Praise Reports


British Isles


Praise Reports

Prayer turns abusive, alcoholic father to Jesus

Sayan’s story: ‘I am ten years old and come from a very poor family. My father was an alcoholic, and my mother worked as a maid to support our family. My father abused my mother and used the money she earned to buy alcohol. Life was very difficult for us. Thankfully, after a Christian lady met my mother and shared the Gospel with her, she repented and became a disciple of Jesus. I too have become a disciple. When she learnt of the power of prayer as a follower of Jesus, my mother began praying for my father. Soon he gave up drinking and has turned to Jesus as well. Today, I am very blessed and thankful to Jesus for bringing peace and joy into our lives. Please pray for others in our village and surrounding area who need Jesus also.‘

Praise: God for one sharing the gospel with one, resulting in many being saved. (Psalm 66:16)

Disciple-making movement

‘Every time your heart beats, someone, somewhere, has died without ever hearing the name of Jesus.’ In 1999, a small group of people read that statistic, and asked the question, ‘Am I willing to live a big life, with big Kingdom impact?’ They said yes and set out on a journey beginning in Iran and then crisscrossing the globe with the good news of Jesus Christ in a movement called Biglife. Biglife empowers believers worldwide to reach and disciple their own people for Jesus, so that God’s disciple-making movement grows, even in places where great faith is needed to be a Christian let alone share your faith. Now from Asia to Africa, Europe to the Americas, Biglife finds people of peace and empowers them to share the Good News where they live. They are reaching lost souls by shining Christ’s light into the world’s darkest places.

Praise: God for those who hear the call to go, make disciples, baptise, and teach, in cultures, languages, traditions, and denominations. (Acts 1:8)

Praise Reports

University students could be told jabs are required

University students will get ‘advance warning’ if they need to have vaccines before moving to halls of residence, Dominic Raab has said. The foreign secretary said decisions will be taken in September – but he was keen to encourage vaccine uptake. Over 70% of adults have had both jabs, and Mr Raab said ‘We need to close that margin’. Currently, the Government plans to require two jabs to go to nightclubs and other crowded venues in England. The full details of the plans are yet to be seen, but the rule is set to come into force at the end of September. An NHS Covid pass – which you can obtain electronically or as a letter – will be used as proof.

Pray: for every age group to do all that is necessary to keep the nation safe. (Proverbs 12:15)

Covid: free school meals in summer holidays

The number of children eligible for free school meals in England has risen since the start of the pandemic. The holidays have begun, and over one in five pupils are eligible. Unlike last summer, the Government is not directly funding vouchers or food packages this year. Free school meals have traditionally been provided only in term time. But many councils have decided to create their own meal schemes during the holiday – not trusting parents with cash payments. These programmes will cover four hours a day, four days a week, but nothing for the other three days. They will be offered free to all children eligible for free school meals. Other children may still get places, but not for free. Pray for children who may have missed out on direct payments turning up at school hungry and with no money or food.

Pray: for schools and local authorities to make provision for children who have slipped through the net and follow compassionate procedures. (Matthew 7:12a)

Discrimination against evangelists

Police are appealing for information after 39-year-old Hatun Tash suffered a knife attack at Speakers’ Corner in London on 25 July. The former Muslim, now a Christian speaker, was treated by the ambulance service then taken to a central London hospital. See  Meanwhile Christian street preacher Joshua Sutcliff who was fined and prosecuted for evangelising in London on Good Friday 2020 was acquitted recently, but another judge upheld a Covid fine against Christian preacher Andrew Sathiyavan, who was out for the same reasons the same weekend. The Christian Legal Centre were pleased that Joshua was acquitted but are concerned that prosecution came this far. ‘We are seeing a lot of inconsistencies from the police and the judiciary in these cases. Christians have been easy targets during the pandemic while other groups gathering in significant numbers have not been targeted by the police.’

Pray: for Hatun’s attacker to be found, and discrimination recognised by the judiciary. (Romans 8:35)

Prayers for God’s Church

Mark 6: 31 says ‘Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.’ May this holiday season be a season of rest, recuperation and restoration for individuals, couples and families. For those who are unable to take time off, we can pray for a supernatural season of rest and refreshment. Father, in that place of rest and relaxation, may Your people be in your presence, hear Your voice and know your ways, just as Moses encountered You in the wilderness. May this be a season of fresh encounters, restoration and breakthroughs, with Your Spirit brooding over this nation. May Your people forget what has gone before and press on toward the upward call of Christ Jesus. He is calling forth those who will lead in the days ahead, not because of title or position but because of the depth and obedience of their walk with God.

Pray: for God to flow through His people and transform lives. (Exodus 17:12)

Increasing city floods

There is more flash flooding, partly caused by climate change. Parts of London and the south of England were left under water and roads became impassable this week. Just 30cm of water is enough to move a car. Infrastructure and transport networks were damaged. London hospitals asked patients to stay away after they lost power. Urban areas experience ‘surface water’ flooding because they have a lot of hard surfaces – paved front gardens, car parks, roads and high streets. On 28 July several towns in Scotland were flooded, with more to come. Reading University says urban areas could benefit from permeable pavements and green roofs which can help rainwater to soak away rather than causing floods. Weather and flood forecasting has improved rapidly, and it is now possible to forecast surface water flooding events in advance.

Pray: for councils and developers as they plan for flood prevention when building homes, roads, drainage, and infrastructure and avoid developing areas prone to flooding. (Proverbs 1:5)

NHS ‘under similar pressure to January’

In a letter to Boris Johnson, cabinet ministers and the NHS England chief executive, the NHS Providers group says demands on staff are rising. Many chief executives are saying that the overall level of pressure they are now experiencing is different in shape, but similar in scale to what they saw in January when the NHS was under the greatest pressure in a generation. The letter calls on the Government to make ‘the right decisions’ as it finalises NHS funding for the second half of the financial year. Hospital pressures include going ‘full speed’ to address the backlog of mental health and community care services, and record demands for urgent and emergency care. There are growing hospital admissions for Covid, along with more than a million cases of long Covid and people suffering poor mental health. Hospitals are currently running enhanced infection control measures, leading to ‘significant loss of capacity’, with staff self-isolating or suffering stress and mental health issues.

Pray: for the Government to make the right decisions, and for God to strengthen NHS staff with all they need to meet the demands of others. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Disability plan to tackle inequalities

A £1.6bn strategy to improve the lives and opportunities of disabled people was announced by the Government. It aims to tackle shortages of suitable housing, inaccessible public transport and barriers to education and work. Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey said the government was listening and consulting. The shadow minister for disabled people said the consultation process failed to consult properly with disabled people or organisations; many critical areas were ignored. Disabled Tory peer Lord Shinkwin said the plans did not go far enough. He said the document was a ‘broken promise’ and he did not believe it would prevent disabled people from being shut out of society. ‘The Department of Work and Pensions, which has led on the development of this strategy, does benefits but it doesn’t do equality. It shows this government doesn’t understand the desire and potential of disabled people to be seen as more than just recipients. We are contributors, we are all people.’

Pray: for the ‘transformational change’ that was promised in the 2019 manifesto. (Proverbs 21:21)

Praise Reports

Germany: explosion at chemical site

Two people are dead, five are missing, 31 injured and five in intensive care after an explosion at a German chemical site. The blast in Leverkusen had been declared an ‘extreme threat’ after sending a large black cloud rising into the air. Emergency services took three hours to extinguish the fire at the Chempark site. Police asked nearby residents to remain in their homes and keep windows and doors shut. Playgrounds in nearby neighbourhoods were closed and residents told to rinse fruit and vegetables from their gardens before eating them. Chempark ‘s chief said, ‘Hopes of finding the missing alive are fading. Solvents were burned during the incident, and we do not know precisely what substances were released. We are examining this with authorities, taking samples.’ The explosion was at a rubbish incineration plant of the chemical park. The smoke cloud is moving toward the towns of Burscheid and Leichlingen.

Pray: for God to comfort the families of injured and dead and bring peace to the area. (Romans 12:15)

Greece: wildfire out of control

Several areas north of Athens were evacuated on 27 July as an out-of-control wildfire swept through a hillside forest threatening homes near Athens. Winds have dropped now but on 29 July the battle against wildfires continued throughout the night. 180 firefighters, eight ground units, 48 tenders, 2 helicopters and 2 aircraft are fighting the fire. Local municipalities have also deployed water tankers and construction machinery. On the first day of the blaze, six houses were burnt down and residents in eleven villages were told to evacuate their homes for precautionary reasons. At the time of writing four out of 13 regions are at ‘very high risk’ of fire according to the wildfire hazard map.

Pray: for peace for the evacuated, safety for firefighters and comfort for the homeless. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Praise Reports

South Africa: Olympic athlete gives glory to God

Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new record in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke, and she is using her success to point others to God. After breaking another record in the preliminary rounds for the 100-metre breaststroke, she ended up claiming the silver medal. In all her competitions in Tokyo, Tatjana has worn under her green South Africa swim cap another cap proclaiming her faith with a blue Jesus fish and the phrase ‘Soli Deo Gloria,’ meaning ‘Glory to God alone,’ printed on the side of it. She has used her platform to discuss her Christian faith before the Olympics began in an Instagram post, ‘Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness!’ she wrote. ‘Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.’

Pray: for the media to raise Tatjana’s profile as an Olympian with a Christian prayer for others. May many hear, consider, and positively react to her witness for God. (John 3:16)

India: new wave of persecution in Uttar Pradesh

A new wave of Christian persecution began after two Muslim men were arrested and charged under the new anti-conversion law. Hindu nationalists, including BJP members, claimed they had been involved in forceful conversion of 1,000 people. Using the arrests as an opportunity for political gain, BJP politicians publicly warned against illegal conversions of Hindus to non-Hindu faiths. Since then, International Christian Concern has documented at least thirty Christians in Uttar Pradesh being attacked by radical Hindu nationalists. In each of these incidents, perpetrators justified their attacks by falsely accusing their Christian victims of engaging in fraudulent conversions. ‘This is a grave situation for Christians in the state,’ a church leader, requesting anonymity, said. ‘There is zero response from the Yogi administration, which empowers the attackers to do more. The attacks are perpetrated by the hardcore Hindutva activists who are supported by politicians.’

Pray: for God’s peace and encouragement for all arrested and protection from attack. (Isaiah 41:10)

Global: ‘Pegasus Project’

Journalists and activists are under constant risk in too many parts of the world. Recently the extent and all-consuming nature of the threats was revealed when new technology was discovered. An Israeli company invented spyware that can do everything from extracting data to inconspicuously recording live audio and video. They insist their technology is intended for use against criminals and terrorists. But the Pegasus Project shows that it has been used by some governments to target journalists, activists, and political opponents. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova led the investigations which exposed Danske Bank moving suspicious cash to launder Azerbaijan’s international image. US$230 billion in dirty money was funnelled through the bank’s accounts in twelve years. Yet full accountability for the apparent anti-money laundering failures has been impossible to achieve – until this week. The European Commission has proposed an anti-money laundering agency, which could be a much-needed gamechanger.

Pray: for this agency to successfully bring injustices to light. (Proverbs 25:26)

Jordan: pray for the unreached

Most of Jordan’s population have not heard a good gospel message. Ways of changing this include literature, media ministry, friendship evangelism, development programmes, home meetings and camps. Pray for a sensitive witness to Muslims and protection of converts amid persecution. Pray also that the growing number of Muslim-background believers have the legal right to convert from Islam. Palestinians are a majority in Jordan. Many are second- or third- generation residents after leaving their traditional homeland. Some integrate into Jordanian life; others suffer from disillusionment, bitterness, and frustration which only the Man of Calvary can heal. Due to the Gulf Wars a million Iraqis also fled to Jordan. Years later, nearly half of these are unable or unwilling to return home. Christian work among them produces a good response. Jordanian churches have effective and widespread ministry to these refugees but need to be granted permission to educate them.

Pray: for Christians to touch the lives of the 300,000 Bedouin and millions of refugees. (Acts 4:12)

Afghanistan: civilian casualties soar

The UN reported the number of Afghan civilians killed or hurt has sharply increased since the Western coalition began pulling out of the country. A total of 1,659 civilians were killed and 3,254 injured in the first half of 2021, a 47% increase from the same period in 2020. The actual numbers may be even higher, considering that the UN only records casualties it is able to verify independently. Out of those killed or maimed, 46% were women and children. The Taliban and other militants were responsible for 64% of civilian casualties, while 25% were attributed to pro-government forces and 11% to ‘crossfire’ between warring parties. An alarming trend of growing death toll since May reveals the highest number since the UN began keeping records in 2009. If this violence is not stemmed, an unprecedented number of civilians will perish or be maimed this year.

Pray: for the Taliban to be prevented from overrunning the country as the Pentagon continues to support the Afghan government after the 31 August withdrawal date. (Proverbs 29:2)

Tunisia: the road to democracy

With the first steps towards a democratic government in 2019, Tunisians hoped their political institutions and politicians would respond to the needs of the population. The Arab Spring called its leaders to account, looking for diversity and accountability. President Kais Saied was elected. They wanted democracy, but it takes time. On 25 July, after nationwide violent protests over economic and social turmoil and the government’s poor handling of Covid cases, Tunisia’s president sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. When Saied announced he was taking over, opponents immediately accused him of staging a coup. Sadly, Arab Spring has not led to a stable economy or politics. Saied said he took these decisions ‘until social peace returns and we save the state.’ He vowed to respond to further violence with military force.

Pray: for a new prime minister to be quickly appointed, and wise plans formed. (Daniel 2:21)

USA: Christ for All Nations bootcamp

Over the next ten years CfaN will train, equip, and launch 20,000 evangelists for mass evangelism all over the world. This August, instead of recruiting thousands, they want just a limited number of students. Instead of training for two years, it will be an intensive three-month programme. Those accepted as one of these pioneer evangelists will be trained by Daniel Kolenda personally, along with the whole CfaN team and other world-renowned evangelists at its headquarters in Orlando, Florida.The bootcamp will not be for the faint of heart; this three-month intensive training includes rigorous components of study and service and is a fast track to the field. It culminates with a three-week initiation in Africa that will put everything learned in the classroom to test. Students who graduate will have access to preach the gospel in Africa alongside a Gospel Crusade team.

Pray: for many to hear God’s call and enroll and accelerate God’s purpose for their lives. (John 10:27)

Peru: President Castillo faces major challenges

President Pedro Castillo is a radical left outsider who no one, including himself, expected to win the election. He ran a chaotic campaign, contradicting himself and delaying weeks to organise a policy team. Many who voted for the village schoolteacher and union leader question whether he is ready for the challenges of leading Peru out of a crisis. But on 28 July he was sworn in as president and will serve a society on its knees due to the pandemic, political instability, endemic corruption, and a bitter election campaign that divided Peruvians. ‘Even after being elected, Castillo remains an unknown,’ said a political scientist.

Pray: for God to help Peru’s new government to rise to the challenges. (Galatians 6:9)

Praise Reports
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