Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Welcome, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have named their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The name Archie does not have any British royal connotations, but the name means ‘genuine’, ‘bold’, or ‘brave’. Harrison is also a totally new name for the royal family: it was originally used as a surname meaning ‘son of Harry’. As the first-born son of a duke, Archie could have assumed the title of Earl of Dumbarton, but he will instead simply be known as Master Archie.

Praise: God for the safe arrival of the ‘son of Harry’. (Numbers 6:24)

J John to speak in Belfast

Christians across Northern Ireland have the opportunity to bring relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues to hear the good news of Jesus Christ proclaimed by evangelist J John in CS Lewis Square, Belfast. The square features seven bronze sculptures from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, including the great lion, Aslan. As J John preaches the gospel in this unique setting, organisers and supporting churches will be praying that many come to know the true and living Christ. The last evangelistic event in Belfast was in 1923. At that time 2,000 dock workers marched straight from work, still wearing their dungarees, to go and hear evangelist WP Nicholson preach. Such was the power of his preaching that a shed named the ‘Nicholson shed’ was erected in the shipyard, to house the stolen tools that newly-converted workers returned.

Praise: God for church unity in prayer and action. May the Holy Spirit fall on all who attend. (John 14:26)

Aasia Bibi’s ordeal finally ends

Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian freed from death row last year, has arrived in Canada with her husband to join her daughters. She had suffered repeated death threats from religious extremists when her conviction for blasphemy was quashed. In 2018 the Islamist movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik went on the rampage in Islamabad and Lahore when she was acquitted. Protesters attacked public property and burnt cars. Although Aasia has been released, please continue to pray for the countless, nameless, Christians (and others from minority faiths) still languishing in Pakistan’s prisons after unproven accusations of blasphemy.

Praise: God for Aasia’s safety; may she now receive His healing of mind and spirit. (Psalm 6:2)

Praise Reports

A spiritual Magna Carta

As we pray for the UK – nations are shaking – the referendum challenges – what will our nation look like in future years? Change can bring opportunity, and God hears our prayers. This is the time to knock on heaven’s door for His kingdom to come on earth. Last year was the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. It was not immediately successful, but it did shape our nation for the following centuries. This is the 801st anniversary, the beginning of a new season. In 2016 young people across the United Kingdom declared a spiritual Magna Carta to shape and establish the government and fabric of our nation for this generation and those to come. Prayer Alert intercessors are invited to take time to read and declare this ‘spiritual Magna Carta’ by clicking the ‘More’ link.

Pray: for the kingdom of God to be established again throughout our land. (Isaiah 51:4b,5)

Rural life, church, and mission

Farmers are no strangers to challenge, but today’s pressures are many and varied. Added to concerns over Brexit are increased rural crime (animals worth over £2.5 million were stolen last year), prospects of drought, and questions about the food we eat and how it is produced – all against a backdrop of planned fundamental change in government support to the agricultural industry. Pray for farmers as they feel the stress of meeting these pressures day by day, and for those who offer support when a helping hand is needed. Village halls are the heart of many rural communities. They can provide alternative venues for church services and outreach. The Government recently announced a £3 million scheme to regenerate village halls. Give thanks for this and pray that Christian groups and churches will find ways to share in taking up this opportunity to strengthen community life and advance God’s kingdom in rural areas.

Pray: for anointed outreach activities that bring many to Christ. (Acts 13:47)

Jeremy Hunt and Christian persecution

Pervasive persecution of Christians, sometimes amounting to genocide, is ongoing in the Middle East, according to a report commissioned by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt. ‘The report finds an ‘inconvenient truth’; 80% of persecuted religious believers are Christians. Some of the report’s findings will make difficult reading for Middle East leaders who are accused of tolerating or instigating persecution. The Turkish AK party is highlighted for denigrating Christians. Hunt, an Anglican, has made the issue of Christian persecution one of the major themes of his foreign secretaryship. ‘I think we have shied away from talking about Christian persecution because we are a Christian country and we have a colonial past, so sometimes there’s a nervousness there. But we have to recognise that Christians are the most persecuted religious group.’ The interim report sets out the scale of the persecution. A final report in the summer will state how the Foreign Office can raise awareness of the issue.

Pray: for this report to pave the way to removing the hate speeches against Christians. (Psalm 107:2)

Christians in Parliament

The Christians in Parliament team write, ‘Our programme of chapel services started with an Easter service looking at the Hope of the Resurrection, and will continue weekly for the rest of the term. Please pray that parliamentarians and staff will be strengthened and encouraged to fix their eyes on Jesus and live out their faith in Parliament. Please pray for new attendees to come, and for the speakers as they prepare. We are looking forward to the 2019 national Parliamentary prayer breakfast. The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, will be speaking on ‘building unity in a world of difference’. The breakfast will be chaired by Baroness Sherlock, and prayers will be said by members of both houses. Pray for increased numbers of MPs and peers attending, particularly those who have not been before, and for strengthened relationships between church leaders and MPs.

Pray: for Bishop Sarah’s words to be helpful in the light of Parliament’s divisions. (Proverbs 15:30)

Civil servants and MPs under pressure

Stressed civil servants are encouraged to talk to counsellors about the pressures they are under. Some believe that quite a few MPs may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as they cope with coffins dumped at their constituency surgeries, smashed windows, death threats, round-the-clock negative social media, and endless cancelled plans, putting their relationships and health under huge strain. Brexit anxiety is having a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. See and

Pray: for all those reaching out for stress relief to find the hope and peace of Christ. (Ecclesiastes 3:3)

‘Trash Girl’

13-year-old Nadia Sparkes is called ‘Trash Girl’ for encouraging her peers to clean up their environment. Upset by street litter, she began picking up items and binning them at home; collecting 3,000+ litres of litter. However, school bullies called her ‘Trash Girl’, threatened her with a knife, and chased and punched her. Once she sat in class covered in orange juice that had been thrown in her face. Unafraid, she used the ‘Trash Girl’ name in a positive campaign to encourage others to take action on litter through an online community group that was celebrated by Greenpeace, WWF and Keep Britain Tidy, with online followers of 4,000+. Local artists depicted her as a superhero character, which is being shared in schools to educate students on litter prevention, but Nadia was not championed at her own school and had to leave. However, this term she had a ‘brilliant’ first day at her new school.

Pray: for Nadia’s example, and initiatives like the Great British Spring Clean, to encourage more people to improve their streets, beaches and parks. (Proverbs 12:14)

Justice for victims of contaminated blood

Blood transfusions in the 1970s and 80s infected 4,800 patients with hepatitis C or HIV. As a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal begins this week, the victims and families of the 2,000 who died want justice and the Government held to account. The stigma attached to HIV meant that victims received hate mail and death threats, and the scandal was hushed up. This inquiry will finally give people the opportunity to tell their stories as evidence is heard. One victim said, ‘They will be horrified to hear what happened’. The UK relied on blood products from America manufactured from blood from thousands of paid high-risk donors (prisoners and drug addicts). Campaigners say there is evidence that the health service knew the blood was contaminated but carried on giving it, and there have been allegations of a government cover-up.

Pray: for the inquiry to find out what happened and who is liable. (Deuteronomy 24:17)

Praise Reports

European parliament with anti-European parties

After the Second World War many said, ‘Never again’. For decades extreme nationalism was considered a threat. In 2019 it has re-emerged with European far-right parties forming a new alliance led by US strategist Steve Bannon, wanting to ‘promote’ right-wing populist groups in Europe. Matteo Salvini, Italy’s leader of the extremist League party, has joined ‘The Movement’ and has gathered right-wing Netherlands Party for Freedom, Germany’s AfD, Danish People’s Party, the Finns Party and other extremist populist parties to form a new alliance, injecting their rhetoric into the EU; selling themselves as ‘maintaining or protecting their heritage and their people (they warn that refugees, Muslims, empowered women, and the EU bring unwanted change, which is a bad thing). A YouGov survey for voting intentions shows that the European parliament will be significantly different after 25 May with 35% of seats taken by socialists, Greens, the European People’s Party, and other anti-European parties. See

Pray: for ‘fear of other’ to be replaced by acceptance of refugees and other religions. (Matthew 19:19)

Bulgaria: Pope urges ‘welcome refugees’

Bulgaria’s prime minister welcomed Pope Francis when he visited Bulgaria on 5 May, saying it reflects his interest in the peaceful economic development of the Balkans. Francis’ tour included a visit to a refugee camp in the outskirts of Sofia, where he said, ‘Bulgaria confronts the phenomenon of those crossing its borders in order to flee wars, conflicts or dire poverty in attempts to reach the wealthiest areas of Europe. They want new opportunities in life or simply a safe refuge. To all Bulgarians, familiar with the drama of emigration, I respectfully suggest that you not close your eyes, your hearts, or your hands – in accordance with your best tradition – to those who knock at your door.’ The Orthodox Church rejected the idea of holding joint prayers with the pontiff.

Pray: for Bulgaria’s leaders to open their hearts towards migrants. (Leviticus 19:33)

Praise Reports

Israel: tensions in Tel Aviv

Many participating groups in 2019’s Eurovision Song Contest are already in Tel Aviv, with more arriving daily. The finale will be on 18 May, in the same week as Palestinians commemorate Nakba. This was 71 years ago, when 700,000 people left their homes at the time when Israel was born. Activists say the venue for the competition was built on land of a former Arab village which emptied in 1948. As anxiety mounts, the foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, said, ‘This is going to be a huge party with thousands of people participating, but we will remain extremely vigilant in order to make sure that no-one comes here to disturb and destroy,’ The event, watched by a global TV audience, will also become a focus for protests against the country’s treatment of Palestinians. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to hold Eurovision in Jerusalem, to add weight to Israel’s campaign for global recognition of the holy city as Israel’s capital.

Pray: for a peaceful Eurovision that unites people, not causes further divisions. (2 Samuel 20:19a)

India: pastor acquitted – violence increases

Blind pastor Balu Saste’s case took three years to be settled in court; his acquittal is being hailed as a triumph by Christian persecution watch groups. The pastor, his wife, and eleven church members were violently attacked by a mob during church services. Police arrested him, his wife, and their six-year-old son, stripped them, beat them, detained them without bail for three days, and falsely charged them with forcing Christian conversions. The story is not unique. Violence against Christians has risen significantly. In three months the United Christian Forum and ADF India have documented over 80 violent mob attacks against Christians in 13 different states across India. The attacks often take a similar shape, and rarely receive police attention. Christians face injustice continually, and the ruling in Balu’s case shows that the fundamental rights of religious minorities can and should be protected in the courtroom and through effective legal advocacy.

Pray: for the Indian government to uphold the rights of religious minorities. (Psalm 9:16)

Bolivia: defending children from sexual violence

Bolivia is a country of breathtaking landscapes, rich traditions, the home of many indigenous people groups, and the largest salt flats in the world. But in the midst of its beauty and diversity, a horrific plague threatens the safety of many children: sexual violence. Getting justice in court takes years; the process is complex, cumbersome and frequently derailed. Sexual predators act with impunity. Young survivors who live in poverty have little hope of finding justice. Courts are backlogged and often lack effective case-management processes. The few cases that move through the system can take years before reaching a sentence. International Justice Mission (IJM) are fighting to change this system and protect children from sexual violence. Last week news came of IJM representing school children and securing eight convictions. Two of the perpetrators were teachers in rural communities, so the families faced strong resistance from the community.

Pray: for survivors of these cases as they continue their personal journeys of healing. (Psalm 36:7b,8)

South Africa: Christians march for true freedom

Worship songs and heartfelt prayers filled the streets of neighbourhoods across South Africa on Freedom Day, Saturday 4 May, as believers celebrated their freedom in Christ and prayed for change in the country. Over 80 Jesus Marches took place in small towns and in big cities. Many participants were armed with black bags to clean the streets while praying. At the 10am start of the marches a prayer for the nation that was streamed to all the march venues via mobile phones. The central theme was John 8:36 – ‘Who the Son sets free is free indeed’. Many referred to the event as celebrating ‘True Freedom Day’, as only Christ can truly set us free and no government or worldly system can provide all the answers to society’s problems. Christians were encouraged to wear white on election day – Wednesday 8 May. See also the next article, on the elections.

Pray: for South Africa to be a kingdom nation full of the fear of God and love of Christ. (Matthew 5:6)

South Africa: pivotal elections

Twenty-five years ago, under Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress (ANC) party ended apartheid, but since then it has governed poorly. Four in ten South Africans still live in poverty. Half of young people are unemployed, in an unequal society caused by corruption at all government levels. Seven out of ten South Africans don’t trust politicians and many under-30s did not bother to vote in the 8 May elections. At the time of writing, ballot results are trickling in with the results expected on 11 May. The weakness of its challengers means that the ANC is expected to win again, but national projections show a drop in support of 8%. Recently the ANC replaced President Zuma with his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is attempting to recover stolen state funds. So far he has been unable to remove the deeply entrenched crony networks of corrupt local officials and power brokers who deliver many votes for ANC. See also the previous article, and

Pray: for the next parliament to remove corruption so that the country can prosper. (Psalm 15:2,3)

Global: teen suicides

A US study found that teenage suicide rates increased after the release of a Netflix drama called ‘13 Reasons Why’ – a story of a high-school girl who kills herself. Researchers estimated an additional 195 suicide deaths among 10- to 17-year-olds in the nine months after its release, an increase of 29%. The additional deaths mainly affected boys. In New Zealand recently hundreds marched to Parliament for teen suicide awareness because the government has not done enough to stem the trend. The marchers pushed through barriers set up at Parliament to place photos of their loved ones at the top of the steps. They then sang a waiata (a traditional Māori song) as hundreds more watched and filmed. In England, Rachael Warburton said her 12-year-old daughter, Jessica, left a suicide note with six reasons to kill herself after watching a Netflix show. See:  and

Pray: for the media to remove obscene viewing that leads to suicide and self-harm. (Psalm 51:7,14a)

Sudan: ‘deep state’ of Islamists remains

Omar al-Bashir is no longer Sudan’s president, but those who served him want to hold on to power through a military council. Meanwhile, protesters are still staging a sit-in outside Khartoum’s military headquarters and demanding that power be handed over to civilians. Islamist regime insiders who were close to al-Bashir remain in the shadows, and, unfortunately for the Christian minority of 3%, they are determined to maintain their grip on power. These Islamists are what is being described in media reports as a ‘deep state’ of shadowy authority figures that could eventually seize power in a counter-coup. Islamist influence is strong in the upper echelons of the armed forces and political parties are weakened by decades of authoritarian rule. It will be difficult for independent individuals with experience and strength to deal with these dangers.

Pray: for western democracies to help Sudan to break free of military control. (Ezekiel 34:16)

Praise Reports
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