Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Answered prayer: Christian wins appeal

In 2016 Prayer Alert intercessors were asked to pray for Felix Ngole, a Christian student removed from a postgraduate course in social work at Sheffield University. A judge ruled against him in 2017, but now three Court of Appeal judges have overturned that ruling. Felix said, ‘This is great news for everyone who cares about freedom of speech, especially those working in or studying for caring professions. As Christians we are called to serve others and care for everyone, yet publicly and privately we must also be free to express our beliefs without fear of losing our livelihoods. I am thankful to the judges for recognising that I did not discriminate against anyone.’

Praise: God for the decision being overturned, and pray for Mr Ngole as he picks up the threads of his chosen vocation. (Psalm 10:14)

Egypt: a miraculous healing

13-year-old Rosaline was in the late stages of kidney failure, but her symptoms were misdiagnosed as food poisoning. Eventually, her doctors discovered that she had acute and permanent kidney failure and would have to be on dialysis all her life. After receiving regular five-hour dialysis treatments her symptoms worsened. The doctors didn’t expect her to survive. But her Christian faith remained steadfast. ‘My mum cried but I told her not to, because God’s timing is right’, Rosaline said. ‘I had faith in the Lord that He would heal me’. Her Sunday school teacher, Mariam, phoned Christian broadcasting station SAT-7 to ask for prayer for Rosaline. She prayed with the audience and production team live on the programme. Within a week, Rosaline’s kidneys were performing normally. Everyone was amazed at the miracle. ‘God is the greatest physician.’ said her father.

Praise: God for the witness of faith, and broadcasting His power across nations. (Psalm 150:2)

Footballer’s faith

Raheem Sterling, 24, one of England’s most talented footballers, has described his Christian faith as ‘massive’. He was interviewed by GQ, a news magazine based around music, models, women and news and directed at young adult males. Sterling says he was brought up in the church, and his mum taught him about faith from an early age. When he moved from home, his faith deepened and now he has ‘no doubt’ that God exists. ‘I know for sure. A lot of scientists, the cleverest people in the world, will tell you that there has to be a creator. They need answers, but you just have to sometimes accept that it’s bigger than you and you have to leave it at that.’

Praise: God for Raheem’s openness to the GQ audience; may God use the article to lead others on the road to faith. (John 10:27)

Praise Reports

Our bishops in Westminster

During five days in Westminster the House of Lords bishops spoke on serious youth violence; the need to scrap the ‘two-child limit’ welfare policy; climate change; child refugees; independent living for disabled people; higher education funding; music education; prescription opiates; and gambling and gaming machines in the armed forces (see next article). The foreign secretary was questioned about religious literacy training for diplomats, and about landholdings in Scotland. Please pray for God’s anointing and wisdom on our bishops as they raise issues of injustice and comment on how government policies are being implemented.

Pray: for God’s anointing on the bishops’ influence as they address specific issues with Government ministers. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)

Problem gambling in the armed forces

For many former members of the armed forces, the transition from active service to civilian life can be challenging. It is well known that transitioning veterans are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviour like excessive gambling. Research from outside the UK has consistently demonstrated that problem gambling is a more prevalent issue in armed forces populations than among civilians. Recently the Bishop of St Albans was told by the MoD that it had not funded or conducted any research on problem gambling among service personnel or veterans, but knew of a study suggesting veterans are at an increased risk of developing gambling problems. Earl Howe said that gambling has serious implications, both as a potential security risk and in connection with issues of mental health.

Pray: for more awareness and support for service personnel experiencing addiction, particularly as they return to civilian life. (1 Timothy 6:10a)

Problem gambling: FOBTs

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) are called the crack cocaine of gambling. In April the government reduced the maximum stake on FOBTs to £2. Before then William Hill Bookmakers, with 2,300 shops and 12,500 employees, relied on FOBT machines for over 50% of their turnover, particularly in inner-city and urban areas where they attracted younger customers. Now William Hill are to close 700 venues, and will apply voluntary redundancy and redeployment measures. The Safer Online Gambling Group said, ‘Perhaps William Hill can deploy its staff into treating addicts and supporting those who are vulnerable across their other betting outlets’. The NHS treats gambling addicts as young as 13 at their national Problem Gambling Clinic

Pray: for God to bless the NHS and government support for the victims of gambling. (1 Timothy 6:10b)

Rural church and mission

Rural Christian leaders find it increasingly difficult to maintain hope, energy and creativity for mission. There are, however, encouraging signs as people across rural Britain seek God together in regular prayer for their communities and take the initiative as He leads. Prayer in and for particular villages has led to Bible studies, community choirs, retreat days and coffee shops. New disciples are being formed. Pray for a multiplication of local prayer teams, and join them in praying that the Lord will send the rain of His Holy Spirit. Pray for a fulfilment of God’s promise: ‘When the poor and needy seek water I, the Lord, will answer’. (Isaiah 41:17)

Pray: for our rural communities to be transformed by the love and power of God. (Numbers 23:19)

Sajid Javid’s visit to Israel

When Sajid Javid visited the Western Wall on 1 July, it was the first time a senior British government official had visited the holy site in 19 years. He grew up in a Muslim home, and said his father taught him the deep connection that both Jews and Muslims have to Jerusalem. The director of the Western Wall Foundation explained the wall’s spiritual and historic significance to the Jewish people. Javid said he was very excited to be there, and could feel the spiritual power of the holy site. He recited Psalm 121 with a leading rabbi, and took time to place a note between the wall’s stones. The rabbi said, ‘Your visit is evidence that it’s possible for Jews and Muslims to live together in this small place without harming one another.’ Javid agreed: ‘We love Jewish heritage very much and appreciate it.’ His wife, Laura, is a church-going Christian. See

Pray: for God to direct and bless Sajid Javid in all he does. (Psalm 89:15)

Jeremy Hunt warns China against ‘repression’

The 1984 treaty between the UK and China paved the way for sovereignty over the territory to pass back to Beijing. A joint declaration set out how the rights of Hong Kong citizens should be protected for the next 100 years. Hong Kong has a judicial system independent from China, but a controversial proposed extradition bill flies in the face of the treaty. It caused huge protests, and activists occupied parliament buildings. China’s reaction to this event prompted Jeremy Hunt to summon its ambassador on 3 July, saying that he rejected Beijing’s ‘unacceptable behaviour and inaccurate remarks’. On 4 July China warned the UK not to interfere in its domestic affairs and labelled the UK ‘hypocritical’, saying that it no longer has a say in how Hong Kong should be run and managed. See also ‘Hong Kong Christians’ in world section.

Pray: for London’s diplomatic row with Beijing to cool, and for the ‘one country, two systems’ approach to be honoured. (Proverbs 6: 16-19)

Royal baby Archie’s christening

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the private chapel at Windsor Castle ‪on Saturday 6 July. The identities of the godparents ‘in keeping with their wishes will remain private.’ The decision to keep the event entirely private, with no access for any television cameras or news photographers, even as they arrive at the chapel, has prompted considerable debate. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had allowed one television camera and one photographer to take pictures as the family and godparents arrived for the christenings of their children.

Pray: for the media to honour Harry and Meghan’s desire to protect their privacy. May God bless Archie. (Psalm 37:26b)

Praise Reports

Germany: Christian home-schooling

A court has granted a Christian couple custody of their children after six years of legal conflict over their right to home-school youngsters. The state kept legal custody of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s two youngest children after it came to light that the couple were breaking German law by educating their four children at home. Over thirty police officers and social workers raided their home and forcefully removed all the children: only two were later returned, thus preventing the whole family from leaving the country. ‘The right of parents to direct the education of their children is a fundamental right, protected in international law’, said the family’s lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights. ‘We are pleased that the court respected this right.’

Pray: for this story to highlight the fundamental rights of German families and change opinions about home-schooling. (Genesis 18:19a)

Italy: volcanic eruptions

A series of eruptions has rocked the small island of Stromboli, off the west coast of Italy. The initial explosion was the largest since at least 2007, according to volcanologist Boris Benhcke. Firefighters were deployed to extinguish fires started by the eruption, and a helicopter was dispatched to rescue hikers in distress. One hiker died and a second was rescued. On 3 July, two primary eruptions occurred, preceded two minutes earlier by lava spills. At the time of writing there have been a further twenty minor explosive events. ‘We can still see the fire on the mountain,’ said one onlooker. ‘The mountain is burning but it doesn’t look as if it’s going to come to the village soon, at least. These eruptions are considerably more severe than normal. The island is engulfed in a plume of smoke.’

Pray: for the protection of local villages and tourists should this flare-up develop. (Psalm 116:6a)

Praise Reports

Iran: Rouhani threatens to break nuclear deal

President Hassan Rouhani has said that on 7 July his country would exceed the 3.67% uranium enrichment limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal by ‘as much as necessary, as much as we need’. Iran will reverse this action if the other parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – abide by their commitments. The agreed enrichment limit is sufficient for power generation, but far below the 90% level needed to manufacture nuclear weapons. Rouhani also said Iran would restart construction of a heavy water reactor, and bring it to the condition that ‘according to you, is dangerous and can produce plutonium’. Iran has often threatened such action unless it gets some relief from the sanctions imposed on the country. The five other signatories of the deal are struggling to keep it afloat after US president Donald Trump walked out of it last year.

Pray: for reasoning to replace rhetoric, honesty to replace half-truths, and diplomacy to replace belligerence. (John 8:32)

Brazil: indigenous people under attack

The 1988 Brazilian constitution recognises indigenous peoples’ right to pursue traditional ways of life and the permanent, exclusive possession of their ‘traditional lands’, demarcated as Indigenous Territories. When Jair Bolsonaro became president on 1 January, he vowed that not another centimetre of indigenous land would be protected under his leadership, and he would forcibly ‘integrate’ them, adding it was ‘a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians’. Indigenous peoples are fearful. His administration has launched an unprecedented attack on them, with the explicit aim of destroying their way of life and plundering their land. On 28 June 2,000+ people occupied the capital holding banners and arrows, marching to the ministry of health and the ministry of justice. Pray for the restoration of healthcare access to indigenous people; and that they will have more land rights and access to public services. See

Pray: for the government to honour the constitution and terminate random new policies. (Proverbs 12:19)

Sudan: pray for democracy

Many observers are saying that the fresh wave of protests across Sudan could be pivotal. On 30 June at least seven were killed and 200 injured in clashes when thousands took to the streets demanding that the ruling military council hand over power to a civilian government. For Christians, the revolution initially brought hope of religious freedom, but now there is a keen sense of disappointment. A local Christian said, ‘If there is more of a democracy, hopefully, prayerfully there will be more freedom to be able to evangelise, and to share the message of Jesus’ love. What can we do? We need to be praying for the situation in Sudan.’ Pray for definitive peace and stability between the people and military commanders who continue to vie for power. Ask God for government leaders to rule with integrity and justice. Pray for the church to grow spiritually strong despite intense suffering and persecution.

Pray: for leaders to put aside their differences and deliver unity, peace and security. (Amos 3:3)

Hong Kong: Christians and demonstrations

Last week we praised God for the peaceful anti-extradition bill rallies in city streets. This week violent demonstrators stormed the legislative building in protest against the extradition bill. Many Christians feared for their lives in light of the now-suspended bill, due to China having some of the most restrictive religious freedom laws on earth. According to the law, religious assemblies in public areas are not deemed illegal, so if people sing hymns together, it could actually work as a protection and guarantee that they stay safe. But this week people started to sing ‘Sing hallelujah to the Lord’ to protect themselves in chaotic scenes of huge groups storming into government buildings, painting graffiti on the walls and even draping the front lectern in a British Hong Kong flag used during the colonial period. Amid the political turmoil, Hong Kong’s many Christian leaders have called for peace and progress. Pray for people with different positions and opinions to listen to each other.

Pray: for the culture clash of systems to establish synchronisation. (Genesis 4:7a)

Pakistan: killings halt vaccine drive

A government campaign to vaccinate 40 million children under the age of five against polio had to be suspended following serious attacks on workers and police in just one week. A policeman protecting polio workers was killed in Bannu, and a polio worker was injured with a knife in Lahore by a man refusing to allow his child to be vaccinated. Two others connected with different polio teams were also killed, and one man was seriously wounded. Further attacks on staff in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab were reported. The violence was preceded by a series of rumours intended to derail Pakistan’s campaign to eradicate the disease. On 22 April several thousand children were taken to hospital in north-west Pakistan by panicked parents after a video circulated on Facebook in which a man attested that children were falling sick following vaccinations. A mob set alight a health centre following the same rumour.

Pray: for the government to face fiction and continue broadcasting facts nationally. (Proverbs 12:19)

North Korea / US relationships

Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to enter North Korea in an ‘impromptu’ meeting after he left the G20 summit. Later he said that he and Kim would restart nuclear negotiations and he invited Kim to the US ‘when the time is right’. He added, ‘Great progress has been made, great friendships have been made and this has been, in particular, a great personal friendship.’ But the ‘friendship’ faltered four days later when North Korea accused the US of being ‘hell-bent on hostile acts’ and ‘obsessed with sanctions’. When Pyongyang’s delegation visited the United Nations, North Korea also accused Washington of attempting to ‘undermine the peaceful atmosphere’ on the Korean peninsula. This indicates a return to the angry exchanges which have marred relations in recent times. We need to pray for the teams representing the US and North Korean leaders who will be meeting over the coming weeks to resume the talks which collapsed four months ago.

Pray: for diplomacy to take root and peaceful calming comments to replace rhetoric. (Proverbs 22:11)

Global: post-G20 foreign bribery unchecked

China, Mexico and Russia are just some of the countries represented at this year’s G20 summit which are failing to enforce their laws and promises against corruption, and in particular foreign bribery. International bribery is one of the many ways in which corruption heavily impacts sustainable development and economic growth. It hinders fair access to markets as well as progress on today’s most pressing issues like education, healthcare, gender equality and the climate crisis. To make economic development work for all, anti-corruption should be mainstreamed into every decision and policy. G20 governments must enable clean contracting provisions, publish open registers of beneficial owners of companies, and create strong whistle-blower protection. G20 leaders must focus on implementing their commitments and not feel tempted just to keep making more promises.

Pray: for nations to take concrete action against lost public money, dodgy procurement, and anonymous shell companies. (Proverbs 22:1)

Praise Reports
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