Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Changing face of mission

In the eighteenth century mission agencies were established, recruiting missionaries and mobilising mission across continents. Later, a new generation of pioneers took the gospel into regions of unreached people. But Christians realised that many were still isolated from the gospel by cultural and language barriers. Then mother tongue evangelists appeared. Work progressed, identifying more unreached peoples and taking the gospel to them. Globally, churches became significant missionary senders. Former pioneer areas like South Korea, Nigeria, India, Brazil and the Philippines sent missionaries into the world. Today, local churches have cross-cultural opportunities on their doorstep. Translators are using modern technology to interpret the gospel into other languages in a matter of months. The same work previously took years to complete. Satellite TV broadcasts into closed countries, and the Church continues to rise to the challenge of taking the gospel to the whole world.

Praise: God for amazing growth of cross-cultural ministry opportunities and resources. (Matthew 24:14)

Ramadan ‘Iftar’ Kosher meal

A leading Palestinian businessman, Sheikh Ashraf Jabari, served a kosher spread to his Israeli guests at a traditional fast-breaking ‘Iftar’ meal, which Muslims eat during the holy month of Ramadan. He hosted several key Israeli leaders including the Samaria regional council head, a Jewish community leader, and Heather Johnston of the Israel-US Friendship Association, as well as members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Jabari said, ‘This meal is a reinforcement, in the sense that economic-business relationships and the strengthening of relations and friendship lead us all to a more positive place. Breaking the fast together at a joint meal in Hebron clearly symbolises our ability to bridge all gaps.’ The meal is an example of Palestinian business leaders choosing to set aside political issues to focus on improving economic prospects for the Arab sector.

Praise: God for business ties between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. May they lead to further human and industrial partnerships that improve relationships in every area of coexistence. (Ephesians 4:1)

Praise Reports

Prayers in and for Parliament

Bishop Graham Tomlin wrote in the Sunday Times, ‘Prayer reminds me that my opponents are people too, that they deserve respect even if I think they are profoundly wrong. We need our politicians to pray because we need them to know that they are not God, that whatever power they have is borrowed. They need to treat each other well, debate wisely and carefully, and know they are accountable not just to us and our passing fads, but to something bigger, deeper and more final – a God whose Kingdom will last long after Brexit is a footnote in the books of history.’ We can pray for all struggling to break the Brexit deadlock to find time to attend Parliament church services this term. See

Pray: for toxic debate to become inoffensive, and polarised parties to become partners. (Romans 8:28)

Organised crime at record level

‘The changing nature of organised crime is undermining the UK’s economy, integrity, infrastructure and institutions,’ says the National Crime Agency. ‘Britain risks losing the fight against crime unless the police receive significant new resources to tackle chronic and corrosive threats from criminal groups.’ In a chilling assessment, it says the threat from organised crime groups is at unprecedented levels and kills more citizens every year than terrorism, war and natural disasters combined. This rare political intervention reopened the debate on police funding: without significant investment the UK’s forces will fall further behind the criminals exploiting encrypted communications technology and dark web anonymity. Last year Whitehall’s spending watchdog revealed that the jobs of 44,000 police officers and staff had been lost since 2010. In 2019 transnational criminal networks, the exploitation of technological improvements and ‘old-style violence’ is allowing serious crime gangs to dominate communities.

Pray: for the Home Office to reassess police resources in the light of this report. (Daniel 2:21)

UK ‘spy’ jailed in Iran

An Iranian woman has been sentenced to ten years in prison in Iran for spying for the UK. A spokesman, Gholam Hossein Esmaili, said the woman had been ‘in charge of the Iran desk’ of the British Council. The British Council seeks to foster cultural relations and educational opportunities in many countries worldwide, but does not have offices or representatives in Iran. It knew that one of its staff had been detained while making a private family visit. Mr Esmaili said she ‘confessed’ to ‘co-operating’ with British intelligence. She is accused of ‘acting against national security’ – a charge laid against a range of activists, journalists, dual citizens and foreign nationals detained in recent years. A London-based British Council employee and art student, Aras Amiri, who was detained in March 2018, is thought to be the jailed person.

Pray: for the safety and wellbeing of all non-political citizens held for espionage in Iran. (Psalm 38:22)


The Alabama senate has passed a law that says abortions should not be allowed in any circumstances apart from ‘risk to the mother’s life’. A British Christian researcher, Katie Brookfield, disagreed with Alabama’s ruling. ‘The reality is that making abortion illegal does not end abortion, it drives it underground where it’s extremely dangerous.’ Meanwhile, a pro-life campaigner said, ‘The Alabama ruling is a fantastic step in the right direction. But you can’t celebrate it without taking a long hard look at our own situation. The UK government is pushing to decriminalise abortion totally up to 24 weeks, not recognising there are two people in the case of abortion. This is happening because the UK church, like the priest and the Levi, is choosing to look the other way, walk on the other side of the road and not see the truth. These little human beings are being disposed of and denied burial through every single abortion procedure.’

Pray: for legislators to realise that they are dealing with two people, mother and child. (Psalm 139:13b,14)

HOPE for all: 2020 vision

Roy Crowne, the Executive director of HOPE Together, writes, ‘Mission was on the Apostle Paul’s agenda when he said there is “one who plants… one who waters… but only God makes things grow… We are fellow workers in God’s service.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9) Since 2008 HOPE Together and churches across the country have been sowing and watering seeds of the gospel, and we believe that God will produce a harvest. We are praying, preparing and trusting God for a harvest in 2020. Use the great opportunities that we have this summer to bring local people together, to sow seeds and to build community with fun days, fetes and festivals. Plan to water those seeds this autumn and winter as you help people to discover more about Jesus. Pray with us that we will reap a harvest in 2020 as churches all over the country invite people to respond to the message of hope that Jesus gives.’

Pray: for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on local churches to expand His Kingdom. (Matthew 6:10)

Huawei: Britain still reviewing policy

On 16 May the prime minister’s spokesman was asked whether the new US sanctions against Huawei had persuaded the UK government to reconsider its telecom strategy. The Trump administration hit Huawei with severe sanctions on 15 May. British ministers have agreed to allow Huawei a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network, although the final decision has not yet been published. The spokesman said, ‘As you know, in relation to Huawei, we are reviewing the right policy approach for 5G and when an announcement is ready the culture secretary will update parliament. We are committed to ensuring that UK telecoms networks are fully secure, and any decision will be supported by a hard-headed, technically informed assessment of the risk.’ See also article 6 in the World section.

Pray: for God to inspire all decisions made to ensure future national security. (Proverbs 2:10)

A nation in pain

Christian Voice says, ‘Who can doubt that there is something deeply wrong with the United Kingdom today? Everyone seems to be looking out for themselves, people have to be paid to care, few appear to have any honour or respect – from the top to the bottom. The Christian faith itself is under attack from the media and homosexual activists. Secularism is destroying our land, Christianity has been pushed to the margins, and Islam is waiting to fill the vacuum. The judgement of God is falling on us. How did it come to this? We must pray for our Government as never before, and pray that God will raise up men like John Knox and John Wesley to call the nation to repentance. We need to pray for our nation and its people, out of our love for our Saviour and the victims of injustice. But our prayer needs to be more than just: “Lord, do something!” It needs to be: “Lord, what can I do?”’

Pray: for Christians not to grow weary, but to continue calling out to God, petitioning for heaven’s wisdom and vision to permeate every sector of our society, in Jesus’ name. (Galatians 6:9)

Praise Reports

European parliament elections: Brexit Party

73 MEPs will be elected in the UK on 23 May, and the Conservative party potentially faces an angry backlash from voters. Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has more support than the two traditional British parties combined. Britain’s education minister Damian Hinds said that the elections were a second referendum that would be difficult for Conservatives. The latest opinion poll gives the Brexit Party 34% of the vote, yet it was only founded in April. Fourteen of UKIP’s seventeen MEPs have defected to it. Nigel Farage said there has been a breakdown of trust between people and politicians, as the two main parties have failed to deliver the result of the Brexit referendum. See

Pray: for God’s chosen people to represent countries in the European elections. (Isaiah 65:22b)

Germany: opening to God

Before refugees came, Germans never thought about religion. Germany was a ‘Christian’ country. Lutheran or Catholic was an insignificant part of life. Now that Muslims have come, religion is an issue. Germans are questioning, ‘How am I different from them?’ ‘What do I even believe?’ ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’ and ‘Who is God?’ Communities are becoming more open now. Even Muslims are becoming disillusioned because of the things being done in the name of Islam, and questioning if they want to be a part of something that does such harm. The Spirit is working in converts to Christianity. Most are authentic heart-transformations, even though some are sceptical and disheartened by occasional fake proclamations of faith. Fake or not, despite the intentions of the heart, God’s Word does not come back void. The gospel is being preached, even though there is still much opposition from sceptical nationals and fearful refugees.

Pray: for more Christians to bring life into religion, enter politics, and have abundant life. (John 1:4)

Praise Reports

Singapore: Celebration of Hope 17-19 May

Thousands of Christians have travelled to Singapore to grow in the knowledge of God’s power and grasp the concept of Holy Spirit-led personal evangelism. They will become part of a Gospel rally led by Canon J John. The organisers expect that his message will encourage thousands to reach their friends and relatives with the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord – the one name in which everyone can have solid hope. The vision is of personal evangelism on a mass scale, culminating in Gospel rallies at the 55,000 capacity national stadium over three days. Pray for all of them as they worship together and listen to the message of evangelism; may they duplicate the training learnt over the three days in their home churches. Pray for brokenness in spirit, oneness in the Body, and a bountiful harvest. See

Pray: for the English, Tamil, Filipino, Chinese and other nationals to hear God’s call for their lives and their nations’ future. (Psalm 4:3a)

India: ‘murder’ by prayer

Three Christians stood in disbelief as police clapped them in handcuffs. They went to jail, simply for praying for a sick woman. Surjan, Kolah and Krishna had not been openly sharing the gospel in the streets, which would draw persecution. They had simply prayed for the sick wife of a friend. But the woman died, and the villagers blamed the three Christians who had prayed for her. 27-year-old Krishna had only been a Christian for a month. What would prison do to his young faith? In prison, guards called the three men ‘Hallelujah people’ because they met every morning for prayer and to encourage each other. As months passed, they shared the gospel with fellow prisoners. Thirteen became Christians. After eleven months a lawyer was able to get them released on bail. But they still face a trial. They may yet face a term in in prison for the crime of ‘murder’ by prayer.

Pray: for all imprisoned for their faith; may Jesus protect them and secure their future. (Psalm 4:8)

Burkina Faso: another church attack

For the second time since Easter, a church in Burkina Faso has suffered a terrorist attack during a Sunday services. This target was a Catholic church in Dablo, where the priest and five worshippers were killed. This prompted a series of déjà-vu headlines among global media outlets as the death toll matches last month’s attack on an Assemblies of God church. The assailants again arrived on motorcycles and interrupted morning Mass, shooting the congregation as they tried to flee. They ordered the women and children to clear the scene before executing six men, including the priest, and setting fire to the church The martyred priest, 34-year-old Simeon Yampa, was described as ‘a humble person, obedient and full of love’. The nation has suffered hundreds of attacks by jihadists in recent years, but these two were the first on houses of Christian worship.

Pray: for God to protect the Christians of Burkina Faso as they face religious extremism. (Psalm 16:1)

Pakistan: Christian bride trafficking

Muqadas was 16 when her parents married her off to a Chinese man looking for a bride. A few months later, Muqadas is back home, pregnant, and seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. Hundreds of poor Christian Pakistani girls have been trafficked to China in a bride market that has swiftly grown since last year. Brokers aggressively seek girls for Chinese men, sometimes cruising outside churches to look for potential brides. They are being helped by Christian clerics paid to target impoverished parents in their congregation with promises of wealth in exchange for their daughters. Parents receive several thousand dollars and are told that their new sons-in-law are wealthy Christian converts – but this is not true. The Chinese government and its embassy in Pakistan are accused of turning a blind eye to the practice by issuing visas and documents without question.

Pray: for those isolated in remote regions, vulnerable to abuse, unable to speak Chinese. (Psalm 140:4)

Iran / USA: sanctions and sabotage

On 10 May US merchant vessels were warned of potential threats to commercial shipping and oil production infrastructure in the seas near Iran. On 13 May two Saudi oil tankers were attacked as they prepared to cross into the Persian Gulf. ‘Significant damage to the two vessels’ halted further movement. Meanwhile seven (Iran-backed) Houthi drones targeted two (US-backed) Saudi pumping stations along a pipeline carrying 5m barrels of crude oil a day; in response, the USA has deployed aircraft strike groups and B-52 bombers to the region. On 15 May Iranian newspapers reported that Tehran will resume higher nuclear enrichment (beyond the permitted 3.67%) in sixty days if no new agreement is reached about sanctions being lifted. The US embassy in Baghdad has ordered all non-essential and non-emergency staff to leave Iraq immediately, as tensions grow between Washington and Iran. See

Pray: for rhetoric and ‘psychological warfare’ to lead to talks, not further aggressive actions. (Deuteronomy 20:10)

USA: national emergency over IT threats

President Trump has declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from ‘foreign adversaries’. He has barred US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose national security risks. The order does not name any company, but is believed to target Huawei, who said that restricting its business in the US would only hurt American consumers and companies. The move is likely to worsen tensions between the US and China, which escalated this week with tariff hikes in a trade war. Huawei may not need the US market, but it certainly needs the key components that it gets from the US. On 14 May, Huawei’s chairman said that Huawei was ‘willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments’, as concerns over the security of its products used in mobile networks continues to grow. See also article 6 in the UK section.

Pray: for the public to be protected from trade wars and technology decisions. (Psalm 27:5)

Nigeria: 894 children released

Since 2012, non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria have recruited and used children as combatants and non-combatants, raped and forced girls to marry, and committed other grave violations against children. Some of the girls become pregnant in captivity and give birth without any medical care or attention. Recently 894 of these children, including 106 girls, were released from the ranks of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, as part of its commitment to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children. The CJTF is a local militia helping Nigerian security forces fight against insurgency by protecting communities from attack. The children will now be helped to return to normal civilian life and learn vocational skills. Pray for the children who have borne the brunt of this conflict, witnessing killing and violence, resulting in serious implications for their physical and emotional well-being.

Pray: for God to bless the work to repair communities and bring lasting peace. (1 Samuel 25:33)

Praise Reports
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