Praise Reports


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Praise Reports

Ghana: a step towards ending slavery

Thousands of children aged between three and seventeen live in slavery on Lake Volta, working up to 18 hours a day in the fishing industry. They are paid in daily abuse and threats, and the only way out is to drown or be rescued. Praise God for two convictions when the accused men pleaded guilty to human trafficking. One of them, who used the children for labour on his fishing boat, must also pay a fine or spend an additional year to the five-year sentence if unable to pay. While IJM has previously seen convictions for child labour in Ghana, these are their first for human trafficking, and a significant step toward ending slavery in the fishing industry.

Praise: God for this rescue, and for the convictions. May they be the first of many to end child slavery in our lifetime. (1 Chronicles 16:8)

Advent prayer resource

SAT-7 constantly receive testimonies of people whose lives are being transformed by Jesus. Some grew up in Christian homes, others first met with Jesus through their television screens. Some had a chance encounter with a Christian and wanted to find out more, others first discovered His joy through picking up a Bible in their own language. SAT-7 have just produced a prayer guide to give us a glimpse into some of their stories. Over the course of Advent they will take people on a journey across the Middle East and North Africa, through the 25 countries where they work, visiting a different country each day, and discovering plenty of reasons to rejoice – as well as ideas for prayer requests.

Praise: God for the diverse cultures and languages now hearing about Jesus Christ, who has brought ‘joy to the world’. (Isaiah 43:12)

Praise Reports

Archbishops’ general election message

Time to ‘leave our echo chambers’ and listen to others, said the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. ‘Stand up for the truth and challenge falsehoods when we hear them’. They are urging voters to ‘honour the gift of truth’ as they engage in political debate in the run-up to the general election. Their letter calls people to engage responsibly on social media and uphold the Christian values of truth, humility and love. ‘People who hold different political views are not our enemies,’ they say. The message also calls on Christians to reject the ‘language of prejudice’, particularly at a time when several groups – especially in Jewish and Muslim communities – feel threatened. Pray that debates will unite rather than divide, and bring us together to trust our institutions, politicians and our politics. See also the next article, on Anti-Semitism, politics and prayer.

Pray: for our political leaders facing challenges and personal sacrifices. May they have wisdom and guidance from our Heavenly Father, the source of all wisdom. (James 1:5)

Anti-Semitism, politics and prayer

Anti-Israel protesters in London have been screaming death threats at Jews in Arabic, and anti-Semitic activity is said to be active in the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn is being challenged in his own Islington North constituency by Yosef David, an Orthodox Jew, standing for the Brexit Party. Yosef works for a large Jewish charity and acknowledges that toppling Corbyn would be a miracle, but he is ‘highlighting the impact of the Labour anti-Semitism epidemic on the community. On 26 November Ephraim Mirvis, Britain’s most senior Jewish leader, accused Corbyn of allowing anti-Semitism to take root in the party, while Justin Welby agreed that British Jews felt much insecurity and fear, and added regretfully that the Church of England has had its own history of antisemitism. On the same day, hundreds of Christians aligned to Operation Breakthrough, Worldwide Mission Fellowship, and Prayer Warriors International spent time in prayer and repentance, focussing on the UK’s attitude towards Israel.

Pray: for every constituency across our nations to remove every form of discrimination from politics and attitudes. (Exodus 23:9)

The Big Give

The Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign. Since 2008 it has helped raise over £98 million for thousands of charities. In 2018 it raised £13.3m for 589 participating charities. This year the challenge will be between 3 and 10 December. Every person who pledges a donation to one of the participating charities will have their gift matched by Christmas Challenge, so that every donation will make twice the impact on charities working to improve human rights, rescue animals, support the disabled, elderly and homeless, ending child slavery (International Justice Mission), caring for those in poverty (Salvation Army), and many more both at home and abroad.

Pray: for many to be moved to support this campaign to stop child slavery, poverty, homelessness and much more. (Deuteronomy 26:12)

Christian beliefs on a par with racist views?

Christian doctor David Mackereth, with over 26 years of experience, found that for upholding Biblical truth you can lose your job. A judge has ruled that his belief in Genesis 1:27 is ‘incompatible with human dignity’. The judge is saying that there is no protection in law for the Biblical belief that God made humans unchangeably male and female, putting Christian truth in the same category as racist and Neo-Nazi views. David held to what God says about men and women and his Christian views were not protected in a UK court of law. He lost his job for telling the truth, and now an Employment Tribunal has ruled against him. Christian Concern’s expert legal team has already started work to take this case to an appeal tribunal.

Pray: for a senior judge to overturn the ruling against Dr Mackereth. (Job 9:19)

Satanic activity in New Forest

Recent incidents, being investigated by police, have caused concern among local residents that a Satanic-style cult could be to blame. A sheep was fatally stabbed and marked with pentagrams, while a heifer and two calves were found with stab wounds and were later treated by vets. Symbols, which included an inverted cross and the number 666, have also been sprayed onto the door of St Peter’s church. Rev David Bacon, the vicar at St Peter’s, has not seen anything like it in fifteen years. He said, ‘There’s been witchcraft round here for hundreds of years. The New Forest is well known for witchcraft and black magic happening, and this has obviously gone up a level.’

Pray: for God to give David understanding for the spiritual challenge, and the police wisdom to find offenders. (Galatians 5:19,20a)

Bishop of Tonbridge and White Ribbon Day

Three women a week are murdered by their current or ex-partner in the UK. One in five women has experienced sexual assault. There is a fashion today to reach for alternative facts when the truth is inconvenient. The truth is that violence against women still pervades society. With the emergence of social media, a vista of threatened violence has been unleashed online. Most of the harm against women has been effected in private, in the digital age cruelty is public and unashamed. Women are also bullied to frighten them away from public roles. The global White Ribbon campaign asks men not to commit violence against women. The Bishop of Tonbridge is calling on men to take a lead in ending violence towards women, and a series of events is taking place across the Diocese of Rochester to raise awareness of domestic abuse and highlight places of support for victims.

Pray: for UK men and women never to excuse or remain silent when violence or threats of violence are made against women. (Psalm 15:2,3)

Hope for the Countryside in December

None of the possible outcomes of the election will bring immediate peace and tranquility in rural areas, where farmers and small businesses face continued uncertainty. Across the nation many are anxious and fearful, including candidates facing intimidation and death threats as well as anti-Semitism against the Jewish community. Pray that believers will search the scriptures, understand the times, and pray in accordance with God’s ways and will about these issues. Pray that Christians will shine as lights in the darkness and bring a message of trust against the fear and hope against despair. Pray for God’s mercy on our nation, which mostly does not acknowledge Him. Farmers also ask for urgent prayer for their industry: so much depends on our food production, and there is a serious disconnect between producer and consumer. Pray also about climate change, safety, mental health, and the need for a strong rural economy.

Pray: for all these concerns to be addressed, and for God to use these difficult circumstances to bring farmers into His Kingdom. (Acts 14:21,22)

Praise Reports

Spain: UN convention on climate change

After Chile decided against hosting the 2019 UN climate change conference (COP25) following weeks of protests, the UN has confirmed that it will take place in Madrid, from 2 to 13 December. Chile will preside, with logistical support from the Spanish government.. Britain has been chosen to host the next climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow. On 26 November the UN stated that they intend to cut global emissions by 7.6% every year for the next decade to meet the 1.5°C Paris target. They warn that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall drastically between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to work towards that target. Even if all current unconditional commitments are implemented, temperatures will rise by 3.2°C, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts. See also

Pray: for collective determined commitments by all participants to recognise the part they must play and to step up their commitments significantly to avert crisis across the nations. (Genesis 1:31a)

Hungary pulls out of Eurovision

Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest, amid speculation it is ‘too gay’. A source inside Hungary’s public broadcaster, MTVA, said they assumed hostility to the contest’s LGBT+ links were behind the decision. One pro-government commentator described Eurovision as a ‘homosexual flotilla’ and said the country’s mental health would be better if it did not join the competition. MTVA, which discourages positive coverage of LGBT+, usually hosts the song contest whose winner goes on to represent the country at Eurovision. It said, ‘Instead of taking part in Eurovision, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.’ The winner will instead be given the chance to appear on domestic media shows and at festivals. Associates of prime minister Viktor Orban have control of much of the country’s media including state media.

Pray: that the policies promoting traditional family values do not lead to an increase in homophobia. (John 13:34)

Praise Reports

Philippines: three earthquakes, two typhoons

Of the 12 disaster-prone cities in the world, ten are in the Philippines. It is not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ that typhoon or earthquake will come, as happened recently. The devastation and the intensity of these are what are so unique. Hundreds have died and over 1,000 are displaced and lost. Then came Tropical Storm Nakri, which developed into a typhoon. The epicentre of the deadly quakes was near Mindanao, where World Mission minister. There is a great humanitarian effort going on right now, with local churches responding with food, shelter, and clothing – all in the love of Jesus. Previously there had been hostility to the Gospel in this region, with some areas hosting IS training camps. However when these disasters strike,it definitely creates a wide-open door for the Gospel, as the churches’ help is well-received. The Philippines get about two thousand earthquakes a year.

Pray: for God to use those bringing salvation to survivors in disaster zones. (Psalm 55:17)

Hong Kong: US act and election results

The US Senate has passed a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (see ) that aims to protect the human rights and autonomy and freedoms of Hong Kong. This bill sends a message of hope to many pro-democracy protesters. China warned it could take ‘firm counter-measures’ if Washington continues to show support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. We need to pray that more nations in the free world will also send a clear message to Beijing that they stand with Hong Kong in their struggle for democracy. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s first election since the protests began saw a turnout of 71% as people stood up to defend their freedoms against an increasingly aggressive Beijing. Their votes resulted in seventeen of the eighteen district councils now being controlled by pro-democracy councillors. However, China’s state media outlets are either making no reference at all to election results or claiming ‘tampering’ had taken place.

Pray: for the election and the US declaration to be the tipping point that ends deep-seated leadership injustices. (Psalm 109:8)

Egypt: Christian faces terror-related charges

In 2018 Rami Kamil, a prominent human rights activist, joined a UN fact-finding visit to investigate the situation of members of the Coptic community who had been displaced from their homes following sectarian incidents. On 23 November he was arrested: the police refused to allow him to change his clothes, carry his medications, or speak to a lawyer. They confiscated his laptop, mobile phone, camera, and books, and took him to an unknown location, where he underwent intensive physical and psychological interrogation. He later appeared before the state security prosecution without legal representation, and was given fifteen days’ pre-trial detention. He was accused of joining a terrorist organisation, receiving foreign funding, disturbing public order, inciting the public against the state, and using social media to provoke tensions between Muslims and Christians.

Pray: for the corrosive regime of evading human rights to be stopped, and excessive charges against Mr Kamil to be dropped. (Romans 1:18)

Latin America: a new Cold War?

Many geopolitical media watchers and prayer warriors believe the growing wave of anti-government protests ravaging the streets of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia hasn’t been seen since the old Cold War, which is why the increase in protests and tensions might be called Cold War 2.0 in Latin America. This time, at least as yet, there aren’t armed proxy groups in play but Moscow has weaponised social unrest to sabotage Western power in the region. Earlier this decade we saw similar issues on Russia’s strategic periphery, notably in Ukraine in the wake of the 2014 Maidan protests and the 2005 Orange Revolution. These protesters aren’t necessarily armed Marxists, but anti-government and armed with anti-US rhetoric. Much the same approach is evident in Moscow’s support for Nicholas Maduro’s failing regime in Venezuela, with the help of Cuban operatives. Russia has become increasingly adept at using social media to disperse disinformation on the Internet.

Pray: for God to prevent cold wars through economic trade, cyber or arms races. (Psalm 2:1,2a,4)

Australia: fight the ‘war of truth’

Most opposition to religious freedom is opposition to the knowledge of the truth. Laws to prevent Christian schools teaching Christianity compromise a mission field. Laws that claim to ban ‘LGBT conversion therapy’ are more likely laws that ban parts of the Bible, key aspects of the Christian gospel, and a parent’s right to raise their gender-dysphoric child to affirm their biological sex. These laws are a serious attack on Christianity and the Christian home – another mission field. When employees cannot hold down their job whilst discussing beliefs grounded in God’s truth at work, another evangelistic option is lost. When people are losing professional accreditations, getting drummed out of universities, disciplined at work, and generally facing the prospect that the godly life is no longer a life of peace. We need to remember Paul’s call to ‘pray for our leaders’. The content of that prayer is that the godly life might be a life of peace.

Pray: for people living in error in Australia, and across the nations, to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

China: UK calls for immediate UN access to Xinjiang

The Foreign Office has called on China to allow UN observers ‘immediate and unfettered’ access to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, after two leaks provided further evidence of mass arbitrary detentions. An estimated 1 to 3 million Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are detained without charge in ‘political re-education’ camps. US media published 400+ pages of documents detailing widespread involvement of senior Chinese officials in these unprecedented mass detentions, where authorities use a scoring system to determine who can leave the camps. Also, the behaviour of relatives outside the camps can affect detainees’ chances of release. More documents were leaked by investigative journalists, similarly detailing mechanisms, guidelines and procedures behind the detentions in Xinjiang and the severity of conditions inside the camps. China claims that the camps are voluntary training centres to combat terrorism.

Pray: for the international community to join the UK and support UN efforts to establish independent fact-finding missions. (Psalm 15:1-3)

Iranians urged to expose regime abuses

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has urged Iranians to continue sending messages exposing the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on recent widespread protests; by some estimates, over 200 people have been killed. He stated the USA would impose sanctions on those it could identify for perpetrating abuses. ‘The Iranian people are, once again, on the streets because of the regime’s poor economic management,’ he said. ‘Instead of addressing their grievances, Tehran has responded with violence and by blaming those outside the country.’ Despite the Iranian regime’s shutdown of the internet last week, the United States received 20,000 messages, videos and pictures from Iranians through a messaging service. ‘The United States hears you,’ Pompeo said. ‘We will continue to sanction Iranian officials who are responsible for these human rights abuses, just like we did to Iran’s minister of communications.’

Pray: for God to protect those managing a free flow of communication to the western world. (Psalm 12:5)

Praise Reports
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The World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG, England.
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