Displaying items by tag: Praise
On 10 September Prayer Alert reported that government ministers were rejecting Scientists recommendations of Covid jabs for 12- to 15-year-olds. You prayed for the Government to change its mind and step in so that pupils got what was needed according to God’s plans for them (Jeremiah 29:11). On 14 September the Government announced that a Covid jab rollout will start in schools in England. Although they are deemed at very low risk from the disease, factors such as disruption to education tipped the balance.
After raising over $28 million to rescue Afghan Christians, Glenn Beck shares an update. ‘Seven years after the IS blitzkrieg, there is revival in northern Syria. The establishment of Islamic government provides ripe soil for the Church to grow. The Afghan Church is determined to do the same. They are still actively meeting, studying the scriptures together and sharing the gospel. We have heard a report about Christians sharing the gospel with Taliban members who came into their village, and they have actually been engaging in Bible studies and prayer.’ While it is often the sensational reports or heroic action that make headlines, Richardson said Afghanistan's Christians are just real people choosing to live out their faith. ‘They say they are scared. Many of them are in despair, but it is in that weakness that they're still pushing forward and they are finding sweetness in all of it.’ he said.
Help the Persecuted (HtP) hosted 100+ Christian converts at a retreat in the Middle East. Most were new converts seeking refuge from war-torn Syria. Others were families HtP helped after the Beirut explosion. All face persecution for their faith. Seif, one of the attendees, said, ‘I lost my brother two months ago. Today, in Christ, I have more brothers than I can imagine. I feel like I am home among my family!’ HtP are praising God for bringing together a community of former Muslims who now live for Christ, and who have now experienced the community of the Body of Christ personally. The HtP team focused on discipling these new believers, as they sought the Lord for healing and hope, and were overjoyed when 49 Muslim converts stepped forward in faith and were baptised!
An ex-Muslim Christian working among Gazans in Jerusalem for medical treatment of war wounds said, ‘They’re tired of hatred and fighting so it’s easier to talk about love and reconciliation.’ Several became believers and one man was miraculously healed of cancer. If only more people would preach the Gospel, many more Muslims would come to Jesus! A great number of Jews have also come to discover their Messiah, and now contend that they are more Jewish than ever. Some had visions of Christ.’ Also, the Church of England will offer an act of repentance in 2022 for its anti-Semitism. The service will mark the passing of 800 years of humiliating anti-Jewish laws which eventually led to the expulsion of Jews from Britain. This monumental move follows their 2019 document ‘God’s Unfailing Word’, which acknowledged the Church’s role in fostering anti-Semitic feeling.
Rehman Chishti, former PM’s special envoy for freedom of belief, heard of Action for the Church in Need when it brought Asia Bibi’s husband and daughter to see him. He became more familiar with how ACN aims to make the lives of persecuted people better, and decided to run the London marathon in October on its behalf. However, he slipped a disk, causing serious injury that initially left him barely able to stand. Now he will do the 26 miles walking five kilometres every other day. It is the most he can do due to pain. He said, ‘I will do the walk in segments as I can’t risk injuring myself any more. To me, politics is about fulfilling your commitments. On that basis I am adamant I will do that by walking the duration of the marathon.’
Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot was played by David Suchet who, in 13 series, made the part very much his own. Coming from a Jewish/Christian background he was agnostic until he was in the bath thinking about the afterlife and resurrection. His thoughts puzzled him, so he decided to investigate further by purchasing a New Testament. He was fascinated by the Roman Empire and started reading the book of Romans. Much was not understood until a passage spoke of a way of life he’d been searching for through most of his adult life - a coherent philosophy he could relate to. He said, ‘The Christian worldview is love.’ He added that his Christianity has stood him in good stead in his profession and private life: ‘I wouldn’t claim for a moment I’ve always succeeded in following the way of love. But I know what’s right and wrong. God is in control and knows what’s going on.’
Incredibly, many believe Afghanistan has the second-fastest growing church in the world, next to Iran. There are reports of Afghan Christians choosing to stay and share the gospel, saying, ‘we don’t care, we’re here because we love this nation, we love our people, and we’re going to share the gospel regardless, even if it means losing our lives.’ In one village that was taken over a few weeks ago, the Christians started sharing Bible stories with the Taliban, some of whom have been studying the Bible and praying. They haven’t made a confession of faith yet but seem very interested. The fearless nature of these believers reminds us of those in the Book of Revelation: ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives unto death.’ We are seeing this in real time.
The past twenty years in Afghanistan’s history have seen the birth of a Spirit-filled Church. God has been anointing Christians to grow in maturity and numbers. In twenty years thousands of Muslims have converted to Christianity. Linguists have translated the Bible into various languages, and missionaries have taken God’s Word to unreached people groups. Many believe that this mission work and evangelism have been preparing and strengthening the nation for the years ahead in what looks to be a new season. In 2021 the world has become aware, like never before, of the number of Christians in Afghanistan and now, sadly, the danger they are in. This has led to mighty waves of much-needed prayer and financial support being released for our Afghan brothers and sisters, at a time when they desperately need it. See also the praise article ‘Bold Afghan Christians share gospel with Taliban’.
The Christian actress Letitia Wright speaks out about Jesus in public and has turned down big roles because of her ethics. She starred in Doctor Who, Black Panther and Black Mirror. She took part in a devotional series with the YouVersion Bible app and posted about her faith on Instagram. In an interview ahead of the new drama I am Danielle on Channel 4, she told how her faith sustains her in her career: ‘The world is so fickle and there's not much that you can really put your hope in to make you feel whole. Even now I'm going through a new transformative stage with understanding who I am, but with God you can really get through these situations. It's been beautiful to have my faith in Jesus, which is worth more than anything.’
For Christians there were many precious moments at the Olympics that were little reported by mainstream media. Olympians from across the nations were committed Christians and quick to publicly give glory to the King of Kings. When the Fiji rugby team won a gold medal, they formed a circle in the centre of the field and burst forth in a rendition of a gospel hymn; ‘We have overcome by the blood of the lamb in the Word of the Lord, we have overcome’. Also, British swimmer Daniel Jervis, who came fifth in the men’s 1500m freestyle, was quick to praise God: ‘The thing I’m most proud of in my life is that I’m a Christian, and obviously God was with me tonight, and I’m just really grateful to be representing Him’.