The Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book, yet the history of Bible translations is contentious and bloody. Many translators were burned at the stake. Today Islam is spreading, and in some countries Bibles are a rare commodity. Please pray for people groups without a Bible in their mother tongue. Pray for organisations like the Bible Society, Wycliffe, and many others translating and distributing God's Word. May the translators have Holy Spirit discernment to accurately depict the original text into the various cultures and dialects. Pray for those publishing scriptures in print, audio, visual, braille, technical devices and various advanced layouts. May the distribution avenues they use be unobstructed. Pray also for God's protection for Christians being persecuted for living by God’s word in hostile dangerous environments. May all believers have safe spaces in which to study, grow in their faith, and share God's teaching.
A shopper grumbled while returning a loaf of bread to a rack - the price had jumped by a third. Nearby a half-mile queue of cars waited at an empty petrol station hoping for a delivery. Zimbabwe has an economic crisis. Basic goods prices rise weekly as the value of the Zimbabwean dollar tumbles. Inflation was 785.6% in April, and poverty is deepening. UN aid agencies reported that 7.7 million people, half of the population, require food assistance. A loaf of bread went up 36% last month, and last week a 22-pound sack of cornmeal jumped 30%. Fuel soared by 152% recently; a similar rise in 2019 sparked national demonstrations and deaths. ‘Things cannot continue this way. These people should just admit they have failed,’ said a Harare resident, referring to President Mnangagwa’s government which took power pledging to revive the economy. Pray for food aid to reach the hungry.
China has passed a controversial national security legislation for Hong Kong that will cover acts of ‘secession, subversion, terrorism and interference by foreign powers in the territory's internal affairs’ while allowing mainland China’s intelligence agencies to establish themselves there. Critics say this will outlaw dissent and destroy the autonomy and freedoms promised in the Sino-GB agreement when Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. The draft of the law was announced on the anniversary of this event, symbolically implying that China is in charge and its leaders will do whatever they deem necessary to protect Hong Kong. On 1 July police fired water cannon and tear gas while arresting 300+ people protesting in defiance of the sweeping legislation, and a ‘dissident’ was arrested at the airport before boarding a plane to the UK. Amnesty International warned, ‘China's aim is to govern Hong Kong through fear from this point forward’.
During the last 25 years thousands of new followers of Christ have been born among peoples who were historically starved of the gospel. These mass turnings to Christ are happening among Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist peoples through natural networks of family, household, and friendship. The gospel is introduced through a person with an abundance of natural links in the community, often called a ‘person of peace’. Discipleship is learnt in groups meeting to discuss the scriptures and seeking to obey Christ. Each person is taught to reproduce the discipleship process in their own networks. Living out the Kingdom by serving others is seen as important in glorifying God and in reducing hostility to the message. Praise God that many thousands of people are meeting Christ in Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities. Pray for church-planting initiatives around the world to be channels of grace.
A Venezuelan activist has warned Americans that torching and toppling historical statues could be dangerous. She noted that destructive behaviour toward significant figures such as George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and Abraham Lincoln, is an effort to destroy a national identity. When she was a teenager in Venezuela statues came down because Chavez didn't want Venezuela’s history displayed. Then he changed the street names, school curriculum and some movies couldn't be shown on TV. Meanwhile, the USA’s top infectious disease expert warned, ‘Over recent days we've seen a pandemic spike well beyond the worst previous ones. We’ve got to get that under control or we risk an even greater outbreak.’
Oil pollution accumulates in the air, in the soil, and in people’s bodies. When it reaches a certain level, it causes illness or death. The Kurds of northeast Syria were valiant against IS, but today they face a potentially even more deadly scourge, putting the lives of four million local residents at risk. Syria’s contested crude oil is leaking from dilapidated pipelines and contaminating rivers and streams. When the rivers flood, as they did in April, they spread their poison over agricultural crops, just as thousands of rudimentary refineries belch their own toxic fumes into the air. Sporadic protests have resulted in makeshift refineries being shut down, only for them to pop up elsewhere. Locals in affected areas say that many dangerous illnesses caused by the pollution are multiplying. Residents requested anonymity, fearing retribution from authorities - a telling sign of how caustic the danger is.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters brought sweeping change to their government in 2018 blaring the music of Hachalu Hundessa, a popular activist singing for the liberation and empowerment of the largest ethnic group - the Oromo. Now 34-year old Hundessa has been gunned down in Addis Ababa, causing massive new protests. By 2 July over 80 were dead. The internet has been cut nationwide. The prime minister, praising the singer, called for calm. Authorities say suspects are in custody, but beyond that little is known about what happened. In a deeply fragmented nation of 105 million people, coronavirus has forced the postponement of August’s national elections. Ethiopians, already in heightened social tension and economic uncertainty, now have to wait until next year to express their grievances and preferences through normal political channels.
We are pleased to bring you IPC Connections for July 2020.
In this month’s edition, we are bringing you an inspiring editorial article entitled ‘The knowledge of the Glory of the Lord’ written by Dr Jason Hubbard, our Executive Coordinator. In it, he encourages and teaches us about our role as ‘messengers of the hope’ that we all have through Christ’s Glory (Hab 2:14). Our Hope is in Christ Alone, Amen! Do download the full article from our website.
In the midst of a global pandemic, we have seen a massive increase in prayer and unity in the body of Christ. It has been astounding to watch so many come together in an expression of John 17 ‘oneness’ across nations, denominations, and generations for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Only Jesus gets the credit. He is the One who is leading the global prayer and mission’s movements.
Jason has prepared a dynamic narrative report with details on the various global initiatives that have taken place between Passover and Pentecost 2020. These are exciting statistics to read that suggest a huge shift towards prayer and massive numbers seeking (and sharing) the Hope that we have in Jesus. Global Voice of Prayer have compiled a short review video of some of the impacts and testimonies of our various partner networks during Pentecost. Feel free to view it here.
The vision and mission of GO2020 continues with the 90 Days of HOPE which runs through to August 2020, which encourages us to continue to put our prayers into action with evangelism and sharing our faith. Download the Flyer Here
The covid-19 pandemic has just passed 10 million identified infections worldwide. The situation has brought massive challenges to every nation of the world. In this edition, we bring some top level updates, prayers and links to partner organisations resources. Many of us are assisting brothers and sisters who are serving the Lord as pastors and mission workers in lesser-developed countries. As well as praying, we are conscious of a massive humanitarian impact that the lockdowns are causing that demands our practical and sacrificial financial responses.
Holy Spirit, from creation's birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show Your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.
This 'collab' arrangement of the song Holy Spirit – by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend was put together for Pentecost Sunday 2020 by IPC colleague Andy Page along with friends from Christ Church, Weston-super-Mare, UK. It nicely weaves in the 'Gabriel's Oboe' theme from the film - 'The Mission' as the intro. At a time when we could perhaps be a little overwhelmed with the prayer needs of the nations, let's be encouraged as we listen to this beautiful ensemble singing these affirming words.
We are keen to get to know our ‘network of networks’ better and to understand how we can best keep you connected and informed. Over the next ten days, we will be emailing all of our contacts to invite you to let us know a little more about you and your organisation. The info that you provide will only be used by IPC. We won’t be selling or sharing it with anyone else. We will be providing 2 free gifts to say thank you for responding. Thank you in advance for your participation!
International Prayer Connections is produced and distributed freely each month to inform God's praying people around the world. We are grateful to those who have given generously to enable this to happen and continue to need such support for this and our other transformational prayer initiatives.
If you can make a gift towards our costs by giving to our funding arm, the Transformation Prayer Foundation, we would appreciate it. Please click here.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in catalysing united prayer across nations, denominations, movements, and generations for the fulfilment of the Great Commission.
May we express grateful thanks to Andy Page and the IPC Editorial Team who put this email together each month.
Wishing you His continued blessings,
Jason Hubbard - Executive Coordinator
John D Robb – Chairman
International Prayer Connect