Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Two new Christian MPs share their faith

Newly-elected Conservative MP Stuart Anderson explained in his first Commons speech how going to church and finding faith helped him ‘see light out of the darkness’. He said he considered taking his own life after he was left ‘broken’ by his time serving as a rifleman for the Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Kosovo. He finished his compassionate speech by saying, ‘When I was trying to do something right by my family, I found faith. For the first time in many years, I could see hope and a future.’ Danny Kruger, in his maiden speech, told listeners, ‘Look to Britain’s Christian past to address future problems. We are children of God, fallen but redeemed, capable of great wrong but also of great virtue.’ See

Praise: God for Christian proclamations in parliament. May God bless all MPs who rely on Christ, and may they also inspire calmness in storms and bring peace into disputes. (1 Timothy 2:8)

God healed her heart before surgery

17 years ago Lisa had surgery for defective activity in her heart. But recently her condition returned and she needed surgery once again. Two good specialists saw that she had grown bad electrical pathways. Before going on a mission trip she asked for prayer and Paula Davis prayed for her. Paula, who had no knowledge of Lisa’s heart condition, started praying about the mission trip, then shifted her focus abruptly. ‘Do you have a problem with the electrical part of your heart?’ she asked. ‘I do, as a matter of fact’, Paula said, ‘I saw Jesus rewiring your whole heart’. When Lisa returned from mission she went for surgery. Afterwards, the surgeon in charge of the procedure said her heart was one of the healthiest he had ever seen and declared, ‘I didn’t have to do anything!’ Lisa asked, ‘Did Jesus heal me?’ ‘Yes’, he replied.

Praise: God for his miraculous approach to words of knowledge, prayer and healing bodies, minds and souls of his creation. (Psalm 30: 11,12)

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Media, faith, and belonging

A recent report has looked at different aspects of belief and belonging in London. It finds that inaccurate, sensationalised and simplistic coverage by the media reinforces negative stereotypes of religious groups, increasing the potential for suspicion, fear and communal violence. The report recommends that journalists and editors improve their religious literacy and engagement with local faith groups to understand how religion works in practice. It calls on newsrooms to provide better access to religious and ethnic minority journalists, and more spaces for local faith and belief groups to represent themselves. It also urges organisations to train more local faith/belief groups, and individuals to share their own stories. Government regulators need to improve directives and enforcement for media companies who regularly print false stories. Pray for those in the media to work with integrity and grace, and for God to use them to celebrate His Church.

Pray: for more initiatives which mentor and encourage young journalists from different faith and belief backgrounds. (Proverbs 11:3)

The first phase of transition

Britain has legally entered a ‘transition period’, and is free to pursue trade deals with other countries immediately while hammering out terms of future EU relationships. Boris Johnson said that Britain will not obey Brussels rules to get a trade deal while Brussels demands that the UK give access to fishing waters. They are on another collision course. Before trade talks can begin in earnest they must agree a negotiating mandate, spell out their red lines and be finalised by early March. Meanwhile, trade tensions rise as the UK hires more patrol boats to keep out EU fishing fleets ahead of a potential showdown over access. Pray for the 40 officials, called ‘Taskforce Europe’, leading negotiations for the UK. They are led by one-time business lobbyist and diplomat David Frost, who will negotiate directly with Michel Barnier. In April/May UK trade talks with the EU and other nations are expected to intensify even more. See also

Pray: for God to inspire all decisions through the first phase of the transition period. (Proverbs 16:9)

UK terrorism

On 21 January (see) the media reported that terror offenders will face more time in jail and be monitored more closely, as part of new laws being introduced within weeks. Automatic early release from prison will be scrapped, while a minimum jail term of 14 years for serious crimes will be introduced. The Home Office said that a bill would be brought before Parliament by mid-March. Before these measures could be implemented, on 2 February Sudesh Amman, released from prison in January, attacked several people with a knife in Streatham. Home secretary Priti Patel is now calling for even tougher measures regarding the jailing of terrorists in the wake of this attack. The ministry of justice said the legislation would be introduced ‘when parliamentary time allows’. The government will also consider new legislation to ensure that extremists are more closely monitored on release, and will review whether the current maximum sentences for terrorist offences are sufficient.

Pray: for those creating new laws to have wisdom and insights, and for prison service and parole board funding to be spent wisely. (James 3:17)

150,000 youth to hear the gospel

The Message Trust, a Christian youth charity, will take the good news of Jesus to 150,000 young people through its schools work this year. It is launching the Higher Tour 2020, which will see music bands and mission teams from the organisation head into schools across the country. Working with local youth workers, they will provide assemblies and RE lessons. All the young people they come into contact with will be invited to a gig to enjoy music from age-related bands, and then be given the opportunity to respond to the gospel presentation they will have heard. Each person who makes a commitment to Christ will then be linked in to a local youth worker to continue discipleship. Pray for these events to build thousands of relationship opportunities for the local church to connect and build ongoing outreach with local schools. Pray also for powerful follow-up and CU discipleship courses to be birthed in schools.

Pray: for every event to experience explosions of Holy Spirit encounters. (Jeremiah 24:7)

More venues cancel bookings

Last week a Liverpool venue for Franklin Graham’s UK tour cancelled the booking: now four more of the eight venues booked have cancelled, quoting reports of preaching hate, prejudice and intolerance. PinkNews and Northern Pride have praised the cancellations. Unfortunately Franklin, son of Billy Graham, has been criticised in the past for his attitude towards LGBTQ+ communities. Also, a Christian conference due to have Larry Stockstill preach will no longer be able to do so unless they change venue. According to the Times, he has described same-sex relationships as ‘offensive’, ‘repulsive’, and ‘deeply grievous.’ Larry is a preacher, author, and pastors’ mentor who runs a church planting network. He was due to speak alongside Gavin Calver of the Evangelical Alliance at a conference to equip church growth. See

Pray: for God’s preachers to share the absolute truth of salvation wisely and with the grace that can never be misunderstood as prejudice. (John 7:7)

Hope for the countryside – after Brexit

February is the month of waiting, the last, quiet pause of winter before the year stirs into renewed natural vigour. The early signs are there: heads of snowdrops, hellebore flowers nodding amid new green leaves, viburnum’s tiny displays bursting out. God is always doing a new thing, but even in our waiting for it He blesses and amazes us. Give thanks for new life in Jesus, and for His grace as we patiently anticipate what He will do next. In February, the Government’s post-Brexit Agriculture Bill, published in January, will continue its progress through Parliament. The bill has been described as ‘one of the most significant pieces of legislation for farmers for over 70 years’ – see

Pray: for God to resolve every challenge and open opportunities that the bill will present to farmers and all concerned for the future of rural Britain. (Proverbs 8:15-16)

You never stop grieving

Jack’s law gives working parents who suffer the loss of a child two weeks of paid leave. But while it offers a cushion for the immediate loss, many believe it is not long enough and might even backfire. Carrie, who lost her baby to brain cancer, said, ‘I had to put on a false face, which was exhausting. All sorts of things triggered my grief during the day. As a parent who has lost a child, you never stop grieving. I am concerned that these two weeks will be seen as the official and “correct” amount of time that people need to get over their loss. Nobody can complete grieving within two weeks. Parents will still be arranging a funeral. It is only after that they can begin to grieve. While I appreciate the cost of providing any leave, further support needs to be available once parents return to work, much as it is on return from illness.’

Pray: for Jack’s law, which comes into force in April, not to reinforce assumptions that grief can be resolved in two weeks – as parents have to learn to live with the loss. (Luke 1:79)

Praise Reports

France: protests continue

Doctors and lawyers marched in Paris on 3 February, demonstrating against President Macron’s pension reforms. It is the latest in a wave of protests against Macron’s signature reform, streamlining France’s complex and expensive pension system that allows some French workers to retire as young as 50. It has led to more than sixty days of strikes and protests by many different people, including transport workers, women’s groups, and those in the tourism and energy sectors. These protests have seen tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower closed, and electricity and gas cut off by workers at energy plants. Macron hopes he can force his reform through parliament this month. Prime minister Edouard Philippe will negotiate with unions from 10 February to make the new retirement system financially sustainable.

Pray: for peaceful agreements around the retirement age and pension legislation. (Hebrews 13:17)

Malta: a wake-up call to church

A float depicting Archbishop Charles J Scicluna will take part in Valletta’s carnival parade, despite criticism. Rayvin Galea, the artist behind the float’s design, hopes to get across various issues which he feels have not properly been addressed by the Church. They include its opposition to same-sex marriage, depicted on his float through a figurine of a gay couple on top of a wedding cake, while the Church’s opposition to IVF takes the form of two horned cherubs. Scicluna will wear a military uniform, which represents the Church’s conservative stance on many social issues. Missing will be the words ‘St Joseph’s Home’ above the Scicluna effigy, which would have been a reference to the sexual abuse of children in the late 80s at the church orphanage. The float also features Lady Justice with a blindfold, a balance, and a sword, showcasing the lack of justice received by the victims of the abuse.

Pray: for conversations around this float to draw people closer to God’s teaching and the truth, and for social issues and corruption to be addressed honestly. (James 4:8)

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China: keep praying

A baby born in Wuhan was diagnosed with coronavirus thirty hours after birth. It is unclear if the disease was transmitted in the womb or after birth. Medical experts believe the infection could have been contracted in the womb. Pray for God to place a blanket of security and peace over the families and relatives of the infected who are currently living in isolation and fear. In China alone, there are 25,000+ confirmed cases, and currently 570+ dead with both numbers rising rapidly. The World Health Organisation says that there is a ‘window of opportunity’ to stop it becoming a global pandemic crisis. Pray for God to strengthen health workers and research scientists to do all that is necessary. May poorer countries’ leaders have the wisdom and funding to halt coronavirus spreading. May the love of Jesus spread more quickly and further than the virus, through active churches reaching every corner with His eternal hope. See

Pray: for peace to replace panic, and hope to replace fear, for those living in dangerous conditions. (Isaiah 43:12)

China: coronavirus – wildlife trade – ecology

China’s demand for wildlife products for traditional medicine and exotic foods is driving a global trade in endangered species. Markets selling live animals are considered a potential source of diseases that are new to humans. Over 70% of emerging human infections are estimated to have come from animals, particularly wild animals. Campaigners want China to apply a permanent ban on the wildlife trade. Pray that their crusade is successful and this trade becomes illegal. Editorials in China’s state-controlled media have denounced the uncontrolled wildlife market. Ecologists say the coronavirus outbreak could provide China with an opportunity to prove that it is serious about protecting biodiversity. In September this year, Beijing will be hosting a major global meeting on natural and biological resources, known as the Convention on Biological Diversity. A report last year by an intergovernmental group found that one million species are at risk of extinction.

Pray: for God to be motivating the delegates for September’s convention to put sustainability of wildlife high on their agendas. (Psalm 24:1)

Tanzania: church stampede kills 20+

Tanzania has seen an increase in ‘prosperity gospel’ pastors promising to lift people out of poverty and perform what they call miracle cures. A stampede occurred when Boniface Mwamposa, calling himself ‘the Apostle’, poured what he said was holy oil on the ground and the crowd surged forward to touch it, hoping to be cured of sickness. Twenty people died and sixteen were injured. Five of those killed were children. Authorities are assessing the situation, amid fears that the death toll could rise. Peter Kilewo, a witness, described the scene as ‘horrible’. ‘People trampled on mercilessly, jostling each other with elbows. It was as if the preacher had thrown bundles of dollars about, and there were all these deaths!’ Thousands flock to Pentecostal churches, whose main source of income is the tithe that worshippers are asked to give.

Pray: for God to heal those damaged spiritually, mentally and physically by ungodly teaching. (Matthew 24:5)

Israel: rocket attacks escalate

On 3 February Israeli media reported that Hamas, which rules Gaza, is afraid of being seen as a collaborator with Israel as a result of ongoing negotiations for a long-term truce. It also does not wish to appear less radical than the Palestinian Authority, which is currently denouncing Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ peace proposal. Consequently, Hamas is permitting Islamic Jihad to fire rockets at Israel. Iran is reportedly putting pressure on both organisations to conduct terror attacks against Israel, both to take revenge for the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani and to influence the upcoming Knesset elections. On 5 February two mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and the next day Palestinians launched projectiles and explosive balloons across the border. Exchanges are occurring almost daily.

Pray: for God to protect residents from Islamic Jihad, and end all aggression rooted in Iran’s influence. (Psalm 5:12)

Nigeria: Boko Haram kills CAN chairman

On 2 January, Rev Lawan Andimi was abducted by Boko Haram. He pleaded with the government and the leadership of CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) to come to his rescue, adding that his captors were taking good care of him and ‘hoped he would return home safely if it was the will of God’. The insurgents demanded two million euros for his release, but then went ahead and beheaded him. Bishop Mamza, of CAN, said that another pastor had been abducted and killed almost at the same time. Stating that Boko Haram had not been defeated or suppressed, he urged the government to tell Nigerians the truth. President Buhari expressed sadness and sympathy, but another CAN spokesman described the unabated kidnappings and killings as ‘shameful’ to the government. Pray for God’s comfort to embrace those living in sorrow and fear.

Pray: for Church security to be improved, ans for northern regions to be free of terrorism. (Psalm 17:8)

Iraq: protests swell

When their tents were burned, Iraqi protesters replaced them with concrete structures. When influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew his support, even more protesters turned out despite fears of a crackdown by security forces. On 1 February al-Sadr ordered his followers back to Tahrir Square, where they clashed with demonstrators and forcibly took over the main part of the square. The nomination of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the new prime minister has been received negatively by the protesters, who see his choice as a plot by al-Sadr and his Iran-backed allies to end the protests in Baghdad. The parliament needs to hold a session to vote on the nomination. The Sadrist group is now cooperating with the security forces to end the sit-in at the square.

Pray: for peace on the streets of Iraq, and for honesty and justice in its politics. (2 Chronicles 19:9)

Algeria: a church among Muslims

A Muslim-majority country of 41 million, Algeria depends on fossil fuels for its export income. It struggles to provide jobs and homes for its people. Democracy and human rights exist on paper, less so in reality. A movement to Christ is happening in Algeria. Most new believers come from a Kabyle Berber (non-Arab) background, but faith is growing among Arabs and most other people groups as well. New fellowships have begun throughout Algeria, partly because Berbers have moved into Arab areas to share the good news. Persecution is a fact of life. One Christian woman wrote: ‘Women who convert to Jesus Christ face new challenges, which sometimes cost them dearly. They face rejection by their families. Others are repudiated by their husbands because of their faith. They can even be deprived of their children.’ Pray for new hope for Algeria’s youthful urban population and its rural poor.

Pray: for the protection and growth of Algeria’s remarkable Church, growing among people of Muslim heritage. (Job 17:9)

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