Lord, today we pray for Eritrea, where the authoritarian regime attempts to control all religious institutions. Lord, we pray for President Isaias Afwerki and his government, that they would seek the best of the nation and not feel unnecessarily threatened by free speech or freedom of religion. May they lead their country with wisdom, grace and generosity. Lord, we also pray for the Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC). May your Spirit sweep through this denomination and bring revival. We pray for EOC leaders to allow their congregants to follow you in other churches if needed, including evangelical or Pentecostal ones. May these denominations recognize the value in working together in a nation where Christians suffer, rather than persecuting their brothers and sisters who worship in different ways. Now, Lord, we pray about the dramatic mistreatment Christians often face in Eritrea. We grieve the ten-year imprisonment of the EOC's Patriarch. We mourn the deaths of those Christians who died after being locked in shipping containers. Lord, may the world's awareness of these disgraces compel the government and other leaders to allow Eritreans to worship you freely. In the midst of all of this, give your children hope, and grant them effectiveness in sharing that hope with others each day. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.