Displaying items by tag: prayer needs
Evangelicals in Costa Rica grew to 15% of the population, and established one of Latin America’s most effective mission movements. But the Church needs prayer. Most churches are good at winning converts, but fail to disciple them well. Pastors survive on minimal incomes with little help and struggle to provide consistent pastoral care. Christians often fall away in difficult times. Pray for effective and sustainable models of doing church and making disciples. The Roman Catholic Church is deeply impacted by charismatic renewal. Some have a living, personal faith in Christ, which has strengthened them. Although 73% of the nation is Catholic, this percentage declines every year, and most Catholics are quite nominal in their faith. Pray for charismatic renewal. Two-thirds of Costa Ricans are under 30. Alcoholism, drug addiction, violence and immorality are rife.
Many of Ukraine’s refugees are women and children travelling alone. Fuel shortage means they must walk great distances in winter weather, facing risks of trafficking and violence. Ask God to give them endurance and peace as they seek safety, and to be invisible to traffickers or anyone wishing them harm. Ask God to give the volunteers from local communities strength and perseverance as they work in freezing conditions to help refugees cross borders. Pray for good communication between charities and churches coordinating transfers from the border to shelters, and the forward journey. May these networks remove the risk of refugees accepting transport offers by people traffickers. Pray for God to bless and empower those providing food, supplies, and sim cards. Pray for the IJM teams currently training NGOs in how to support people with complex trauma. Pray for the success of traffic awareness flyers being put in passports and for the authorities to quickly identify signs of trafficking.
A legacy of brokenness endures from the days of Ceausescu’s regime. Every kind of social evil came to fill the moral space left after Communism ended. People struggle with substance abuse, prostitution, human trafficking, and abuse of children. Deep corruption led to economic instability and widespread unemployment. Membership in the EU has helped push Romania further along the path of economic progress and stability. Pray for leadership that has wisdom to follow the right path, and integrity to establish right policies. Romania is one of the world’s most Christian nations by percentage, but it is difficult to see this in society. Communism’s atheistic worldview persists. Weak faith, hypocrisy, and slandering other denominations cause problems for all Christian groups. Christ is not glorified and the Church is not built up. Church members and clergy mix faith with folk religious practices or the occult. Churches neglect poor people.
North Korea’s dictatorship says Covid-19 is not a problem, but the people secretly call it the ‘ghost disease.’ North Korea has reported no Covid cases and rejected millions of vaccines. However, reports on the ground tell a different story. Covid has been deadly, especially to the many North Koreans who are malnourished. Meanwhile Kim Jong-Un promises to expand his nuclear arsenal. Behind these issues are 25 million souls living and dying without the hope of Jesus. For a North Korean to have a chance to hear about that hope, it takes an act of God, and God is moving. North Koreans are being drawn to Jesus in daring and ingenious ways - through the underground Church, Christian radio broadcasts, and even covert balloon drops carrying Scripture. No nation is too closed for God to move. Ask God to deliver the people from the regime's indoctrination and lies and for truth to reign throughout the nation.
On 25 March Parliament rose for Easter recess. Please pray that all our politicians may continue to serve their constituents and make decisions for our country, and that they will be refreshed over the Easter break. Please be praying in particular that they, as well as others across our nation, will be encouraged by the hope of the Easter story, amidst all the challenges of the last year. In this vein, Christians in Parliament have gathered together a group of Christian MPs and peers from across the political parties to share a message of renewed hope this Easter, through a recording of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Pray that this video will be a great comfort and encouragement to all who view it. The National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast on 25 June has Rt Revd Prof Tom Wright speaking on ‘Life after Covid: a renewed hope’.
Just one of the Christian prisoners in China is Pastor John Cao (60), serving a seven-year prison sentence for ‘organising illegal border crossings’ between China and Myanmar. He made many trips from America to his native China to establish schools and work among the poor before expanding his humanitarian work into Myanmar. He was detained in 2017 while returning to China from Myanmar and sentenced a year later. His defence lawyer and his mother asked prison authorities to deliver a Bible to him. They refused. His mother writes Bible verses in each letter she sends. Please ask God to bless Pastor John and keep his faith strong, and pray for healing from his various health problems. Pray that he will be released early. Pray for his witness to prisoners and guards, and that others would continue his ministry to the poor.
Pray for the IJM Kenya team opening an office in Mombasa in March to address child sex trafficking along the coast. This is a key time for building partnerships and relationships with local government, police, prosecutors, judges and community members. Pray that this would be the start of greater protection for children and more accountability for Kenya’s perpetrators. Pray for the arrest of a suspected perpetrator of online sexual exploitation in the Philippines, who has been evading custody for some time. Pray she is arrested soon, for a just trial, and that this accountability would prevent her from abusing children in the future. Pray also for the upcoming Make #SlaveFree Normal Campaign, that it would highlight the issue of slavery in supply chains and inspire people in their consumer habits. Pray that more people would join to Make #SlaveFree Normal and sign up to receive the video series that raises awareness of trafficking and slavery.
Mission organisations say that the church is the largest social force in China not controlled by the Communist Party, and the Communist government prohibits large meetings and non-communist social media sites. They are also ‘rewriting’ the Bible to reflect the government’s communist worldview. Ask God to bless church leaders with supernatural wisdom and increased unity with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10). Ask Him to move powerfully in the lives of the victims of flooding that displaced millions and killed hundreds recently. Pray for the young generation of Chinese to experience a hunger for truth and freedom that leads them to salvation (Luke 6:21). Also hospitals in Xinjiang Province must abort and kill all babies born in excess of its mandated family planning restricting ethnic minorities to three children including full-term new-borns. In addition to forced birth control and sterilisation, religious minorities are subject to massacres, internment camps, torture, organ harvesting, and disappearances. See
Pray for China, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and Iran, where thousands are suffering the loss of loved ones and millions suffer isolation from the outside world. Thank God for all the healthcare workers dedicated to care for the sick. May our political leaders not suffer the stress that can invade all those in decision-making positions over containing contamination. May they have Godly wisdom and a calm approach to all decisions. Many are suffering the fear of ‘going without’, causing items to disappear from shops’ shelves. Pray for this fear to be overridden with a spirit of sharing and concern for others. We are surrounded by negative news and social media. Without dismissing the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, let us remember to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). For ten further prayer needs, click the ‘More’ button.
Around 44 million people live in the Caribbean, three-quarters of them in Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Everywhere, the same stories are familiar themes - a legacy of colonial rule and slavery, a current story of fragility, inequality, and broken families. Some islands have very high rates of violent crime. In many countries there is a deep sense of God, and evangelical movements are growing. The most urgent and strategic need is for greater discipleship of the millions of Christians in the Caribbean. Pray also for church unity, for spiritual formation and discipleship, and for the churches to make an impact in society, particularly those with inroads to voodoo. Voodoo is the name for the religious practices of many Haitians; some prefer to identify their religion as ‘serving the spirits.’ See