Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Prayer about rampant sexual assaults uncovered in remote Norway
Photo: Franz Aberham/Getty Images
Lord, today we pray about the 150 cases of alleged sexual assault that have been uncovered in the remote community of Tysfjord, Norway. Lord, we are thankful that this decades-long tragedy has come to light. We give thanks that people in this isolated minority group are finding the courage to speak out. We pray that the culture of sexual assault would end as a result of this revelation and investigation. May the perpetrators of these acts repent and come to justice, and may the healing of this community begin. We pray that the entire investigation would be handled both with extreme sensitivity and tremendous effectiveness. Knowing how deeply sexual assault victims are affected, we pray for patience, courage, wisdom and grace in working with those who are coming forward. Knowing how sensitive the cultural issues and interaction has been between ethnic Sami and mainline Norwegians, we pray for the authorities to build trust, tread carefully, and build a long-term rapport that will benefit all involved. We pray for both victims and perpetrators to come forward to share their stories so reparation can begin. We pray that the fierce family and community ties will be able to not only withstand this trial, but be deepened and redeemed. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Prayer about World Central Kitchen's ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico
Photo: José Andrés / Facebook
Lord, today we take a moment to again remember Puerto Rico in our prayers. In the midst of other tragedies, such as the horrific terrorist attack in Egypt, we want to persevere in prayer for those rebuilding after 2017’s difficult storm season. Today we are especially thankful for World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that has recently decided to focus great effort in Puerto Rico. First, we thank you for their good work. We are grateful for the three million meals they have served to those in need within the last several weeks. We are thankful this organization has a vision for a longer-term effort, as the most urgent needs are lessening. We know it is a long road for Puerto Rico. Please bless World Central Kitchens efforts to continue feeding those in most desperate need, as well as restoring the agricultural industry. Continue to give them vision, wisdom, resources and enthusiasm. We pray that other nonprofits will also continue helping places like Puerto Rico, Texas, the Bahamas, and other areas that were hit during the hurricane season. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Prayer for Djibouti - #40 on the World Watch List for persecution 
Photo credit: Giacomo Pirozzi/Panos Pictures
Lord, today we pray for Djibouti, which is #40 on the World Watch List for persecution. Even though persecution is considered “high” in Djibouti, we give thanks for many positive things. We are thankful that Christianity has existed in Djibouti for centuries. We celebrate that the Djiboutian government supports Western efforts to fight Islamic militancy, despite Islam being the state religion. We appreciate the government’s openness to people from other cultures and religions settling in Djibouti and contributing value to the nation, in the form of education, labor and more. Lord, we do pray for the Christians in Djibouti who feel constricted by the Islamic culture surrounding them, that they might trust and thrive in you, and for them to be able to forgive when they are denied opportunities due to their Christian faith. Please provide for them. We pray for Djibouti to avoid radicalization and to be a positive influence on neighboring volatile nations like Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen. Bless the nation of Djibouti today. May your light shine in Djibouti. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Prayer about suicide bombing in Mubi, Nigeria  Photo credit: VOA
Lord, today we pray for those recovering from yesterday’s suicide bombing in Mubi, Nigeria. With 50 deaths already resulting from this terrorist attack, we pray that those fighting grave injuries will not join that number. We pray for all those recovering, that they would receive quality medical care, and that loved ones would provide them encouragement, emotional support, and practical help. Lord, we pray against the evil efforts of Boko Haram, credited with this deadly incident. We are disgusted by their recent lethal, “hot streak” of attacks. We are appalled that this group trains teens to kill themselves in the process of killing others, as happened yesterday in Mubi. We pray for the Nigerian government to track down and thwart these terrorists. May young people in this region see them for what they are and completely resist being ensnared in their false teaching and brutal terrorism. May Boko Haram become a small blip in history. Lord, we pray against Boko Haram in Jesus’ name, amen.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Prayer for missing Argentine submarine   Photo by Argentine Armada/EPA
Lord, today we pray for the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, which has been missing since Wednesday. We are thankful for the seven signal pings received this weekend, which provide hope that the sub is trying to connect with others and thus that the crew may be rescued in time. Lord, we pray for the ARA San Juan crew as they find themselves in this terrifying scenario. Give them peace and hope. May they stay calm and remain productive, rather than allowing fear to cause any problems among them. Give them clear thinking, astute leadership, wise use of resources, ingenuity and anything else they need. We do pray that your followers among the crew will be special purveyors of hope and light during this time. We are thankful the British Royal Navy, US Navy and NASA have provided help for this search. Please bless their efforts so this vessel may be found and the crew safely returned home. The ocean is overwhelmingly large, but we know you can hold the waters of the earth in your hand (Isaiah 40:12). Please bring this crew home. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Prayer for Turkey - #37 on the World Watch List for persecution
Lord, today we pray for Turkey, where the persecution of Christians—particularly those converted from Muslim backgrounds—is increasing rapidly. Lord, we pray for the Turkish people to realize that national pride does not need to be tied to Islam and that Christian citizens contribute great value to the nation. We pray against Islamic extremism, and that it would be recognized for what it is: a path to terrorism. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the victory in Bursa, where the only church in the city, French Church Cultural Center, was allowed to remain open after being initially told to vacate in a matter of days. We pray that believers would be allowed to freely worship here, and that other churches would ultimately open in Bursa and throughout Turkey. Lord, we pray for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today, that he would have wisdom in how to maintain religious freedom in his nation so that Turkey can thrive. We also pray for your children throughout this land, that they would find courage, grace and hope in you each day. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Prayer for Museum of the Bible as it opens
Lord, today we pray for the Museum of the Bible, opening November 17 in Washington DC. We are excited about this opportunity for people from all walks of life to engage with your Word. We pray for efficiency of operations as this massive museum opens its doors for the first time this weekend, anticipating very large crowds. May those who manage trouble-shoot well, adapt, and stay cool under pressure. We pray for technology, lines, etc., to run smoothly. We would like as many people as possible to have the opportunity to visit this place and to have positive experiences. May guests treat each other and staff with grace and dignity. Of course, our biggest concern is that you are glorified in this place. May your followers fall more deeply in love with you and your Word, and may those who do not know you grow to better understand the Bible and find themselves open to your working in their lives. May the Museum of the Bible be a place of learning, hope, encouragement and answers. Meet with people in this place as they are exposed to your living, active Word. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Prayer about earthquake along Iraq-Iran border  Photo credit: EPA
Lord, today we pray for Iraq and Iran as they recover from 2017’s worst earthquake, which hit them yesterday. With hundreds dead and thousands injured, the grief is overwhelming in these nations. Bring your peace to people searching for survivors. Help them focus and endure; strengthen them physically and emotionally; give them success in rescuing survivors. We pray for the injured. May they get good help quickly. May qualified medical personnel reach the areas of need as quickly as possible. We pray for the people without shelter and electricity. Keep them warm. Help aid arrive efficiently. And we pray for those who represent you among the aid and medical workers, rescuers, and wounded. May they spread your love and hope to each person whose life they touch as these nations mend. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Prayer for Algeria - #36 on the World Watch List for persecution
Lord, today we pray for Algeria, which has been a constant on the World Watch List for persecution through the years. What notoriety! Lord, first we thank you that there are some churches that are allowed to operate without government interference. We pray that these churches would share your truth and hope without fear and with continued protection. May people worship you freely and enthusiastically in these places. Second, we pray for laws to improve for the sake of religious liberty. May the Algerian government realize that freedom will help its land grow and flourish, and its people reach fuller potential. We pray against the Islamic extremism that thrives in this land, including the notorious al-Qaeda. Please thwart terrorists' efforts and bring the wickedness of their purposes to light, that others might not join, even if the groups seem to offer benefits they cannot refuse. We also pray against terror within homes, knowing that almost every Christian in this land has converted from Islam, which often comes at a terrible price (yet an even greater reward). May family members respect and support each other. May those who turn to you serve as beacons of your light in dark homes and workplaces. Finally, we pray for Slimani Bouhafs, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for posting about you on Facebook. We pray for true justice and mercy within the legal system, and for Bouhafs to not have to serve these five years. Please protect his health and heart during any time he does serve. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Addressing prayer shaming

As fellow sojourners who believe in the power of prayer, I think you will appreciate this short piece on prayer shaming -- the practice of denigrating those who pray in response to tragedy.

Lord, we praise you for being the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are thankful to know that our prayers are in obedience to you and honor you. They invite you to magnify yourself on earth. Help us to continue to pray even when others doubt or taunt our efforts. May we exercise grace toward those who doubt, and may we share the right words in the right timing, as your Word exhorts us to do (1 Peter 3:15). We believe in you, and we are thankful we can approach your throne of grace with confidence. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prayer about 26 teen girls found dead in the Mediterranean
Lord, today we pray for truth to come out about the 26 teen-aged girls who were found dead at sea yesterday. The circumstances are certainly suspicious, with a flimsy boat transporting almost all young female migrants. We pray for the survivors of this tragedy, who are dealing with great trauma. Help them to find safe places to stay and the necessary resources to recover from their experiences. We pray for them to find the most lasting of all comfort in you. We do pray for the broader issues of migrants perishing while crossing the Mediterranean, as well as the extensive human trafficking that moves through Libya. We are thankful for Italy’s willingness to train Libyans to prevent the problem of human trafficking. May the training be applied, so human trafficking can be easily identified and prevented in this North African nation. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Prayer for Tajikistan - #35 on the World Watch List for persecution

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Heavenly Father, today we pray for Tajikistan, which is #35 on the World Watch List for persecution. We pray against religious extremism, which is leading to persecution in private, national and church spheres. We pray particularly for families in which family members follow different faiths. Lord, may the love between these family members overcome the societal pressures against Christianity. In other words, may relatives allow each other to worship freely, rather than harming each other in the name of religion. Lord, we also pray for the Christian camps in Tajikistan. We are saddened that they cannot operate freely and can be legally penalized for sharing you with children. Give the leaders of these ministries wisdom and perseverance. We pray the authorities will recognize the good things that result from these programs, and that they would also develop a firm conviction in the value of religious liberty. Finally, we pray today for Pastor Bahrom Holmatov, who has been sentenced to three years in prison for his faith. Please bless his testimony while he is in prison (and always), and please sustain his family as they operate without his presence in their daily lives. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Prayer about boiler pipe blast in India    Photo by STR/EPA
Lord, today we pray about the boiler pipe blast at National Thermal Power Corporation in Unchahar, India. First, we pray for those who may still be trapped. Help rescuers find them as quickly as possible. Second, we pray for those fighting for their lives. Please help them receive the best medical care possible and to hold onto hope. We pray for the others who are injured. Grant them strength, courage, and also excellent care. Provide for them financially as they recover from this terrible accident. And, Lord, we pray for those who lost loved ones in this explosion. Rally people around them to meet their emotional, spiritual and material needs. May the grieving draw close to you during this dark chapter in their lives. We also pray for all who have been traumatized by this incident: those directly and indirectly involved, as well as the rescue and medical workers. Bring healing to them as they process this event. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.