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OCTOBER 17, 2017


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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, it may seem that victory is a tiny island in a vast sea of trials.  Let’s pray that God will help us accept our challenges with a willing heart and attack our problems before they attack us.


The Presidential Prayer Team, International Mission Board, and Voice of the Martyrs have prayer requests, and I have a foreign missions report that I have forwarded below.


French historian Alexis de Tocqueville made the following observation about America in 1805.  "I do not know whether all American have a sincere faith in their religion, for who can search the human heart?  But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions."


Psalms 72:17-19

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.  Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.  And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.





Executive Prayer Focus

Chief of Staff to Vice President Pence, Nick Ayers

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff railed against congressional leaders in closed-door remarks to wealthy donors, and called for a “purge” if lawmakers don’t quickly rally behind President Donald Trump’s agenda.


Legislative Prayer Focus

U.S. Representative for Virginia Bob Goodlatte

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said he expects strong bipartisan support for a bill introduced last week to add more civil liberties protections to the country’s chief foreign intelligence snooping law.


Miltary Leadership Prayer Focus

Director, Joint Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr.

Is the U.S. military being stretched too thin? That is one conclusion coming from the latest report on Index of Military Strength that says the military has deteriorated in strength by years of underinvestment and lack of modernization to the point that some service branches are in “a dire state of readiness.” Attention to war efforts in Afghanistan, for example, have been affected by military relief efforts following the recent hurricanes.


Judicial Leadership Prayer Focus

Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

A divided U.S. Supreme Court struggled for the second time over how to resolve whether immigrants detained by the U.S. government for more than six months should be able to seek release while deportation proceedings unfold. Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that a “bright-line” rule that sets a hearing after six months could be an “easier” way to resolve the case.


Pray for the President and his Administration

President Donald Trump has prepared an "economic development" measure that would deliver punitive measures to U.S. companies that outsource globally while providing incentives to keep jobs at home.  EPA Chief Scott Pruitt announced the Trump Administration would roll back Obama-era regulations on coal-fired power plants, a campaign promise made to the U.S. coal industry.  Pray for President Trump and members of his Cabinet as they deal with issues that directly affect American jobs.


Pray for Congressional Leaders

Objecting to President Trump's 70-point immigration plan, Representative Steven Pearce of New Mexico  said, "It's the job of Congress, not the president," to reform U.S. immigration policy.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is asking the Education Department to skirt its rules and make an exception to provide federal dollars to a college in his home state of Kentucky, Pray for greater unity of purpose within Congress and between legislators and the president.


Pray for Judicial Needs

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Osama bin Laden's one-time assistant and propagandist, leaving intact his conspiracy conviction before a military tribunal.  A federal court dismissed a lawsuit from a Michigan judge fighting to overturn a state law banning judges from election or appointment to the bench after age 70.  Pray for the U.S. Supreme Court as it has a very heavy case load for the new session.


Pray for Current Events


The number of airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against the Taliban in Afghanistan hit a seven-year high in September, as the military responds to President Trump's more pro-active direction.  ISIS has called on women to take up arms as it continues to lose territory in Syria and Iraq making them obligated to wage physical jihad,an alarming development that could have global consequences.  Pray for the protection of America's armed forces as they fight to rid the world of terrorism.



Iran tried at least 32 times to obtain illicit technology that could be used for military nuclear and ballistic missile programs, raising questions about possible violations of the 2015 agreement.  The chief of the Army said U.S. missions to train, advise and assist  foreign troops will increase  in coming years, following the deaths of four soldiers embedded with  forces in Niger last week.  Pray about nations and ethnic groups with intentions to disrupt civil society on a global scale.



Israel is set to advance plans for nearly 2,000 housing units in West Bank settlements this week, including 30 homes in the flashpoint Palestinian-majority city of Hebron.  Some 30,000 people took part in the Women Wage Peace rally in Jerusalem this week, the high point of a two-week "walk" that began in the Negev and passed through various territories.  Pray for the leaders of both Israel and Palestine as they endeavor to dialogue about peace.



Bangalore Hospital, Karnataka State, India

(BANG-ah-lohr) - The hospital's urban health center in a large Bangalore slum is in a tiny rented building where they treat more than 1,000 patients per month. Please continue praying that an adequate building in the slum can be found for lease or for sale. For most of the 75,000 people in that slum, this center is their only healthcare facility. Pray for the center's physical and spiritual ministry.


Central Asian Unengaged Peoples

Pray for the 200,000 Yezidi Kurds of Iraq, many of whom have suffered in war and have fled for their lives. Pray for the handful of Yezidi believers to find comfort and help in Christ wherever they are. Ask that refugees who hear the gospel will believe and follow Jesus. Pray for a church-planting effort among the Yezidi Kurds of Iraq.


Lomwe of Malawi and Mozambique

(LOHM-way) - Last month, missionaries serving among the Lomwe noticed in those who follow another world religion the sudden onset of an apparent spiritual hunger. Many practitioners of this different religion began seeking out Christ followers, and over a period of a couple of weeks, many of these expressed concern over the prayers they repeat daily. "We have memorized the prayers, and we recite them faithfully. But that is not our language, so we aren't sure what those words really mean. And even after repeating the prayers, we have no peace!" The Lomwe Team asks: "Pray that these seekers will be drawn to our Lord through dreams or through encounters with the more than 300 believers in this area. Pray for a major spiritual awakening in coastal Mozambique!"


People of Taiwan

The Taiwan Team writes: "Praise God for the joy of partnering with local believers and churches who desire to see God glorified! Pray for 'East Asia 1 Day' meetings that will take place in Hualien, Kaohsiung, and Taipei this month. As churches and missionaries gather to celebrate what God is doing among them, to encourage one another in the journey, and to see what additional opportunities exist, pray that God will bless the time and inspire us to partner together to achieve even more for God's kingdom."



Namur, Belgium

(NAH-myur) - Team Namur asks: "Please pray for a volunteer team as they come to Namur, Belgium, on October 18-25 to work with us. They will be mapping (walking the city to discover points of possible ministry), prayerwalking, and throwing a massive English Club party to make acquaintances among the local people and, hopefully, to share the gospel. Please pray for their safety while traveling, and ask God to bring us Spirit-led opportunities to meet those with 'divine appointments.'"


South Asian Hindu Festivals

This month, Hindus around the world are preparing to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Hindu mythology tells the story of a Hindu god named Rama defeating a demon king named Ravana and then returning victorious to his kingdom with his rescued bride. Oil lamps, called "diyas," were lit along the path during Rama's return. In honor of this story, lamps and lights of all kinds are sold and used in homes and businesses. Homes are cleaned and renovated, and the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi, is invited to bless devotees as they perform "puja" (an act of worship) to her idol. The atmosphere appears festive, with lots of shopping for new clothes and special decorations and food. Yet the superficial attempts to create light in the darkness are futile. If anything, it makes the true spiritual darkness in which they live even more pronounced. Pray for Hindus to grow weary of rituals and worship that bring no lasting change to their lives and no freedom from sin. Pray that they will come to know Jesus, the Light of the world, and that they will no longer walk in darkness but have the light of life (John 8:12).


East Asian Peoples

Pray that barriers to the spread of the gospel to every East Asian tongue, tribe, and nation will be destroyed. Barriers present themselves in the form of traditions, culture, materialism, religions, languages, locations, etc. Pray that Christians will get rid of any barriers in their own lives in order to help others who struggle in these areas.


Tihama Yemeni Arabs of Yemen

(tih-HAH-mah) - The news from the Tihama Yemeni Arabs is discouraging and dire. The U.N. Security Council reports that 17 million Yemenis, including Tihama Yemeni Arabs, do not know where their next meal will come from. Sixteen million Yemenis do not have access to clean water. Filmmaker Martin Smith went into Yemen and reported on the state of the Yemeni people for PBS's "Frontline." Those watching the video may feel heartbroken and discouraged, but God has not forgotten the Yemeni people and His justice will be established. The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus that "He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth" (Isaiah 42:4a, ESV). Pray that Jesus will establish His justice on the earth and that as the Tihama Yemeni Arabs suffer, their hearts and minds will turn to Jesus for comfort and the strength to endure. Ask that God's Word will penetrate the hearts of the people and that instead of hate and anger, love and forgiveness will spring forth. Pray that Tihama Yemeni Arabs will allow Jesus to transform their lives and that His followers will bring these people before God's throne daily.


Northern Thai/Khon Muang of Thailand

(cone MOO-ung) - "Rita* has been my neighbor for six years," writes a Northern Thai Team member. "Since we first moved in, we've shared the gospel with her. She hasn't been interested, but maybe she's been watching. Last week, Rita's daughter-in-law, Beth*, had a severe asthma attack and lay in the Intensive Care Unit on a ventilator. Rita came to our house for prayer. 'Ask your God to bring her back. Can He do it? Is He real?' After a week of asking the Lord to show Himself in power for His kingdom's sake, Beth died. This morning, I donned black to visit Rita. She ran to greet me, crumpling into my arms. We both sobbed--Rita, for her granddaughter who will never know her mother and for her own loss, and I, for Rita's loss, the loss of life, and for Beth, who did not know Jesus as her Savior. Is a believer's grief for a lost friend twice as profound because of what we know? Pray for Rita and her family. Ask the Lord to use this tragedy to expand His kingdom among the Northern Thai people. 'Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him' (Psalm 28:6-7, ESV)." (*names changed)


Sub-Saharan African Peoples

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8, ESV). Changes are happening as missionaries who serve in a region stretching from the edge of the Sahara Desert to the Congo Basin undergo a reorganization in order to serve in a more effective way. Pray for new leaders and other personnel as they adjust and learn new roles and a new style of leadership. Give thanks for the confidence and stability that comes from serving the One who never changes.


American Peoples

"Every week when we visit one of the Embera Chami communities, Lily* and her family are ready and willing to listen to the Bible stories we share with them. Lily has now expressed an interest in hearing more about the gospel. Pray for the gospel to transform her heart and change the lives of everyone in her family, as well." (*name changed)



KENYA: Recent Attacks on Christians in Coastal Region

Sources: Morning Star News, Release International

On September 6th, Somali militants from Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group allied with Al-Qaeda, killed four Christians in coastal Kenya. The shaken residents of Bobo village in Lamu County left their homes and slept in the cold of the wilderness or in nearby Hindi after the Al-Shabaab terrorists, accompanied by local Kiswahili-speaking people, called three Christians out of their homes at about three a.m. and slit their throats. These vicious acts of violence took place even though a curfew had been set by the government in its efforts to prevent attacks from occurring in the counties of Lamu, Tana River and Garissa.


Among the local men abducted by the militants was Hillary Njuguna, who apparently had been forced to reveal the names of fellow Christians before reportedly being later killed. Prior to calling out the names of the targeted victims, the assailants first surrounded their homes. Along with other fleeing families, Hillary spent the night hiding among the bushes outside. The confirmed slain victims include Guchu Peter, Jared Maiko and Joseph Kinuthia. During the incident, the militants of Al-Shabaab also burned Guchu's shop.


The slaughter follows an August 18th assault that took place in Lamu County's town of Kasala Kairu where the militants allegedly killed four other Christians. (A report on this situation is available here.) Since Kenyan forces led an African coalition against terrorism in Somalia during October 2011, in response to previous attacks on innocent tourists and others along Kenya's coast, rebels from Al-Shabaab have launched several violent assaults on non-Muslims in northeast and coastal Kenya. Christians, especially those in Lamu County and elsewhere in coastal Kenya, have been regular targets of this violence.


Please prayerfully uphold the loved ones of those who were slain in these recent attacks, asking God to make His comforting presence known among them and to flood their grieving hearts with His overwhelming peace. Pray that the Christians residing in these targeted areas will be granted protection, as well as the strength and courage to stand firm in their faith. May they rest in the assurance that though they pass through troubling waters and the fires of affliction, the Lord is still near to them (Isaiah 43:2) and can be trusted above all things. Also intercede for the members of Al-Shabaab that they will experience the life-changing love of God in their lives as well.


SUDAN: Christian Refugee Children Denied Food in Camps

Sources: American Center for Law and Justice, The Christian Post

Since early September, Christian children are being denied food in Sudan's refugee camps unless they recite Islamic prayers. A mission aid worker at the camp reports: "The majority (of children) are left in camps, some in a very terrible situation. They are confined in those places. Thus, they are given the choice to starve or they are conditioned to say Islamic prayers before (being) given food. This is not right. These children are Christian. They should be respected for that."


Since the outbreak of the 2013 civil war in South Sudan, over 700,000 refugees were driven north into Sudan, and almost one million more have fled south across Uganda's open borders. As a result, many of these refugees -- most of whom are Christians -- have experienced additional hardships at the hands of Islamic militants who have taken advantage of their vulnerable situation.


In addition, the government of Sudan continues to sabotage the Christian church and aid organizations in their attempts to efficiently assist these South Sudanese Christian refugees. Sudan has repeatedly, wantonly, and willfully carried out a discriminatory strategy to hamper the Christian church and religious charitable efforts through the re-zoning, confiscation and destruction of their properties. To learn more about Sudan and the challenges experienced by the followers of Christ in this country, click here.


In the midst of these hardships, pray that the light of hope that's burning within the hearts of the refugee children will continue to shine brightly for all to see -- revealing the reality of the Risen Christ to many -- including those who oppose Christianity. May these children and their families not only receive nourishment for their physical health and well-being, but also opportunities to feed daily on the Word of God (Matthew 4:4) so they can grow strong and healthy spiritually. Pray that as they rely on the Lord for His provision and guidance, He will work wonders in their midst so they can partake of His goodness and loving kindness, without any obstacles or hindrance, through the charitable efforts of others who are serving as His caring hands and feet.


CANADA: Dramatic Stage Play Awakens Canadian Audiences

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC)

The first few weeks of the Solitary Refinement touring stage play has already had audiences in various parts of the nation captivated. On numerous occasions, those who have been blessed to witness this life-transforming production have responded with standing ovations -- to the glory of God!


When the premier performances of this dramatic presentation first launched across the Greater Toronto Area in April of this year, VOMC's Chief Executive Officer Doug McKenzie and the award-winning theatrical team sensed the urgent need to bring the story of the persecuted church to centre stage across the country.


The Solitary Refinement theatrical production powerfully highlights the testimonial account of best-selling author Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of VOM's international mission, and his real-life experiences while serving as a pastor of Romania's underground church during the Communist regime. It especially focusses on his many years of imprisonment, including a lengthy term in solitary confinement, when he experienced miraculous encounters with God and was given opportunities to present the Gospel.


Not only does the play awaken one's senses to the realities facing Christians around the world, it also invites audiences to become part of the story. During the post-show receptions, local attendees -- both young and old -- are keen to share their personal responses and awakenings to the story of the persecuted church today.


In many host churches, Solitary Refinement has truly become an area-wide event for all denominations. Award-winning actor and scriptwriter Dennis Hassell says, "I am happy, at long last, as a performer, but even more richly satisfied as a writer. People are entering the story through an immersive experience." For more information about the production and upcoming tour dates, please visit this page.



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 President Michel Temer of Brazil.




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