Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Hong Kong: Sing Hallelujah!

An estimated two million people filled Hong Kong streets in protests against the government, which had been pursuing an extradition agreement that could have sent activists, advocates and even foreign nationals to mainland China for legal proceedings. But even after the bill was pulled, the protests not only continued: they have grown, and through the ongoing protest, an unlikely song has rapidly become the unofficial anthem by tens and hundreds of thousands. The uniting song is ‘Sing Hallelujah to the Lord’. A quarter of the entire population sang the anthem. Praise the Lord, Hong Kong! Praise the Lord, indeed!

Praise: God for glorifying Himself in Hong Kong. (John 14:14)

Bravery at a synagogue shooting

John Earnest walked into a California synagogue carrying a semiautomatic rifle. Rabbi Goldstein was preparing for the day’s prayer and heard gunshots. He found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. Earnest had just shot someone in the foyer. ‘I have a fraction of a second to decide what to do’, he recounted. ‘Do I hide? The gun is pointing at me. Do I think about others?’ His mind raced. When he turned to herd the children to safety the gunman fired at him, blowing off his fingers. His granddaughter cried, ‘Grandpa, why are you bleeding?’ The gunman fired into a side room full of people but only two were slightly wounded. As the rabbi turned back, the gunman’s rifle jammed. Two congregation members chased him out of the building. A short time later, he inexplicably phoned 911 and reported the shooting.

Praise: God for the gun jamming, and for the gunman’s remorse. (Deuteronomy 23:14a)

Praise Reports

Declaration to change a nation

‘According to Proverbs 14:34, we agree that righteousness exalts a nation, so we speak righteousness into every aspect of government. We decree and declare that Kingdom values (well-being, health, safety and prosperity) will be established over all other values in the UK. We thank You, Lord, for the expectation that people are treated justly – economically, educationally and socially – irrespective of class or ethnicity. We thank You for those who are concerned over housing, healthcare and the environment, and for the roots of social justice and concern that lie within Your Kingdom. In this season of the impossible becoming possible, we agree with God’s promise, “You shall declare a thing and it shall be established” (Job 22:28). We declare that the words of God’s people in this nation will release hope and peace, and build Kingdom purposes in our land. We speak mercy, truth, righteousness and Godly wisdom into all spheres of government.’

Pray: for the wisdom, power and sovereign counsel of God to inspire every single department within government. (Job 22:28)

Farming facts

Certain occupations can be more dangerous than others due to the nature of work that is carried out. The Health and Safety Executive reported that agriculture, forestry and fishing are the riskiest industry sector. One that consistently tops the list of hazardous industries is farming. Although no figures are yet available for 2019, 33 people died in the 12 months up to March 2018. Farming is more than five times more risky than the second such industry. Farmers had the most fatal injuries, and 48% of those killed were over 65. Almost twice as many self-employed farmers were killed as employees.

Pray: for improved, updated mechanisms and methods alongside stronger health and safety support and guidelines. (Psalm 10:14a)

Bishop condemns arms sales to Saudis

The Bishop of St Albans said arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended, after a court of appeal ruled that the Government failed to assess adequately the risk of arms being used in violation of international law. He said, ‘We need reassurance that the Government has adopted appropriate safeguards to protect civilians in future. Aid is still needed in Yemen, and I hope international partners will work with the Government to deliver this.’ Campaign Against Arms Trade said the Government didn’t enforce its own rules, which state that military export licences should not be granted if there is a clear risk that arms might be used in violation of international humanitarian law. Christian Aid said that the Saudi-UAE-led coalition was being propped up by UK government military advisers, arms exports, and ongoing political and technical support. The Government plans to appeal against the court’s ruling.

Pray: for the Government’s officials to examine every export licence application rigorously on a case-by-case basis. (Psalm 101:2)

Christian GP investigated by medical watchdog

Dr Richard Scott runs the Bethesda Medical Centre, caring for almost 20,000 patients. At the end of the standard Western medicine procedure he asks his patients for their permission to introduce elements of faith into his consultation. He maintains that his behaviour is vindicated by the WHO, which includes spiritual alongside physical and mental wellbeing and has ‘involved a spiritual angle’ for patients with depression, anxiety or addiction. Now he faces disciplinary action by the General Medical Council and could lose his job, following complaints to the National Secular Society by an acquaintance that a ‘highly vulnerable’ patient felt ‘discomfort at the use of prayer’. Christian Concern said that Dr Scott always asks his patients if they’re open to discussion. Sometimes they’re not, and he respects that.

Pray: for Dr Scott to be found fit to practise, and for the National Secular Society to stop persecuting Christians. (Psalm 143:12)

Huddersfield – a violent crime hotspot

Journalist Mobeen Azhar went to Huddersfield to investigate gun crime. His enquiry, lasting almost two years, found links between Huddersfield and national and international drugs trading, mainly by British Pakistanis. Each incident he saw on videotape seemed to follow the same pattern – streets cordoned off, gunshots, blood, and masked men speeding off. Witnesses were afraid to talk for fear of retribution. The words ‘young Pakistani’ kept coming up, with suggestions of a drug turf war. ‘It’s getting out of control – you can’t pop down to the shop without a bulletproof vest’, one woman said. In 20 months, 95+ incidents involving firearms related to the drugs trade occurred in one Huddersfield district alone. People justified selling drugs because ‘the customers aren’t Muslim, so you don’t have to respect them’. One in every 100 people in Yorkshire and Humber has used crack cocaine and other opiates.

Pray: for Muslim communities to support the police in the struggle to shut down West Yorkshire’s heroin trade. (Proverbs 21:3)

The Christian 99%

Christ himself gave the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (Ephesians 4:11,12) Michael Oh, the CEO of the Lausanne Movement, said that 99% of the church believe that these works are not their responsibility, but only the responsibility of those in vocational ministry. However, the truth is that the primary responsibility of the 1% – pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and others – is to train, commission, and support the evangelism, discipleship, and mission work of the 99%. What God has universalised, we have professionalised. We can pray for the spirit of evangelism, compassion, intercession and boldness to replace the timidity that has crept into our churches. To paraphrase Martin Luther, ‘We are not all called to be pastors, but we are all called to be priests.’

Pray: for the 99% to wake up to God’s call and mature into the fullness of Christ. (Revelation 3:2)

Scotland’s homeless

The number of applications for homelessness status in Scotland is up by 3% on the previous year, with 36,465 people needing help from their local council. Glasgow saw the biggest increase, up 8%; it also accounted for 95% of the cases where a council did not fulfil its legal obligation to offer temporary accommodation to a homeless person. Nearly 3,000 slept rough at least once in the three months prior to seeking council help. Shelter Scotland said the figures exposed the devastating impact Scotland’s ‘housing emergency’ has on people’s lives. They come from every walk of life, and many want to find work; they are no different from the rest of us. Homelessness begins when something bad happens – relationship breakdown, redundancy, poor mental health, alcohol/substance addiction, domestic abuse. People don’t choose their circumstances.

Pray: for the various charities in Scotland and across the UK who are supporting people and empowering them to make a fresh start, and for the Scottish government to fulfil its commitment to end homelessness for good. (Jeremiah 30:17a)

Praise Reports

Italy: rescue boat defies Salvini, enters port

A German humanitarian group operating a rescue boat with 42 rescued migrants on board was in limbo in the Mediterranean for two weeks after Italy ordered it not to enter its territory. The captain ran out of options and turned the boat towards Lampedusa. He said, ‘I know what I’m risking, but the survivors are exhausted. I’m taking them to safety.’ Italy’s hard-line anti-migration interior minister Matteo Salvini vowed fines, arrests, and a boat seizure. He said that other European countries should take responsibility for the migrants; in this case Germany, where the NGO has its headquarters, and the Netherlands, because the vessel flew a Dutch flag. On 27 June the boat reached Lampedusa and law-enforcement officers boarded it. By then the migrants were ‘desperate’. Salvini wants Italy to ignore European rules and refrain from registering and identifying future new arrivals.

Pray: for the health and wellbeing of the 42, and for quarrels over responsibility for rescued migrants to end. (Deuteronomy 24:17a)

Spain: worst wildfire in twenty years

On 27 June, amid a Europe-wide heatwave, a forest fire in Catalonia raged out of control, despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters working through the night. It broke out on 26 June, and had destroyed over 10,000 acres by the next morning. Already thirty people have been evacuated from farmhouses, and the regional government warned that it could eventually devour 50,000 acres. It may have been caused by manure in a farm generating enough heat to explode and produce sparks. Much of Europe is gripped in a record-breaking heatwave that could send thermometers above 40 C (104 F).

Pray: for this fire to be contained, and potential fires to be rapidly detected. Pray for the safety of people living in forestry and farming areas. (Psalm 20:1a)

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Algeria: punished for worshipping at home

Prosecutors sought a six-month prison sentence and a huge fine for a 35-year-old father in the coastal town of Mostaganem because he invited a Christian couple to come and pray with him in his home. The judge instead awarded a two-month suspended prison sentence and a small fine to the new Christian, who requested anonymity as he fears for his life in the officially Muslim country. He was accused of organising Christian worship; and the law forbids non-Muslim worship for unregistered churches. Sources said that a neighbour had denounced him; he is frightened and shocked by this accusation. Algeria is ranked 22nd on the World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, up from 42nd last year.

Pray: for God’s peace, protection and power for the vulnerable Algerian church. (Psalm 32:7)

Tunisia: bombs target security forces

Two explosions rocked Tunis on 27 June, targeting security positions. One blast struck a security vehicle in a busy area of the capital, while the second targeted a police building. A number of police personnel and three civilians were killed. Tunisia has been battling militant groups operating in remote areas near the border with Algeria since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Since the revolution, dozens of the security forces and 59 foreign tourists have been killed. After an IS-claimed suicide bombing killed twelve presidential guards in 2015, Tunisia has been under a state of emergency. Tunisians made up a large component of the foreign fighters in IS, while the porous border with neighbouring Libya has also aided militants. Spiritually Tunisians are being exposed to the truth of the gospel as they interact with believers on social media sites and search Christian websites.

Pray: for the peace that surpasses all understanding to radiate through Christians into fearful communities. (Psalm 23:4)

USA: child brides

In the US you can marry at 12 but can’t drink beer until 21. Keri met Paul, 24, at a party on her 15th birthday. They slept together just once – and Keri became pregnant. Paul asked her to marry him so that he didn’t go to jail for statutory rape. Her father’s consent was needed; he gave it. Keri couldn’t finish school, and later described her marriage as horrible, with Paul treating her ‘like a maid’. Making even small legal changes on this issue is a slow, hard-won process. On 29 January, the senate in South Carolina passed a bill to end child marriage. 17 American states still have no legal minimum age for marriage if a child is pregnant and has consent from a judge or family member. So 12-year-olds continue to be legally wed to men much older than they are – if they’re pregnant.

Pray: for the loopholes that allow child brides to be closed so that children have a happier future. (Psalm 51:13)

Lebanon: families who lost everything

Four brothers and their families in a wealthy Syrian suburb lost homes, cars, and belongings through shelling. They moved to the relative safety of a new city, sharing just one apartment (16 children, parents, and grandparents). The inflated rent has to be paid on a daily basis. Their vulnerability and poverty were difficult to adjust to. Family members suffered stress-related ailments, including ulcers. A pastor coordinating a Lebanese relief project visited them and asked what they needed. They said they wanted to be treated like humans not animals. One said his brain had stopped and he couldn’t think ahead: ‘How can I rebuild my life, when I now have no home and no money?’ The pastor said there is hope, because Jesus gives us hope. He prayed with the sick family members. Since that visit, the family has received some food assistance through the church, and a few of them are attending Bible study sessions.

Pray: for God to give compassion to the communities adapting to living with the foreigners who have joined them. (Deuteronomy 10:19)

Japan ‘waters down’ climate change commitment

As host of the G20 leaders’ summit, Japan has drafted a weak statement on climate action, in a bid to keep the US onside. This follows a G20 executive decision last week in which all countries but the US reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris agreement. Japan is trying to build consensus with the USA, as they are negotiating a trade deal. But other G20 members, including the EU, are expected to push for more ambitious language at the expense of US endorsement. Japanese campaigners are organising protests to coincide with the G20’s opening on 28 June. One of them accused President Shinzo Abe of being ‘full of hot air’ when it comes to his pledges on climate action. Also, on 26 June 12,000 people gathered in London to pressurise politicians to tackle global climate change more urgently. See

Pray: for nations to recognise their mandate for speedy action to tackle climate change. (Genesis 1:28)

Praying for Buddhists

The idea of Buddhism (and Hinduism) as a ‘religion’ is partly an invention of early Western missionaries. Later the concept was taken up by Buddhists themselves. Buddhist ideas are woven into a wide tapestry of belief, ritual, filial piety and morality that often involve the occult, other gods, and ancestors. Few practising Buddhists have turned to Christ, except in Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, South Korea, and Vietnam, which have growing churches or substantial Christian populations. Yet churches are being planted among Buddhists, and there are recurring reports of monks studying the New Testament and meeting Christ. Pray for the remaining Buddhist peoples of the world to encounter Christ, who is ‘desired by all nations’ (Haggai 2:7). Buddhist mindfulness, types of meditation, and statues are being adopted around the world. Pray for fresh Christian approaches to reach those seeking the peace that only Christ can give. See

Pray: for God to raise up church-planters, scholars, and study-centres to reach the 540 million members of the Buddhist world. (Mark 16:15,16)

China: ‘Christianity harmful to security’

A seminar held in Hebi, Henan for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) discussed the ‘enormous harm’ officials believe Christianity poses to national security. All CCP members were urged to maintain ‘correct views’ with regard to religion, and to avoid being persuaded by any ‘ideology’. The government openly forbids CCP members from practising a religion, saying Christianity is attempting to undermine its rule. There is no evidence for this, but the CCP exhibits extensive social management, with different departments managing religion ‘through non-religious ways’, in an effort to claim religion is a threat. Unfortunately, only a few countries are willing to stand up to China on human rights violations and religious persecution.

Pray: for a grassroots international uprising saying, ‘No more religious persecution.’ (Psalm 58:10a)

Syria: oil shortages and pipeline sabotage

Five underwater pipelines off Syria’s coast were sabotaged on 22-23 June. No group claimed responsibility for this ‘terrorist attack’. Syria has been beset by fuel shortages since the EU, UN and US imposed sanctions and asset freezes on certain individuals in response to atrocities carried out by the regime. Since April, private car owners have had to queue at petrol stations after being restricted to twenty litres of fuel every five days. Iran was supplying 1 to 3 million barrels a month, but after Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal the US has tightened energy sanctions to push Iran’s crude exports to zero. However, tanker-tracking firms believe Iran delivered a million barrels of crude oil recently.

Pray: for civilians trying to return to normality to experience peace in the midst of terrorism and shortages. (John 16:33)

Praise Reports
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