Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey- January 31 (Day 31)

Wow - one full month! Today wraps up our prayers for Asia and also our first month on our journey! I hope you've been blessed and challenged by our "birds eye" view of the world and our "boat level" view of Africa, the Americas, and Asia. We'll be wrapping up the continents with Europe and the Pacific over the next few days, then beginning February 9 we'll lace up those hiking boots and get out of the boat and onto the ground, country by country through this incredible world God created.

Today, though, we want to stay focused on Asia. Please read "The Unfinished Task" on pages 69-71, then return here for our prayer time.

Did you catch how significant Asia is? Over 81% of non-Christians in the world live there ... 8 out of 10! It's also the home to the world's three largest non-Christian religions. The missions need is great here - not only for national believers but also cross-cultural believers, as there are so many unreached people groups. Asia truly exemplifies why we need "the whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world."

As we wrap up our time "in" Asia, let me encourage you to seek God specifically for your part in His plan for this continent. If you've been quickened by these needs, perhaps God would have you commit to praying, giving, or going to Asia. A few resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

Lord, thank You for the progress in Asia and the outreach of the church there. But Lord, as I read these statistics I am so convicted.  The church in Asia cannot finish the task alone! We all must chip in and do our part under Your leadership to see this continent reached for You. I pray for those who are already serving and those who are being called. I pray for full obedience and faithfulness to Your truth. Lord, send laborers to the harvest in the Arab world, the Iranian-Median bloc, South Asias, Turks, East Asians, Southeast Asians, Tibet/Himalayans, and Malays. Prepare the people even now to hear the message. Let them look up at the stars and see the awesome world You created for Your glory, and begin wooing them to You. Help our churches be faithful to seek Your guidance for our role in Asia. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for Asia this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for Asia should look like in our own lives. In the precious name of Jesus, amen. 

- http://www.joshuaproject.net/prayer-resources.php - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key areas of Asia.
- http://www.joshuaproject.net/ - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/ - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- http://www.gfa.org/pray/ - Pray with Gospel for Asia, a ministry focusing on equipping national believers.
- http://www.omf.org/ - Reaches East Asia.

Are you already part of what God is doing in Asia? If so please comment with any additional resources that you would recommend.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 30 (day 30)

Today we continue our prayers for the church in Asia. Please read pages 66-68, "The Church in Asia - South Asia" "Southeast Asia" and "East Asia", then return here for our prayer time.

Today's areas of Asia are a shift in focus from the Muslim world to a world more characterized by Hinduism and Buddhism. There are still plenty of Muslims in these areas of Asia, though, as well as a growing church. In some cases, the church is very much a missionary sending church as well. The church in this portion of Asia is still persecuted, but not typically struggling for survival as in yesterday's areas. They still need our prayers, though!

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, thank You for the growth, vision, and example of the church in much of South, Southeast, and East Asia! Thank You for the missions vision of tribal churches reaching their own or similar tribes in India; for the vision of the Filipino church to see its economic migrants as missionaries; for China's Back to Jerusalem movement and the large number of missionaries from South Korea. Lord all these are so faithful to You! But we pray today Lord for the church in these areas as well. We pray for the nominalism and decline in Sri Lanka and the traditional churches of India and Pakistan. Awaken them from their sleep; help them to see that they are asleep in the light and help them regain their evangelistic vision. We pray for the areas where the church is underground -- give them courage, wisdom, and ultimately freedom to worship openly. Lord we ask You to help the church throughout this part of the world stand firm in the face of persecution of all types - top down from government officials, or familial pressures, or societal struggles. For the churches that have been around a few generations, help them to fight the deceptiveness of riches - guide them to serve You alone and not money. We come against the lie of the prosperity gospel and success and ask You to remind them of their call to die to self and suffer if need be for Your kingdom. Help those churches that are faithful to send to be aware of the need to focus on the message, but not necessarily duplicate formats. Raise up leaders who have wisdom to learn from past mistakes. Lord the church in Asia is strong. Help them to become even stronger for your glory and kingdom purposes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey -January 29 (Day 29)

You may not realize it, but if you are a western Christian, you are increasingly a minority in the global church. More and more, the rapid church growth on other continents outpaces the stagnation or decline of the western church. That shouldn't be surprising, since we have a faith that will eventually be embraced by some from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group. What it does mean, though, is that we have to look outside our culture if we want to truly see "the church" on a global scale. These individuals from very different backgrounds are just as much a needed part of the body of Christ as our own churches.

Today and tomorrow our focus is the church in Asia. We are going to split this into two days to help us better understand the Asian church, which is diverse in its own right. For today, please read pages 65-66 numbers 1-2 "The Church in Asia - Middle East/West Asia" and "Central Asia."

Many believers from this area of Asia come from Muslim Backgrounds; others have been historically Christian or come from minority religions. This area of Asia saw the birth and early expansion of the church, yet today many of its countries have a declining Christian population due to emigration. Other countries do not allow public meetings by Christians. Christians from all backgrounds need special prayer for the persecution that is prevalent. All these countries need prayer for God to loose the chains of spiritual oppression that keep the majority of the people from following Jesus. (If this area is especially on your heart, I highly recommend Brother Andrew's ministry to Secret Believers and the persecuted church.)

My prayer for today: Lord, You chose a tiny corner of the Middle East to witness Your birth. You walked the soil of Jerusalem and Galilee. Your followers spread the Gospel throughout much of this part of the world, and yet today so few here follow You. Many have left out of fear or financial need. Lord, I lift up to You the church in the Middle East/West Asia. I echo Brother Andrew's prayer that You "strengthen what remains" and that the churches there will be renewed and emboldened to reach out. I pray against fear that would keep them from reach out to their neighbors. I pray against lukewarm faith; help them be on fire for you and "all in". I pray for unity, strength, and revitalization for the churches. I pray for wisdom for MBB's to know how to share Jesus with their families and how to walk out their faith. Raise up individuals who can train leaders, especially in underground and MBB churches. Lord, within central Asia the church is growing but face pressure from every side. I pray that You would guide those who seek to separate the church from "western" forms and make it truly reflect the unique cultures within central Asia. I pray for the expatriate believers to have courage and wisdom in their partnerships with national believers. I ask You Lord for the remnant in the countries that press down the hardest to remain faithful and true to You. Lord, set the church free from these evil men who don't believe, so that they can more effectively share the Gospel. Thank You for Your love for the church in the Middle East/West Asia and in Central Asia.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 28 (Day 28)

I'm always glad that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. I always appreciate the cross and what that means for my eternity. But some days, I'm especially glad that the Gospel makes a difference in the here and now, not just the there and then. Today's one of those days. Please join me in reading pages 62-64, "Trends to Watch".

Isaiah 61:1-4 seems tailor-made for situations like those listed in today's requests:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
These trends make it clear that Asia needs some good news. Its brokenhearted need some binding up, some freedom, some favor and comfort. As we pray today, let's be especially grateful that Jesus came not to just change peoples' lives, but to change their days. He truly changes everything.

My prayer for today: Abba, Father, Your heartbeat for Asia is pounding in my own chest right now. I read the trends and concerns and feel overwhelmed. But I am reminded Lord that You sent Jesus to die so that the Asian people could be free - and could experience all the benefits of that freedom in Him. You have the answers and You love them more than I ever could. Lord, I lift this continent to You. I pray for the very real needs, spiritual and physical. Lord, break the wicked structures of sin that hold so many in bondage - trafficking, totalitarianism, sexual sin that keeps the AIDS epidemic growing, selfishness that holds onto resources rather than using them for the greater good. Lord, only the Gospel will make the kind of heart-level difference that will tear down these strongholds and replace them with glimpses of Your kingdom. I pray for laborers to the harvest and for large-scale responses, and discipleship to show the people how the Gospel can make a difference in their societies as well as their individual lives. Lord, some of the issues are political and structural. The leaders need Your wisdom to guide the people through issues realated to migration, globalization, demographic shifts, economic growth, ecological issues, and technology advances. Please raise up leaders who seek the good of the people and who govern in such a way that people can live quiet and peaceful lives, evil is punished, and the Gospel is spread. Finally, Lord, last but certainly not least, there are some real spiritual strongholds to be broken in the spirit of extremism that has infilitrated Islam, Hinduism, and even Judaism, and the continued strongholds of Buddhism and ethnic religions. I pray for Christians who have come out of each of these backgrounds to hold firmly to the truth and that You will call many to minister to their own people and near neighbors, to share from within the culture the truth of Jesus. Lord, none of this is too big for You. You love and care for the poor and needy of Asia. Please step into this situation and do what only You can. In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 27 (Day 27)

I'm already blessed by our time in Asia. The Silk Road videos open up Asia in a new light to me, and I love knowing that God is already at work tearing down strongholds and building His kingdom throughout Asia. Today we begin praying over some very specific strongholds. Please read pages 61-62, "Hot Spots of Asia", then return here for our prayer time.

Wow - those are some big needs! We can certainly see Satan doing everything he can to hold onto the ground he's gained in Asia. Jesus said Satan was a murderer from the beginning and consistently lies, so it's no wonder that war and deception are his methods. But hallelujah that "greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world"! Let's take these big needs to God now. I want to encourage you if you are working among any of these areas mentioned today please comment and let us know more specifically how we can pray for the people you serve - and for YOU!

My prayer for today: Lord, wherever You are at work the enemy is going to try to stop the advance of the church. Thank You for promising that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church as she moves forward to advance Your kingdom. Lord, the enemy is working overtime in Asia right now. We submit all of these "hot spots" to Your omnipotent power and authority. Lord, the conflict in Israel seems so overwhelming - it IS overwhelming - but we know that You ask us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray Lord for all parties involved to have wisdom and willingness to work together for the good of the people, not for politically expedient answers. Lord for China we ask You to raise up godly lealders who can help China's role in the world be a positive influence and lead the Chinese people in a way that facilitates the spread of the Gospel. Lord the Kashmir dispute has defined entire people groups' identity and other struggles in that region have the potential to ignite as well. Please bring peace and wisdom. We pray for Thailand and Indonesia to have stronger governments that can clearly deal with the internal conflicts that are threatening. Lord the Shi'a-Sunni conflict is often lost in the shuffle of the conflict of Islam with Christianity, but more Muslim lives are lost to this internal difference than to any conflict with the west. Please guide Muslim leaders to find a place of peace and not conflict. Use these differences to cause Muslims to seek You sincerely with their whole hearts and find the truth of who You are. We pray against the trafficking and lawlessness in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Yunnan - we pray for You to be a voice for the voiceless there. We pray for the Koreas as there is this transition to a new leader - we pray for wisdom in South Korea to know how to respond and prepare for eventual reunification. Lord we lift up Afghanistan. Please led this country enter a season of peace. Hear their prayers and cries to You Lord. God as I write this Yemen is in the midst of massive changes. We pray against the evil elements that are trying to insert themselves into the power void. We ask You for Yemen to experience true freedom and that a leader would be in place that would allow the church in Yemen to practice its faith openly. Lord, none of this is too big for You. Thank You for Your grace and Your glory in Asia. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 26 (Day 26)

Reading about the church in Asia never fails to motivate and inspire me. I love the persecuted church that exists in most of the continent, the underground church in China, the Secret Believers of the Asian world, the prayer warriors of Iran, the 5 a.m. calls to prayer in Korea. I see the dynamic church in Asia as a huge gift to the western church. They have much to teach us, and there are some wonderful resources from Asian believers if you are interested in learning more.

For today we are going to focus on thanking God for this beautiful part of the world and His work there. Are you ready to get excited with me? Please read pages. 59-61, "Answers to Prayer", then return here for our prayer time. When you finish praising God, please watch the video and begin to pray freedom over the list of nations on page 57. Let's ask God for an outpouring of His Spirit as many from around the world focus on Asia in prayer this week!

My prayer for today: Lord, I am so excited about what You have been up to in Asia! Your work there speaks to Your glory alone, just as it should be. Oh Lord, only You could bring such dynamic church growth in just 20 years! Thank You for what You've been up to in China, India, Nepal, Iran, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even North Korea. We rejoice that with few exceptions, believers are meeting in public fellowships and we thank You for the creative ways that Christians are gathering where there are no public churches. Thank You that there are too many breakthroughs among the unreached to list! What an awesome testimony and we thank You for every prayer, every church that adopted a people group, every missionary that laid down his or her life for the sake of the Gospel. Thank You for the transformation in progress in China and the harvest in India; for the dear-to-my-heart Muslim Background Believers and those who are reaching them. Thank You for the leaders from Asia and how You have taught me much from their writings. Thank You for the missionaries that Asian churches send out and I especially thank You for China's vision of the Back to Jerusalem concept. Help missionaries from all countries and agencies and denominations to work together in unity. Thank You for the increased stability within Asia that is opening the door for the Gospel.

Lord, I want to pray freedom over each of the Asian countries. We hear through these praises the sound of them worshipping and calling out for more people to take the message to the rest of Asia. We pray for You to release laborers for the harvest and open doors throughout Asia. We pray for Asians to fall on their knees and experience the kingdom coming near to them. We ask You to tear down strongholds, break them, and tell the powers of darkness to flee in the presence of Your coming kingdom. Lord, give Asia total freedom. We pray this over each Asian country Lord: Afghanistan; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Hong Kong; Macau; Taiwan; Georgia; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; North andSouth Korea; Kuwait; Kyrgystan; Laos; Lebanon; Malaysia; Maldives; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Oman; Pakistan; Palestine; Philippines; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Syria; Tajikistan; Thailand; Timor Leste; Turkey; Turkmenistan; UAE; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen. We speak the Lordship of Christ over these far-flung lands. Lord, they are Yours. Draw them into Your presence to experience true freedom.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 25 (Day 25)

Over the next week we are going to be exploring a vast continent exceeding the size of the moon in land mass. Our tour of Asia will take us from mountains to islands, from Arctic to tropic, from Muslim to Hindu and everything in between. This is such a key continent for prayer, as more than 60% of the world's population lives here - most in the 10/40 Window. 80% of the non-Christians in the world live in Asia as well.

Several key cities in the New Testament are located on Asian soil.  Yet on their second missionary journey, Paul, Silas, and Timothy faced an intriguing hindrance to their plans:

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. (Acts 16:6)

For reasons Scripture doesn't specify, Paul didn't get to proclaim the Gospel in Asia. (This is almost certainly just a portion of Asia, a specific province of Rome also called Ionia, that at the time had Ephesus as its capital.) At the time, God's plan for Paul was to hear the Macedonia call and take the Gospel into what is now Europe. We know that the Gospel did reach this area, because the 7 churches of Revelation are seven key cities of Ionia. Having the door shut in this portion of Asia obviously wasn't a permanent hindrance to the expansion of the church there. As we will see over the next few days, God's Spirit has been strongly at work throughout Asia over the centuries. 

Today, join me in learning about Asia by reading pages 56-59 (Asia map, country list, and blue-boxed statistical information), then return here to begin praying for God's heart for this amazing continent.

Please notice especially the religious demographics: "Asia is the only continent where Christianity is not the largest religion." It also has the most persecution - and the most prominent Christian growth. As OW says, "Asia remains by far the most significant challenge forworld evangelization." There is much work to be done, and so for the next week, please commit to seeking God's heart for this huge portion of the world. When you finish, please watch one or more of the video diaries "Along the Silk Road" which cuts through the heart of Asia to help us connect to these precious people.

My prayer for today: Oh sovereign Lord who sits enthroned in the heavens, thank You for looking down upon Your world and getting involved in a very personal way. Thank You for Jesus and the blood He shed to bring ALL tribes, tongues, nations, and people groups into Your kingdom. Thank You for Your heart for Asia, You love Asia more than we ever will. But Lord, we ask You to give each of us part of Your heart for Asia for the next week. Anoint us with a spirit of prayer for this vast continent with so many unreached people groups. Guide us to understand more about how to pray effectively. Help us see with Your eyes Lord. And for those of us whom You're calling to a deeper commitment to Asia through praying, giving, or going - help us be sensitive and obedient. Only You can meet the vast challenges of Asia. We know You are at work there. We only ask that You allow us the blessing, the privilege, of joining You in Your work. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 24 (Day 24)

If you live in the Americas like me, it's hard to think in terms of unreached peoples - and yet there is a huge unfinished task in the Americas. Please read pages 53-54 and then return for our prayer time.

One of the things God has been impressing on me this time through Operation World is that from His viewpoint, there are no unreached peoples. When we prayed through Africa we talked about the need to reach the unreached is simply a matter of someone being obedient to the call - they will remain unreached until God calls and we answer. Today God gave me a Scripture - and a vivid illusration - that even now He is reaching out to the unreached and to the others groups in this "unfinished task" section.

Psalm 19:1-4 says:

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world. 

Think about it: Where no missionaries have gone, where there is no Bible in their language, God is still speaking through His creation. Tonight, I stepped out onto the porch and looked up at the sky. I was staring straight at the Little Dipper, and the Milky Way which I usually cannot see from my vantage point at our house was clearly evident. Immediately this passage came to me along with the thought: "Somewhere there is someone from an unreached people group looking up at the same sky, seeing the same stars and the same Milky Way, and God is speaking to him through it." WOW.

This idea of "general revelation" - the revelation of creation - does not negate the importance of missions. People still have to hear the Gospel - Romans 10 makes it clear that someone has to go tell them of Jesus. It's simply not optional. But Acts 10, the story of Cornelius, encourages us that God is working in both the hearer and the goer to bring about the proclamation of the Gospel. Somewhere tonight, God is preparing someone through looking up at His creation to hear to Gospel message for the first time. He is preparing someone to go. What an encouragement to know that when our going intersects with their hearing, God has already been at work.

Our church supports some missionaries to a tribal people in Latin America. This group hasn't heard the Gospel and has no Scripture in their language. One day, these missionaries will be able to communicate in this tribal language. One day, they will share the Gospel. What an encouragement to know that God is already at work. My prayer is that God will lead them to those who have been looking up at those stars and wanting to know more about the God who created them. Truly, there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Also, as we wrap up our time "in" the Americas, let me encourage you to seek God specifically for your part in His plan for this continent. If you've been quickened by these needs, perhaps God would have you commit to praying, giving, or going to the Americas. A few resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

My prayer for today: Lord, You are always at work. You simply invite us to join You in what You are already doing. My prayer for the unfinished task is that You will be at work Lord, preparing the way for Your messengers. Lord, for the upper classes and those who are at the higher power levels of their societies - show them their spiritual poverty. For the urban poor, show them how You care about their physical realities as well as their soul-searching questions. For the unreached in each country, the unreached among the native populations, and for the harvest of unreached from around the globe who come to study or work -- we pray for laborers to the harvest. We ask You, Lord, to prepare the students' and immigrants' hearts and guide them to have strong connections with Christians. Give wisdom for how to reach the Jews and Gypsies of Latin America. Guide those who are working and those who are planning to go. Lord, we thank You for the way that has been paved by so many martyrs to the unreached of the Americas, and I echo the words of one of those martyrs who said that "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose." Lord, whatever we give for Your kingdom, to reach the unreached and finish the task, is not a foolish sacrifice. Help us be ever more willing to lay up treasures in heaven to see the Gospel reach the ends of the earth. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for the Americas this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for the Americas should look like in our own lives.  In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

- http://www.joshuaproject.net/prayer-resources.php - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key areas of the Americas.
- http://www.joshuaproject.net/ - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/ - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- http://www.primeministersprayerteam.org/ - Prayer for the leaders of Caribbean nations.
- http://southamerica.imb.org/Prayer/default.htm - Prayer network for South America

Are you already part of what God is doing in the Americas? If so please comment with any additional resources that you would recommend.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 23 (Day 23)

I'm not sure we can underestimate the impact of the church in the Americas in the big picture of missions, from those who founded the United States to be a beacon of religious freedom to those who pioneered missions all over the world. The church in the Americas is in transition today, and may need our prayers now more than ever. Please read "The Church in the Americas" on pages 51-53, then return here for our prayer time.

Every aspect of this prayer emphasis is crucial, but one thing jumped out at me more than anything else. On point 3e, the authors write: "Prayerfulness must be cultivated once more in evangelical circles." How true - not just for revival, but for every other need that we have touched on in this brief tour around the Americas. I want to commend you at this point in our journey - we've been together more than 3 weeks now, and hopefully this global prayer focus is becoming a habit. I want to encourage you to continue to cultivate prayerfulness -- in your own life, in the lives of those around you starting with your family and circling outward, and in your church. If your church has a prayer group try to attend or get the requests to pray over later. If your church doesn't have a prayer group, pray about starting one! God has all sorts of creative ways to get people to pray together -- this group is one example of how a non-traditional format can look. But let's not overlook the benefits of face-to-face prayer time - from simply holding a person's hand praying the moment they make a request, to sharing a structured prayer time together -- let's be people of profound prayerfulness!

My prayer for today: Thank You, Lord, for the impact of the church in the Americas on global missions. Thank You for the model of religious freedom the early Christians established, and for the revival movements that have flowed from prayer in the Americas. We ask today for the church in America to be strengthened, Lord. We pray for the Catholic church to be centered on Christ alone and encouraging of people's desire for the Word of God; for the evangelical church that needs a new revival and renewal; for the many churches that falsely emphasize prosperity theology; and for the churches that need to have a fuller inclusion into the circle of Christian churches and clearer understanding of the Gospel. We pray for maturity, for disciples Lord Jesus. We ask you for church leaders to set an example of moral purity in every way - sexual, financial, family life. We pray for holy and authentic living. We pray for the proclamation of Your Word with power in such a way that people are encouraged and passionate about learning. We pray for people to love Your church, to not see it as cultural or secondary but as central to faith as we learn to walk it out together. Give guidance to those who teach Your word so that what is taught is solid meat. Guard Your church from false doctrines. We pray for evangelicals in the political realm to have wisdom and guidance and to use their influence wisely, not to gain power but to have a prophetic role in calling leaders and nations to a high standard of righteousness. We pray for churches to be willing to address social and economic injustices biblically, not relinquishin those decisions to government but realizing that we are the institution You choose to meet the needs of people. For the missions movement from the Americas, we pray for continued engagement and for churches to truly catch the vision of the "whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world" rather than seeing missionaries as the "specialists". We pray Lord for Your guidance and direction and sending - if there are better ways to do it, let us know. We thank You, Lord, for the church in the Americas. Help us honor You in every aspect of our service. In Jesus' name, amen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 22 (Day 22)

Today's prayer focus flows naturally from yesterday's "Hot Spots". If you didn't get to pray yesterday, please read that emphasis first, and then move into today's focus on "Trends to Watch."

Please read "Trends to Watch" on pages 50-51, then return here for prayer.

Again, a regional focus is important for these trends. For example "immigration" is a hot topic in the United States, but until some of the larger issues of violence and economics are addresses, the movement of peoples from poorer to richer lands will always occur. Sometimes the solution of the "richer" nation is counterproductive to the regional good -- for example, accepting more educated individuals, and fewer laborers, leads to "brain drain" from the poorer nation, making long-term solutions less likely to occur there -- and leaves desperate hungry people trying to feed their families in a country without resources to help them. As we pray, let's be sure to pray for partnership approaches that will seek solution that are best for all countries involved.

My prayer for today: Lord, thank You that nothing is too difficult for You. From our perspective, when politics in one country are so volatile, it seems impossible to think that there could be solutions that are equally beneficial to multiple countries. Yet nothing is too difficult for You. Please raise up Christians who are experts in these fields who have a heart for Your glory and all Your people, Lord. The economic needs and the movement of peoples throughout the Americas are inseperable trends. We ask You for economic policies based on moral rightness and courage and against selfishness nd greed. We ask You to help the poor and marginalized, and to improve the quality of life for all. For those who are immigrating, we pray against exploitation by traffickers and for opportunities to legally meet their family needs. We pray for those who minister to immigrants to have great wisdom, discernment, and love. We pray for the political situation in these countries as well, Lord - we ask that You will guide each leader and raise up men and women who are eager to bring glimpses of Your kingdom to bear in the political realm. And Lord, we pray against anti-Christian secularism and atheism. We ask you, Lord, to give Christians boldness in the face of claims that they are intolerant. We pray for courts to equally apply the laws relating to religious freedom. Lord, we pray for You to be glorified as each of these trends is resolved in a way that advances Your kingdom. In Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 21 (Day 21)

Today's prayer focus takes us right into the heart of the need in the Americas. Please read "Hot Spots" on pages 49-50, then return here for our prayer time.

This emphasis on "Hot Spots" underscores the benefit of taking some time to pray regionally, as well as the country-by-country prayer we'll be doing for most of the year. The reality is that none of these issues are isolated to one country within the Americas. All of these issues relate in some way to everyone and fuel the trends that we'll be praying about tomorrow. And all of them require solutions that cross national borders and are beyond the scope of political talking points. As we pray for these needs today, let's keep a regional mindset. However, if you do have special insight from having served in a particular country please feel free to share it so that we can all benefit and join you in specific prayers.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, El Roi, the God who sees ... so much of the hurt and pain related to these issues takes place where many eyes cannot or will not see. The drug trade which sometimes seems overwhelmingly powerful and evil, Lord, is hurting and killing many in so many ways. We pray for Your intervention at every level - at the point of demand, break bondages; at the point of supply, provide alternative income sources; at all points between, reveal to legal authorities how to locate the criminals. Raise up authorities who are honest and will not take bribes nor fear the cartels. Break this bondage, Lord. For the human needs - financial, education, clean water, crime - oh Lord, intervene. Raise up believers who are specialists in these areas who will give their lives to develop sustainable solutions that empower the people. Raise up churches who will be willing to be places of light that these specialists can partner with so that the community knows where to go to find answers. Use this Lord to provide for the people in every way. Your word says that you bring good news to the poor. We pray God that the good news going to the poor in the Americas will be good news of both physical and spiritual nature. Lord, we pray for Your creation in the Americas - some of the most beautiful and unique setings in the world. We pray for businessmen who honor and value the world You created. We pray for an appropriate balance of economic and environmental uses. We pray, Lord, that You will be honored by the way we treat the creation You gave us to care for. God, we lift up the indigenous peoples of the Americas to You - we pray for You to raise up Christians to help guide the way to full reconcilation, breaking the bondages of the past and the pain of wrongdoing. We pray specifically for Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and Guyana, that their transitions will result in peace and justice. Thank You Lord that You have seen all these issues develop; You know all the answers. We love You Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Jan. 20 (Day 20)

It's my favorite part of the prayer time again -- celebrating how God has answered prayers, this time for the Americas! My heart soars as we come together today. Please read "Answers to Prayer" on pages 48-49, then come back to celebrate with me!

My prayer for today: Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Oh, Lord, we do praise You today. I praise You for the blessings You've poured out on the Americas - historically and recently. Lord, what do we have that did not first belong to You? Nothing. You are perfect, holy, and righteous, and I am always amazed that You hear and respond to the prayers of people ... and yet You do. Thank You, Lord, for hearing the cries of many for political stability in Latin America. We ask, Lord, that they will use their stability for good and not evil, and that the church will grasp the opportunity to share the Gospel and live quiet, peaceful lives in godliness and dignity. Thank You for the growth of evangelicals, especially in Latin America, as more and more come to hold firmly to the truth of Your word, the uniqueness of Jesus, the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and the importance of sharing the Gospel. We pray for unity and not dissension as growth continues. We thank You for breathing a fresh wind of Your Spirit through the Catholic church and we ask You to continue that, make them solid and strong for You. They have such influence Lord; we pray it will direct people more to Jesus and the Word of God. Lord, we thank You for the Pentecostal impact among the poor, but we do pray for stronger discipling and accuracy in reporting numbers. Thank You for the impact of Your people and we pray that they will not be seduced by power, but will stay focused on Your Word.  Thank You also for the expansion of the Gospel among the AmerIndian groups; we pray, Lord, that You will guide as the church takes unique and beautiful forms among them. We pray the Gospel will never be compromised. Continue to advance the spread of Your word. We thank you for the creative ideas for Bible translation that have come from the Americas and benefited the world. Thank You for the missions vision and the media opportunities - may those trends converge in a way that is a blessing to many. Lord, we thank You for all the missionaries and preachers and writers and givers that have heard and obeyed the call. We pray for continued generosity and for humility as Your church grows so much in other parts of the world. Help the church in the Americas have the grace to be in a supporting rather than leading role. Oh Lord, You have done so much. We are so grateful. Praise You, Lord, from whom all these blessings flow. Amen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 19 (Day 19)

Our journey through Africa the past few days has led us up and down the Nile and across the Sahara, around the coast and to the Horn. Today, we pack our suitcases for a trip to a place of great diversity and uniqueness - the Americas. Over the next 6 days we'll once again get a closer "boat-level" tour through North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Many of us in this group are from this corner of the world -- so the challenge for us is a bit different than when we took our overview of Africa. Wherever you are from, for the next six days, let's try to suspend our presuppositions and look at this section of the world with fresh eyes. As you begin your prayer time each day, ask God to help you see from a new perspective - His.

For today, please gain an overview of the diversity of this part of the world by reading the statistical facts in the blue boxes on pages 41-48, then return here for prayer.

Reading the overview of each section of the Americas and looking at the country lists makes me eager to get to know each country better and spend significant time in prayer for each one. For now, though, our focus is on the region as a whole and on gaining a bit more of the big picture as it relates to this region. As you go through Operation World you will begin to see more and more the regional influences on a country. So much of a people's worldview - the part of us that says "this is how it is" - is consistent across regions, even though there are subtle differences. That's why these regional empahases are so helpful. Let's pray about this today!

My prayer for today: Lord, what a unique civilization You brought out of this region called the Americas. So much richness and diversity, for so many centuries isolated from the rest of the world, yet never invisible in Your heart. We thank You, Lord, for this section of the world You created. We see how much You have done here and at the same time some of the harmful things that were done in Your name. We know that this region needs a fresh touch of Your Spirit, healing of some deep wounds, and a touch on some very real needs. It's encouraging to know that from the tiniest island in the Caribbean, to the vast open expanses of northern Canada, to the bustling cities of the US, to the farms and villages throughout much of the region -- You are at work, You are there, and You care. Thank You, Lord, for that reality. We ask You to open our eyes and help us see things through Your eyes these next few days. In Jesus' name, amen.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 18 (Day 18)

We've had quite a tour of Africa, haven't we? I can almost hear the drumbeats, feel the dust from the desert, smell the fish cooking on the coast. Over the past week, we've sought to have God's heart for this continent that is anything but "dark" - instead, it is filled with life and love and lessons for us from the vibrant church that exists there. As we have considered the unfinished task in Africa, I hope that God has spoken to some of us about praying regularly, going, or giving to those serving there.

We wrap up our Africa journey today by considering some challenges. Please read "Major Great Commission Challenges" on page 40, then return for our prayer time.

Today's prayer requests are few, but the depth of the need is anything but limited. We cannot overstate the importance of these "big three" challenges in Africa: Islam; a fuller understanding of Christianity; and the cities. The need to pray for Muslims and the cities is spelled out pretty clearly, but why does Operation World emphasis the limited number of evangelicals in the four major areas of Africa?

According to OW's definitions in Appendix 5, evangelicals regardless of denomination adhere to all of the following truths:
  • Jesus is the only source of salvation, validated by the crucifixion and resurrection
  • Personal faith and conversion with regeneration by the Holy Spirit are essential
  • The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the only authority for faith and life
  • Believers are called to biblical witness, evangelism, and mission that brings others to faith in Christ.
For God to truly transform Africa, breaking the bondage of animism and Islam and changing the structures of society to become truly just and right, these four elements are essential. The "social Gospel", meeting needs apart from the message, won't do it. Neither will a veneer of cultural Christianity and faith rituals. Africans - like all of us - need transformation. The church needs to realize its Biblical calling to be on mission. To have four main areas of the continent with fewer than 1% evangelicals means that in those areas, the church needs to be awakened.

As we pray today, let's remember these three main areas and trust God to finish what He's started in Africa. Also, as we wrap up our time "in" Africa, let me encourage you to seek God specifically for your part in His plan for Africa. If you've been quickened by these needs, perhaps God would have you commit to praying, giving, or going to Africa. Afew resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, Your presence is so real. We love the assurance that as we walk in obedience to the Great Commission, Your presence is with us. I know that the church in Africa feels Your presence, Lord, and they need You to reach down and minister to some big needs today. Lord I ask that You guide the church in Africa as they reach out to Muslims and as they face the challenges that comes from growing cities. We come against the enemy's schemes in these areas, Lord. Where evil abounds, let grace abound much more. Lord, the church needs Your touch as well. Awaken the church in areas where they have not embraced the fullness of what it means to follow Jesus. Raise up preachers who will lift up the cross and stand on the truth of Your word, who will stress personal conversion and the Great Comission. Lord, transform the church and then through her, transform Africa. We know this is not too big for You, Lord. We trust You in this. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for Africa this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for Africa should look like in our own lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

- http://www.joshuaproject.net/prayer-resources.php - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key African countries.
- http://www.joshuaproject.net/ - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- http://www.prayer-for-africa.com/ - Committed ongoing prayer for the continent
- http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/ - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- http://www.prayafrica.net/ - Ongoing prayer for the people groups of Africa.

Are you already part of what God is doing in Africa? If so please comment with any additional resources that you would recommend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 17 (Day 17)

Today, our African travels take us right into the heart of the 10/40 Window - from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator, where the majority of the world's unreached peoples live. In Africa, the vast majority of the unreached are Muslims of varying degrees of commitment. Please read pages 38-40, "The Unreached of Africa", then return here for prayer.

From the early days of Christianity, there have been Christians in Africa. Tradition holds that the Ethiopian eunuch, best known to us as the man God took Phillip to share the Gospel to from the midst of a revival in Asia, returned to his country and became an evangelist. We know for sure that Christians were found in North Africa as early as 100 A.D. Despite the presence of a church, the Gospel did not permeate Africa and in fact, Islam spread throughout much of North Africa after thta religion was founded in the 7th century. Africa remained "the dark continent" in the eyes of much of the west but eventually missionaries began to find their way there. Robert Moffatt and later David Livingstone did much to pave the way to the interior and open up the continent to the rest of the world. Still, there is much history of missions in Africa that remains to be written. Let's pray today for God to call laborers to the unreached peoples of Africa.

My prayer for today: Lord, we love the diversity of the body of Christ, including the beautiful African segment of Your body. We know Lord that when the last page of history is written, around Your throne will stand believers from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group. But Lord, today some of the African people groups are missing from Your throne room. Today, we come before You to plead the prayer You taught us to pray - laborers for the harvest. Lord, send laborers for the harvest of unreached people groups in Africa. Call many to take the Gospel where the name of Jesus has not been heard. We pray specifically for some of the largest unreached groups in Africa: The North African Arabs, millions of whom have had little outreach from Christians. The Berber people who had somewhat of a Christian history before being conquered by Islam, and their relatives the Tuareg - Lord, please call people who are able to live in the desert climate. For the West African coastal and interior groups that are unreached, Lord, I pray for You to especially use the churches already established in other parts of west Africa. Burden their hearts for their near neighbors, Lord. God I ask You for the Fulbe, one of the major challenges. Thank You for the unified ministry to them; Lord please give creative access ideas to those seeking to minister to this nomadic group. Oh Lord, I have a special place in my heart for the Hausa. I see their beautiful faces before me from the pictures I've seen in the newsletters. Lord, help them to have a hunger for the resources that exist in their language. Give them a thirst for You, Lord, a desire to know You deeply and passionately. I pray, Lord, for the peoples across North Africa - Sudan, Chad, CAR, Egypt - guide them to You Lord. Where there has been a prevous witness I pray that You will water the seeds that have been planted. Lord, for those in the Horn area where it is so hard to witness - I pray that You will use believers from within Africa, and I pray that those who are traveling or studying or working abroad will find themselves surrounded by Christians. I pray that as You bring these unreached peoples across our paths that You will give us deep relationships and boldness to share the Gospel. Lord, for the Bantu and for the mountain peoples of Chad, the Nile, and the Nuba area , and for the East Asians living in Africa - we ask for You to remember them, hear the cries of those who long to know You and send someone to share the Gospel with them. In all these peoples Lord we pray for You to raise up Corneliuses and Peters - those who long to hear and those who are called to share. We are reminded You love them far more than we do. Thank You, Lord.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 16 (Day 16)

The church in Africa has given us early church fathers such as Augustine, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world in the Egyptian Coptic Church, the melody of John Newton's "Amazing Grace", and more recently, the Global Day of Prayer. Today, let's offer our prayers for the African church which has so enriched our shared faith. Please read "The Church in Africa" on pages 36-38, then return here for our prayer time.

My prayer for today:  Lord, we thank You for Your faithfulness to the church in Africa and to the efforts of early missionaries there. Lord, our hearts rejoice at the fruitfulness we see as the church in many places has demonstrated that it is the only social organization that can deal with some of the challenges facing African countries. What a lesson and witness that is to us, Father, as we seek to make a difference in our own societies. Thank You for the beautiful African part of Your body. Lord, we want to join with them in prayer today, asking for You to teach the churches about discipleship. Your Commission to us was to make disciples, not merely converts. We pray for churches to have wisdom how to best come against the compromises and idolatries that stand in the way of true discipleship. Lord, thank You also for the African church's faithfulness in defending Biblical faith and Scriptural accuracy. We pray for their continued boldness. For those Africans in churches in other lands, Lord, we pray that they will be fully accepted as an integral part of the congregation and that they will rise to positions of leadership where they can shape churches and even entire denominations. We pray against anything that would detract from the unity You desire for the African church, the unity that You prayed for. Rise up more leaders and theologians who can help African Christians grow spiritually. Thank You for the missions vision of Africa; we join them in prayer that African churches would financially support their own missionaries and not look to the west for every financial resource needed. We pray for churches to see missions as essential to their mission and lead the way in sacrificial giving to missionaries. We pray for Africans who are crossing national borders to minister to other africans - we pray for you to call more and more to minister to their near neighbors. Where there are western missionaries, we pray that they will truly partner with African believers and not automatically take the lead role. We ask You, Lord, to minister to the African church and continue to purify her by the washing of the Word of God. Help us continue to learn from her, Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 15 (Day 15)

Today we continue raising awareness about the African continent as a whole by looking at some trends to watch. Read the "Trends to Watch" section on pages 35-36, then return here for our prayer time.

Did you come away from the reading with the same impression I did - that these trends are huge, beyond the ability of any one political nation to resolve? Isn't it great to know that the God who hears our prayers today isn't threatened by our messes ... in fact, He specializes in making wholeness out of brokenness.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, You are truly amazing. Nothing is impossible for You. You are Lord of creation and Lord of the earth, and You are the answer for Africa. Lord, we ask that You raise up African believers who are wise and gifted to help Africa in the economic realm, the health realm, the political realm. Raise up non-African believers to partner with them in humble service, helping to bring glimpses of Your kingdom to bear in Africa. Bring awareness of the root causes of poverty, AIDS, malaria - and guide Africans to understand what they can do to make a difference not only for a day, but for generations to come. Lord, trafficking and displacement of peoples are global problems and require global solutions. I pray for leaders worldwide to look at this bigger picture and begin to work together for solutions that help people at every level. Lord, we come strongly against the issue of trafficking in Africa. Reveal what is really going on so that families no longer unwittingly send their children off to a life of slavery. Break the bondage that creates the demand for sex trafficking, including the bondage of the pornography industry and our own over-sexualized society. Until we are whole and healthy in this area, Lord, this sin will remain. Bring wholeness at every level and break the chains to set these captives free. Lord, for the big religions issues in Africa-I continue to pray for African Christians to boldly and lovingly minister the Gospel to their Muslim neighbors, and not allow fear to hinder their proclamation. I pray for African Christians to fully and completely renounce all animism which is idolatry. We bind the powers of darkness that seek to draw believers away from a pure and simple devotion to Jesus. Guide African churches to have awareness how to fight this significant spiritual battle. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Jan. 14 (Day 14)

Today we are praying for Africa's "hot spots" ... those areas that will tend to pop up and raise global awareness of issues in Africa, and not necessarily for positive reasons. Please read "Africa's Hot Spots" on pages 34-35 then return here for our prayer time.

Reviewing these regional "hot spots" is a reminder to me that behind every news story is a God who is working all things together for His kingdom purposes. It's also a reminder that behind every story there are real people who are affected by the news in personal ways. Almost invariably, this principle is true: There is more going on beneath the surface than we will ever imagine.

Have you ever watched the 60's show Hogan's Heroes? The basic premise of the show focuses on a handful of prisoners of war in a German POW camp. These Allies from England, France, the U.S., and occasionally Russia volunteered for an unusual assignment when they were captured: Rather than escaping at the first opportunity (the norm for POW's), they committed to not escape and instead use whatever means available to help other prisoners escape and undermine the German war effort. Hogan's Heroes built an elaborate underground structure - tunnels containing storage areas, radio rooms, fake printing presses, even food. In every show, the enemy Nazis walk on top of these tunnels daily, usually without suspecting a thing.

Similarly, what God is up to in the world is beyond anything we can fathom. He is orchestrating the movement of nations and people, the minute details of life and the big picture of the world, for His glory to open doors for the Gospel to all people. Habakkuk never could have imagined the kingdom purpose God had for Babylon surrounding Israel - but God was definitely at work. Habakkuk 1:5; 2:14 "Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days - you would not believe if you were told....For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." As Paul noted to the Romans (Romans 11:33) "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!". When the enemy prowls about like a roaring lion, He has absolutely no idea what God has planned just under the surface of what's going on. 

As we pray today for Africa's hot spots, let's ask God to give us eyes to look beyond the surface and catch a glimpse of what's going on in the spiritual realm as part of His big plan to draw Africans to Himself. When you are finished, take time to watch the video and sing (aloud if at all possible) the Kituba words (a Congo language) to Pass Me Not (they will be on the screen). In this way today we will identify to a small degree with the African church. And if you're like me, you won't be able to stop singing at that point. :-)

My prayer for today: Oh Lord my heart is full today with the words of David: Greatness, power, glory, majesty, and splendor belong to You, for everything in heaven on earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, Lord - You are exalted above all, and You are ruler of all. Your hands are strong and powerful enough to exalt and give strength to everyone. Yet I confess, Lord, that at times I have hesitated to pray big prayers, thinking that maybe there were bigger things on Your mind, or that You were prioritizing somewhere else. I've treated Your ability to give strength and exalt Your people like a limited commodity. Oh Lord, forgive me and help my unbelief! Today, God, I lift up Africa to You. I thank You that You are supreme over all these issues, and I pray Lord that You will intervene. Raise up laborers who have a heart for these corners of the world. Don't pass them by, Lord. For Central Africa, raise up godly leaders at every level who are commited to justice, integrity, and peace. Bring healing for those who have faced the loss and devastation of war. Lord, restore the years the locusts have eaten, raise them up and make them stand in Your presence blameless and with great joy. For East Africa, specifically Somalia and Kenya, I pray for the intervention of Jesus who is our peace, who alone can bring peace between groups who have been bound by ethnic conflict. Bring a truly lasting solution to the injustice of the plundering of Somalia's fish stocks and raise up Somalians who can help their people find ways out of the deep poverty while they have such resources at their disposal. For Sudan and the new country of South Sudan, we pray for peace. We pray against jihad and against genocide and against every other form of hatred that leads to murder. We know the source is satan himself, who was a murderer from the beginning. Lord, Nigeria and the Sahel remind us that Africa is a religiously divided continent. Guide Christians to respond in a spirit of love and peace, rather than fear and violence. I pray for those who love peace to prevail through wisdom, discipline,a nd graciousness. I pray Christians will never stop sharing the good news of Jesus with their Muslim friends. Finally, Lord, I lift up Southern Africa to You. The terrible crippling effect of AIDS; uncertainty about government stability; and abuses by governments all threaten people whom You love and whom You died for.Minister to them today, in Jesus' name, amen.♦


Friday, January 13, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Jan. 13 (Day 13)

I'm sure I'll say this dozens of times before the year is out: I am SO glad Operation World includes answered prayers! Sometimes prayer can feel so inadequate, especially when the needs are more abstract and we don't have a person we can call or email to find out how things are going. It's great to get reminders that prayer is what works - that God has heard from others who have gone before us and responded by bringing glimpses of His kingdom to earth, as it is in heaven. So today, please read "Answers to Prayer" on pages 33-34, then come back for a time of praise!

I hope you saw in point 5, "The familiarity of Africans with the reality of spiritual warfare, and their willingness to faithfully put in many hours of intercession, are possibly the most significant factors in the remarkable church growth on this continent." I don't know about you, but I'm already learning from the precious African church! Isn't it great to be connected with the body of Christ on the other side of the world, to pray for them and learn from them? My heart is full as we worship God and thank Him today.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, we thank You for the believers in Africa. Thank You for their faithfulness and their example in prayer and in fighting the enemy through intercession. Thank You for the awesome response of church growth. The exponential increase in numbers is precious because each one is a soul that has surrendered to You. Thank You for the Global Day of Prayer that is a tremendous gift from Africa to the world - help us take it seriously and see fruit. Thank You for calling so many Africans into missions, and for their amazing creativity in church planting. We pray for success of Vision 5015 in Nigeria, and other similar plans that exist for Your glory. We love You Lord, and we thank You that You have heard all these prayers that have gone before us. We join our voices with theirs to struggle in prayer for the rest of Africa to hear the message of the Gospel. Thank You for the mighty power of Jesus' name.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Jan. 12 (Day 12)

We've reached a turning point in our journey. Our broad overview has ended and we are beginning to narrow the lens just a little bit, going in-depth continent-by-continent. Operation World  will continue to paint broad brushstrokes at this point, but we will begin to appreciate a bit more of the specifics in this vast, diverse world that God has created. If you imagine the first leg of our journey as a plane ride, this next leg is akin to a meandering boat ride around each continent. Let's get our sea legs ready for a trip up and down the Nile in our first continent -- Africa.

Today, simply read about Africa as a country on pages 28-32. Take special note of the map of religions on page 28; the vast differences will become key points for prayer in the days to come. Be sure to look down the list of African countries - if you're like me you'll be surprised at a few countries that you might have misplaced in your mind's geography! Finally, as you read the description of the continent on pages 30-32, seek to really feel God's heart for this amazing continent. Africa seems to be the one place that Christians in the west say they are afraid God will send them to if they fully surrender to Him. Let's make our time with God today one of surrendering to have HIS heart for Africa -- wherever He has called us to serve. When you're ready, come back here for our prayer time together.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, I thank You for Africa - for the rich Christian heritage of some of its countries, from Ethiopia where the eunuch returned after believing on You, to Algeria where Augustine was born and wrote so much of the works that the church still treasures today, to Egypt with its long history of a faith community ... Lord, we know that African countries are mentioned many times in Scripture, and we know that You have a heart for every people group there. Lord, we read today of the traumas within Africa - the wars and destruction; the extreme need for food and clean water; the struggles to maintain stable political systems in many places -- and we are reminded that Your word tells us that what You require of us is to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with You. Lord, we ask You to help us do that with Africa. Guide the church in wisdom for how to best help African countries for the long term - physcially and spiritually. Lord, over the next few days, please give us Your heart for Africa. We obviously are not all called to go there, but we commit our prayers for the next few days fully and completely to You Lord. Help us love Africa through our prayers, and if you want us to be involved in giving or going, please make that clear to each of us as well. Thank You, Lord, for creating Africa with all its richness. In Jesus' name, Amen.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 11 (Day 11)

Today we wrap up our "flyover" of the whole world. As we've looked out the window at this awesome world God created, we've seen some beautiful things - had the chance to praise Him for what He's been up to in and through His church - and caught a glimpse of the physical and spiritual needs that characterize much of the world. As we finish the overview today, let's commit anew to this journey and ask God that we would be filled with His Spirit so that we learn how to pray His heart. Ask Him to prompt you throughout the day for that day's prayer points, so that between all of us we truly are lifting up these needs over the entire course of a day.

Please read pages 25-27, "The Unfinished Task - The World's Peoples", "The Unfinished Task - Challenges for prayer", and "Scripture on the Great Commission", then return here for our prayer time together.

Unreached people groups comprise 41.1% of the population of the world. Despite this reality, only about 1% of missions giving goes to reach unreached people groups - and 40% of the world's missionaries are located in 10 countries that are oversaturated with missionaries (The Parable of the Apple Orchard demonstrates in story form the disproportional approach much of the Christian world has to missions. For more statistics and statistical references, see the About Missions site.)

Let me be clear: Every soul is precious to God. He doesn't want any to perish. These statistics and prayer points aren't about bailing out on the need to reach our neighbor next door. Instead, they are a fresh reminder that we need to let our lights shine brightly both at home and internationally, among those who have forgotten and those who've never heard. But as we seek the Lord to guide us in our own praying, giving, and going, and as we are involved in mobilizing our churches in praying, giving and going, it's important to keep in mind this reality of missions: The unreached will remain in darkness unless someone obeys God in making them a priority.

This morning in my quiet time, I read Joshua 17. Joshua is giving instructions to Joseph's "house" - the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh - that they should conquer the forested hill country in order to gain more land. The house of Joseph expresses concern about the iron chariots of the Canaanites in the forest, but Joseph doesn't let their concerns change his charge to them. Instead, he promises them:

"Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out." (Joshua 17:18, NIV)

This "little commission" given by Joshua came with an assurance of victory and the promise of the farthest limits of the forest if they would be obedient. The "Great Commission" that Jesus has given us goes far beyond those assurances. As we pray, give, and go to fulfill His command, we are simply participating in gathering to the fold people who are already His -- God has given the nations to Jesus as an inheritance, as we previously discussed. We have the assurance that the very gates of hell will not prevail against the church as we move forward for His kingdom. And most importantly, we have the promise of His presence with us as we go. The unreached people group represent the "farthest limits" and there are some strong enemies in the way. Our prayers today are part of reaching the ends of the earth - let's trust God to drive out the enemies and make a way for the messengers.

My prayer for today: Lord, You know the stars in the sky and the hairs on my head. As I looked up at the sky yesterday You impressed on me that You even know the distance between the stars. Nothing is a mystery to You. I'm reminded that to You, there are no unreached peoples, because You see from an eternal perspective. You know how each one is going to hear and You know who among them will believe. From our perspective, though, we want to be fully obedient. You said the fields are white to harvest and that we should pray for laborers to the harvest. This is just one of many scriptures that make it clear that we are to be intentional partners with You in reaching the world with the message of Jesus. So Lord, we do pray for laborers to the harvest. We pray for those people groups who are unreached - who have no significant Christian witness among them - and for those who are completely unengaged, with no mission work even started among them. The darkness is not dark to You Lord. Shine Your light in these areas and in our hearts. Awaken us to the role You want us to have in reaching these people. Tear down the barriers that isolate these people and make them difficult to reach. Raise up solid researchers who can be modern-day David Livingstones, raising awareness to the rest of us about where the unreached are and how to reach them. Grant a vision for unreached people groups and call many churches to adopt one and pray until that group is reached. Thank You that we have many assurances of Your power and authority with us as we are obedient to the task. We pray that Your Holy Spirit would go before us and prepare hearts and minds for the message of the Gospel. In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 10 (Day 10)

Are you starting to feel the steepness of our climb? Our journey is taking us over a challenging course, and if you're like me you can tell that we are definitely journeying uphill! Many of us had a Christmas/New Year's break, and simply getting back into routines and the "stuff of life" can make a commitment like this one harder. Add to it that the enemy of our souls is trying at every turn to stop us from praying, and it's no wonder that some of us are definitely starting to be aware that this journey is not about enjoying the scenic route. In fact, in many ways we are breaking new paths -- several of us have "never been this way before" and are trusting God to help us learn how to pray missionally; others of us have prayed through Operation World but never as part of a team. (Personally, the 365 days of blogging is definitely a new thing for me, and I appreciate your prayers toward that end!)

Today's prayer focus is all about breaking new ground. Check out pages 21-24, "The Unfinished Task - Religious Systems" and then come back here for prayer.

Does your heart break to read of the vast lostness of the world? Despite the proliferation of Christianity on the map on p. 24, the prayer points make it clear that "The majority of those who identify themselves as Christians do not actively practice their faith" to the point the re-evangelization is necessary in many "Christian" countries. I am reminded afresh that breakthroughs are needed within the world's other religions. Only the Holy Spirit can bring these breakthroughs, but we must be aware that the web of darkness that encircles much of the world is thick, and the enemy is trying with all his might to hold onto those strongholds. Let's pray some strongholds down today!

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, Your word tells us you have set eternity in man's heart. We are created for worship, created for fellowship with You. Even when we don't realize it, we have a deeply spiritual nature. The proliferation of the world's religions testifies that we are hard-wired to believe in something. Lord, as Christians we believe that Jesus is the only way to relationship with You. Any other path ultimately proves to be a dead end. So Lord, it is out of a sense of humility, knowing You alone have opened our eyes, and deep love for those walking down dead end roads, that we pray for those in other religions today Lord. Father I first pray for those who consider themselves "Christians" but might not have a personal relationship with You, or have chosen to not walk out their faith. Lord, I pray that all who bear the name Christian to truly become followers of Jesus. I pray that You will raise up churches and missionaries with a heart for discipleship to truly teach people what it means to follow Jesus. Bring conviction where the commitment has been cultural rather than genuinely heart-felt. Judgment begins with the house of God, You tell us, and so we must be willing to take a hard look at ourselves and the church and examine what kind of witness we are for You. But Lord, we would be remiss if we did not recognize the darkness in much of the world that is entangled in a web of lies, never having heard the Gospel or seeing it as something cultural belonging to "the west". You came for the whole world Lord Jesus- we believe that with everything we are. And we know that there is an enemy who seeks to stop that message from penetrating hearts, and he does that by layering lie upon lie until people's spiritual eyes adjust to the darkness and the light seems to be an intrusion rather than a blessing. Lord, we ask You today in the name of Jesus, break the bondage of those lies!! Within the Muslim world, the Hindu world, the regions where Buddhism is prevalent - we pray for breakthroughs that can only come by the Holy Spirit. I pray for more missionaries to be called to these "big three" religious systems - especially Islam, Lord, where only 10% of the missionary force is currently focused. We don't want to ignore other religious systems as well Lord - the ethnic religions with their strong spiritism approach; the Sikhs who we are only beginning to reach out to; smaller religious groups such as Baha'i, Jains, and Parsees. Draw them to Yourself Lord, and send laborers to the harvest among them. And Lord for Your own people, the Jews -- we know they have suffered much at the hands of those who wrongly called themselves Christian. But Lord we believe that satan has used that lie to deceive them from the truth for too long. Remove the veil, Lord, and let them see that Jesus is their Yeshua Messiah, the promised one for whom they still long. Finally for the non-religious -- those who are secular, or atheist/agnostic -- Lord in many ways they are in the deepest bondage of all, for they are denying that they are created to seek truth. We pray for them to be increasingly unsettled and discontent. We ask that You cause them to seek - that they will find many questions to which they simply don't have satisfactory answers. Equip the Christians around them to be able to answer those questions. We love You Lord. Thank You that we see Your church in every political nation on earth ... help us be faithful to finish the task Lord, as so many within those lands have not heard the Gospel.

As a sidenote ... I am changing the numbering system to reflect both dates and the day order. The further into the year we get, the harder it will be for people to "catch up". I want to give new group members the option of joining us where we are on the journey, or starting at the beginning on any day of their choosing. Please continue to invite new travelers to come along!

Monday, January 09, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 9 (Day 9)

{Matthew 28:18-20 ESV} - 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

The Great Commission. If you've signed on to this prayer journey, this is probably the seal that was over your passport. It's the charge Jesus left to the church and it will remain in effect until every people group has heard the Gospel and Jesus returns (see Matthew 24:14). He's even given us a specific way to pray - for laborers for the harvest (see Luke 10:2). Today, read "The Great Commission" section on pages 18-21, then return here for our prayer time.

"The whole church bringing the whole Gospel to the whole world." This motto of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization provides a great framework for the prayer requests today. As Operation World observes, "How speedily the world would be evangelized if all believers and every congregation obeyed the commands of Jesus in Acts 1 and believed His promises of enablement through the Holy Spirit." How true that is! Too often churches see the Great Commission as optional, not central. (See this chart for how different missions looks when it's integrated into the life of a church versus when it is a "program".) As we pray today for the world, let's also seek God for how He wants to use us, individually and corporately, for His kingdom purposes. If you're not already involved in mobilizing your church for missions, you might want to pray about what God would have you to do to increase the missions vision of your church even as you pray today for missions vision in the global church!

My prayer for today: Lord, the Great Commission often becomes the great "omission" in many churches, not just here but globally. Lord, we pray for completely and total obedience to this commission by every church in the world. That's a big prayer, God, but we know undoubtedly it is within Your will because that is the task You gave the church. It's why we are still here instead of taken immediately to heaven when we are saved. Lord, give wisdom to churches and agencies to make glorifying You by obedience to the Great Commission their primary objective. Multiply prayer movements, adoption of unreached peoples, and other tools that are means for completing the task. I pray for unity among the churches and agencies so that it's not about who gets the convert, but it's about working together for a common goal. Help churches see themselves as launching pads for missionaries - including our church, Lord. We withhold no person from Your call. If you want to send our leaders Lord, we don't want to keep them here. For those missionaries already on the field, we pray for strength and protection and adjustment to cultural differences, and we pray for discernment about spiritual attacks. We pray for an appropriate distribution of missionaries so that the entire world is reached for You, as quickly as possible. Thank You Lord that You have allowed us to participate with You in this task that You could easily do without us. In Jesus name, amen.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 8 (Day 8)

How are you doing on this journey that we're on? Are you beginning to get into the habit of daily prayer for the world? Let me take this moment to encourage you to persevere - if you have missed a few days, or even if you are just joining us, that's ok! If you have been with us from the beginning, then be prepared for the enemy to start throwing up roadblocks. Once he realizes you're serious about this, he will try to stop you because prayer is the battleground on which we take up our armor and the sword of the Spirit, and fight against the powers and principalities that seek to hold the world captive (see Ephesians 6).

Today's focus in Operation World narrows a bit, while still maintaining a global scope. Today we will be praying for the church worldwide. The church - all believers, in all places and times. The church universal, made up of untold numbers of churches local. I pray you are a part of a local fellowship of believers. Today, though, we are going to look beyond our church walls and denominational boxes and even beyond the church in our own country. Read pages 16-18 and then we will pray for THE church - the church Jesus died for, the church that the gates of hell will never prevail against.

Did you learn something new as you read over the prayer requests? It's amazing to think that the "typical Christian" is no longer a white westerner - praise God for diversity in the body of Christ! Yet as you see in the requests, there are many needs, many opportunities for the enemy to creep into the body of Christ. Sometimes we in the west have acted in a superior manner to other parts of the body of Christ, as if they needed us to succeed. Other times we glorify the church in suffering countries, thinking that suffering alone produces a growing church. Today's requests serve as a reminder that all churches depend upon the leadership of Jesus and will be effective only to the degree that they surrender to His lordship. As we pray for the global church, let's pray those same requests over our local churches as a reminder that we are all part of the same body. The video afterward will give us a chance to worship together and remember that His church all over exists for one reason: To lift Him up before the world.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord Jesus, Your Word tells us that You gave Yourself for the church to present her as a pure and spotless bride, to make her holy and present her to Himself without stain or wrinkle or blemish. Lord, we pray today for Your bride, for your church in the world. We pray that in all corners, the church would maintain a clear witness to the uniqueness of Christ - we pray against the temptation to compromise on this most important of all doctrines. We come against the enemy who seeks to subtly deny the heart of the Gospel by casting doubt on who Jesus is. Lord, it is so important in that light that churches maintain the centrality of Your Word. Help pastors hold firmly to Your Word as fully authoritative and inerrant, and let Your Word be the decisive instrument in issues of compromise and culture. Let us not exalt cultural forms over biblical principles; guide us to understand Your Word in each new context in which the Gospel goes forth. I pray for effective local churches and for missionary partners who understand how crucial it is to equip the local church to stand alone. Guide missionaries in sustainable missions practices. Raise up more and more leaders and help them get the training they need, just as Paul spent time training the leaders at Ephesus. Lord, I pray for churches to take discipleship seriously and that there would be an increase in materials in heart languages. Give Your people a passion for Your word. I pray Lord that Your global church would be outward-looking, not inward focused, and that believers would be vibrant witnesses to the Gospel. I pray that Your church will seek to make a difference at all levels of society, and I pray for special wisdom in reaching young people. I ask for the Holy Spirit to be active in individuals and churches for the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel. And Lord I lift a special prayer for the persecuted church today and for those organizations such as Open Doors who are dedicated to ministering to the persecuted. Please give us wisdom when to seek intervention through governmental means, and when our best efforts are spent just on our knees. Lord, we pray that You will deliver all those in prison from the evil, perverse men who hold them, as Paul said, "for not all believe". Lord, help those who will remain in prison to realize that You are with them and to not doubt the message of truth for which they are in chains. Lord, I pray these prayers also for my own church - help us to never deny the uniqueness of Jesus or the centrality of His word; to be disciples who seek You passionately and look beyond our walls to the needs of our community and world; raise up godly leaders in our church who glorify You; and help us in our efforts to remember those in chains for the Gospel. Thank You, Lord, that You reign and that we are just part of the overall picture of what You are doing in the world.  


Saturday, January 07, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 7 (Day 7)

Today our journey will connect us directly to God's beautiful creation - icecaps and deserts, rainforests and oceans. Please read the Global Trends "Environmental" section in Operation World pages 15-16, then return here.

From a purely Biblical standpoint, we know that God charged man to be steward over His creation. We are certainly to use it, but as caretakers. Recognizing the need to pray about the environmental issues mentioned is not a political stance, but a Christian one. For the reality is that each of the issues - water, natural resources, climate changes - impact people ... people that God loves. We need to pray for those people, and pray for solutions that are just and right. Let's do that now!

My prayer for today: Lord, thank You that You are the Living Water and bread of life. You are everything we need. Because You created us, and because You walked this earth in human flesh, You know our need for resources. You know the resource we need most is water - we cannot live without it. And yet so much of the world lacks access to clean, fresh water, while others waste water at an alarming rate. Lord, please be with organizations like Living Water International and others who seek to provide clean water. You tell us that You honor just a cup of cold water given in Jesus' name. Lord, please help more and more Christians be part of getting water to those who don't have good water. And Lord in these areas where there is conflict over distribution of water and other natural resources, I pray for just and right decisons. I pray that many decision-makers would remember how You spoke against Ammon and Moab when they wouldn't give food and water to Israel; how You condemned Sodom and Gomorrah for not strengthening the hands of the poor and needy. I pray that they will repent and allow You to guide them to right decisions. For those who have lost their livelihood due to climate change and the melting ice caps, I pray that You will provide new ways to provide for their families. Overall Lord, help us know how to care for this world that you've given us, so that we can meet basic needs for more people and glorify You in the process. in Jesus Name, amen.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 6 (Day 6)

Today we continue the aerial view of the world by praying through more "Global Trends". Today, please read the "Demographic" trends section on pages 14-15, then return for the rest of the post and our prayer time.

If you're like me, reading through this section opened your eyes to realities far beyond your own corner of the world. For example, I live in what is called "flyover country", so urbanization isn't something that I personally face. Yet when I stop and think about it, I realize that even here I've seen the impact of these trends: We live in the wealthiest part of our state, and yet our poverty rate here is also the highest in the state - demonstrating the demographic contrasts mentioned in OW. We have a large number of immigrants both in our college town and in nearby towns working in various industries. One of our local high schools has native speakers in nearly 100 languages. Thinking of the small-scale impact of these helps me when I stop to pray for the demographic shifts that have occurred on a global scale.

One of the things that has helped me learn to pray for "the world" is personalization - getting in my heart and mind a picture of a person who is impacted by the issue at hand. Sometimes this is based on a story I've heard from a missionary or on something I've read in a magazine; other times I just place myself in that situation and try to imagine what it must be like to have that reality. So today, I want to paint a portrait to help us better grasp the depth of the issues in this section. While this portrait is based on studies and stories of real-life people, it does not represent one specific individual. After the portrait, I'll include my prayer for this section of OW.
Portrait: Lai. Lai is a middle-aged women from southeast Asia. In her village, women outnumber men 5 to 1 because of immigration - many men have gone to a large country nearby to work and send money home. This has created challenges for Lai's church, as there are few male leaders. It has also created personal challenges; Lai has been assaulted while walking on a back route home but by God's grace was not raped. Other women have not been so lucky; most have quietly disappeared afterward because they were no longer considered marriageable or because their husbands accused them of adultery. Lai isn't sure if the rumors she's heard are true, but some people say that the women's family members sold them to someone from the capital city as housemaids, to get some financial relief and remove the shame of the rape from the family. Some people say that housemaids are really another word for prostitutes, but Lai is sure that no one would intentionally sell their child into prostitution. Like most women in her village, Lai is in effect a single parent. She is caring for her elderly parents who live with her as well. Although there are many wealthy people in her country, Lai is like most individuals who scrape by day by day and hope that mail strikes don't slow down receipt of the money her husband sends to keep them afloat. Lai is in the minority as a Christian but hopes to share the Gospel with more people in her village. However, there is no Bible in the native village language and many people cannot read the national language. Lai tries to translate the Bible stories but she wishes that someone could help them get a Bible in their own language before it becomes extinct since so few of the young people use it. But she can't do anything about it, because it takes every minute of her day to take care of her family. She lifts another prayer to God while she washes clothes at the river.
 My prayer for today: Lord, we take so much for granted. It's so easy to forget that much of the world lives in survival mode. These demographic shifts that are largely theoretical to me can make a life or death difference to someone else. So Lord, I lift them up to you -- the contrasts in demographics from one place to another and the associated differences in income; the reality of cities and their unique needs and opportunities; the many migrants both Christian and non-Christian; the languages of the world that don't have Your Word; and the women of the world who suffer disproportionately. Lord, we know that you have a heart for the poor, that you love justice, that You long to set free those who are enslaved. We ask You, God, please pour out truth and justice and light upon the trafficking situation and the suffering of women especially. When the crowds were hungry, you saw them and had compassion on them. Lord, have compassion today, on all those who are hungry and needy and abused. Show Christians how to redeem some of these trends for Your kingdom purposes. Help us be thoroughly obedient to whatever you show us to do.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - January 5 (Day 5)

Today we begin a three-day focus on "Global Trends to Watch". The compilers of Operation World have wisely given us an aerial view of some bigger trends that impact more than one country. If you imagine our journey in a more literal sense, for the first few days we have been getting acclimated and settled onto the plane. Today, we begin a "fly-over" before we start landing at specific places on our journey.

Today, please read the prayer requests on pages 12-14 under the "Social" section of "Global Trends to Watch", then return to this post for our daily prayer time.

As you saw in our reading, the trends of globlization, terrorism, international crime, human trafficking, health issues, and technology are not limited to one country. Even what we sometimes call "Third World" countries are impacted by these trends, often disproportionately and frequently without any input. These trends are reminders that culture never happens in a vacuum; we can look through history and see example after example of cultural borrowing and influence (one of the biggest is the global reach of Alexander the Great and hellenization). As with so many things, this can be both a positive and a negative. The same internet lines that are used to facilitate trafficking and the sale of minors for sexual slavery are also used to bring the Gospel to otherwise "closed" countries as people access safe websites to discuss who Jesus really is. Therefore, withdrawal and disengagement are not the answers. Instead, we have to be aware that when we chose to follow Jesus, we took sides in a spiritual war - and the enemy will try to use anything he can to stop the spread of the Gospel. As Revelation 12 teaches us, he is angry because he knows his time is short, and seeks to make war against those who hold to Jesus' words as truth. As we pray today, let's keep each of these social trends in that larger context.

My prayer for today: Thank You Lord that You are fully in control. You are the God of history and You are bringing it all to a completion that will be summed up in Jesus. Lord, we see some pretty big things as we look across the world today. We see places where the enemy has gripped with strongholds that are too big for us - but not too big for You. Terrorism, international crime, human trafficking, and health issues like AIDS and malaria and pollution and so on are things that cannot be solved by simple legislation. It takes more than one country or person Lord - and we know that apart from Your wisdom and intervention we will see these issues worsen. Lord, please raise up people who follow You and hear from You on these matters. Anoint them with leadership that others will heed, and bring us to a place of victory. For trafficking God, please raise up a modern William Wilberforce who will be a voice for those in this modern day slavery. For health issues raise up Chrsitians who devote their lives to finding cures for Your glory, seeing that disease is a result of the fall and not part of Your perfect plan, but that You do have solutions just as You have led other believers to find in years past for diseases that we no longer worry about today. Terrorism and international crime seem to be flames from the gates of hell themselves; please raise up leaders in law enforcement on a global scale who will be honest and fight the corruption and crime and terrorism bravely. Your Word tells us that governments don't have "the sword" for nothing; instead, their authority to punish is specifically given to combat evil. Please give them wisdom in combating these evils. And Lord, globalization and technology are things that can be used for good or evil. Please raise up Christians who will redeem them for your glory. May the godly purposes increase and may the ungodly ones decrease Lord. Today we hardly remember many of the books that were written on scrolls over the centuries when Your Word was being recorded - may that be true of the ungodly uses of today's technology as well. Thank You for connecting the world more closely. May we use those connections wisely. We come against the enemy who seeks to destroy what You have created and stop the spread of the Gospel, in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.