By Justin Long
Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…
1. We pray for the Israel-Gaza conflict. On Friday, Israel ordered over a million people to evacuate from the northern part of Gaza in preparation for a forthcoming campaign against Hamas. This evacuation will be difficult, to say the least. The ground invasion will be painful. We are praying God’s heart over this situation, especially Romans 8:28 (“in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”), Matthew 24 (in the context of wars, the Gospel will be proclaimed), and 2 Peter 3:9 (“The Lord… is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”). I am praying especially for Kingdom workers in the region—for their safety, but also for their boldness and their ability to be a blessing in this moment. So many people will be afraid and desperate at this time.
2. We continue to pray for Sudan. It has largely “fallen off the radar” of many mainstream news sources. This week, we especially pray for the 19 million children who will be out of school over the next several months due to the war. Many of these will be “exposed to immediate and long-term dangers, including displacement, recruitment into armed groups and sexual violence.” I am reminded of Matthew 18:5-6, “Whoever welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin…” We pray for the protection of these children and for Kingdom workers who are in positions to welcome and help families and children in this time.
3. We pray for believers and movement workers in Syria and Iraq. Turkey has intensified its strikes on the PKK and other groups in the area, and many are suffering. Thousands have been displaced. Pray for opportunities to be a blessing in the midst of this little-seen crisis.
4. Pray for the Afghanis who have been affected by, as of this morning, four earthquakes each in excess of 6.0. Thousands are dead, thousands more injured, whole families have been lost, and many homes have been destroyed. Again, pray for believers to be a blessing in this time. As many nations have their eyes on the conflicts elsewhere, little international aid to Afghanistan is being offered.
6. We continue to pray for the Uyghurs. This oppressed minority in China has endured much. China’s efforts have been focused on eradicating Uyghur culture. We pray for an end to this suppression, and for leaders in China to treat all peoples with justice. We pray also for a growing Uyghur church that honors culture and family while faithfully serving the Lord.
6. Praise God for the many church planters who are continuing to work in Europe. Over 100 leaders from 22 countries recently gathered. One fascinating comment: “A brother from Lebanon said, … amongst all the secularism … are many opportunities and projects for … preaching the Gospel.” Many stories have illustrated how much of the church planting advance in Europe is being done by non-Europeans. Praise God for these brothers and sisters, and pray for the continued expansion of the Kingdom.
7. We pray for peace between China and Taiwan. Several articles this week document the significance of China’s military budget and its ongoing ‘grey zone’ military activities against Taiwan. We pray for Kingdom workers within Taiwan and for the expansion of the Kingdom there at this time. Remember what Jeremiah said: “Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7, or as KJV put it: “in the peace thereof shall ye have peace”).
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. Written by Justin Long, it’s based on the events listed in his Weekly Roundup, as well as on information received from disciple-making movements and other sources around the world. If you’re interested in his Weekly Roundup (out each Friday), you can see a sample and sign up for it here.