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Praise Reports

Afghan Christians share Christ

Voice of the Martyrs recently reported, ‘Afghan believers are boldly sharing the gospel in their country like never before in its history. In a nation that is 99 percent Muslim, the risks of such ministry are incredible. But many of these courageous followers of Christ have decided their countrymen must hear that God loves them, that Jesus Christ has paid for their sins, and that there is a guaranteed future for them with God through Jesus. Their witness is producing fruit: today there are Christians throughout the country of Afghanistan. Over the years, Afghan believers have often hidden their faith, but there are men and women willing to share the gospel courageously throughout Afghanistan and other Asian nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith.’

Praise: God for all who are sharing the gospel at great personal risk and sacrifice, may God continually bless and protect them. (Genesis 17:20)

Muslims save Christians from attack

In Kenya a group of local Muslims alerted twenty, mostly Christian, construction workers to an attack by a jihadist fundamentalist group. The workers were building a hospital when the Muslims warned them to leave the site quickly and helped them do so. The area is usually very hostile towards Christians, and believers who come from other areas for work or ministry face harassment and are continuously targeted by al-Shabaab attacks. Pray for God’s protection over those who took this bold move.

Praise: God that a bloodbath was prevented. Pray for similar actions to be the new norm in this area. (Ephesians 4:3)

Where hope comes to life

Through Africa Renewal Ministries in Uganda abandoned babies, child sponsorship, and children’s transition care programmes are bringing hope and renewal to thousands of vulnerable children. Each age-appropriate programme (0-19 years) focuses on discipleship, education, healthcare, and leadership. Participants include Loving Hearts Babies Home, Early Childhood Development Programme, Child Development Programme, Bethany Children’s Village, and the Mwangaza Children’s Choir.

Praise: God for this and all mission agencies bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and vulnerable, supporting local churches, and empowering communities. (1 Samuel 12:23)

Praise Reports

Praying into Bank forecast

The Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report predicted modest growth in the coming months amid uncertainty over future relationships with Europe, global trade tensions, and worldwide growth slowdown since 2017. Economists are saying, ‘The bank has pulled into a lay-by, got out of the car, and is awaiting clearer indications of influences it cannot control’. Let us pray to the God who controls our destiny; Deuteronomy 28:12 says, ‘The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.’ On 1 November, may the UK enter a fruitful season of trade that is blessed by God and aligned to His purposes. Let us ask God to bless businesses with an inspired workforce who embrace opportunities with heaven’s wisdom, so that commerce and industry grow.

Pray: for positive cost-effective solutions to combat negative fiscal forecasts. (1 Chronicles 29:12)

Yorkshire, Cheshire and Manchester floods

Heavy rain in northern England has left people stranded and blocked roads and railway lines. Firefighters rescued 22 people from flooded properties in Cheshire and Greater Manchester after days of heavy rain – 19mm of rain fell in eight hours. Rivers have burst their banks and ambulances have been taking injured to hospital. One firefighter, rescuing a child, had to be rescued himself from fast-flowing water. That rescue was described as ‘difficult, involving acts of bravery’. Pray for residents and shop-owners when flood waters subside, leaving buildings full of mud and silt, with possessions ruined. Pray for those who have been evacuated twice in three years, having newly replaced items ruined for a second time. Pray for those who were homeless for almost a year last time, now facing the same trauma.

Pray: for all working to replace and repair roads, paths, bridges and railway lines. (Isaiah 40:29)

High Court case over Christian assemblies

Supported by Humanists UK, atheist parents Lee and Lizanne Harris want a judicial review by the High Court into ‘harmful and divisive’ Christian messages taught in Burford Primary School assemblies. They say their children’s human rights are breached because the school isn’t offering any alternatives when the children are removed from assemblies. The children go into a separate room with a teaching assistant and an iPad. The school is not a faith school, and the parents enrolled their children there believing it would have no religious character. They said, ‘Our children shouldn’t have to participate in Christian prayers, or watch biblical scenes such as the crucifixion being acted out, nor should they hear evangelical preachers spouting harmful and divisive messages.’ Humanists UK want an overhaul of the laws surrounding school assemblies. Currently schools must have a daily act of broadly Christian worship.

Pray: for the courts to judge in the school’s favour, and not change any laws. (2 Timothy 3:16)

Building plans threaten nuns

A community of Benedictine nuns is under threat. Developers are seeking permission for a housing estate of 65 homes next to their secluded ancient abbey, where they live simply, with an emphasis on silent and isolated worship. The community provides residential retreats and heritage open days for schools in the historic park and gardens. The nuns are being asked to tolerate an enormous building site alongside the abbey building with its historic park and garden. Revd David Green said the order of around 10 to 15 nuns, whose ages range from 35 to 95, required a quiet environment for worship: ‘The side of the abbey grounds nearest the development houses the nuns’ personal accommodation, cloisters, chapel and burial ground.’ Pray for the public inquiry starting on 20 August to have empathy with the abbey and community.

Pray: for the developers to find a more suitable plot, and for the nuns to have peace. (Psalm 62:11,12)

Seeds of prayer: the seasons

In Israel, August is the beginning of the season of pomegranates. One of the ‘seven species’ (Deuteronomy 8:8), pomegranates are symbolic of blessing and fruitfulness (Numbers 13:23),  providing much needed refreshment when summer is at its hottest and driest. Full of seeds, they remind us that fruitfulness is also about securing future generations. Give thanks that it is the Lord who blesses and makes us fruitful, who sustains us through dry and difficult times, and whose plans for us are always for a ‘future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11). Boris Johnson has pledged more funds to address ‘imbalances that affect rural communities’, with funding for rural schools, supporting rural post offices, and fibre broadband by 2025. He said rural communities will be central to kick-starting the British economy after Brexit. Pray that he and his cabinet will govern so that rural and urban communities lead a quiet and peaceable life.

Pray: for the seeds of intention that Mr Johnson has sown to be watered and fed by God to bring forth kingdom fruit. (Song of Songs 4:1)

Iran: UK initiative on Strait of Hormuz

On 29 July Iran said that talks with the USA would be possible if based on an agenda that could lead to tangible results, but Washington is not seeking dialogue. Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, appealed to Mr Trump to ignore the advice of his hawkish advisers and seek a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Iran. Mr Trump has occasionally expressed interest in negotiations, but will not ease sanctions on Iran. Recently France, Italy, and Denmark gave support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz. On 31 July Britain invited military representatives of the US and other countries to a meeting in Bahrain to discuss this initiative. See

Pray: for God to direct the UK’s defence ministry and the Royal Navy as they organise safe passage through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups. (Psalm 25:5)

UK invited to pray for the Hajj

Jesus has all authority and power to forgive sins through his sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection for those who receive Him by faith. However Muslims reject this mercy and look for forgiveness and an allegiance to Allah by doing a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Muhammad said, ‘Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.’ All Muslims must perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are able; it is one of the five pillars of their faith. On 18 August, three million Muslims from all over the world will flock to Mecca to perform sacred acts and follow the steps of Muhammad, for three days. You are invited to join Christians globally to pray for the millions taking this spiritual journey.

Pray: for Hajj pilgrims to meet the one true living God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 9:24)

Praise Reports

Italy: another charity rescue boat banned

Deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has banned the Alan Kurdi, carrying forty migrants, from entering Italian waters. The boat, run by a German charity, had hoped to dock at Lampedusa. This rescue mission comes shortly after over one hundred migrants disembarked from a different boat in Sicily, but only after a new deal was reached with the EU to distribute those on board between five nations – Germany, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Ireland. A Sea-Eye spokesperson said migrant rescue boats had to respond immediately to situations, as soon as there is an emergency at sea, and political calculations should not play any role whatsoever. It is critical that all migrants be allowed to dock at Lampedusa to receive future treatment. In July authorities arrested the captain of another rescue ship after it docked there without prior permission.

Pray: for the health and welfare of migrants to be the priority of Italian authorities. (Psalm 142:7)

Trying to negotiate no hard UK border with EU

Kevin Meagher, a former special advisor to Northern Ireland’s Labour party, has said that Boris Johnson is trying to ‘look down the barrel of the European Commission to see if there is any wiggle room for him’ as he tries to negotiate a backstop which only applies to Northern Ireland and avoids a hard border between the UK and EU. Let us pray for an answer that only God can bring about. May there be a frictionless open border agreed upon by every British, Irish and European politician.

Pray: for God to remove historical roots of enmity that feed shoots of friction even now. (Psalm 133:1)

Praise Reports

YouTube bans using word ‘Christian’

Chad Robichaux, of the Mighty Oaks Foundation (a charity supporting those suffering from wartime trauma), was told he could not use the label ‘Christian’ to boost his advert on the Google-owned YouTube platform as it violated the site’s advertising policy. When Mr Robichaux objected to their decision, YouTube said that targeting users based on their religion was in breach of their advertising policy, but adverts can include the term ‘Christian’ in them and still hope to reach a Christian audience. Mr Robichaux then accused the tech giant of religious discrimination, saying, ‘We ran the exact same ad with the keyword Muslim and it was approved but Christian was not. Additionally, we’ve run ads with the keyword Christian for years. This year alone we had 150,000 impressions on that word in our ads.’ He was told the discriminating policy was new. Google has yet to comment publicly on the matter.

Pray: for the new policy to be rescinded. (Isaiah 10:1)

South America: nations with high crime rates

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela have colossal crime rates which undermine growth, threaten human welfare, and impede social development, according to the UN and World Bank. The region registers 40% of the world’s murders despite having only 9% of the global population. One in four Latin Americans was assaulted and robbed in 2018. Wealthy Brazilians have to provide their own security. Pray for the church and the police to bring security and peace to Brazil’s vulnerable population. Massive street marches in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil protesting against violence have made it difficult for politicians to avoid dealing with the issue and, in many countries, tackling crime is a central theme in political party platforms across the region. Pray for God to raise up strong, wise men and women with God’s anointing to lead the countries back to His purposes.

Pray: for the police and military to end violence in the ‘murder capitals’ of South America. (Psalm 55:9)

UN condemns ‘international indifference’ to Syria

The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet says that those responsible for airstrikes targeting Syrian civilians could be charged with war crimes, calling it ‘a failure of leadership by the world’s most powerful nations’. Since late April 400,000 have been displaced and over 730 civilians killed by Syrian and Russian attacks on militant-held Idlib where three million still live. The airstrikes on schools, hospitals, markets and bakeries killed over 103 civilians in just ten days, including 26 schoolchildren killed in their classroom seats. Ms Bachelet added, ‘These are civilian objects, and it seems highly unlikely, given the persistent pattern of such attacks, that they are all being hit by accident. There is an international indifference to the rising civilian death toll caused by a succession of airstrikes.` Both the Syrians and Russians deny targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure.

Pray: for nations and the Security Council to end the airstrikes that are killing and maiming civilians. (Proverbs 21:7)

Arctic Circle: unprecedented wildfires

The Arctic region’s hottest June ever has brought its worst wildfire season on record. Huge blazes in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska are producing plumes of black carbon smoke that can harm humans and other animals by entering the lungs and bloodstream. Wildfires also play a role in global warming as underlying peat catches fire emitting as much CO2 in June as Sweden emits in a year. Russia’s forestry agency reported black noxious fumes covering entire cities. The fire areas in Siberia are larger than Massachusetts, as eleven of forty-nine Russian regions burn. Greenland’s blaze came as the vast ice sheet melt started a month early. Alaska stated that 400 fires have been reported. Such fires can last months. Currently blazes are only controlled when they threaten settlements. On 1 August the BBC reported that Russia is sending soldiers to fight Siberia’s 7.4 million acres of fires.

Pray: for God to stir more leaders to care for the land and release more firefighting action across the region. (Deuteronomy 11:12)

Cameroon: Christian majority flee Boko Haram

Bishop Bruno Ateba of Maroua-Mokolo said that over 100,000 Christian Cameroonians have been made refugees within their own country as a result of a rise in attacks by Boko Haram. 70% of the population is Christian. The bishop said tourism has ceased and life has come to a standstill because of the terrorist crisis. Suicide bombings in Maroua, in the far north, killed over 30 people and injured hundreds. The recent suicide attacks were carried out by two young girls, forced by Boko Haram to conceal bombs under their burkas and detonate their weapons in public places. In an appeal to international governments, Bishop Bruno said, ‘Help us to achieve peace. The international community has all the resources to put an end to the terrorism of Boko Haram.’ In a letter to all the faithful of his diocese, Bishop Bruno called them to pray and be watchful.

Pray: for God’s protection over the land, and for international security support on the Nigerian border. (Psalm 91:1)

Hong Kong: protests now violent and ‘illegal’

Demonstrators’ demands have included the withdrawal of an extradition bill; demanding an inquiry into police brutality; removing the ‘riot’ label from peaceful protests; the release of arrested demonstrators; and universal suffrage. Their marches on 27 July were called ‘illegal’ by Chinese authorities after the previous week’s infiltration by Triad (mafia) agitators. Protesters complained that the police stood back and allowed mafia-initiated violence. The next day they marched again, and the violence hit a new level of pain and injury. Hong Kong’s protests have lasted eight weeks and are spreading into more remote communities. Protests are becoming more violent – setting fire to carts and throwing dangerous projectiles met by enormous plumes of teargas. Parents and children washed their eyes out in the teargas fog. On 30 July hundreds of protesters blocked access to commuter trains, causing widespread disruption during the rush hour. Pray for the international community to take action.

Pray: for the Hong Kong government to quell the criminal influence, act justly and restore public order. (Psalm 72:4)

Sudan: a price for revolution

Falafel is a cheap fast food usually snapped up quickly on the streets of Sudanese cities. But now Sadiya Seror sits with unsold trays of her chickpea patties. ‘These days people eat one meal a day; they forget the idea of three meals,’ Seror said, waiting for customers at her market stall. If you want to buy a meal for your family, it will cost around 175 Sudanese pounds. Before, the same amount would feed a family of five for three to five days.’ ‘Before’ is a reference to life prior to the pro-democracy protests that ended the 30-year corrupt regime of President Omar al-Bashir. A power-sharing deal is currently being negotiated between the military council and the civilian protesters, but what is proving harder to resolve, and dimming hopes for real change, is the impact of poverty and rising prices on a large and growing percentage of the population.

Pray: for a political power share to end corruption and crisis by developing agriculture and natural resources. (Proverbs 31:9)

Praise Reports
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