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INTERNET PRAYER REQUESTS
MAY 15, 2018
(Welcome to the Internet Prayer Meeting! Please share these prayer requests with all your friends!)
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Click below to view this week’s tract, THE AWFUL TRUTH.
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 show us all the good He has done for the faithful throughout history and give me some of His strength when our own fails. Let our dependence on Him turn weakness into strength.
Open Doors Ministry, and Voice of the Martyrs have prayer requests, and I have a foreign missions report that I have forwarded below.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington, who had just been elected the first President of the United States, closed his first Inaugural Address as follows. "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.....We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not: So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
++++++++++++OPEN DOORS MINISTRY PRAYER REQUESTS++++++++++++
3 Americans Released from North Korea Custody
You may have heard last week that President Trump had hinted about the “imminent release” of three American citizens imprisoned in North Korea. Today in the early hours of the morning, the three men, including two Christians, landed on U.S. soil. Reportedly, they are in good health. Please pray for these men and their families—and continue to pray for thousands around the world who are in prison for following Jesus.
Mother of Boko Haram Captive Begs: ‘Please don’t tire of
praying for my Leah.’
Our field team in Nigeria recently shared this update from a conversation with Rebecca Sharibu, mother of Leah Sharibu, who remains in captivity with Boko Haram militants because she would not deny Christ. Here, we learn more about her daughter and the maturity of young Leah's faith. As we look toward Mother’s Day this weekend, remember to pray for all persecuted mothers and children like Rebecca and Leah who are physically separated from each other. Pray that they’ll be united once again and that while they’re apart, they sense a special heart connection.
Prayers Still Needed for Pastor Andrew Brunson
Please continue to pray persistently with Andrew and his family. Monday's trial (May 7) again confirmed the unfairness of the situation, with the judge throwing out all testimony from Andrew’s legal defense team. Read the full report on Monday’s hearing. Now, almost 1,500 prayers for the Brunsons fill our Prayer Wall. Read the words of the saints and leave your prayers here. More than ever, this family needs the Body of Christ standing with them.
++++++++++++VOICE OF THE MARTYRS PRAYER REQUESTS++++++++++++
EGYPT: Mob Protests Church Legalization Application
Source: World Watch Monitor
For more than 30 years, Christians in the village of Al-Koumair had been gathering at the home of one of their community members for worship. As numbers increased, they purchased a house in 2006, along with an adjacent building to provide their community a church, meeting hall, nursery and accommodations. Muslim villagers were aware of the de-facto church, having attended weddings and funerals over the years.
After recent changes were made to Egyptian laws, making it easier for churches to obtain permits, the church applied for legalization. However, when inspectors arrived to begin the process in late March, they were met by a group of angry Muslim villagers who threw bricks and stones at the church as well as neighbouring houses.
On March 31st, a mob gathered again in protest; and the police, in response, detained eight Muslims and seven Christians for 15 days. When asked why the church members were arrested, they were told it was "in order to keep the balance." The detention was extended twice, until both sides signed a reconciliation agreement on April 26th, dropping all charges. The authorities also closed the church, despite the law stating that religious activities cannot be suspended during the application process.
Another church in Halilah also faced a similar mob on April 16th, forcing their church to close, even though they were in the midst of the application process. In that instance, there were no arrests. At last report, over 3,500 applications are pending throughout the country. For more reports on the challenges facing Christians in Egypt, go to our Egypt Country Report.
Pray that Egyptian authorities will be willing and able to uphold their laws while keeping peace in these volatile situations. May the Christians in Egypt be able to continue meeting together for the study of God's Word and worship.
NORTH KOREA: Prisoners Released Amidst Peace Talks
Sources: BBC, Mission Network News
Three American prisoners were officially released from custody in North Korea on May 9th in a move widely viewed as a goodwill gesture ahead of a summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. The three men -- Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul and Tony Kim -- were all being held in labour camps on charges of anti-state activities. They are all Christians who had been involved with various ministries in North Korea. The three had been transferred to a hotel earlier this month.
Recent meetings between the leaders of North and South Korea have been praised by many as a critical step towards peace. However, Dr. Eric Foley with Voice of the Martyrs Korea says such talks are empty if they ignore North Korea's human rights violations against its own people. When North Korean Christians were asked for their opinion on the talks, their response was, "This is not what we've been praying for."
Though the release of the three Americans is a positive move, 30,000 Korean Christians remain in concentration camps. Real change can come only through Christ. Dr. Foley states: "What we need to be praying for is what North Korean Christians have taught us to pray...for several generations. Pray for the transformation of the heart of the leader."
Pray that the heart of Kim Jong-Un will be transformed by the love and peace of Christ, and that he will come to understand his need for a relationship with the Living God. Continue to remember the many believers suffering in labour camps throughout North Korea. Uphold the ministry of VOM Korea and others reaching out to Korean Christians.
IRAN: Sentences Upheld
Sources: Middle East Concern, World Watch Monitor, Mission Network News
An appeal court in Iran has upheld a ten-year prison sentence against four Christians accused of "promoting Zionist Christianity" and propagating house churches. The lawyer representing Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Mohammad-Reza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh, and Saheb Fadaie received the notice on May 2nd.
Pastor Youcef and Mohammad-Reza were also sentenced to two years' internal exile to an area far away from their families. Additionally, Yasser, Saheb and Mohammad-Reza face a sentence of 80 lashes for the consumption of wine, since they were arrested while taking communion in May 2016.
In another case, an appeal hearing for Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, wife of pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, was held on May 9th. Shamiram was sentenced in January to five years in prison for acting against the regime by organizing small groups, attending seminary abroad, and training church leaders and pastors "to act as spies."
During Shamiram's appeal, the judge accused her entire family of various crimes. She was not allowed to speak in response, except through her lawyer. No date has been set for a further appeal hearing. According to Miles Windsor of Middle East Concern, sentences for Iranian Christians have become increasingly harsh in the past year. Despite this, Christians remain bold in sharing their 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 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
Pray for David Ige, governor of Hawaii, as he deals with the natural disasters happening there.
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