Praise Reports


British Isles and Ireland


Praise Reports

Calls for abortion clinic buffer zones rejected

Calls for buffer zones to be introduced outside abortion clinics to stop patients being harassed have been rejected by the Home Secretary, who said that protest-free areas around clinics ‘would not be a proportionate response’. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his decision was a ‘shocking failure to protect women’ and should be reversed. Be Here For Me, a campaign group which opposed the ban, welcomed the commonsense decision which would mean ‘women could continue to be offered much needed help and support’. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said they were ‘delighted’ by the decision: ‘This is a massive victory for common sense, democracy and above all for the hundreds of vulnerable women who are saved from the horror of abortion at the very gates of the abortion clinic.’

Praise: God that praying and offering leaflets outside abortion clinics will continue. (Psalm 16:11)

India: back from the dead

‘See, as your Jesus was beaten and killed, so have we killed your pastor now. His body is in a ditch in the forest. Find him and bury him!’ Militants had tied up the Christian pastor and beaten him until he had bloody wounds all over his body. They made him crawl up a mountain, still beating him with their sticks to force him forwards. When Tilak took his last breath, they sent for the village doctor to confirm his death and then threw his body in a ditch. There was no way he could have survived. The Christians from Tilak’s village found his body and brought it home. Laying him in a hut and paying their last respects they did not expect him to start to move and open his eyes. Tilak was alive! Some of his attackers were present when he came back to life. They must have been the most shocked of all.

Praise: God for demonstrating the depth of his power over sin and death. (1 Corinthians 15:21)

Praise Reports

Brexit: farming and the land

Farmers are coming to terms with low crop and forage yields resulting from a long cold winter and hot dry summer. They are also worried about Brexit; many feel that farming is a long way down the list of politicians’ priorities. The main concern is the direct payments to farmers made under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (an essential part of their income as long as food is cheap). They fear new trade agreements will allow imports of cheaper food from countries that lack our high standards of animal welfare, soil protection, minimum wages, and quality goods (all of which add value and cost). Meanwhile, over the past months the National Farmers Union has been preparing reports on international trade, domestic agricultural policies, competent/flexible workforce, managing price volatility, and improving productivity. The EU withdrawal bill is now working its way through Parliament; the wheels are in motion to enact Brexit. The first agriculture bill for a generation is also on its way and must be seized as a golden opportunity to build a system that works for British farmers. See

Pray: for NFU lobbying teams to deliver to politicians God’s vision of a thriving farming sector, post-Brexit and beyond. (Amos 5:24)

The CofE in Parliament

On 13 September 2018 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Popat, ‘to ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they are taking to reassure the Jewish community over the impact of anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom.’ David Urquhart, the Bishop of Birmingham, said, ‘There is a need for constant vigilance to ensure that anti-Semitism plays no part in the life of our country’. A further report on the theology of Christian-Jewish relations is in preparation, led by the Bishop of Lichfield.

Pray: for government and church to oppose anti-Semitism in the UK. (Genesis 12:3)

Christian Unions in schools

Christian Unions (CUs) are groups within schools for young people to explore Christianity and develop their faith, usually meeting during a lunchtime. They are typically student-led, sometimes with teachers present, and every group is different. We can pray that this year’s CUs are powerfully outward-looking to their non-Christian friends. May many Youth Alphas be used in the CU meetings. Being a young person who wants to follow Jesus in 2018 is not easy. It is difficult just to survive in their faith through the years of change in their teens. Reaching friends for Jesus takes a serious amount of courage and character. Pray for more parents, church leaders, and youth workers to stand with these teenagers in a show of support and encouragement as they work towards transformation in their school.

Pray: for God to protect those in CUs, and enable them to make a difference in schools. (Isaiah 54:2)

Post-Brexit: Britain and China free trade

Britain has given a strong message to Chinese companies that it is fully open for business as it prepares to leave the EU next year, and that China is one of the countries with which Britain would like to sign a post-Brexit free trade deal. Following talks between British trade minister Liam Fox and China’s commerce ministry, they have agreed to look at the possibility of reaching a ‘top notch’ free trade agreement after Brexit. They met at the British Ambassador’s residence in Beijing and signed memorandums of understanding between British and Chinese firms and institutions. China also said that it hoped Britain would use a major import fair in November in Shanghai, which President Xi is overseeing, to expand its exports to China. Dr Fox and Prince Andrew are expected to be leading Britain’s delegation.

Pray: for the development of successful two-way investments and extended trade. (Proverbs 16:11)

Scotland: St Andrew’s Day

St Andrew’s Day is 30 November and it will also be a day of prayer for Scotland, with many churches in different parts of the country hosting a variety of prayer events. May God bless Scotland and help every individual to show gratitude for what has been good in the past, goodwill in the present, and hope with determination for the days ahead. May Scotland follow Andrew’s footsteps, just as he followed his Lord, Jesus Christ.

Pray: for God’s call to prayer to be heard by thousands, and for a mighty shift in the spiritual climate over the nation. (Ezekiel 36:27)

Ali fades, Bronagh approaches

At the time of writing, a huge clean-up operation is continuing after Storm Ali battered parts of the UK with winds of up to 100mph. Two people died, thousands of homes were without power, and lorries overturned due to the severe winds. Rail services were disrupted, and on 20 September in some places the winds were still too strong for engineers to repair downed power lines. Some 55,000 homes and businesses, largely in southwest Ireland, suffered a loss of power due to the winds. Meanwhile Storm Bronagh has been officially named; she is due to reach Devon and Cornwall on 20 September, and expected to deliver heavy rain, lightning, hail and high waves around the coasts. The Met Office has warned of damage to buildings, falling trees, and danger to life. See

Pray: for Wales and south west England preparing for Bronagh, and for all those repairing damage from Ali. (Psalm 20:1)

Theresa May in Salzburg

The Prime Minister used a dinner in Salzburg to make the case for her Chequers strategy for future relations, and told the EU they must ‘evolve’ their stance on the Irish border. Before the event, she said Chequers was the only credible plan to allay concerns on the Irish border and trade disruption. However, the EU chief told Theresa May her Brexit plan needs to be reworked. We can pray for God to pour His wise insights into all European and British leaders as they continue to create workable plans for the future. May God powerfully bring about His purposes for the nations through what is agreed and done at this time. The media are saying that leaders do not want to disclose their thoughts and plans fully at this stage for fear of their being rejected, and caution will result in decisions not being made until the very last minute. See also

Pray: for decisions or declarations outside God’s purposes for our land come to nothing. (Psalm 25:21)

Praise Reports

France taking hard line in Brexit talks

France has taken the hardest line of the member states in recent weeks, including its insistence that an outline of the future relationship should be detailed. Other states suggested it should be allowed to be vague in order to ease the passage to a deal, after the EU rejected key planks of it on customs and the single market. Emmanuel Macron has urged his EU counterparts to stand firm against Theresa May in Brexit negotiations after the PM urged the bloc to give ground in talks. The French president said that EU unity must take precedence over any other considerations. Other leaders took a softer line. Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg said ‘compromise from both sides, not from one side’ was necessary and Irish PM Leo Varadkar told reporters that Mrs May was ‘working hard’ on the issue of Northern Ireland, and that she appeared to be ‘very sincere’.

Pray: for God’s development and timing of every Brexit decision. (Job 36:4)

Greece: asylum-seekers at Lesbos

Up to 9,000 asylum-seekers strive to survive both inside and outside Camp Moria in tents exposed to cold and rain. 23-year-old Maryam Parsa from Afghanistan said that Moria is not what she expected. There were not enough doctors for the children, not enough medicine, or blankets, or food. ‘Our sons all become sick. This is not a good situation for us. If they don’t let us go to Europe, then make this situation good.’ Muhammad Raza, at 18, has won medals in karate and wishes to become a professional after relocating to France, but is disappointed with living conditions in camp Moria. Activists and NGOs call Moria the ‘shame of Europe’ and ask authorities to move children and other vulnerable refugees away from there. The government said that it has moved around 4,000 since June, but more refugees keep landing in Lesbos.

Pray: for the Greek government to improve the living conditions in Camp Moria and help genuine refugees achieve their dreams of a new life. (Psalm 62:7)

Praise Reports

China: slavery and persecution

Please pray for a man recently rescued from bonded labour slavery who is living with special needs. The International Justice Mission freed him and 13 others from a ginger farm. He is deaf and living with a developmental disability. He does not know traditional sign language, so Christians are working with specialists to communicate with him and serve him in their aftercare programme. Pray that they can help this man get all the care and comfort he needs, and for him to return safely home as soon as possible. Last week we asked God to encourage, protect and continue to grow His Chinese Church after hearing of crosses being removed from buildings. This week Prayercast reported, ‘Beijing’s biggest house church was forced to shut down for refusing governmental surveillance.’ and ‘Many are calling this China’s worst persecution since Mao’. Thousands of house churches have been shut down and Christians are detained.

Pray: for God to renew the strength of His persecuted Church across the nations. (Isaiah 40:31)

USA/UK: fall in Christian refugee admissions

The United States has admitted 40% fewer Christian refugees in the past year. As the US administration implements stricter immigration policies, almost 11,000 Christians looking for a safe place to go were reportedly refused entry. Christians from the Middle East who have lived in the USA for years are also affected. Dozens of Iraqi Christians are in detention centres, facing likely deportation. ‘This suggests that the president has no real interest in religious persecution or the tenets of religious freedom,’ said the director of Refugee Council USA. Last year the Pew Research Centre reported that the net number of Christian arrivals to the USA was shrinking. Figures released in the UK showed that during the first quarter of 2018, a ‘very low number of religious minority Syrians were recommended for resettlement by the UNHCR and resettled by the UK government’.

Pray: for God to break the rod used against Christian minorities, and for victims of religious persecution to be protected and cared for. (Psalm 55:22)

Syria: war update

Several deals have been struck across Syria over the years of the civil war, but few have made significant differences. Pray that the agreement between Russia and Turkey to create a military buffer zone in Syria’s Idlib holds fast and is successful in preventing further deaths as Syria’s last remaining opposition stronghold is included in a demilitarised zone. Turkey’s foreign minister declared that only terrorist groups, not civilians, will be removed from Idlib province under the deal. EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic stressed that the Turkish-Russian deal must protect civilians.

Pray: for unhindered humanitarian access to areas where aid is needed. (Psalm 72:12)

Typhoon Mangkhut devastation

In the Philippines, officials are taking stock of the immense damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut. On Luzon landslides buried a church where people were sheltering, and engulfed a miners’ bunkhouse with up to fifty inside. The casualties are expected to be 100+. Pray for God to comfort the bereaved and bring healing to the sick. An estimated 5.7 million people have been affected by Mangkhut, and delivering aid supplies is a major challenge. Pray for many workers to come and help repair the infrastructure. In the town of Baggao, where YWAM have a base, houses were demolished, power lines were downed, roads were cut off by landslides, and many remain submerged. Pray for God to give strength and wisdom to those offering counsel and shelter. Rice and corn crops waiting for harvest are under floodwater. Pray for the fishermen and farmers who have lost everything. Mangkhut moved on to Hong Kong and China, tearing off roofs, blowing in doors and shattering glass windows. Pray for the evacuees now returning to devastation.

Pray: for God to organise the Christian and secular workers giving aid. Pray also for all those affected by Hurricane Florence, which caused widespread devastation in the USA. (Psalm 40:17)

USA: Christianity under attack

In Louisiana, Americans United decided to sue a school district earlier this year, asserting, ‘School officials throughout the school system coerce students into religious practices and subject them to unwelcome religious messages and indoctrination.’ They did not want prayers being delivered during school-sponsored events, school events held in churches, or teachers encouraging Christianity in the classroom. The school board voted to fight the lawsuit. Pray for their defence of Christian values to be successful in the law courts. In Pensacola, Florida, a panel upheld a ruling ordering the removal of a cross from a public park, stating that they were ‘bound by existing circuit precedent’. But two of the three judges said they were uncomfortable with the result, and called upon the full circuit court to overturn their own ruling. The argument is ongoing.

Pray: for God to encourage Christians standing against those who oppose Christianity. (Psalm 37:18)

Iraq: a) Mosul divided

Bad blood and a thirst for revenge divide people in Mosul, the former IS capital. Many local residents welcomed the jihadists who promised protection from corruption, jobs and security. The promises proved false, but thousands in Mosul still pledged allegiance to IS; some driven by IS propaganda, others by hunger or simply fear. Currently men who worked as IS enforcers or officials are still living in Mosul. Local police pursue them nightly, raiding houses and questioning families of suspected IS members. Some police and civil defence workers who have had relatives killed by IS are now working out their hatred and revenge on unconfirmed suspects, and many residents face suspicion and abuse due to guilt by association.

Pray: for those treated as second-rate people to be allowed to live in peace. (Leviticus 19:15)

Iraq: b) Iran’s influence

Iraq’s parliament will select the president on 25 September, then elect a prime minister, and that will eventually lead a new government. On 15 September Mohammed al-Halbousi was elected as speaker. He had previously had a good relationship with the USA which, with Iran, were the first countries to congratulate him on his new post. However, his first two statements to parliament denounced US sanctions against Iran and invited senior Iranians to visit Baghdad. Pray for the networking of leaders at home and abroad in the weeks leading up to the election of a prime minister – the most important and influential position in the government, and therefore requiring a broad agreement among multiple political parties.

Pray: for elections to end the era of corrupt senior Iraqi politicians. (Psalm 9:16b)

Praise Reports
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