Lord, today we pray for Mauritania, which is #47 on the World Watch List for persecution. Heavenly Father, first we pray about Mauritania’s very high level of poverty. We know poverty can lead to numerous issues, including the appeal of terrorist or extremist groups. Please grant Mauritania’s leaders divine wisdom in addressing the nation’s needs, so the welfare of the country can improve and people will no longer find themselves in consistently desperate situations. We do pray specifically against the Islamic extremist groups operating in Mauritania. Frustrate their efforts and diminish their appeal. Help people see that they are actually sources of destruction, rather than opportunities for improvement. Finally, we pray for your followers in Mauritania, who often feel alone. Help them to find fellowship as needed so they can thrive and move forward with courage and hope. May their testimony be the light that their impoverished neighbors see and recognize as a source of true life and peace. May Mauritanians come to know you during this Christmas season and in the months and years to come. In the name of the Messiah we pray, amen.