By Justin Long
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Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…
1. We pray for those Kingdom workers and efforts laboring on behalf of Iran. We praise God for the rapid growth of the church in Iran–many Iranians have become disillusioned and abandoned Islam, and while most of those have secularized, a significant percentage have become followers of Jesus. At the same time, the current tensions between Iran, its neighbors, Israel (in the context of Gaza), and the United States are undoubtedly complicating work on the ground. Pray for wisdom and boldness for workers and for the Iranian church.
2. We continue to pray for peace in Sudan, and for the believers working there. A quarter of the country is on the run. I think it likely the RSF will consolidate majority control over the nation, but all evidence indicates they are more interested in self-enrichment and ethnic cleansing than in establishing a functional state. The people of Sudan, particularly the non-Arab minorities, have been deeply wounded, and the scars of this civil war will last a very long time. Pray for the believers laboring to work in the region, for those working with the refugees in Chad, South Sudan, and Egypt, and for the many Sudanese abroad who fear for their families back home.
3. We pray for the church in Japan. The aging of the nation in general (low birth rate, longer life span) has led to a situation where many leaders in the church are elderly, but there are few to no ‘next generation’ of believers to take their place. Pray for a new generation of believers to rise up, be mentored and equipped by the current leaders, and be able to shoulder the work.
4. We pray for the current ‘opening’ trend in Saudi Arabia both to continue and to be well used. Saudi Arabia is welcoming in large numbers of spiritually hungry pilgrims, and at the same time investing significant amounts to encourage general tourism. Pray for believers to make wise use of the opportunities.
5. We pray for the millions who recently attended the Bishwa Ijtema, a massive Islamic congregation held in Bangladesh. We are thankful for the Kingdom efforts that occurred in the context of this space, seeking out the spiritually hungry. We pray that many who encountered Jesus will pursue him to discover the True Way. We pray for the continued perseverance of bold witnesses who labor in the context of such events.
6. We pray again for believers in India. In the wake of the dedication of the Ayodha temple, other mosque-temple conflicts are beginning to sprout. Both traditional churches and rapidly multiplying movements are experiencing increasing levels of persecution, including martyrdoms. As movements dedicate themselves to finding and filling every witness-lacking gap, encounters with persecution will undoubtedly increase. We pray for the explosive growth of followers of Jesus in India to continue, and also for these believers to stand firm in their faith and witness.
7. We pray for the believers laboring in the context of the Gaza war. The mixture of politics, religion, and violence makes it very difficult for people around the world to think about the war, the peoples involved, and how Jesus would act in this context. Pray for believers who are trying to be a blessing in this very difficult environment to have charity, wisdom, boldness and endurance. Pray for people to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” over this region.
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Where do these prayer requests come from? This is a weekly guide to beseeching (δέομαι/deomai, Matthew 9) the Lord of the Harvest for the unreached peoples and places of the world. It is based on the events listed in my Weekly Roundup, as well as on information received from disciple-making movements and other sources around the world. If you’re interested in my Weekly Roundup (out each Friday), you can see a sample and sign up for it here.