Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prayer for Bahrain: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 29 (Day 60)

We wrap up month two of our journey today! It's hard to believe we've been traveling for 60 days at this point. Let me encourage you not to grow weary in well-doing. Perservering in prayer is a Biblical exhortation, but it's not always easy! Remember our journey is a process; some days you will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in a strong way or have a lot of prayer points really jump out at you, while other days you may feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling. Don't despair - that is normal! Keep pressing on. If you get behind, keep on anyway. One reason these blogs are numbered as well as dated is so you can keep up whatever day of the year you start. And never hesitate to share how you are praying with the rest of us - we need to learn and grow together!

OK, please read about Bahrain on pages 130-132, then return here for prayer.

Did you catch the multiple references to "expatriate" Christians? Expatriates, or ex-pats as they affectionately call themselves, are non-natives who are living in the country for work, school, or even ministry. It's not uncommon for laws to apply differently to ex-pats and natives. For example, in many countries ex-pats have a lot of freedom to worship but natives cannot even consider Christianity as an option. Great wisdom is needed for ex-pats to minister to natives and for natives who follow Christ to know what to do for Christian community. The answer is much more complex than it is in the west, where the answer is to simply choose a church and start attending. For an inside look at the complex choices facing Muslim Background Believers and those who would minister to them, I highly recommend Brother Andrew's Secret Believers.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, we thank You for a country like Bahrain, trying hard to avoid the downfalls of radical Islam and terrorism. Thank You for the openness that exists here. We pray for the king to continue to provide leadership in a way that enables believers to live quiet, peaceful lives that result in the spread of the Gospel. We thank You for the fruit from the American Mission Hospital and pray that there will be continued wisdom for those who serve there. Thank You for the local belivers. We pray for their growth, unity, and cooperation to be a witness to other Arabs. We pray for the expatriates to have courage and wisdom to share the Gospel. We pray specifically for You to call teachers to serve in Bahrain who will be witnesses to you in their jobs. We pray for the labor force to be treated with dignity and respect by employers and to receive a fair wage. We pray the labor force will have opportunities to hear the Gospel. We pray for the truth and light of Christ to be proclaimed in the media outlets and that this will have a reach far beyond Bahrain's borders. Thank You for Bahrain's openness. Thank You for stirring Your Spirit to work within Bahrain. In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Prayer for the Bahamas: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 28 (Day 59)

(Housekeeping note: Operation World's prayer focus for today includes the Bahamas and Bahrain. However since this is a leap year we are going to split these into two days.)

Tucked away in the Caribbean, off the coast of Florida, lies a tiny island that many Americans never consider in any context other than tourist destination. However, as we'll read today, the Bahamas are much more than a place to take a nice day cruise. Please read pages 129-130 to learn about these 700 islands (40 with inhabitants), then return here for prayer.

My prayer for today: Lord, we thank You for the spiritual heritage of the Bahamas and for the political leaders who follow You. We thank You for the influence of the National Day of Prayer and the Bahamas Church Council. Lord, we pray for continued unity and influence from these key leaders in society. We pray for guidance for the leaders and ask that You protect them from temptations to compromise. Lord, we pray against the materialism that is becoming more common. We pray for true social righteousness and a government that will serve everyone, not just cater to the foreign residents and tourists. We pray for revival and a missionary vision among believers. We pray for leadership for the churches. We pray for wisdom in reaching the youth and the Haitian disapora who have such needs. Thank You Lord for what You are doing in the Bahamas. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Prayer for Azerbaijan: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey, Feb. 27 (Day 58)

Today our global prayer journey plants us in the middle of a country that is filled with political turmoil. Yet in the midst of these challenges, a growing church is emerging. From 40 believers in 1991 to a conservative 3000 (and possibly as high as 6000) today, the Azeri church is emerging with is own style of music, literature, poetry, and worship. Please read pages 126-129

For many of us, this will be a first introduction to Azerbaijan. Good travelers should always seek to immerse themselves in a new country to truly begin to understand it. Today's video provides a great historical and spiritual overview of Azerbaijan and gives us suggested ways to pray in addition to the points listed in Operation World.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Prayer for Austria - A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 26 (Day 57)

Today we conclude our prayers for Austria. Please review the requests on pages 123-126.

Sometimes I am afraid we who live on this side of the Enlightenment, with the emphasis it brought on the individual, forget the influence that heritage brings into our lives. God knew how influenced we would be by those around us, especially in our early years. That's why His instructions to Israel included these guidelines to parents in Deuteronomy 6:
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
We learn to determine what is normal and right by what is presented to us as normal and right. It's not that we can't learn new things later - Paul wrote of the importance of renewing our mind, and God's word is powerful enough to change our wrong patterns of thinking. But when there is a large scale level of compromise such as that seen in most of the Austrian churches in the wake of Hitler's invasion, the impact on society is significant. As we pray for the church in Austria today, let's pray for God to guide them in tearing down this stronghold and lifting up once more the banner of Christ's Lordship.

My prayer for today: Oh, Lord, You have been good to Austria. We thank You that Austria remained free politically and did not have to live under 50 years of communism. We thank You for the healing You have brought from the wounds of war in so many areas of Austria's life. But Lord, our hearts are grieved over the gaping spiritual wound that remains. We cry out to You, along with those evangelical churches that are bold and vibrant, for the spiritual health of Austria. Lord, we ask for these churches to have wisdom in lifting up the name of Jesus and fighting the spiritual battle that was set in motion many years ago. We come against the negative heritage of compromise and spiritual neutrality, the heritage that gave up truth for the sake of survival. We pray that You will once again restore truth to its rightful place in the Austrian church, and that You will be lifted up as Lord of all. We pray that You will establish Austria in such a strong spiritual place that never again will the church compromise on such a large scale. We pray for You to raise up leadership, laborers to the harvest that You will bring. We pray for the refugees and young people, and thank You for their openness to the Gospel message. Be glorified in Austria once again Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Prayer for Austria: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 25 (Day 56)

First I want to welcome all the newcomers to this prayer group! We've had several this week, and since I've been recovering from a bug I haven't had a chance to welcome you all - but welcome and feel free to comment at any point!

Today and tomorrow our travels take us to Austria. Land-locked at the point between eastern and western Europe, Austria played a key role in 20th century history. The assassination of its archduke provided the trigger point for World War I; it was Hitler's birthplace; and it was one of Germany's early, pre-World War II conquests. Austria has tried to maintain formal neutrality in the years since the war ended, and yet it has remained a key player in European  politics and in the migration of peoples from eastern to western Europe.

Sadly, the numerous compromises made by the church to placate the Nazis have had a tremendous negative spiritual heritage on today's Austrians. Evangelicals in Austria have learned that while maintaining political neutrality is challenging and almost impossible, efforts at spiritual neutrality yield far more dangerous consequences. Their boldness is resulting in growth among evangelicals, even as the rest of the Austrian churches are in serious decline. As we pray for Austria today and tomorrow, let's give special attention to tearing down the strongholds of compromise and spiritual neutrality that go back almost a century.

Please read pages 123-126 on Austria, then return here and pray with this Austrian believer who leads us in prayer today.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Detour in the Journey

It was bound to happen over the course of a year.

I went to post today's blog to Facebook and realized there wasn't one - I had inadvertently combined two countries earlier this week, throwing me a day off all down the line. :(

So today, we are scheduled in Operation World to continue praying for Australia. I urge you to do so.

I also urge you to join me in what I believe is God's purpose in allowing this detour: To focus a little extra prayer on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran and the persecuted church globally. A link to the latest on Pastor Youcef, along with Scriptures I compiled to pray for him last fall, can be found here.

Pastor Youcef is just the latest face of a worldwide reality: the persecution of Christians. That it's been around since the time of Christ, and will continue until His return, does not make it any less important today. I've written about this issue at length on this blog over the years, and I won't repeat all of that information today (if you are interested in reading more, check out the blog posts listed at the end of this post). Today, let's just lift him and his family and church up to the throne room - and while you are there, ask God to minister to all of the unnamed, unseen who are suffering persecution of various forms today.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prayer for Australia: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feburary 24 (Day 55)

Today we continue prayers for Australia. Please review pages 117-123 then return here for prayer. We'll cover points 6-9 and the highlighted islands.

My prayer for today: Lord, we are so thankful that You convicted Australia and prompted them to apologize for treatment of aborigines. Guide them in addressing the issues that remain. Thank You for the positive impact of missionaries and the Christian presence among the aborigines. We pray for their spiritual growth - impart an outpouring of Your Spirit to truly make disciples of them. Provide Your word in their languages - we thank You for the work in Kriol. We pray for oral recordings where there is lower literacy levels. We lift up the college students to You and ask for a great harvest. Lord, for the islands of Christmas, Cocos, and Norfolk -- we pray for protection from natural disasters. We pray You would work among the existing churches and give wisdom in reaching out to others on the island. We pray they will begin to truly feel part of the wider Australian church. Thank You Lord the Your kingdom is coming in Australia. Let Your will be done there, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prayer for Australia: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey, Feb. 22 (Day 53)

Australia may be at the "bottom of the world" but God has been doing some great things there. If you've ever been blessed by a song from Hillsong, then you've been touched to a small degree by the amazing, bold, worshipful Australian church. In many ways similar to the United States, Australia is facing the challenges of a pluralistic, post-Christian society head-on. Please read pages 117-123 and then return for our prayer which will cover the Answers and the Challenges through #5. (Note: the islands noted on pages 122-123 are listed as part of Greater Australia but are presented with their own specific needs.)

My prayer for today: Lord, thank You for the church in Australia - for their boldness and faith, their plans and their reliance on Your Spirit. Thank You for their missional approach and for the influence the church has had on the political leaders. Thank You for the biblical foundation of Australian law and ethics which led to a formal apology to the aboriginals. Lord, we lift Australia up to You today. We pray for believers to appropriately and lovingly engae their society in a way that kneads the truth of the Gospel into the national conversation. We pray for love and wisdom regarding the many immigrants - please help the churches to maintain an attitude of love even as immigration increases. Pray for wisdom regarding the environmental issues they face. Lord, we also pray for the church in Australian to lead the way in rejecting all sncretism and embracing truth alone. Help them lift Jesus up as solely sufficient. Give wisdom to those in holistic ministries to battle the legislation and hurdles they face. We pray for them to be a bold witness in the face of materialism. Oh Lord, we pray for more churches to grasp the missions vision and that they would minister to the less reached peoples who are coming to them. Thank You for Your work in Australia.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prayer for Armenia & Aruba: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 21 (Day 52)

Today we continue praying for Armenia and also pray for the island of Aruba. Please review Armenia on pages 113-115, then read about Aruba on pages 116-117.

My prayer for today: Lord, we thank You for Your work in the Armenian church. We pray for a fresh wind of Your Spirit to blow through the church and awaken them to their amazing heritage and the responsibility that goes with it. Bring unity and cooperation and true faith within the Armenian church. Provide a deep spirtiual regeneration and fellowship with smaller denominations. We pray for the success of the Armenian Church Loving Brotherhood and ask You to allow it to influence the nation for good. Raise up leaders in Armenia. Bring a deep and true forgiveness by Armenian Christians for the sins related to the Turkish genocide. Oh Lord, be glorified again in Armenia. For Aruba, Lord, we thank You for religious freedom and the growth of evangelicals. We pray for unity among believers and a great impact in immigration. We pray for the church to be a loving and prophetic voice in social issues in Aruba. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pray for Armenia: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 20 (Day 51)

If you've lived much of your life thinking that the first "Christian" leader was Constantine prepare to learn something new today. Please read pages 113-115, then return here for prayer.

Armenia was the first "Christian" nation - the first nation to adopt Christianity as the state religion. It was one of the earliest places where the Gospel spread - according to Armenian church history, Bartholomew and Thaddeus carried the Gospel to Armenia between 60-68 A.D. -- roughly the time frame Paul was writing his prison letters and Peter and Paul were executed under Nero. For the next 250 years Christians were a minority among the Zoroastrians of Armenia - until 301 A.D. when the king and royal family were baptized and Christianity adopted as a state religion.

Armenia's love for Scripture is evident in its history as well: "The first book written in the Armenian alphabet was the Holy Bible, translated in Armenian as The Breath of God....20% of the 14,000 manuscripts preserved ... are Gospels or Bibles." (For more information on the Armenian church see and

Armenia today needs our prayers. Like almost all countries with a "state religion", the spiritual life of Armenia needs revitalization. The state religion tries to shut out any new religious movements. The country was deeply impacted by genocide by Turkey a century ago and debates still rage over obtaining an official apology for the action. Much prayer is needed.

Today our prayer time contains a special blessing: An Armenian Christian leading us in prayer for her country. Please watch this video and allow God to grip your heart for Armenia as you join with this precious woman in prayer.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Prayer for Argentina: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 19 (Day 50)

Today we conclude our prayers for Argentina. Please review the requests on pages 111-112.

My prayer for today: Lord, I thank You for Your work in Argentina. I pray for the unity of the church and that You that You have started that process at the local and national levels. Enable church leaders to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches in Argentina today, and work in unity to see Your kingdom come, Your will done on earth as it is in heaven. I pray for You to raise up leaders who minister the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for provision for students who are hindered for various reasons. I pray for outreach to the Chaco region, especially for the Argentine church to be sensitive to the needs of the Amerindians and for the Scripture translation efforts. Equip the Messianic assemblies to reach the Jewish population. Continue to raise up those who would reach the poor, the wealthy, the students, and other immigrant and indigenous groups. Send laborers to the harvest, Lord. Mature the missions vision of Argentine churches - give them a vision for the unreached and allow the Argentine church to become a leader in sending missionaries. Lord, finish what You've started in Argentina, by Your grace and for Your glory. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Prayer for Argentina: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 18 (Day 49)

Today and tomorrow we pray for Argentina. Please read pages 109-112. Today we will pray through #3 on the Challenges for Prayer.

One of my favorite aspects of God awakening me to His global glory is being introduced, literally or virtually, to people I never would have known who teach me so much. As I prepared to write today's blog post on prayer for Argentina, God blessed me to learn about Pablo Sosa, an Argentine worship leader. Please take a few minutes to read this interview - it gives some great insights on worship as well as on Argentinians.

My prayer for today: Thank You Lord for using natural circumstances to draw Argentinians back to You. Thank You for their increased commitment to their faith and justice and democracy. Thank You that the renewal has affected the nation and the world for Your kingdom purposes. Thank You for the revival in the jails. I pray for the success of Cristo la Unica Esperanza and for the prisoners in other prisons to see themselves as missionaries. I pray that the spiritual hunger will lead people to truth instead of cults and occultism. Please give strong discernment for the leadership of churches to know when these false teachings are creeping in. Lord, I ask You for spiritual protection and health for those at the forefront of the spiritual warfare that is very real. I pray that You will unveil the lies of spiritism and reveal to believers if they have subtly absorbed its dangerous teachings. Lord, please bring Argentine believers ever more deeply into an understanding of truth. In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prayer for Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 17 (Day 48)

Today's prayer focus is short but heartfelt. May we be reminded on days like this, with three tiny islands that we don't hear that much about in the news, that God is always at work and that He is omnipresent. The profound needs of Angola from the previous two days don't make Him less likely to reach down and breathe His Holy Spirit across these islands. Let's pray for that to happen today. Please read pages 107-109, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda.

My prayer for today: Lord, we praise You that You are omnipresent and omniscient. You are everywhere and you see everything. Truly You are El Roi, the God who sees, and we ask You to turn Your gaze toward these tiny islands today. We pray for Anguilla, that their religious traditions would be infused with dynamic life by Your Holy Spirit. We pray for spiritual strength in the midst of change. We pray for true unity among Your followers on this island. Lord we lift up Antigua & Barbuda to You. We pray for revival that results in prayer and Spirit-led engagement in society. We pray against the strongholds of greed and violence and deceit. We pray for true justice, for righteous authorities who will confront these structures of sin; and for wisdom and discernment for the government in dealing with these issues. We pray for unity among the churches and for the success of the Christian radio stations. We pray they will be able to stay on the air and be a positive influence for their culture. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prayer for Angola: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 16 (Day 47)

Please review the prayer needs for Angola on pages 105-106 before we pray together.

My prayer for today: Lord, we continue to see how the enemy comes against a church that is growing and moving forward for You. We pray against the challenges to biblical faith that are coming from occult sources of witchcraft and animism as well as the challenge of Islam. We pray for leaders who will teach what it means to truly follow Jesus. We pray for creative methods of training leaders and against the legalism, compromise, and sin that results without solid leadership. Lord we pray for wisdom for outside missionaries - give them a willingness to shift to a support role. Raise up strong and loving partnerships between foreign and Angolan agencies. We pray for humility and discernment in this process. Lord, thank You for Angola and we pray You will finish the task there. In Jesus' name, amen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prayer for Angola: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 15 (Day 46)

"Why were you in Angola?"

This line from Broadcast News is presented as part of an interview with a returning soldier who, at the end of his tour, never could really articulate why he had endured two years away from home. It's a sad commentary on the history of Angola, which endured almost 40 years of war. Innocent civilians were the ones who paid the highest price. Even today, 1 in 350 Angolans is a victim of landmines and the length of destroyed/damaged roads would go around the planet almost two times.

Angola needs prayer. Praise God He has been at work; evangelical growth quadrupled in 20 years despite the wars. Missionaries labored faithfully and maintained a good testimony without abandoning the nation. Truly one day when the Lord asks them, "Why were you in Angola?" they won't stumble to explain. The Great Commandments - loving God and loving others - and the Great Commission - making disciples - have clearly been their motives.

We now spend 2 days in prayer for this wartorn country. Please read "Angola" on pages 103-106. Today we will pray through #3 on the challenges for prayer.

My prayer for today: Lord, thank You, thank You, thank You for the faithful witness of the missionaries during the wartorn years and the fruitful harvest that has occurred since 1990. We thank You fro the peace that has been slow in coming but seems to be lasting. Thank You for the church leading reconciliation movements and for the universities and increased infrastructure. We pray for complete physical and emotional healing for those who have suffered in the wars. We ask You Lord for success in landmind removal and infrastructure development. We pray for resources to build homes, hospitals, schools and churches - signs of stability that are much-needed. Lord, we pray for those still living as refugees, especially the children. We pray against false accusations and trafficking. We pray for wisdom for those working with the refugees and children. Lord, help the church set a tone of forgiveness and love in action, especially toward those who hurt them during the war and Christians who compromised out of pressure and fear. Give the church wisdom for a proper relationship with the government. Lead Christians to live christ-like, holy lives that commend the Gospel. Bring unity amog all the churches and denominations. Thank You for loving Angola and not giving up on her over those horrible years. In Jesus' name, amen.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prayer for American Samoa and Andorra: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 14 (Day 45)

Happy Valentine's Day! What better way to show God's love today than to pray for a tiny country in the South Pacific and a tiny nation in the mountains between France and Spain. What a beautiful reminder that EVERY nation belongs to Christ and that not even the tiniest island or most remote mountaintop is too small for an outpouring of His Spirit! Please read pages 101-103, American Samoa and Andorra, then return here for prayer.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, it is so reassuring to know You as Lord of all the earth. Your Word tells us that the islands belong to You; that the coastlands are yours; that every nation on earth owes its existence to You and that You gave them to Jesus as an inheritance. Lord, we lift up two of the tiny lands that are Yours today. We thank You for the impact evangelicals are having in American Samoa and as You to bless the work of their hands for Your glory. We pray for awakening and renewal in the churches and against the deception of the cults that are rapidly multiplying. Lord, please let the churches see the importance of Your Word and of drawing close to You. We pray that the indigenous people of American Samoa will find their destiny in commitment to You rather than in materialism. We repent for the materialistic example we have set and ask You to help Christians set a more godly example as we hold our resources loosely. Father for Andorra we also pray against materialism. Reveal that it is empty. We pray that You would break the bondages of those who use Andorra for their own greed. We pray for the Catholic Church in Andorra to experience a strong movement of Your Spirit to awaken the 90% who are Catholic. Lord we pray that You will expose and disarm the power of the occult and give truth a strong foothold. We pray for passion for the gospel and discernment to know truth from lies. Just as You revealed Your glory to Peter, James, and John on that mountaintop, we pray that the mountaintop of Andorra would see You in a new way. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Prayer for Algeria: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey -Feb. 13 (Day 44)

Today, we conclude our prayers for Algeria. Please glance over pages 99-100 again as we prepare to focus on prayer challenges #4-10.

There are a couple of big issues that begin to arise with today's prayer emphasis. Persecution will be a recurring theme for the rest of this year. If you are interested in pressing into prayer with more detail on persecution, here is a great resource that highlights each country with significant persection and gives guidelines for prayer.

Another issue we see highlighted in point 5d is the reality of financial need in much of the world. In Algeria this is highest among Muslim Background Believers, but we will consistently be faced with challenges for prayer that stir our hearts toward those in need. I would encourage you to equip yourself with a solid foundation to make wise choices in giving. When Helping Hurts provides a great overview of the difference between relief (meeting immediate, urgent needs) and sustainable development (helping people in a way that does not lead to dependence but instead equips them for self-sufficiency).

Let's pray now for these needs.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, we pray for the believers in Algeria who are being persecuted. We pray for continued boldness and evangelism. We pray that the church will respond with faith and perserverance and love. Pour out your Spirit upon the church to equip them for this challenge. We pray for those believers from Muslim backgrounds who are unable to work due to this persecution. Give the churches wisdom how to best address this need. We pray for the success of ministries that provide jobs and we pray that there will be wisdom among those who desire to give to assist these believers. Protect them from temptation and enable them to use their abundance of time wisely. Lord we pray for the unreached through Algeria. Give the church wisdom how to best reach them. We pray for the missionaries in Algeria to work with the church and to truly be supporting partners. We pray especially for ministry to emerge among Christian children. Help parents and churches disciple them well so the teaching they hear in school is countered with truth. We pray for those Algerians abroad to hear the Gospel and to become channels of truth. Oh Lord, please give all Algerians access to Your Word which gives life and faith and hope. In Jesus' name, amen.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prayer for Algeria: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 12 (Day 43)

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
(Psalm 126:5-6, NIV)

Today and tomorrow we pray for Algeria - a land that has been characterized by much tearful sowing that is now bearing a joyful harvest! Please read pages 97-100. Today we will focus on answered prayers and #1-3 of the prayer challenges.

It's such a joy to read that the Algerian church is very indigenous, reflecting faith in Christ in unique ways. Throughout our country-by-country journey you will frequently read similar comments, sometimes as praises and other times as prayer requests for this to become a reality. Why is this important? There are many reasons but here is just a quick summary:

Biblically, the Gospel message was separated from cultural restrictions. The Acts 15 church council was a key factor in the early church's interpretation of how spreading the Gospel should look. Essentially, the church determined that it was okay for Jewish and Gentile believers to have practices that looked different, as long as the Gospel remained at the core. Throughout Paul's missionary journeys we see him dealing differently with people whose backgrounds and cultures were distinct from each other, but the message remained the same. John's vision of the throne room ultimately showed us a worship service where distinctions of tribe, tongue, nation, and people group remained -- something of our uniqueness carries over into heaven. When we bring that uniqueness to worship, our culture becomes everything God intended it to be for His glory. While there are other strategic reasons to pray for indigenous expressions of the church, ultimately it's about seeing God receive worship in ways that we might not even consider!

As we pray for Algeria today, let's thank Him for what He's done and pray about the obvious spiritual warfare that  is arising because the enemy doesn't like the church storming the gates of hell. Praise God - we know who will prevail!

My prayer for today: Thank You, Lord, for Your work in Algeria. Thank You for hearing the prayers of many and for the tears that were shed by those who may have died thinking their work was in vain. Thank You that nothing done in Your name for Your kingdom is ever in vain. You alone know the perfect time to bring the harvest, and we thank You that we are seeing a huge harvest in Algeria today. That You for the Berber believers who are committed to reaching the unreached. May we learn from their faithfulness and passion for the Gospel. Thank You for the unity among Algerian Christians and for the way the Algerian church worships You. Lord, we pray for Algeria today, for peace amidst the many years of suffering they have faced. We ask You to raise up people to fight against the abuses to human rights and bring spiritual and psychological healing. We pray for conversions to Jesus among Islamist leaders in Algeria. Use the conflict within Islam to draw many to discover You. Lord, we pray for the reconcilation efforts between Berbers and Arabs. We pray that Berbers will truly embrace You as Lord not just to show they are against Arabic Islam, but out of love for You Lord Jesus. Deepen the faith of those who have surrendered to You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Praying for Albania: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 11 (Day 42)

The first time I ever heard of Albania was in a church service in the early 1990's. A young couple was being commissioned to go to a country that had previously had atheism as the official state religion. Only recently had the country lifted the ban on all religious practices, and this precious young couple was headed there to see what God would do with them. I still remember the baby she bounced on her hip. I don't remember their names and never heard what happened to them, but as I reflect back now I marvel at the goodness of God working through His people. He didn't waste any time putting Albania on people's hearts - and they didn't waste any time going.

The fruit of God's work in Albania is astounding. Please read "Albania" on pages 94-97, then return here for prayer.

I hope you noticed the significant role of prayer in the overturning of state atheism: "Many credit concentrated prayer and intercession as major factors in seeing Albania opened for ministry." The work you are doing daily during our prayer times together is of uttermost importance for the kingdom! Albania also highlights a few other trends you'll begin to notice regularly throughout the remainder of this year's prayer journey:
* Previously-existing confessions are resistant to new religious movements. (This is often an Orthodox and/or Catholic conflict against evangelicals in many countries.)
* Growing pains follow explosive evangelistic growth. The church needs serious post-revival prayer to settle into a discipleship pattern. Leadership training is a vital need.
* Holistic mission sets Christians apart. It's encouraging that in Albania, "Holistic mission is possibly the defining ministry of the young Albanian church."
* Where a missional church exists "outside" (non-native) missionaries are most needed in a support role, serving the national church in various ways.

As always, please feel free to post how you are feeling led to pray!

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, we thank You for opening Albania to the Gospel. Thank You for the faithful ones who went so quickly when that kairos moment was available. We thank You for the fruit we see today - the fruit of prayer, of faithfulness, or holistic ministry, of Biblical faith. We ask You Lord for guidance as this young evangelical movement navigates the challenging waters of the existing Orthodox and Catholic churches and the Muslim community. We pray for strong adherance to Your Word and wisdom in raising up leadership and establishing focused evangelism and intentional discipleship. Guide especially as they minister to Albanian Muslims - help these precious souls see You in the lives of the Christians in Albania. Protect the country from the ethnic conflicts of other Balkan states. Thank You for the missionaries from Albania - we ask that You keep the churches missional as they fight battles on the local front. We pray for those Albanians living abroad - help them come in contact with Christians and learn to see themselves as missionaries. We pray against the pervasive trafficking and ask You to raise up people who can lead in breaking the structures that allow trafficking to flourish. Oh Lord we pray for Your glory to fall on Albania. Thank You for Your work in this land. In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Praying for Afghanistan: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 10 (Day 41)

Today, I am so pleased to have a guest blogger, a dear friend of mine who can tell you much more about Afghanistan that I or a book ever could - after all, she lived there for 10 years and continues to have deep relationships with people there. Please read and hear her heart for this country - I think you'll catch a glimpse of God's heart as well, for the Afghans and for His servants. My prayer follows her words.
Years, and a blur of events that make my stomach turn, have passed since being forced to return back to America after almost a decade in Afghanistan, because of treatment for a newly diagnosed cancer.   4 years later, I am in remission and could not be more grateful for this second chance at life I've been given.  Although this last statement resonates to the very depth's of my being, it does not take away a pervasive feeling of a sort of loss.  As hard as I try, I can't seem to fit in here.  My experiences over the last 15 years, in addition to joining the millions of cancer patients, has left me feeling as if I am now wandering in the desert in a land once known, now foreign.  This place, America, doesn't feel like my home anymore. 

Life here in America is not what it once was almost 15 years ago when I first went overseas.  I have found myself in a the land of 'Between'.   Between what was(Afghanistan) and what one day will be (Heaven).  Through days, weeks and years, I have come to accept that one of the reasons why I am back in America.  In His GOODNESS, I have been brought to a place of rest and new life;  water is available, power is on 24 hours a day and my health is no longer being taxed by a slew of chemicals being thrown into the grounds eventually landing in my well.  Here, I am more desperate for God because this place is not what it once was; the familiar.  Here, in the land between, is where I am forced to reach out to God again.  My time in Afghanistan was filled with miracle upon miracle day after day, year upon year.  After many seasons there, I had become a bit complacent, perhaps.  Why He chose to protect me from kidnappings, executions, bombings and then cancer to later re-learn to reach out in desperation is beyond my understanding but it does say that God is determined for me to reflect Him in every way.  A life of redundancy, even Holy, doesn't necessarily reflect Him.  
He is also teaching me through a miracle I never thought I would see;  my identical twin's new baby twin daughters (a mouthful of more miracle's).  Somehow through seeing them interact with their world anew has reminded me that God is ever teaching my weathered soul that life with Him is always changing, never stagnant.  He is good and perfect in all His ways even when some of those ways often remain a mystery.  I am seeing anew that it doesn't matter where I serve Him, but that I am being radically obedient and listening intentionally to Jesus wherever that is.  

How can you pray for God's ways in Afghanistan;  pray for those that live and work there.  Pray for their souls to be easily moved by His Spirit minute by minute.  If these things are taking place then the obvious next thing will happen;  radiant spirits, against a drop back of darkness, to be the catalysts for change in Afghans lives that no one could ever predict.  And pray that the seeds that have already been planted in fertile hearts will grow.

In the midst of an ever-changing world, these words from a dear friend in Afghanistan have stayed with me:
O God...
Fortify me
For the unexpected
And the unexplained.
Amid the things that change
Keep clear and dear
To me
The things that remain.
Give me faith
To face the future
In the knowledge
That nothing can separate me
From Your love.
-John M. Dreshcer

May the things that always remain be kept clear and dear to our hearts wherever we find our home.
My prayer for today: Oh Lord, my heart is burdened so for Afghanistan - and also so eager because I know how much You have been at work there. I think of the stories of Afghan believers I've heard - of their faithfulness and their love and their practical demonstrations of Your love for others. Oh Lord, guide them. Keep them close to You, and give them incredible wisdom as they move forward in faith against the gates of hell that must seem oh so close to home. We pray Lord that You will raise up churches - in homes or in buildings - anyplace where believers can gather and fellowship with others Lord. So many are isolated. Equip them to fight the good fight together. Provide Scripture in all the main languages of Afghanistan and provide other Christian resources to help equip the leaders. Lord we recall that Paul himself asked for deliverance from evil and perverse men. Please deliver the Afghan believers, so that they can more effectively and consistently reach their country for You. Oh Lord, be a strong tower throughout Afghanistan. Be the stronghold and help to the believers there. Be magnified in the Afghan church.Help them know that nothing can separate them from Your love. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Praying for Afghanistan: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 9 (Day 40)

Today marks a significant transition in our journey. Over the past 5 1/2 weeks we have gotten a "fly-over" view of the world and a quick "boat-level" view of the continents. Hopefully the previous 39 days were helpful to you in establishing the habit of daily prayer for the nations, beneficial in familiarizing you with the approach of Operation World, and educational in helping you learn some missions "lingo".

Beginning today, we're taking an in-depth look at each country (defined as political entities) in the world. What should you expect? I can guarantee that as you participate fully in this prayer journey, you will be encouraged and challenged, excited and overwhelmed - often in the same day. You will rejoice and you will weep. You will ask "Why?" and you will say "Wow!". If you listen with your heart, you will definitely hear the wind of the Spirit blowing across the world. And maybe, just maybe, you will hear God's call in some specific way to pray regularly, give sacrificially, or go radically to one of these countries - and you will respond as Isaiah: "Here I am, send me."

Our prayer time together may look a little different from this point forward. We will have to cover a lot more ground on a given day by the very nature of the way Operation World is structured (covering all topics in a day or two instead of having several days for them). As a result, my prayers may reflect certain emphases God has put on my own heart. As I noted in the introductory blog post for this journey, the prayers I write here will be the prayers I've prayed. This is where our group approach can be truly beneficial. I strongly urge you to post your own prayers or at least a sentence or two stating what God impressed on your heart. We have much to learn from each other!

Along those lines -- sometimes our prayer journey will have a special "guest" - a prayer video from PrayerCast or, on occasion, someone with firsthand knowledge of the country we are praying for. [Side note: If you live in or have served in a specific country, please let me know in a private message or email. I would be very interested in considering you for a future guest post.]  As with my prayers, these videos/guest posts are not to take the place of our own personal prayer times for the country of the day. Instead, they are to supplement the material in Operation World, to help it come "alive" to us.

Please read "Afghanistan" on pages 89-93, then return here to watch the PrayerCast video for Afghanistan. This will serve as our prayer together for this first day of prayer for Afghanistan.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 8 (Day 39)

Today we finalize our prayers for the Pacific Islands, then get ready to shake off the sea legs so we can start our country-by-country in-depth hike tomorrow! I hope God has given you a glimpse of His heart for these islands. Please read pages 86-87, then return for prayer time.

Are you familiar with the John Frum cargo cults? Some of the islands, following World War II, fell into worship of someone they called "John Frum" -- as in "John from America" -- who would come to the island and bring material prosperity. An amazing story is told in the book The Man with the Bird on his Head about how God used a man from America, named John, on one remote island to bring the Gospel, which the people ultimately found much better than the material prosperity they had expected. Understanding this unique religious history of some of these islands sheds new light on the need to pray for the church and its need for discipleship. Even though the Gospel has been in many of these islands for years, there are still hundreds of languages without the Bible and many without even a translator working! Let's pray for the church in the Pacific now.

My prayer for today:  Oh God, You are Lord over the church in the Pacific. Thank You for all the creative ways You got the message of truth to them -- even with a simple man named John from America! Thank You that You revealed Yourself as better than material prosperity. Lord, we pray today for the church in the Pacific. We pray for Scripture in their language! Call translators to go and translate the Bible for them. Only as they have full Scripture will they be able to be fully discipled. Lord, help those ministering among them to have access at least to oral Scripture or near-language translations, anything to help them better understand and communicate the message of truth to believers. Let Your Holy Spirit work strongly in them to guard and protect them from deception such as the rapid growth of Mormonism. Lord, we pray for their other needs - the adjustment to demographic shifts and wisdom in the face of secularism and multiculturalism; the ethnic and age shifts; the decline of some forms of Christianity. Lord, at the end of the day let it be You who reign supreme even if the forms change. Raise up leaders who can make disciples. We ask for the church to lead the way in true justice and that the church would be unified in its mission for You. Lord, finish the task. Send laborers to the remaining people groups and those who need to be re-evangelized. Minister to the immigrants. Meet every need in the Pacific today. Thank You for the heart You've given us. Guide us to fully obey how You want us to give, pray, or go to the Pacific. In Jesus' name, amen.

- - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key areas of the Pacific.
- - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- - Prayer emphasis for Papua New Guinea.

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 7 (Day 38)

Today we focus on "Hot Spots" and "Trends to Watch" regarding the Pacific islands. As with other regions, we look at trends that affect the entire region and thus need solutions that extend beyond one country. Please read these sections on pages 85-86.

My prayer for today: Lord, we thank You that You are Lord of the islands. Nothing is beyond You and no problem is too great or small for Your touch. We pray for the unrest and violence that have popped up throughout some locations and lift a specific prayer for Fiji. Please intervene as their Prince of Peace. We pray for protection for other islands with similar conflicts and limited resources - we pray that You will bring reconciliation before the problems reach a boiling point. Lord, we ask You for the younger generations in the Island nations. We pray that You would call men and women with a gift of administration back to the islands to bring business and economic recovery. Anoint them with the ability to grow their nations and provide jobs for the young, to stop the bleeding of the exodus away from the lands. Lord for those who are already living away, we pray for them to stay close to You and close to their family members. We pray that families who immigrate would be able to do so together, without the stress and temptation from a divided family unit. Lord, we pray for the isolated communities that are struggling. We know that change happens, Lord, but we pray that change will be kingdom-oriented, positive, and helpful. We pray for the health of the people and that they will have wisdom in navigating the waters of the changing times. We pray for total reconciliation and forgiveness with regard to the arrival of Europeans. Let Christians lead the way in that repentance process. Bring complete and total peace as only You can, between the "west"and also among the tribes themselves. Pour out Your love and grace upon the Islands, Lord, in Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, February 06, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 6 (Day 37)

Today we begin a beautiful journey through one of God's most creative parts of the world. The Pacific is home to thousands of tiny islands and distinct people groups. Yet they are not forgotten by their Maker!

Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. (Isa. 42:10, NIV)

Some of these islands have been singing His praise for generations. Others have yet to hear. As we wrap up our continent-by-continent tour, we will spend three days getting to know this part of the world. Let's ask God to give us His heart for these islands so that they will remain in our hearts beyond this three-day introduction!

Please read pages 82-85 (map, country list, blue boxed statistical material, and Answers to Prayer).

25,000 islands - and not one forgotten by God. From vast Australia to tiny Christmas Island, they all belong to Him. Let's thank God today for His work to this point and for the heart He is going to give us over the next few days. Finally, I've included a video below to help us picture our Island brothers and sisters in worship. The translation is no available for all of the video, but the joy on their faces is evident!

My prayer for today: Thank You, Lord, for the Gospel message in the Pacific and for the receptiveness of the people. So many died to bring the Gospel here but ultimately, people turned to you in large numbers. Thank You that the South Pacific Prayer Assembly and Deep Sea Canoe Movement remember this heritage and are calling people to a renewed vision of missions and prayer. Thank You for the missionaries from New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and other areas. We thank You Lord for the relative stability of thes islands, and we pray for the transitions that are taking place from the "old ways" to the "new ways". In the midst of this, let them see You as THE way. Lord, we ask that You quicken our hearts for the Pacific over the next few days. Help us see our part in Your plan to finish the task here as elsewhere. In Jesus' name, amen.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Guide -Feb 5 (Day 36)

We've certainly seen this week that there is much mission work left to be done in Europe. Today we find out a few more specifics. Please read "The Unfinished Task in Europe" on page 81, then return here for prayer.

Re-evangelization. It's a term you may never have heard before, and it's a sad commentary of Hope abandoned. A study of Scripture and church history shows this truth to be clearly evident: a church that is not biblical and missional will ultimately die even if it takes a few generations. God didn't intend the church to be self-absorbed; instead, we are to be outward-looking, always seeking to advance against the kingdom of darkness. Matthew 16:18 is often interpreted as referring to a passive church, as if the church is being protected from attacks by the gates of hell. The orginal language, however, places the action on the side of the church - meaning that the gates of hell will not stand against a church that is moving forward against the gates of hell. The Aramaic Bible in Plain English captures the tense the best of any I've seen: “Also I say to you, that you are Kaypha, and upon this stone I shall build my church, and the gates of Sheol will not withstand it.” As the church closes in on the gates of hell, spiritual warfare becomes real as the flames last out - but we have God's promise of ultimate victory!

Today, as we wrap up our time "in" Europe, 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 Europe. A few resources to get you started follow my prayer for today.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, thank You that You are not finished with Europe. We've seen Your hand in so many ways through the requests this week. Today we pray, Lord, that You will raise up laborers to the harvest to finish the task. Equip them with wisdom and discernment. Teach the church in Europe how to move forward against the gates of hell and encourage them that victory is assured. Lord, we claim the unreached areas of Europe for Your glory. Restore the heartlands of Protestantism to You. Raise up many new groups of believers in the churches with so few evangelicals. Oh Lord, we ask You for the younger generation. Bring them to You and meet their deep heartcries with a deep relationship with You through Jesus. Oh Lord, let the unreached hear the Gospel message. We pray for special wisdom and sensitivity in reaching the Muslims and the Jewish remnant. Lord, guide the mission networks to have wisdom in reaching Europe for You. We love You and we thank You for the heart You've given us for Europe this past week. Please guide us to be fully obedient as we walk out what Your heart for Europe should look like in our own lives. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

- - Prayer calendars for the unreached in a few key areas of Europe.
- - Amazing research tool for digging deeper
- - Focuses on the annual event, but also includes urgent alerts and prayer points for countries on an ongoing basis
- - IMB Prayer Guide for Europe
- - site devoted to prayer for European renewal

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

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - February 4 (Day 35)

Today we are privileged to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Lord, part of fulfilling Jesus' prayer in John 17 that we would all be one. Please read pages 79-80, then return here to pray for "The Church in Europe."

Point 4 contains a key sentence: "Biblical illiteracy is shockingly common considering the high levels of education and historic influence of Scripture in European society." Oh, how crucial it is that we are people of the Word! Worship is central, and prayer is vital, but both must have a solid Biblical foundation. Let me encourage you today to maintain consistent times in the Word along with our daily prayer focus. Let Scripture fuel your prayers. The Biblical illiteracy of Europe explains a lot of the problems we've addressed this week.

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, thank You for maintaining a faithful remnant in Europe. We start by praying for them, Lord, to be bold and courageous and to "go in and take the land." We ask, Lord, that You would guide them in appropriate levels of engagement to hold the banner high for Biblical truths.We pray for the growing emerging church to have the right balance of wisdom, passion, and biblical understanding - that they would be strong in the word as well as in love. Oh Lord, we pray for the Catholic church to undergo a deep renewal as a result of its current battles. Draw them back to Your Word as well. Lord, raise up leaders at all levels - leaders who know the Word and who know You well, but who also are willing to battle the inevitable spiritual warfare. Guide those serving immigrant congregations and those immigrants who have come to minister to Europe. Let them be a blessing to Europe as many were blessed by Europeans who came to bring the Gospel to their countries. Let Your glory fall afresh on Europe, Lord. Even now raise up many who, like Isaiah, will see You high and lifted up and be convicted of their own sins and those of their people, then will hear the call to go to tell their people of Your good news and say "here am I, send me." Thank You, Lord, that You are at work in Europe.

Friday, February 03, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 3 (Day 34)

Today we hit our knees to the ground to pray for some big needs across Europe. Please read pages 76-79, "Hot Spots of Europe" and "Trends to Watch", then return here for prayer.

Did your heart ache, like mine, to read the summary description of Europe: "Europe can be regarded not only as postmodern, but also post-rational and certainly post-Christian....the regions of the world where relativism, individualism, and existentialism reign supreme are also spiritually the bleakest." As I read through these hot spots and trends I couldn't help but think of the book of Judges, where "everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Oh, how glad I am that "where evil abounded, grace much more abounded". May He give a greater grace to Europe than it's ever known.

My prayer for today: Lord, Europe is standing in the need of prayer today. Far be it from us that we should sin against You by refusing to pray for Europe. We ask You, Lord, to turn the heart of Europe back to its roots in truth. We pray Lord that You would start by reversing the rejection of Your Word of truth. Give them a solid foundation of Your word. We ask You to embolden the Christians that are there to stand firm, and we pray that their certainty will be attractive to a generation raised on empty relativism. We ask You Lord to raise up prophets within Europe who can help them connect the dots to their past heritage and their present freedom, and call them to repentance and return to You. Help believers continue to be bold in outreach and wise in dealing with their cultures. We pray for political stability Lord, especially in the areas of Russia, the Caucasus, and the ethnic enclaves within Spain, Northern Ireland, Modolva, France, and other nations. Oh Lord, one of the saddest deeds of the flesh now going on in Europe is the prevalence of human trafficking. We ask You to fight this evil and set the captives free. Raise awareness of this horrific evil and show the church how it can play a key role in the modern day abolitionist movement. Lord, increase the love of Christians for Muslims and draw believers to the side of those who are seeking truth. We pray for Your work in Europe to continue and Your word to go forth with power. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen. 

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 2 (Day 33)

There is SO much to be thankful for regarding Europe! God has poured out His Spirit on that continent in many ways over the years and is not finished yet. Please read "Answers to prayer" pages 75-76.

These praises should encourage us as pray-ers. Many missionaries, pastors, and others with firsthand knowledge have directly attributed the fall of Communism and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall to the faithful, fervent prayers of the church behind the Iron Curtain. While there certainly were political elements, we know Who puts rulers in place and guides their steps! Ultimately, the overwhelmingly peaceful transitions in most country testify to divine intervention in the process. As we praise God today, let's remember that He's not done yet - greater things are still to come!

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, what a blessing it is to see a Europe free of communism, free of walls with guards. How encouraging to see answered prayers result in stable, free democracies. Thank You for the increased religious freedom and opportunity for Christians to publicly practice their faith. We pray they will do so, Lord! Thank You for the growth of evangelicals and charismatic movements, and their impact on traditional denominations. The prayer movements, holistic ministries, unity, and immigrant communities have all enriched the faith of Europeans dramatically Lord, and we thank You for them! Thank You for opening doors due to disillusionment, uncertainty, and even religions and atheism that is hostile to You - Lord these are reminders that You truly do redeem everything for Your kingdom purposes. Thanks for opening doors around Europe and through media - the globalization of our world is certainly an opportunity for Your kingdom purposes, and we pray for Christians to increasingly see it as such. Lord, we know You are not done. You have greater things yet to come for Europe. We ask You Lord to do what only You can do in Europe. In Jesus' name, amen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb 1 (Day 32)

Europe. For centuries, this continent was equated with Christianity. In fact, for nearly 1000 years it was considered the "last bastion of Christendom". Church-state unions abounded throughout Europe, and many countries continue to have official churches. With the Reformation came a resurgence of missionary zeal which has impacted the world over the past 250 years. Sadly, during that same time the church in Europe has declined dramatically, leading some to call it "the new dark continent".

For the next five days, our focus will be on Europe. For today, please read pages 72-75 (map, country list and blue box) to gain an overview of this continent. Then return here for prayer time.

My heart is full today with an assurance that while Europe has largely forgotten God, God has most definitely not forgotten Europe! He has been at work breaking down walls both spiritual and literal, opening doors and revealing to the world a church that faithfully endured 50 years of communism. As we pray today, let's ask God to give us His heart for Europe. Then watch the video below and ask God to awaken the dry bones of Europe's Christian heritage. (This song was written by Robin Mark of Ireland - you can read his description of how God gave him this song here.)

My prayer for today: Lord, You have done so much in and through Europe. You have empowered and equipped people for scientific discoveries, technological advances, missionary fervor - in so many ways Europe's history represents the awesome things that can happen when people walk out their faith in spiritual and practical ways. Today, though, Europe is hungry Lord, and many don't even realize it. Europe has allowed secular thinking and false belief systems to replace the deep truths of Biblical Christianity that nourished it for centuries. Lord, we lift Europe up to You today and ask You to move within the hearts of Your people there. Reawaken them to worship You in spirit and truth. Fill them again with a new vision of reaching their circles of influence for Your kingdom. Raise up the dry bones and give them new life in Your Spirit! Lord, we ask You to place upon the hearts of many people a burden to pray, give, and go to Europe. For us over the next 5 days, Lord, we ask You to give us Your heart for Europe as we pray. In Jesus' name, amen.