returning a wallet containing $700 to its rightful owner. The kids are heard saying, ‘We found your wallet outside your car and we just thought we would give it back to you’. One of them hides it by the door and says, ‘I’m going to put it over here so no one takes any money’. When the children were contacted, Haylie said that they thought it would be a good thing to do because they really didn’t need the money. Jamie said, ‘This happened at my house in Aurora, Colorado. If this doesn’t renew or at least refresh your faith in humanity, you need help.’

Praise: God for good news being reported in the media about children. (Nahum 1:15a)

Praise Reports

Intercessor Focus: Christian holidays

Across the country youth workers and church members will be running holiday clubs this summer. Pray for energy and innovation for all the leaders; for peace to permeate each activity, regardless of any unforeseen pressures; for safety for all and for incredible relationship-building across the age ranges; for all the different holiday club material to be used wisely; and for God to anoint with power those who are gifted in storytelling, leading music, dance, arts, crafts, games and creative teaching. May thousands of young people recognise God’s love for them this summer and respond to His call on their lives. Pray for the Church to impact not just the children but whole communities, as families are inspired through outdoor Christian celebrations, church fetes, and parties. Pray also for all the many week-long Christian mission retreats, Bible weeks and camping events. May millions of lives be challenged and changed this summer.

Pray: for holidaymakers to have peace replace pressure, have fresh biblical insights replace world views, and be completely refreshed when they return home. (2 Corinthians 13:9b)

Incident at HTB’s summer festival

Hampshire police were called at 5:06 am on Wednesday 1 August after a report of a 21-year-old woman being sexually assaulted at the Focus Festival (held at the Somerley Estate, near Ringwood). The event, hosted by Holy Trinity Brompton church, sees thousands of Christians gather for a week of teaching, worship and fellowship. Delegates at the festival reported seeing police on site as campers were packing up to leave the event, which had finished the previous day. The victim is receiving support from specialist officers, and a 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of rape. He remains in custody. The Focus festival has been running since 1992.

Pray: for God’s angels to dwell in the midst of and protect all attending summer festivals. (Psalm 91:11)

Right to die law changes

The Supreme Court ruled on 30 July that hospitals can now end life-sustaining care for patients without the need to seek court approval, if families and doctors are in agreement. The ruling was said to ‘clarify the law’, and avoids the need in many cases for families to come to court. Judicial approval will now not be required to withdraw life-prolonging treatments from patients with a prolonged disorder of consciousness such as being in a minimally-conscious or persistent vegetative state – if families and medical staff agree. Previously, some NHS Trusts were unsure as to whether they might find themselves liable to legal action if they went ahead with withdrawal of treatment before seeking permission. The court, led by Lady Black, ruled that to take such action was not a breach of a patient’s human rights. Many Christians believe this decision does not reflect the ‘views of the pews’. The Christian Medical Fellowship said it is never humane to end someone else’s life. See

Pray: for this ruling to withdraw life-sustaining care not to slide down a slippery slope of further legalisation of assisted dying. (2 Kings 18:32b)

Aid sector sex scandal

A damning report from MPs said the aid sector is guilty of complacency verging on complicity over an ‘endemic’ sex abuse scandal’, and charities were more concerned to protect their reputation than victims. Safeguarding policies were never effectively implemented. Leaders were ‘self-deluded’, thinking they had addressed problems before they became public. MPs insisted more resources were needed to tackle the issue, and victims must be at the heart of solutions. Charities must ensure the beneficiaries of humanitarian aid have knowledge and confidence in their rights. An earlier report, by UNHCR and Save the Children, found it was mainly men in refugee camps who demanded sex in exchange for biscuits, soap, medicines, etc. Oxfam said the report was painful reading for the whole aid sector. ‘We have made mistakes handling historical sexual harassment complaints from staff in the UK – there is a great deal more to do’. An international summit in October will expect the sector to have demonstrated progress by then.

Pray: for charities to address power imbalances that allow exploitation and harassment. (Psalm 14:1,5)

Scotland: asylum-seekers rejected

300+ Glasgow asylum-seekers are threatened with eviction by Serco, a public service provider. Rev Dr Richard Frazer said it was unacceptable that people fleeing war are treated this way. ‘Authorities have clear moral responsibilities to provide housing for people in need. Serco intends to evict people whose UK asylum has been rejected, and has ordered six families to move out within a week, before the locks on their doors are changed. Dr Frazer said that although individuals and families have had their right to remain turned down, past evidence shows that half will win their appeal against that decision. The Church of Scotland is backing a new campaign to challenge the UK Government’s approach to illegal immigration, which is leading to destitution, discrimination and distrust. See

Pray: for housing associations to honour their moral responsibility to provide housing. (Jeremiah 30:17)

Universal Credit empowers abusers

Welfare payments are turning the clock back to the 1950s and allowing abusers to control family finances, MPs say. Under Universal Credit (UC), payments are made to one person per household, often leaving abuse victims and their children dependent, a report by the Work and Pensions Committee said. One abuse survivor feared the new system could leave her and her children with ‘nothing for weeks’. UC aims to simplify the benefits and tax credits system with a single monthly payment. Claimants provide details of one bank account for payments. Although they can request split payments, Job Centres currently only offer them in ‘very exceptional circumstances’. Christian Labour MP Frank Field said men and women pay taxes as individuals, and should each have an independent income. People living with abuse can see their entire monthly income, including money meant for their children, go into their abusive partner’s bank account. The system makes it harder for victims to leave an abusive relationship.

Pray: for job centres to have facilities for people at risk to communicate confidently, and for domestic violence specialists to be employed to advise other members of staff. (Proverbs 13:13)

Praise Reports

Europe not coping with mass migration

Not only does Europe continue to fragment as anti-migration views gain political force, but because of the migration crisis, the EU’s internal border-free zone, Europe’s most precious possession after World War II, ‘is in danger’, according to the Italian and Austrian governments. Recently the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, joined the leaders of the four countries that make up the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). When discussing the protection of borders he said, ‘We need a Europe that can defend us.’ According to a report by the Heritage Foundation, many believe that recent massive migration has created excessive problems for internal stability in Europe, and security has been compromised. Immigration also challenges ethnic and religious coexistence; quoting 10% of Jewish citizens in Paris being forced to move because they were no longer safe, calling it a silent ethnic cleansing. Statistics also show that the controversial quota system for migrants is failing.

Pray: for European governments to keep their borders open and wisely controlled. (Colossians 4:5)

Brussels: European Parliament prayers

Since 2011 intercessors from different backgrounds and nations come into the presence of God in the European Parliament every Friday. Some attend regularly; other individuals or groups join when they can. Every gathering looks different as the Holy Spirit leads. Afterwards they have a sharing time over lunch or coffee. Hundreds of people from across the world have prayed with them inside the EP. All have experienced God intervening in every meeting for every prayer topic. There have been deliverances, healings and visitations of the Holy Spirit. An intercessor writes, ‘We’ve already begun praying for the May 2019 elections for members of the European Parliament; for God to raise up people with godly values to represent the people of Europe. Key people at the top of the list in each political party, who will seek and have the Lord’s favour and grace. We also pray that those who are obstacles will resign or be moved out and for the “unknowns” to come forward.’

Pray: for God to protect and bless those working and praying for the EU ‘s activities. (Isaiah 1:26)

Praise Reports

California wildfires still spreading

On 6 July we prayed for those fighting 70 wildfires across California, Colorado, and eastern Canada. By 2 August the California fires had reached ‘uncharted territory’ in what has become an endless summer of flame. Over 1,000 homes were torched in just one of the enormous wildfires that have scorched 320,000 acres, killed, maimed and left whole communities homeless. Pray for those in small close communities struggling to provide disaster relief efforts while also being directly impacted by the disaster themselves. Pray for good communication and networking between churches and aid agencies and those needing shelter, household supplies, food and clothing. Pray for families sheltering in churches, schools, community buildings, etc. after evacuating their homes, who have no idea when they will be able to return home, or if they even still have a home to go to. Pray for communities in shock after fire damage, and for others watching fires advance.

Pray: for God to give the many firefighting agencies healthy networking links. (Genesis 28:15a)

Zimbabwe: disputed presidential election result

The opposition party has rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s historic presidential election win after a poll marred by deadly violence and allegations of vote-rigging. On 2 August, Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the first election since the toppling of veteran leader Robert Mugabe, with a 6-point lead over Nelson Chamisa, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the vote, the election commission said, and Chamisa 44%. The president tweeted, ‘Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning. Let us join hands in peace, unity, and love, and together build a new Zimbabwe for all!’ The chances of this happening appear slim, as the MDC has rejected the result as ‘fake’ and says it will challenge it in the courts. Six people have already died in clashes between protesters and the security forces which are patrolling the streets of Harare.

Pray: for everyone to accept the final election result. May there be no further violence. (Proverbs 2:11)

Algeria: church closures, UN steps in

The UN has urged the Algerian government to stop harassing its Christian minority, after several churches, Christian bookshops and a day-care centre for Christian children were closed down in recent months. Dozens of other churches also received notifications ordering them to close. The UNHRC is reviewing Algeria’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and said it ‘remained concerned’ over the closures. It has called on Algeria’s government to ‘guarantee the full exercise of freedom of thought, conscience and religion to all’. It also said Algeria should ‘refrain from obstructing the religion of persons who do not observe the official religion, by destruction and closure of establishments or refusal to grant registration of religious movements’.

Pray: for the government to honour international obligations and stop persecuting Christians. (Exodus 23:1)

Nicaragua: people flee the country

UNHCR is calling for international solidarity and support for countries hosting Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers, as thousands flee mounting political tensions, violence and serious human rights violations. Many Nicaraguans could flee to America if the situation worsens, said a Catholic priest whose parish came under siege in a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests which killed 300+ people. During the church siege clergy negotiated the release of 200 university students, priests and journalists. But two were killed and dozens injured. The protests started after social security overhauls in May. They are demanding democratic reforms and that President Daniel Ortega and his wife, the vice president, step down from an alleged dictatorship marked by nepotism and brutal repression. During the initial days of the protests Ortega asked the Church to act as a mediator, but his administration began using brutal force against student protesters. Now, clergy are also being attacked. Priests are now on the opposition front lines, and Ortega’s government has declared war on the Church.

Pray: for Ortega’s war against his people to end, and for fresh peace talks with the bishops. (Exodus 23:6)

Israel: IDF shuts down ‘terrorist’ TV station

On 31 July a Hamas-affiliated TV station was shut down, and the four Palestinians operating it were arrested. Israel had said Al-Quds TV was a terror organisation, and the four suspects are charged with incitement to terrorism as the station was a Hamas mouthpiece. One of the driving forces behind Palestinian aggression is incitement by clergy and Palestinian leadership through its state and local media. Israel is now shutting down all Palestinian media outlets and publications that incite against Israelis and promote terror attacks. The Hamas student groups in Hebron universities were also raided and incitement materials were confiscated. The students’ families were given a warning and told to stay away from terrorism. Twenty wanted Palestinians were arrested.

Pray: for those who generate terror and violence to be frustrated in all their plans. (Nehemiah 4:15)

Golan border: Syria pushes into strategic area

Under the terms of a 1974 UN armistice that demilitarised much of the Golan, Israel withdrew from the capital of Quneitra province which it had captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Now, backed by Russian aircraft, Syrian pro-Assad regime forces pushed into the Golan border area and raised the Syrian flag and President al-Assad’s Baath Party flag in Quneitra on the 26 July. They are tightening their hold on the strategic Syrian sector of the Golan Heights bordering Israel and Jordan, and have been pushing into Quneitra province since their May offensive that routed rebels in adjoining Deraa province (rebels once backed by Washington, Jordan and Gulf states). The Russians reached a deal with the remaining rebels, which effectively brings the whole of the border frontier under Syrian state control.

Pray: for Assad to adhere to the UN armistice. (Psalm 147:14)

Pakistan: poverty and persecution

Pakistan plans to seek its largest ever bailout from the IMF as Imran Khan takes office. The loan is to resolve the country’s escalating foreign reserves crisis. However a loan would see IMF impose restrictions on public spending, making it difficult for Khan to fulfil election promises. One government adviser said, ‘We can’t do without the IMF’s support of a $10bn -12bn loan.’ During the election campaign, Mr Khan pledged to spend public money on access to healthcare for all, upgrading schools and expanding the social safety net. Analysts warned these promises would be hard to fulfil, given the reality of Pakistan’s economic situation. 35% live in poverty and Islamabad has kept going with loans from Chinese commercial banks and allowing the rupee to depreciate 20%. Meanwhile, substance abuse is rampant and terrorists have a safe haven there. This is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian.

Pray: for Pakistan’s new finance minister, Asad Umar, as he develops financial policies. Pray also for Imran Khan to be more sympathetic towards Christians. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)

Sri Lanka: ‘They took everything from us’

A Sri Lankan brick-maker is living with death threats after his conversion to Christianity, often seen as a ‘foreign’ religion, even though Christianity arrived in the Indian sub-continent almost two thousand years ago. Nimal is illiterate, but attended Bible school. When he talks about his faith, many people mock and challenge him. Rising from poverty to set up a small business, Nimal now shares some of his income with his church. Christian charity Open Doors International recently visited Nimal’s family. To watch the video about him, click the ‘More’ button.

Pray: for God’s protection and strengthening for Christians living in hostile environments. (Psalm 5:11)

Praise Reports
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