Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Virtual Pentecost

‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ (Acts 1.8, ESV) Believers today have the same gift of the Holy Spirit that was given in Acts 2, and no matter how stony the ground might appear to be, we have the power to witness to others about ‘the mighty works of God’. This is a gift we have as individuals and as a body of believers, the Church. Pentecost is often described as the birthday of the Church. This year, via the internet, over 46,000 Christians united from different church traditions, different languages and races, standing together as God’s people to celebrate Pentecost and asking for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon the church, our families, our communities and Nations. The event was saved on YouTube; click the ‘More’ button to view and engage with what God is doing today.

Praise: God for His Holy Spirit bringing life to all that is dying and seasons of change. (Acts 1:8)

Love in God’s neighbourhood

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as nations entered into the uncertainty of lockdown, we saw an outpouring of neighbourliness. Unable to venture away from our homes, we reached out, perhaps for the first time, to the people who lived around us. This was a beautiful thing. Wonderful stories emerged of people helping each other in a time of need – a poignant demonstration of why community is so vital. Churches responded to local needs by supporting the bereaved and lonely, increasing foodbank provision, and helping out in whatever ways they could. Surely this was a perfect example of what Jesus meant when he told us that the greatest commandment, in addition to loving God, was to love our neighbours.

Praise: God for the many ways His people have demonstrated love for their neighbours. (Matthew 7:12)

Praise Reports

Northern Ireland abortion laws

Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland in 2019 after Westminster acted during the absence of devolution. Delays in implementing Northern Ireland’s abortion laws have been a ‘deeply troubling exercise in finger-pointing’, a court has heard. Stormont is under pressure to establish a permanent, central abortion service; it has not happened yet and is being challenged in a high court judicial review. The Human Rights Commission is taking the case against the NI Executive, the Department of Health, and the NI secretary Brandon Lewis. Currently health trusts only operate a ‘skeleton service’ for medical abortions up to ten weeks of pregnancy. Women seeking a termination beyond that gestation travel to England. Arlene Foster’s party, which opposes abortion, said that abortion proposals were not going to be passed by the executive or the incoming leader, Edwin Poots.

Pray: for executive rejections around abortions to continue, and the life of the baby to be considered. (Psalm 127:3)

Northern Ireland abortion discrimination

An open letter from ‘Don’t Screen Us Out’ has been sent to Arlene Foster, Edwin Poots, and other leading politicians. It was written on behalf of people with Down’s syndrome and their families, who are asking for their parties to support a bill which has been introduced to the NI Assembly. The bill seeks to amend the current abortion regulations, to no longer allow unborn babies with a ‘serious foetal impairment’ to be aborted to term. This bill would not amend the law in cases of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. Currently NI abortion is legal up to birth if the foetus has Down’s syndrome, cleft palate, cleft lip, or club foot. This new bill proposes that non-fatal disabilities should not be grounds for abortion, and the current law is discriminatory against those with such disabilities. 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.

Pray: for a culture of accepting people with disabilities rather than eliminating them. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

BBC to review editorial policies

BBC chairman Richard Sharp said failures of ‘accountability and transparency’ existed until 2020. The BBC will review editorial practices and investigate how journalist, Martin Bashir, was re-hired as religion editor in 2016, after an inquiry found he used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure an interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC accepted the findings and reiterated its apology. The Duke of Cambridge said his mother was failed ‘not just by a rogue reporter’ but by BBC bosses. An enquiry found Bashir had faked bank statements to suggest Princess Diana was under surveillance – to win the trust of her brother Earl Spencer, and eventually gain access to the princess for the 1995 interview. Then as media interest in the interview increased, the BBC covered up its knowledge of how Bashir secured the interview. Now the BBC board ‘hopes to ensure the mistakes of the past could not be repeated’. Pray for truth, humility and justice run through all reporting and commentaries.

Pray: for renewed, clearer, and efficient procedures in BBC methods that produce ethical reporting and unbiased commentaries. (Ecclesiastes 7:1 29)

Churches Together respond to Holy Land violence

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, along with the World Council of Churches and other churches, have expressed their concern and prayers about the situation in Israel and Palestine: ‘Almighty and everlasting God, our days are in your hands. We lift up all those in the Holy Land who are victims of violence and injustice, that You will empower Your Church to bring healing to the wounded, relief to the suffering, and comfort to those who mourn. We pray also that You will soften the hearts of all those involved in the recent conflicts, that they may be led to work for justice and lasting peace in the land where Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, first came to bring hope and abundant life to all people. These things we ask in his Holy Name. Amen.’

Pray: for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine-Israel, and for all who work for peace, justice and reconciliation across the region. (John 14:27)

Dominic Cummings and Matt Hancock

On 26 May Dominic Cummings made ‘unsubstantiated allegations’ against health secretary Matt Hancock, describing him as ‘completely incapable of doing the job’. The next day Mr Hancock clarified the Government’s handling of the pandemic  and accused him of lying. He said he was ‘straight with people in public and private throughout’, and the handling of the pandemic has been ‘unprecedented’. When asked if the PM still has confidence in Mr Hancock, No 10 said. ‘Yes, the health secretary is working closely with the prime minister and has been fully focused on protecting the health and care system and saving lives’. See Conservative Christian MP Gary Streeter said, ‘Last summer when Dominic Cummings was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for breaking the lockdown rules, constituents were telling me how unfit he was to be so close to the Prime Minister. Now he is giving evidence against the Government. I think, going back to my old lawyer days, he might be described as a witness lacking credibility.’

Pray: for God to draw attention to relevant facts, for half-truths to be recognised for what they are, and for resentment to be replaced with reason and logic. (1 Thess. 5:21-22)

Soldiers’ cocaine binge

Ten British soldiers stationed in Cyprus binged on cocaine during a night out in Paphos. It is one of the biggest single cases of cocaine abuse in British army history. A military spokesperson said, ‘The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks. It is incompatible with military service and operational effectiveness. Army personnel caught taking drugs will be discharged.’ Military police have launched an investigation into drug-taking by soldiers on the island, which an observer said is ‘rife’. The 500-strong battalion was given an ‘experimentation battlegroup’ role, with special forces officers drafted in to oversee the transition. It is also responsible for guarding an airbase which launched bombing missions to Iraq and Syria. It sits at the vanguard of the army’s approach to ‘prototype warfare’, which involves new technologies of drones and robots. The drugs binge by the soldiers is particularly embarrassing for army command, given the battalion’s high-profile role and the investment being poured into it.

Pray: for the drug dealers and supply lines to be found, prosecuted and jailed. (1 Peter 5:8)

2021 housing crisis

A lack of effective and sustained government action and funding is partly to blame for a crisis in the quality of England’s homes, according to a new report entitled ‘Past, present and future: housing policy and poor-quality homes’. It finds that while the government has a crucial role in protecting the nation’s housing stock, dramatic funding cuts and failure to act have left England’s homes crumbling. Today, an estimated ten million people in England are at risk because they live in a home which doesn’t meet basic standards, with the majority of these homes posing a serious risk to their inhabitants’ health or safety. Previous research by the Centre for Ageing Better and the King’s Fund highlighted the link between poor-quality housing and Covid-19; those who are most at risk of the disease are more likely to be living in non-decent homes.

Pray: for co-ordinated strategies to reinstate better housing standards, and long-term funding for locally delivered quality homes for current and future generations. (Isaiah 32:18)

Praise Reports

Belarus: fear for blogger’s life

Roman Protasevich, 26, a prominent critic of Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and his girlfriend were taken off a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania after it was diverted by a Belarus fighter jet to Minsk under the pretext of a bomb threat. He was arrested to ‘confess’ organising protests against the regime, and has been imprisoned in a detention centre. His father saw a video of him after his arrest and said his son’s nose appears broken and he wore heavy makeup to disguise bruising. Some is still visible. Many fear for Mr Protasevich’s life. The dissident journalist/blogger has almost certainly been tortured. Past prisoners received broken bones, smashed teeth, skin lesions, electrical burns, brain traumas and kidney damage. Police in balaclavas would hold people for three sleep-deprived days, during which time they suffered electrocutions, stress positions, sleep deprivation, and starvation as guards pressurised them to sign confessions.

Pray: for international boycotts of Belarus airlines and airports plus economic sanctions to secure the immediate release of Roman and his girlfriend. (Proverbs 21:15)

Switzerland: Geneva summit for Biden and Putin

US president Joe Biden and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin will hold their first summit on 16 June in Geneva, setting the stage for a new chapter in their fraught relationship. The leaders will discuss the full range of pressing issues, seeking to restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship. The Kremlin said that Putin and Biden would be discussing ‘issues of strategic stability,’ as well as ‘resolving regional conflicts’ and the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden, making his first international trip as president, will go to Geneva immediately after separate summits with his key Western allies in the G7, NATO, and the EU. To prepare the ground, US secretary of state Antony Blinken and veteran Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met last week in Reykjavik. After their meeting, a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said that repairing ties ‘will not be easy’, but he saw ‘a positive signal’.

Pray: for face-to-face meetings to reduce levels of tension and establish a relationship in which both sides understand each other and work together in specific areas. (Proverbs 14:34)

Praise Reports

Global, Religion, Killed for their Faith, Persecuted Christians, Nigeria, India, Armenia

Across Nigeria 1,470 Christians have been murdered and 2,200 abducted since January. The most recent offence was in Kaduna State when eight Christians were killed and a church was burned down. Pray for an end to such attacks by Fulani Muslim herdsmen and jihadists. In Burkina Faso jihadists ambushed a baptism and killed 15 of the Christians. Al-Qaeda and IS have been growing in West Africa since January. Pray for God’s peace for the many who are living in fear and protection over those who ran away. In India’s Rajasthan state 15 radical Hindu nationalists carrying swords, sickles, and a gun attacked the family of a pastor after they all refused to renounce their Christian faith. The assailants killed the pastor’s 52-year-old father. Pray for God to strengthen and encourage church planters and house churches in different Hindu-dominant villages. Armenian Christian gravestones are used to build roads in Azerbaijan as they seek to eradicate evidence of Armenian culture and identity.

Pray: for persecuted believers to know the hope God gives, be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and fearlessly tell others about Jesus. (Ephesians 6:20)

India: second cyclone in eight days

Cyclone Yaas has hit the eastern states of Odisha and West Bengal. Nearly two million people were evacuated from West Bengal prior to its arrival. Yaas is the second powerful cyclone to hit India in just over a week, bringing tidal surges with waves higher than rooftops and gusts above 95 mph. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed, two airports were closed, and train services were cancelled ahead of the storm. West Bengal reported 20,000 mud houses and temporary shelters damaged or destroyed. Last week Cyclone Tauktae resulted in mass evacuations and over 150 deaths. Both Yaas and Tauktae halted Covid prevention efforts, as mass evacuations took precedence. Odisha officials said they had suspended testing, vaccinations, and a door-to-door health survey in three districts. The coastguards have deployed ships and hovercraft along the coast to execute the relief operation.

Pray: for God to comfort all who mourn, for the missing to be quickly found, for clear communication between relief agencies, and for the renewal of COVID Immunisation/tests. (Psalm 23:4)

Congo: fears of fresh eruption

As the death toll increased to 32 from recent volcanic action, the lava lake in Mount Nyiragongo’s crater has refilled, prompting fears of new fissures or another eruption. Residents who fled from the eruption are slowly returning to their homes but authorities have urged caution. Powerful aftershocks are rocking the area every ten to fifteen minutes. Cracks over an inch wide appeared in the ground and on roads in several areas, including near the main hospital in Goma, a city of two million people where people are confused and don’t know which way to go. Some are returning to homes (if homes are undamaged); more are leaving, and all are afraid even though the lava flow has stopped. Earthquakes are not decreasing in size or frequency. Efforts are continuing to reunite several hundred children who were separated from their families as they fled.

Pray: for over 5,000 people whose homes were destroyed. Pray also for access to fresh drinkable water, so that disease does not transfer from polluted water sources. (Psalm 34:18)

Holy Land unrest is a ‘spiritual battle’

A Christian journalist in Bethlehem said the unrest between Israel and Gaza is a ‘spiritual battle’. In Genesis God tells the Jews, ‘I will give you this land’. Muslims believe that ‘a Messiah is coming soon and will free Jerusalem and give Israel and Palestine to them’. In his opinion this is making for a spiritual battle in the Holy Land – a view partly echoed by a Canon of St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, Rev David Longe. ‘I think it’s quite clear that elements within each of the warring factions will see it as a spiritual battle, because they will actually look to Scripture to give them the grounding for the reasons why these actions are happening.’ Rev Longe is desperately concerned for both sides in the violence, and believes it is vital for people across the world to continue to pray for peace in the region.

Pray: for God to bring justice, peace and healing to both sides, and for all the people of the Holy Land to see a peaceful path forward away from conflict and mistrust. (Daniel 4:2)

Communism – global threat?

Communism was Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ answer to corruption and greed. They vowed it would eliminate ‘the exploitation of one part of society by the other’ to create a utopian paradise on earth. In reality however, it was what Richard Wurmbrand (who spent fourteen years in prisons for his faith) called the ‘principal enemy.’ After being ransomed out of Romania and arriving in the West, Richard spoke about Communism’s effects on Christians and Christianity: ‘I cannot agree with evangelists and mission directors when they say today’s principal enemy is the materialism of the West. Today the principal enemy is Communism. Capitalism might have its evils, but it gives to the church the liberty to work for the salvation of souls. Communism uproots religion. The missionary energies must be concentrated upon the Communist lands.’ He wrote this in 1969, but Communism still continues to threaten and oppress God’s people globally.

Pray: for God to comfort those whose families are jailed for their witness, and for protection over workers advancing God’s kingdom with illegal Bibles and secret house churches. (Romans 8:35)

Global: day of the Christian martyrs

29 June is traditionally regarded as the date on which the Apostle Paul was beheaded on the Appian Way in Rome. Join Christians around the world who will take time on that day to honor the legacy of those who, like Paul, gave their lives to advance the gospel. This year, Voice of the Martyrs is honoring the legacy of Rocio Pino, from Colombia. On 6 March 2011, Rocio was shot to death in retaliation for her witness for Christ to guerrilla fighters in Colombia.

Pray: for churches, families and individuals to be bold witnesses for Christ, and for many to use the resources created for Day of the Christian Martyr. (John 15:19a)

Praise Reports
Please feel free to distribute Prayer Alert to anyone you feel will benefit from its ministry. All we ask is that you do not edit or change it in any way or charge for its use without contacting us first for written permission

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.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to toolbar