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INTERNET PRAYER REQUESTS
DECEMBER 5, 2017
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Click below to view this week’s tract, MEN OF PEACE?
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.-James 5:16
Today, ask God to help us to find favor in His eyes by maintaining Christian values. The most important concern in our lives should be to please Him.
The Presidential Prayer Team, Voice of the Martyrs, and the International Missions Board have prayer requests, and I have a foreign missions report that I have forwarded below.
During the days just before the American Revolution, John Adams wrote the following concerning his part in the coming conflict. "If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!"
II Timothy 2:1-4
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
++++++++++++PRESIDENTIAL PRAYER TEAM PRAYER REQUESTS++++++++++++
Executive Prayer Focus
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
The media and Twitter users have dubbed the issue “piegate,” questioning whether the president’s press secretary had actually baked a pie for Thanksgiving that she shared a picture of on social media.
Legislative Prayer Focus
United States Representative for New Jersey Frank Pallone, Jr.
“The Federal Trade Commission must immediately begin an investigation” into the breach of massive amounts of Uber data on some 57 million people, and upon “the company’s outrageous delay in disclosing the breach,” said Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., of New Jersey.
Miltary Leadership Prayer Focus
Program Manager, Biological Technologies Office, DARPA Dr. Blake Bextine
Traditionally, most spying and intelligence gathering has been done by highly-trained human operatives. But the U.S. military has a plan to enlist a smart network of plants to help stay one step ahead of its enemies.
Judicial Leadership Prayer Focus
U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Diane Wood
Barges, some sunken, pushed up against the Marseilles Dam following an Illinois River accident on the stormy night of April 18, 2013. Now a federal court of appeals has affirmed a lower court ruling that the barge owner company did not engage in any negligent conduct of all decisions made by his tugboat pilot leading up to the Illinois River accident. The court laid complete blame for the waterway accident on the Marseilles Dam lockmaster.
Pray for the President and his Administration
President Trump’s pick to head Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar, II, told the Senate that prescription drug prices were too high, but he is well equipped to try and tackle the problem. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said his family has been harassed by opponents of net neutrality after the chairman announced the commission will vote on the Obama-era rules in December. Pray for the men and women who serve President Trump in his administration, and for their families.
Pray for Congressional Leaders
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, both minority leaders in their chambers, pulled out of a budget meeting at the White House following a presidential tweet. Taxes, government funding, and immigration are but three of the issues Congress must address before the end of the year, and all are complicated by partisan fighting and inside-party squabbling. Pray about the work Congress must do to keep the government from a shutdown on December 8.
Pray for Judicial Needs
The Supreme Court is leaving in place a lower court ruling that a Texas school board can open its meetings with student-led public prayers without running afoul of the Constitution’s First Amendment. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from gun owners and dealers in Maryland challenging the state’s ban on military-style rifles and detachable magazines confirmed by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Pray for the Supreme Court justices as they determine which cases to include on their judicial calendar.
Pray for Current Events
WARS AND TERRORISM
After just under 100 days of President Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy, there are signs the Taliban insurgency is lowering its ambitions as it suffers greater losses, NATO’s top commander there said. The number of U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq is significantly higher than acknowledged by Pentagon officials, a new U.S. Defense Department report says. In Syria, 1,720; in Iraq, 8,892. Pray for the members of America’s Armed Forces who are away from families at this Christmas season.
FOREIGN INTERESTS AND CONFLICTS
A series of high-level meetings between Iranian and North Korean officials has prompted fresh concern in U.S. national security circles about the depth of military technology the two countries possess. Germany is best suited to host a new NATO military logistics command, the top U.S. Army general in Europe said. NATO has backed plans for two new military headquarters, also including an Atlantic command. Pray about the alleged levels of cooperation between Iran and North Korea during these tenuous times.
ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Vice president Mike Pence said that President Trump is “actively considering” moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided city of Jerusalem, and the move is still being debated. Israel plans to appoint a new ambassador to Jordan in a bid to calm Amman’s anger over the current envoy’s handling of a shooting by an embassy guard in July that has strained relations. Pray about the diplomatic relations the U.S. has with Israel and that Israel has with its neighbors.
Led by an increase in business investment, the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 3.3 percent in the third quarter, its fastest rate in three years, and a full percentage point above what was expected. The boom in U.S. recreational vehicle sales keeps moving forward, thanks to a strong economy and a wave of retiring Baby Boomers. Shipments in 2017 are expected to hit their highest in four decades. Pray that the growth in the U.S. economy will be sustainable and solid into the future.
ACROSS THE STATES
Hawaii is bringing back the Cold War era as it resumes the use of nuclear warning sirens for the first time in 30 years this week amidst growing concerns of a nuclear missile strike from North Korea. The Kansas Department of Children and Families has reported 77 missing foster children, and say they are expecting major changes at the agency under new leadership, and at the Child Welfare Agency also. Pray for state officials across the nation who must deal with issues of public safety and welfare.
++++++++++++VOICE OF THE MARTYRS PRAYER REQUESTS++++++++++++
UGANDA: Impersonator Attacks School Director
Sources: Morning Star News, The Christian Post
On November 4th, a militant Muslim posing as a Christian teacher attacked Hassan Muwanguzi, the director of a faith-based elementary school in Kabuna village, Budaka District. Due to the attack, some of the children at the Hope of Glory International Nursery and Primary School have been afraid to return to their classes.
After the school board learned a few days prior to the assault that Mugooda Siraji wrongfully misrepresented himself and had been teaching the children about Islam, he was asked to take a leave of absence. Although Mugooda had agreed when the recommendation was initially presented, he returned to the school premises days later and proceeded to force his way into the office of the school's head teacher who was in a meeting with the director.
While carrying out the attack against Hassan -- repeatedly hitting him with a blunt object -- Mugooda shouted, "Allah Akbar." Even though some of the other teachers tried to apprehend the attacker, he still managed to escape. Police were notified and Mugooda was later interrogated. Following a time of questioning by criminal investigators, a case was opened up against him for perpetrating threats and violence.
As a result of the brutal attack, the school director suffered injuries to his right hand and face which, at the time, was bleeding profusely. Due to the nature of his injuries, Hassan was taken by police to a health centre in Budaka where he was hospitalized for two days. After receiving necessary treatment, he was later discharged. The head teacher reports that Hassan is still unwell and may need further specialized treatment.
Ask the Lord to minister to all those who were affected -- either directly or indirectly -- by the recent attack of the director on the school premises. May He continue His work of healing in Hassan's life, bringing about complete recovery from his injuries and the trauma of the attack. Also pray for Mugooda who instigated the violence. Ask God, who is the source of truth and love, to touch his heart -- convicting him of wrongdoing -- so that he may come to repentance and thus experience the joy of forgiveness and salvation.
ALGERIA: Forced Closure of Church for Printing Bibles
Source: World Watch Monitor
A church in Algeria's northwestern town of Aïn Turk (located about 15 kilometres from Oran city) has been forcibly closed by local authorities. The church, affiliated with the Protestant Church of Algeria (also referred to as EPA, its French acronym), was sealed off by police on November 9th.
Authorities in Oran claimed that the church had been used to "illegally print Gospels and publications intended for evangelism." The police notification also indicated that the church didn't have state approval. The president of the EPA churches, Rev. Mahmoud Haddad, denied any wrongdoing, stating that the justifications for closing the church were "unfounded."
In May of this year, the human rights situation in Algeria was debated by the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The session, which was attended by the president of the EPA, raised hopes among the Christian community for expected positive change.
According to Algeria's new Constitution, which passed in February 2016, freedom of religious worship was to be established. Article 42 states that freedom of religious worship is guaranteed in compliance with the law. However, in practice, a number of churches were ordered to cease all religious activities on the grounds that they were in breach of a 2006 law which regulates non-Muslim worship.
Additionally, EPA's international partners, who were planning to visit churches in Algeria, have had their visa applications denied. To learn more about persecution in Algeria, visit our country report.
Despite the forceful closure of the church by local authorities, pray that this congregation of believers will not succumb to fear or intimidation. Instead, may they be further compelled to share the truth of God's Word and His message of love with others of their community. May the Lord grant them wisdom, also serving as their Advocate, throughout the legislative process. While these believers' basic human rights are presently under threat, may God reign supremely in this situation and on behalf of all believers in Algeria, so they can persevere in their faith and continue to worship Him freely.
SRI LANKA: Recipients Express Thankfulness
Source: VOM USA
In mid-October, approximately 50 people gathered together at a 250-year-old historical church in Matara, a major city that's located along Sri Lanka's southern coast. There they received teaching materials designed to both encourage them in their relationship with the Lord and help them grow in their understanding of the Christian faith.
At the Matara gathering, two students led a worship service to express thanksgiving to God for His abundant provision. Then just days later, a second distribution effort took place, this time in north-central Sri Lanka.
Pray that all those who have received these Christian materials will read them, apply what they learn to their lives, and then share the materials with others. May the books serve as a blessing to all who read them, spurring each of the recipients on spiritually so they can experience a more meaningful and active faith.
If you would like to post a prayer of praise or petition on behalf of our persecuted family around the globe, visit VOMC's prayer wall.
++++++++++++INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS BOARD PRAYER REQUESTS++++++++++++
Aegean Turks of Turkey
(uh-JEE-an) - Sevgi*, a sister in Christ, lost her elementary school-age son a little over a year ago. She learned that she was pregnant not long after his passing. The Lord brought new life and hope through this little baby boy. Recently, it was discovered that her son has a severe heart problem and may need a transplant. She just about lost all hope thinking that she might lose another child. In the near future, tests will be done to show how well his heart is working. Please pray that the Lord will heal this little baby and that Sevgi will cling to her heavenly Father more tightly than ever before. Ask that she will be able to give testimony about the Lord's comfort during her grief and where her hope comes from. (*name changed)
Lomwe of Malawi and Mozambique
(LOHM-way) - "Across our ministry area," writes the Lomwe Team, "the water table is lower this month than any time the elders can remember. Families that usually get water from shallow, traditional wells have struggled since late September, when water began to be scarce. Throughout October and November, many year-round rivers even dried up. Cholera outbreaks have claimed many lives that were not ready for eternity. In response, teams of Mozambican believers have been trained to deepen and line traditional wells safely. They will continue their mission of mercy this month as they carry the good news and hopes of finding water across an area that has historically been hostile to the gospel of grace. Pray that the people in those previously closed communities will thirst for Christ as much as they thirst for water. Petition for these men's safety as they dig deeper than usual. Pray for them as they faithfully share Christ in those communities where they are digging."
Mir of Colombia
The Mir People Team is working on their strategy plan for 2018. They ask: "Pray with us as we seek to hear God's voice in how he is going to work in this community next year. There is a group of people who have been hearing the gospel stories. They will receive a clear presentation of the gospel message with the opportunity to make a firm decision at the end of this story set. Pray that the people will make decisions to follow the Lord in obedience. Pray for the strategy that will then include discipleship and the beginning of a Mir church. This next year's plan will carry the weight of discipling new believers and laying the base for the Mir church. Pray for wisdom and discernment to do it well."
Bhojpuri of South Asia
(bohj-POOR-ee) - In early December, 50 to 60 women from several villages will gather for a women's meeting. There, they will delve into the Bible and learn what God's Word says concerning women: What is a godly wife? mother? sister? friend? Many of these women are nonliterate and must rely solely on others if they wish to be fed from the Word of God. Others may have never been given the chance before to learn what a godly woman is and how to live and walk in God's will. Please pray for correct, godly words to be spoken, and pray for hearts to be changed and God to be glorified as they study biblical womanhood.
Swazi of Swaziland
(SWAH-zee) - Missionary Teresa Flora writes: "Swaziland is new territory for our family. My husband's been given a new role that includes creating a strategy for reaching the people of Swaziland with the gospel. There are presently no IMB personnel working among the Swazi. We've made several recent visits to Swaziland to determine God's plan regarding the spiritual needs of the people. We've surveyed the lost and the found. We've met with pastors, churches, and leaders of the Baptist Convention of Swaziland. Here's what we've discovered: There are 21 Baptist churches in Swaziland and only 12 pastors for these churches. They're hungry for education in evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. There's great confusion spiritually as a nation, as there are many churches and many faiths but few truths. Swaziland has the highest HIV rate in the world, and people with AIDS are dying without Jesus. Swaziland also has the highest orphan rate in the world, and there are orphans being raised in African traditional religion. We're holding a church-planting conference this week. Will you pray for us as we try to equip the local church? We're also looking for churches in the United States to partner with Swazi Baptist churches to provide ongoing church-planting training. Could it be that your church could commit to coming three or four times per year to encourage and train a group of Swazi believers? Currently, we have one church, Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Missouri, that has committed to this task. We cannot do it alone. Will you pray?"
People of Northeast Uttermost, East Asia
October and November were amazing months, with so much going on! Praise God for the trainings that took place with local brothers and sisters. Pray that they will use what they learned to spread the good news to those who have not heard. Praise him for the two students who recently accepted Christ at a weekly Bible study. Praise him for the cross-cultural mission trip that a group took recently to another city for the purpose of reaching out to people in that area. On the first day, they met a local leader who has been living and working in that city. Please be in prayer for some visiting believers who will be coming in December to spend Christmas in a city in Northeast Uttermost.
Chittagong Muslims of Bangladesh
(chit-TAH-gong) - Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet. On December 1, they will celebrate the anniversary of his birth. Some people will have a party, others will pray, and still others will not do anything special. However, every Muslim will know what is special about the day. This gives believers an opportunity to talk to Muslims about the proper balance between worshipping God and respecting the prophets. Please let it be one more day to pray for Muslims who have not yet celebrated their new birth in the Messiah.
Swedes of Sweden
Please continue praying for Stockholms Groove, a music scene for singer-songwriters that is held monthly at a cafe in downtown Stockholm. This month's music scene will be a combination concert and Christmas party held on December 1. Pray that the occasion of the Christmas season will allow for a clear gospel presentation. Ask God to use the music as a medium to win the hearts of those living without his Son. Pray that conversations will lead to follow-up meetings and spiritual conversations that will ultimately lead people to Jesus.
Basotho of Lesotho and South Africa
(BAH-soo-too) - "The strategy utilized among the Basotho of Lesotho hasn't changed: engage churches in the United States to engage the Basotho. It's difficult for us to access the hundreds of mountain villages and the lowlands population without help. God has commissioned his church to go, and we're asking you to pray and see if God may be asking you to come and work among this unreached people. Presently, we have three families on our Basotho Team. How could we possibly reach the 98 percent of the approximately 2 million Basotho who remain unreached? It's an impossible task, but God has given us the following churches to work alongside us. He has given them a valley full of villages with lost, hopeless, and confused people whom he loved enough to give his only Son to provide eternal life. If only they knew of this gift! Please pray for First Baptist Church of Perryton, Texas, in the Matsoku Valley; River Oak Church, Virginia, in the Khubelu Valley; First Baptist Church of Roanoke, Virginia, in the Mabunyaneng Valley; Selmore Baptist Church/Ridgecrest Baptist Church, partnering together in the Makhoaba/Senqu Valley; Broadview Baptist Church, Texas, in the Senqu West Valley; Calvary Baptist Church, Florida, partnering with another church to reach the Ntsupe Valley; and First Baptist Church of Griffin, Georgia, and Edgewater Baptist Church, Louisiana, in the Senqunyane Valley. A South African church is coming to Lesotho in December to determine where God would have them serve. Who will go? Could it be you?"
Mexico City, Mexico
"In a neighborhood of approximately 90 households on the north side of Mexico City, there is a house church near where the Mexico Mission office is located," writes the Gateway Mexico City Team. "This small group of believers will be hosting a Christmas outreach event in the community park. Please pray that the church members will organize the event well, that the pastor's message will be clear, and that many neighbors will be drawn to the Lord. It would be wonderful to have many more begin attending church services and Bible studies on a regular basis! Also, one of the families on our team living in this same neighborhood is beginning to get to know the families there. Each Christmas season, they like to share baked goods and God's Word with as many neighbors as possible. Please pray that they will be able to share God's love and his Word effectively with their community. Pray especially for Pamela* and her family to accept Christ." (*name changed)
(juh-KAR-tuh) - A mature believer has the opportunity to begin leading a young adults group in a study of God's Word. He is excited about this opportunity and is prayerfully seeking wisdom in how best to lead. Many of the young people are apathetic in their faith and are not sharing with those around them. Please lift up this believer as he invests in these young adults.
Bambara of Mali
(BAHM-bah-rah) - Last December, a group of more than 30 believers gathered for a week of training. They studied 85 chronological Bible stories. It was a great time of learning and fellowshipping. Everyone wanted to come back again the next year. Many are planning to attend this year's training session. It will be a week of intense learning but also a week for many to be encouraged, as some are the only believer in their village. Please pray for those traveling, and ask for them to take what they learn back to their villages and pass it on to others.
North Africans of Catalonia, Spain
(ka-tuh-LOH-nyuh) - Aya* nervously clasped her hands as she prepared to go onstage. She caught her breath and recited her English lines from the play. She peeked around the corner and saw her mother wave at her. Immediately, all her nerves dissolved and a huge smile spread across her beautiful face. Lift up children like Aya who are preparing to put on an English-language Christmas program at a local community center. Pray that they will hear and receive the Word as truth, and that these children will bring their entire families into the family of the Father. Ask that this holiday season will be full of fresh joy and the discovery of who the greatest gift really is! (*name changed)
Recently, Honey* and Beam,* Deaf in Southeast Asia, asked Bethany Forrester* if they could craft Bible stories five days a week! This kind of crafting doesn't have hot glue guns, stickers, or scrapbook pages. There are big poster boards, colored pencils, and Bibles. Crafting means working from 9 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m., and sometimes past midnight, to complete a Bible story. Prayer is always first, followed by color coding and drawing an accurate representation of the passage to help visualize the story. After a few more steps of acting out the story, dialoging, digging into the Scripture, and lots of practicing, they move over to the studio to film. One last check is done before uploading it for editing and then closing down. Now that the crafting room and studio are at the church, life has gotten easier and harder at the same time. It's really close to everyone's homes (which means they are more likely to show up on time), and crafting and filming are literally in the same room. The church building is still new, so they're working on getting furniture, which means lots of sitting on pillows at low tables, bent over the poster board reading and drawing. In just one month, they finished a record-breaking 21 stories. This is five months of stories that can be used at church and also out in the community. Praise the Lord! Pray that he will give them opportunities to continue crafting stories into local sign language. (*names changed)
City of Soldiers, China
As Christmas approaches, groups of visiting believers will be sharing the reason for the hope found in Jesus. There will be multiple Christmas parties going on during the month, as well as many other opportunities to tell why Christians celebrate this season. Please ask God to give the visitors and the local believers many opportunities to tell about the gift of Jesus Christ, and pray that many people in the City of Soldiers will want to know him as Lord, Savior, and Prince of Peace.
(KOH-bay) - "The Gospel of Luke tells us that the angel announced to the shepherds that the Savior, who is Christ the Lord, had come as a baby and was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. The shepherds then heard 'a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"' (Luke 2:13-14 NKJV). Luke also tells us that there is 'joy in heaven over one sinner who repents' (Luke 15:7). For three months, Ha* met with one of our missionaries in Kobe for two hours weekly at the Kobe International Community Center where she heard about Christianity, the missionary's testimony, and the good news. Ha knew nothing about Christianity. She was lonely, had few friends, and was neglected by her husband. After the sessions, Ha and the missionary would go out for lunch, and they formed a relationship. Last month after the two went to lunch, they went to the missionary's house for tea. There they talked for hours about the good news while reading the Bible verses together. Afterwards, Ha said that she wanted to become a Christian and prayed to ask Jesus to become her Savior. Some would say that with the millions of unreached Japanese, only one Japanese is too small of a result, but Luke reports that Jesus said there is joy in heaven over even one. Give thanks to God for this one, and please keep Ha in your prayers this month." (*name changed)
Norwegians of Norway
A cross-cultural, English-language Bible group has been gathering for just over a year in a small town in Norway. The membership reflects 12 different countries, a number of faith backgrounds, and a mix of believers and seekers. As this group continues to grow in faith and in numbers, Nordic West Team members have been actively seeking to identify new facilitators to manage this and possibly additional groups. On December 2, a facilitator training will be held to train and equip new facilitators to begin leading the Bible discussion group in the new year. Please pray for those who will lead the training session, asking that they will have clear communication and humility in their presentation. Pray that they will lead and facilitate with grace and humility, and with mercy and compassion. Ask that they will truly be servant leaders who will live out what they are teaching. Pray for those who will attend, asking that they will have open ears and open hearts. And pray for all who are a part of this group, asking that they will draw closer to Jesus and be bold in sharing their faith.
Peter* is a follower of Jesus. He was recently imprisoned for his beliefs. Since being released, he has received death threats and continues to struggle with fear. He has been tempted to deny his beliefs when asked about this faith. Please pray for Peter, asking that he will speak boldly about the gospel (Ephesian 6:20) and that if he is again taken to prison, he will not deny being a believer (Revelation 2:10) but will see it as an opportunity to be a witness for Jesus (Luke 21:13). Pray also for other believers among his people as they celebrate Jesus' birth. Ask that they will gather together and find strength and joy this Christmas season. Ask that they will take advantage of this time to share the story of the Anointed One with those around them. (*name changed)
++++++++++++INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS REPORT++++++++++++
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.-I Timothy 2:1-4
Please pray for Prime Minister Juri Ratas of Estonia (west of Russia).
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