Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Fifty-one baptised at New York beach

People crowded onto Jacob Riis Beach on a hot July afternoon to witness an unusual event – 51 people presenting a public witness for Christ through baptism. As exciting as it was, for the Journey Church, one of the city’s largest Southern Baptist churches, it wasn’t necessarily out of the ordinary. The Journey is on track toward 140 baptisms this year – close to the church’s average over its 18-year history. Since its founding in the days following 9/11, the church has baptised more than 2,750 people. On a typical weekend it draws 1,000 people for worship in three Manhattan locations. Kerrick Thomas, its lead pastor, said that New York is one of the most unreached cities in America. They see reaching people with Christ as their primary mission, focusing on training and equipping believers to talk about their faith with their friends and co-workers.

Praise: God for churches emphasising outreach and engaging with people who don’t know Christ or the Gospel. (1 Peter 1:8)

Prayer movements and houses of prayer

In August 1727 the Moravian community in Herrnhut started a 24/7 prayer watch that sent an unbroken stream of prayer to heaven for 100+ years. Moravian influence on John Wesley helped start the Wesleyan revival. The Moravian vision of sending missionaries (they sent hundreds) helped spark the Protestant missions movement that took the gospel to most countries of the world. Brother Andrew, in 1982, initiated seven years of intercession for the fall of the Iron Curtain. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell and re-opened eastern Europe to the Gospel. In 1991 he initiated 10 years of intercession for the Muslim world: in 2001, 9/11 was the tragic catalyst that brought immense change to the Muslim world, including many great breakthroughs for the good news of Jesus. Up to now, 26 years of the annual publication ‘30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World’ have ‘coincided’ with 26 years of unprecedented numbers of Muslims encountering Jesus.

Praise: God for grassroots movements of prayer throughout history. May they become bigger, wider and deeper in 2019. (Luke 11:9)

Wembley – releasing intercession

The Day of Prayer for the Nation at Wembley on 31 August was a releasing day. There was a wonderful spirit of worship and expectation as an inspiring diversity of leaders from across the country led prayer. Two of the key themes for prayer were: a) Unity: we will all have different views on Brexit and many other issues, but we are God’s chosen people if we have given our lives to Jesus. We are a family where love, honour and togetherness bind us. b) Humility: we are like the fishermen who said, ‘Lord we have toiled all night and taken nothing but at your word, we will let down the nets’. We are crying for more of Jesus and less of us. We want to get rid of pride, and uncertainty concerns about our reputation, standing and status. Our focus is Jesus. Awake – God is calling us into action NOW!

Praise: God that His fire and glory falls when we humble ourselves and are of one heart and one mind. (Acts 2:3)

Praise Reports

Brexit – tempers and fears

In 2016, while a majority of the nation voted to leave the EU, a much larger majority of our MPs voted to remain. Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament, bringing a bitter period of debate and huge rage across the benches and in the media. On 4 September MPs passed a bill which aims to prevent a no-deal Brexit, and Mr Johnson failed to obtain the necessary majority to call an October election. At the time of writing, there is considerable confusion about what will happen next – so all the more reason to pray.

Pray: for God’s hand to be on our land as He resets, reopens and realigns us according to His will.( Isaiah 41:10)

Farming and the land

Bovine TB is a long-running and deep-seated issue which continues to impact deeply both livestock and the livelihoods, health and wellbeing of farmers. In 2018, despite sustained testing, in Wales alone over 11,000 animals were compulsorily slaughtered and the movement of a thousand herds was restricted. Opposing views over the role of wildlife in spreading bovine TB have prompted deep divisions since the mid-70s. A recent government review made several new recommendations, including those designed to give greater responsibility for disease control to farmers and vets. They have also begun working with environmentalists to develop new approaches to disease control. As the Government considers the review’s recommendations, pray for wisdom and open-mindedness so that effective and widely-supported control strategies can be developed.

Pray: for healing of rifts between rival factions around the issues relating to the disease. (Exodus 15:26)

Mission on our doorstep

Christian mission is no longer restricted to going overseas. Interserve have 36 full-time missionaries and 21 associates who are working with the least reached people in many UK cities. They are touching the lives of those of Asian and Arab background in culturally appropriate ways. They are helping the ‘hidden communities’ to see, hear, understand, and respond to the good news about Jesus. Serving cross-culturally can be like a roller coaster, but as experienced missionaries help the local church in mission by sharing their experiences, many lives can be saved. Pray for more individuals willing to learn the culture and language of their neighbours, so that they can see the Kingdom grow amongst the local unreached people groups.

Pray: for many to hear God’s call to work cross-culturally to bring Jesus to those from other faiths. (Matthew 28:19-20)

New environments, new challenges

Thousands of children started school for the first time this week and most settle well into a new routine, but there will be some who do not. Instead, probably on Mondays there will be tears, tummy-aches and tantrums because they are not adjusting well. Children need to feel safe and connected to an adult. Pray for teachers working with reception class children to notice those who are not settling in and make a special effort to reach out to them. Every year thousands of students enrol in higher institutions (universities / colleges) for the first time. Pray for students enrolled far from homes, being independent for the first time without parents or guardians around to assist. Pray that they will be wise in their choice of companions and friends, quickly forming constructive relationships that take them on the paths that God has prepared for them.

Pray: that the new environments will lead children and young adults into a friendship with Jesus so that He can lead them in all His ways. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Food fads

Favouring one food over everything else for a length of time can lead to health issues. A survey of 2,000 parents found that nearly half believe their child is a fussy eater. Autism-related sensory aversions are common as the person insists on ‘sameness’ and consistently eats the same food. This week a British teenager was left blind and partially deaf after living on a diet of chips, sausages and crisps because he did not like the ‘texture’ of fruit, vegetables and other foods. He developed a condition normally only seen in under-developed countries. Pray for dangerous eating to be recognised early by friends and family so that an NHS referral can be implemented. Pray for more feeding therapists to be trained so that families who identify unhealthy eating habits can access help, learn what is contributing to the condition, and develop overcoming strategies.

Pray: for more families’ schedules to enable them to eat together, and for God to give peace to worried parents. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

HOPE’s 2020 prayer initiative

HOPE Together don’t do politics, but they do pray- and prayer for our country is a priority right now. In particular, they are looking ahead to 2020 and what many believe will be an unprecedented year of harvest from the gospel seeds sown over the past decade and more. Many denominations and ministries across the UK are also sensing this and preparing for opportunities to invite people to respond to Jesus’ offer of life in all its fullness. With this in mind HOPE together are launching 2020 as a year of covering prayer for all that is done in the year – personal witness; church outreach plans in villages, towns and cities; stadium events – evangelism in all its many forms. They are inviting believers to join them in praying for 20 minutes at 20:20hrs (8.20pm) on the 20th of each month throughout 2020. There will be twelve suggested themes to focus on – asking God to heal our land.

Pray: for hundreds of thousands to join this initiative and use the resources which HOPE are currently preparing. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Praise Reports

Germany – prayer of the watchmen

A German intercessor writes, ‘God has encouraged us greatly through answers to prayer and has richly blessed prayer conferences. However, the challenging developments in our land in many areas of politics and society (polarisation and hate, the growing influence of gender-mainstreaming, anti-Semitism, declining church attendance, etc), and the rapid turning away from Christian values, cause us to sit up and take notice, and to personally make time to be still before God.’ Throughout September German prayer groups will seek God across the land, believing that ‘if we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will find Him’ (Jeremiah 29:13). Let us join our brothers and sisters and pray for the welfare of German politics and society. God is shaking the nations (Hebrews 12:26,27), so we must not consider everything that is now happening in Germany and across Europe as ‘a bad thing’. There is much for which we can be thankful for in these times.

Pray: for God to bring German intercessors into a place of seeing the world through God’s eyes. (Habakkuk 2:2)

Ireland: Fianna Fáil fears

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin wants the Government to admit that a no-deal Brexit is now the expected outcome, and to be transparent with the Irish public about its plans. He told RTÉ radio’s Today with Seán O’Rourke show, ‘The issue is too important to be left until 31 October. The public needs to know now what plans are in place, what kind of checks will be required in the event of a no-deal Brexit.’ Mr Martin said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the state of readiness for a no-deal Brexit, especially for ports where he feared there would be disruption to the transport of goods, both outward and inward. He added, ‘Politics is not about playing games in an arena, it is about people’s lives.’

Pray: for Ireland’s people to experience peace and support through Brexit, not the politically predicted suffering. (Philippians 4:6)

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Bahamas: Dorian rescue, restore, repair

As Hurricane Dorian battered the US eastern coast on 5 September, the Bahamas reported ‘total devastation’ in its wake, with ‘apocalyptic’ scenes after being hit by one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded. The death toll is expected to be high. Pray for all who are organising food and shelter relief to deal with an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Ask God to release abundant quantities of food, water, shelter, clothing, physical help, healing and comfort to people whose lives have been torn apart. Pray for the damaged hospitals to be repaired, and for the elderly and vulnerable to be found swiftly by rescuers. Pray for the many bereaved, and those whose family and friends are missing. Pray for God to anoint agencies bringing repair to the infrastructure, and remember all those in North and South Carolina anxiously watching the oncoming hurricane.

Pray: for God to hear and answer the cries of the afflicted at this time. (Psalm 34:6)

Israel / Lebanon: ‘30 minutes from war’

On 1 September Hezbollah fired several precision-guided missiles from Lebanon towards an army base on Israel’s northern border, destroying an IDF armoured vehicle in the attack. Thankfully, there were no soldiers inside it at the time, but there had been just 30 minutes before the attack, leading Israel’s Army Radio to broadcast that Israel and Hezbollah were ‘30 minutes away from war’. Israel led Hezbollah to believe that there were casualties by staging a well-planned medical evacuation, prompting the terror group to hold fire and giving Israel tactical advantage to strike back with artillery and helicopter fire, sending over 100 shells into Hezbollah positions in Lebanon. Many lives are at risk due to escalating tensions between Israel and Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah.

Pray: for God to lead Netanyahu in all decisions, and protect Israeli citizens in the land He has prepared for them. (Genesis 15:18)

Burkina Faso: killed for wearing crosses

Burkina Faso is quickly going from a peaceful farming nation to an extremist breeding ground. Attacks by IS and al-Qaeda militants have quadrupled since 2017. Over 70,000 people have fled their homes this year. Recently, gunmen in the north surrounded a group of people and executed four Christians who they found wearing crosses. Previously Christians, Muslims, religious people, and those with no faith lived together peacefully, but now violence is directed specifically at Christians, looking for religious symbols and attacking churches. The militants are really trying to bring division between the Muslims and Christians with a ‘divide and conquer’ mentality. This extremism can be traced back to the fall of Libya, when militants trickled into neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, bringing their weapons and violence with them. While the rest of the world was focused on surging extremist movements in east and central Africa, the seeds of militant Islam in West Africa were quietly being sown.

Pray: for God to give wise strategies to those investigating terrorists and to bring peace to persecuted Christians. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Cameroon: Bible translator killed

Bible translator Angus Abraham Fung, working with the Aghem Bible translation project in Cameroon, was among seven people said to have been killed in an overnight attack. His wife’s arm was cut off, according to a ministry source. The attack was carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Cameroon’s violence-ridden Anglophone region where separatists are fighting for independence. Fung, in his sixties, had worked for years on a New Testament translation in the Aghem language. Although it was completed in 2016 and over 3,000 copies have been published, distribution has not happened because of the war in the region. Pray for the swift recovery of his wife and for God’s comfort to all who mourn the death of the seven men. Pray also for the success of all literacy efforts to bring the word of God to people whose language has never been written down before, both in Cameroon and across the nations.

Pray: for an end to all disruptions and delays to translation and bringing the scriptures to unreached communities. (2 Timothy 3:16)

South Africa: agitation and frustration

Cyril Ramaphosa won the May elections on a reformist ticket against ANC’s corrupt old guard. Now he is dealing with a corruption row over land reform in the countryside and xenophobia in the towns. When he took over he pledged to bring ‘ethics’ into politics. But for much of his short tenure, Ramaphosa has fought a campaign addressing financial scandals. His first move as president was spearheading controversial reforms which would advance land transfers to the black majority. But many black people don’t yet know how to farm,so they need the white commercial farmers to train and help them. Recently, cities have experienced violent mobs looting shops and torching vehicles owned by foreign nationals, in a wave of xenophobic attacks. Angry residents are calling on the government to deport undocumented migrants. Nigeria sent an envoy to South Africa to express her displeasure over the treatment of her citizens, and Ethiopia’s embassy advised its citizens to close their businesses. See also

Pray: for white commercial farmers and black farmers to be able to work collaboratively, for criminality and xenophobic violence to be removed from the cities, and for fair and honest documentation in both cases. (Micah 6:8)

DR Congo: militants kidnap 200+, loot hospital

Over 200 people including women and children were abducted and a church mission hospital and shops were looted when Islamist extremists raided the town of Boga, in this majority-Christian country. Bishop William Bahemuka said the Muslim ADF militia had attacked the town in the early hours. During the three-hour assault, there are conflicting reports about how much the army resisted the militants, as no casualties were reported. People are terrified. Families are traumatised and grieving over their abducted loved ones. The ADF has never been active in Boga, so people are confused and can’t understand the current situation. Bishop Bahemuka said, ‘I appeal to people of good will everywhere to lobby their home governments to put pressure on our government to stabilise the security situation. We also appeal for a massive outpouring of sustained prayer from Christians everywhere.’

Pray: for the ADF to be caught by staunch government troops and for the abducted Christians to be found unharmed. (Exodus 14:14)

Praise Reports
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