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.

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