Friday, September 14, 2012
Praying for The Netherlands: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - September 14
Today we pray for The Netherlands, also known as Holland, and their people known as the Dutch. Confused yet? That's ok, one of the wonderful benefits of becoming a world Christian is learning about differences in formal, legal names and preferred names of countries and people groups. :) Please learn more by reading pages 624-629.
Today's prayer time features insights from a Dutch native living outside her home country. Please read her insights, and join her heart in praying for her country.
The Netherlands are a small country sharing their borders with Belgium, Germany and, the North Sea. As one of the founding states of the European Union, we have not known another war since World War II. Today, a little over 16.5 million people are living within The Netherlands.
Ages of trade with foreign nations has made knowledge of foreign languages an important asset and resulted in Dutch people being very open towards other cultures. However, this seems to change. Feelings of resentment against foreigners are on the rise combined with a lack of trust in the government. People seem confused and did not know what to vote for in the recent parliamentary elections (September 12). Pray that these elections will result in a stable government with capable and courageous people.
Pray for the church in The Netherlands. In the past, heavy religion wars have been fought between Protestants and Catholics. Nowadays the traditional church seems to lose its relevance within society. However at the same time, migrant churches are fast growing. Pray for the traditional churches and migrant churches to interact; there’s so much we can learn from each other. Also, pray for the initiatives that are currently ongoing between divisions of churches to re-unite again. The Christian landscape/ body of Christ is marked by separatism due to several split-ups in the past . Pray that old wounds will be healed.
Last but not least, many people from countries in war find a refugee within The Netherlands. Last year only, more than 11 thousand people asked for asylum within The Netherlands. Afghans, Somalis and, Iraqis are the main nationalities that arrive here. Awaiting a decision on an asylum application is stressful, therefore, pray for the asylum seekers. Also, pray for the many civil organizations, volunteers and churches that do work to support these people. Pray also for the many foreign students that reside in our country for educational purposes. Pray for the student work that is done to reach them.