Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Syrian mother gives birth amid bombs

Haya was nine months pregnant when she fled from IS soldiers with her family and miraculously reached a hospital just as she went into labour. Fighting was fierce and staff were caring for the wounded as she gave birth. Then bombing increased and everyone had to leave the hospital. Haya couldn’t move. Her temperature was dropping fast; she told the nurses she was dying, and asked them to give her baby to her husband and leave her behind. Not long afterwards she felt a very warm hand touching her, moving her down the stairs, and a voice said, ‘Do not be afraid: I am the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am by your side.’ Upon arriving at the exit doors, she felt a surge of energy and was able to flee the bombing. She is now safe with her family and baby, and says on that day there were two new births: her baby and herself, as she became a strong believer in Christ.

Praise: God for the miracles of life that His Son and Spirit give to the lost and dying. (John 1:4)

A heart-warming story

Spring comes late to Nanai country in the Russian Far East. Ice on the river is three feet thick, after winter temperatures of 40o below zero. Anton, Timur and Misha were sent by Wycliffe Russia to Siberia to learn about the Nanai people and their language. When they arrived at a village, they were welcomed by a leader who was a Christian. His mother, however, was not a Christian and she did not approve. The Bible translators demonstrated a Nanai audio dictionary to a small group, including the disapproving mother. She was not a believer, but she was passionate about her language and was surprised to find that Anton and his friends shared her passion; so she accepted them and became their friend. After hours discussing the language using Bible stories, the conversations turned to God. The leader’s mother listened intently, no longer disapproving. Because these visitors were interested in her language, she was now interested in their God. See also the world article on Tajikistan.

Praise: God for Wycliffe Bible translators and all who translate and share God’s word with unreached peoples. (John 8:32)

Praise Reports

Coronavirus prayer needs

Coronavirus is now a pandemic. Our government is taking various measures to reduce social contact and contain those infected. Newspaper editors are urged to avoid spreading panic. Jesus told his disciples, ‘I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes’. Jesus told his disciples to focus their lives upon the Kingdom of God and Kingdom values. Pray for Christians to set an example of putting fear in its rightful place. Continue to pray for the protection of the elderly and those with existing health conditions, asking God to provide solutions amid the challenges they may have with hospital appointments and prompting wise choices as they assess their involvement in community activities. The government’s Cobra committee is co-ordinating the nation’s response to coronavirus. May God be with each minister, civil servant and official in this committee; may they neither over-react nor make erroneous choices.

Pray: for God’s purposes for our nation, as leaders make critical decisions. (Romans 8:38)

GPs dissatisfied and stressed

Just 1 in 4 UK GPs are satisfied with the time they can give to patients. Appointment times are among the shortest of eleven high-income countries surveyed by the Health Foundation, painting a picture of high stress and low job satisfaction among the 1,000 GPs who were polled. Only France has lower levels of overall satisfaction with practising medicine, and only Sweden reported higher levels of stress. 60% find their job ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ stressful, and 49% plan to reduce their weekly hours in the next three years. They also reported significantly shorter appointment lengths than their international colleagues (11 minutes, compared with a 19-minute average in other countries). Despite a 2015 target for 5,000 additional GPs by 2020, the number of qualified permanent full-time GPs in the UK has fallen.

Pray: for the Government and NHS to review long term plans wisely, apply workable solutions to eliminate stress, and enable doctors to meet all the needs of patients. (Proverbs 16:21)

Legal challenge over NI abortion laws

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has been warned by campaign group Right to Life that if the government introduces abortion that surpasses what is legally required, the group will take legal action. The current proposals would allow abortions on demand for any reason up to either 22 or 24 weeks, but abortions for disabilities, including Down’s syndrome and cleft lip, would be available up to birth. A poll has shown that 58% of Sinn Féin voters and 54% of DUP voters want their country’s new abortion laws to allow a termination only when the mother’s life is at risk. Only 5% of all voters support introducing abortion through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, as outlined in the proposed framework.

Pray: for the Government to drop the proposed extreme abortion framework and only implement what they are legally bound to do. (Psalm 7:6)

Budget with an eye on coronavirus

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget in the House of Commons on 11 March. Parts of it appear to have been written at the last minute as coronavirus spreads across the nation. His spending plans include a £5bn emergency response to support the NHS and other public services with statutory sick pay for all who choose to self-isolate, even if they don’t have virus symptoms. Benefit claimants will be able to claim sick pay on day one, not after a week, and there is a £500m hardship fund allocated to help vulnerable people. To try to save businesses from liquidation, firms with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks, and small firms will be able to access ‘business interruption’ loans of up to £1.2m. Business rates will be abolished for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Pray: for these spending boosts to neutralise the negative effects that the virus could have on manufacturers, importers, shops and the hospitality industry. (Proverbs 1:3)

Prayer for 15 March

The Archbishop of Canterbury suggests the following items for prayer on Sunday 15 March in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer: a) For the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing people to faith in Christ. b) For equality of opportunity, and for the Church to represent fully the rich diversity of the communities it serves. c) For the work on climate change, particularly in the light of the CofE’s commitment at General Synod to go net zero in carbon emissions by 2030. d) For us to grow the youth presence and ministry in the Church. e) For those who are deprived and marginalised, and for a continued Church presence in areas where financial challenges are felt most keenly. Please also pray for wisdom for all who are preparing for the 2020 Lambeth Conference, which episcopal brothers and sisters from all over the world are due to attend. See also

Pray: for a flourishing church, making Jesus Christ to be known everywhere. (John 17:3)

What’s love got to do with public life?

Christian Concern’s ‘Stand and Speak’ series running up to Easter wants Christians to put the love of Jesus at the heart of society. We often think politics, laws, and public policy are untouched by concepts like love. It would be a stretch to describe love as the primary characteristic shown by MPs, civil servants, or judges as they go about their work. But the connection between these parts of society and love is stronger than we often recognise. Jesus said we should love God with all that we have and love our neighbour as ourselves. He himself drew attention to love as the principle underlying all of the law of Moses. It is Christ-shaped love that we aspire to. We long to be like him, willing to give up our own comfort to see others do well. That is why we sometimes say things that no one else will say – not for the sake of being controversial but because love demands it, that we speak truth to power, in love.

Pray: for Christians in politics and all public life to speak as God leads them. (Ephesians 6:14)

Salmond trial witness was ‘scared’

Alex Salmond is on trial for carrying out 14 sexual assaults on 10 women. He has pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges alleged to have happened while he was Scotland’s first minister and the leader of the SNP. The first woman to testify, a former government official known as Woman H, told the court that she was scared to come forward at the time because he was a ‘powerful man’. She raised the allegations after getting ‘flashbacks’ around the time of the #MeToo movement. The charges include allegations of assaults and rape at Mr Salmond’s official residence in Edinburgh. She said she had emailed a colleague the day after the first attack to say she would not be attending a sporting event with him. She said she felt ‘hunted’ by Mr Salmond. Nine other women will also be giving evidence.

Pray: for honesty and justice in a high-profile case played out in court and media. (Ephesians 4:25a)

Praise Reports

Finland: free speech

Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen was chair of the Christian Democrats from 2004 to 2015; as interior minister she had responsibility for church affairs. On 2 March she faced a police investigation because of a tweet she posted last year directed at the leadership of her church, questioning its sponsorship of the LGBT event ‘Pride 2019’, and quoting a Bible text. After a lengthy police interview last November, she now faces a second interrogation about a pamphlet she wrote 16 years ago on human sexuality for a Christian foundation. These sorts of cases create a culture of fear and censorship and are becoming common throughout Europe. In a free society, everyone should be allowed to share their beliefs without fear of censorship. Finland has a number of laws to regulate speech, including the ‘ethnic agitation’ law which carries a prison sentence of up to two years.

Pray: for an end to criminalising speech through laws which threaten our democracies. (Job 15:3)

Italy: faith conversations ‘like never before’

In response to coronavirus, 60 million Italians have been told to stay at home until 3 April, except for work and emergencies. As Italy deals with a total lockdown, gospel opportunities are flourishing. The vice-chairman of Italy’s Evangelical Alliance said, ‘Often our challenges bring with them opportunities. We’ve never experienced a time of openness towards spiritual conversations as we have in the past few days.’ The Diocese of Rome has cancelled the celebration of all Catholic masses and announced a day of fasting and prayer with a special televised mass. People are struggling to handle fear, anxiety and despair. That, of course, is a pain, but it brings opportunities for the Gospel to be shared, and also to be lived out. Although we may not go around to homes, we can phone, we can use technology, we can try to stay close to people as much as possible’.

Pray: for faith to replace fear. (Hebrews 11:1)

Praise Reports

Prayer for deliverance from coronavirus

‘Jehovah Shalom, Lord of Peace, we remember those living in coronavirus hotspots and those currently in isolation. May they know Your presence, Your peace in their turmoil and your patience in their waiting. God of Comfort and Counsel, we pray for the grieving, reeling from the sudden loss of loved-ones; may they find Your fellowship in their suffering, Your comfort in their loss, and Your hope in their despair. Jehovah Rapha, God who heals, we pray for all medical professionals dealing daily with the intense pressures of this crisis. Grant them resilience in weariness, discernment in diagnosis, and compassion as they care. We thank you for the army of researchers working steadily and quietly towards a cure: give them clarity and unexpected breakthroughs. May You rise above this present darkness as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in your rays.’ For the full prayer, click the ‘More’ button.

Pray: for the vulnerable to be protected and the scared to have peace. (Psalm 46:1,2)

Global: reaching 130 million girls not at school

Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister, chairs the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and is campaigning for the rights of girls to stay in education. Boris Johnson has called for every girl to be guaranteed twelve years of good quality education. In his party’s election manifesto he repeated his support for girls’ education globally. There are 130 million girls completely missing out on school. The UK government has been among the biggest backers, giving almost £1bn in 15 years. In Ethiopia there are projects to protect girls from sexual harassment as they go to school or college. Ms Gillard says that getting girls to stay in school is the ‘keystone’ for wider economic improvement. Many girls are married off at a young age or kept at home to work (freeing up an adult to go and earn an income for the family). Despite decades of world leaders’ promises, millions have never started school.

Pray: for more leaders to recognise the need to support deprived communities in the world’s most impoverished countries, so that all children receive an education. (Psalm 37:40)

Israel: Jewish-Arab partnership?

On 2 March Israel held its third election in a year. Already huge Likud roadside billboards bearing the faces of Blue and White and the Arab Joint List leaders have been erected, stating, ‘Yes to a Jewish and democratic state, no to supporters of terror.’ Israel’s elections are not over. The party headed by Benjamin Netanyahu continues its campaign against the formation of a minority government by Blue and White with the support of the Joint List. Foreign minister Katz called members of the Joint List ‘terrorists in suits’. 64% of Arab voters support the Joint List joining the government, but the right-wing/ultra-Orthodox and many of the general public, including Blue and White voters, don’t. Knesset members are receiving constant curses and insults by those against such cooperation. Is Israel prepared for real cooperation between Jews and Arabs at the highest level?

Pray: for people to recognise God opening His way forward for a secure society. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Burkina Faso: jihadis, vigilantes, demoralised troops, crisis

Violent extremists have spread across Burkina Faso. Traditional hunters and crime-fighting vigilantes have filled a governance vacuum and add a complexity to the crisis. A new group provides locals with weapons and two weeks’ training to combat jihadists. Many worry it will make matters worse. National troops are implicated in countless rights abuses, while French counter-terrorism forces have little impact. A jihadist attack on a church recently left 24+ people dead in a crisis that has displaced over 750,000 people since the beginning of last year. This insecurity has left displaced people in rural areas outside the reach of aid groups – and a lack of clear information on which militants are operating where – has made it difficult for humanitarians to negotiate access to affected people. Most attacks are attributed to groups linked to al-Qaeda and IS, with a patchwork of self-defence gangs and poorly equipped soldiers also being responsible for abuses.

Pray: for God to arouse governments to issue funding and lifesaving humanitarian aid for 2.2 million people needing assistance. (Habakkuk 1:3,5)

Tajikistan: fined for Bible translation

As well as targeting individuals for exercising their freedom of religion and belief, Tajikistan’s regime also targets Christian communities. For example, the Full Gospel Protestant Church’s two buildings in northern Tajikistan have both been confiscated. One of them had a vision in 2018 for a kindergarten to open there – but in 2020 there is still no sign of it. Between August 2019 and January 2020, the state fined leaders of four Protestant churches between £574 and £902 each (the average monthly offering in some of these churches is £41, the average monthly salary about £123). ‘They were fined for arranging a translation of the Bible into modern Tajik’, a local Protestant said. The translation is needed as some Christians think that other translations use archaic words and some passages are unclear.

Pray: for God to protect churches and translators, helping them to follow His instruction to reach every people group with His Word. (Matthew 28:19)

Indigenous, tribal and animistic peoples

Local ethnic or folk religions have seen great losses to the larger religious movements. They were the dominant faith among 30% of the world in 1900, but only among 9% today. Yet traditional religion has not gone away. Many followers of world religions wear their faith lightly and remain, at heart, followers of folk religions: shamanists, idol worshippers, spiritists or ancestor worshippers. The worldwide fascination with spells, amulets, crystals and the occult highlights the power of the old ways. People who claim to connect with the spirit-world are still in demand around the world. Their presence is a kind of tax on fear. Yet people who have turned to Christ from folk religion testify to his power over spells, curses, fears, taboos, and superstitions – and also in the life-and-death issues like sin and forgiveness. Pray for Christ to shine ever brighter into the world of animism and for the Holy Spirit to bring repentance and new life. See

Pray: for all whose lives are governed by fear and superstition to find rest and peace in God. (Psalm 68:20)

Afghanistan: pray for change

Afghanistan’s population is 99.9% Muslim, containing 72 unreached people groups. There are 48,000 mosques and no churches. Any belief contrary to Islam is illegal. Converting from Islam to Christianity results in death. Christian believers gather and worship in secret. Yet extremist violence has caused many Muslims to question their faith. Though impossible to document, it is undeniable that the Church is growing and Muslims are turning to Christ. Some encounter Jesus in dreams and visions; others hear the Gospel through Christian radio. Christian relief agencies also share the love of God through meeting the nation’s immense physical needs; some have died as martyrs. Amid great persecution, there are several thousand believers in Afghanistan today. War and violence are almost routine, and many have given up on anything ever changing. That is what made the recent historic agreement between the United States and the Taliban so monumental.

Pray: for appropriate solutions to ongoing threats of violence, for Afghans seeking Truth to embrace a new identity in Christ with boldness, and for protection over Afghan believers. (John 14:14)

Praise Reports
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Prayer Alert is produced in partnership with
The World Prayer Centre, Cornerstone House, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG, England.
The views expressed in Prayer Alert and on our website are those of the authors, organisations and websites named, and are not necessarily those of the Prayer Alert Editorial Team, the Prayer Alert Steering Group or the World Prayer Centre or any of its employees or trustees. While we try to ensure that the information we provide is correct, mistakes do occur and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our material. If you do notice any mistakes then please let us know

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