By Justin Long
Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…
1. We pray for the many Kingdom workers who are in the midst of conferences, or at the end of conferences, or who have just returned from conferences. October and November have been a conference season for myself and hundreds of others. Pray especially for the Spirit to guide people as they reflect on and process through the many conversations, ideas, promptings, and challenges they’ve heard in the past month or so. Pray they (we) would listen to the Spirit and truly hear his guidance on what we should be doing next. Let us also pray for the unity of believers: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” (John 17:21)
2. We pray for an end to the war between Israel and Hamas and for the safe release of the remaining (~240) hostages. A recent report claims the two sides are “close to a deal” on the hostages, and that “the battle of northern Gaza is almost over.” We pray for the Spirit to comfort the families of the hostages, for the Kingdom workers who are laboring in the region, and for many to miraculously discover Jesus in the midst of or as a result of this crisis.
3. We remember and continue to pray for peace in Sudan. “The world is ignoring war, genocide and famine” there, the Economist writes. There are numerous reports of of brutality, mass murder, and horrific abuse, especially in Darfur. The RSF seems to be taking control of an enormous part of Sudan. Ministries in Sudan report significant obstacles to continuing work in the region; many have had to pull workers out and instead try to provide aid to the refugees in surrounding nations: over 10 million have been displaced from their homes. We pray for the Kingdom workers, and for the believers still in Sudan. We pray for a just end to the war and an end to the atrocities.
4. We pray for Chinese students studying in the United States. A new analysis shows very few US students (~200) are studying in China (vs. 11,000 in 2018), but “China continues to dominate the country-of-origin rankings at US colleges and universities.” In 2023, the State Department issued about 91,000 visas for Chinese students (and this number was down slightly from 2022). Pray for ministries providing a ministry of hospitality to these students. Recently, I was reminded by one such ministry that a large percentage of these students are never invited into an American home. Hospitality ministries can be a blessing to these students, and also a way to introduce American believers to the beginnings of cross-cultural work. Pray 1 Peter 4:9: “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”
5. On this Thanksgiving holiday (in America, at any rate), we practice the spiritual discipline of gratitude—and at the same time, we pray for the 2.2 billion people who will not hear the Gospel in their lifetime—they have no access. On this day, we thank God for the blessings he has given to us his children, and pray he will help us see how to be a blessing to others. And, in obedience to Matthew 9:38, we “beseech (deomai) the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
6. We pray for the many Kingdom workers who are deeply grieving the terrible situations around them. Many workers have been laboring long amongst refugees from the war in Sudan, Ethiopia, the Sahel, Ukraine, and now Israel. They have lost friends and co-laborers. They have heard many stories of terrible suffering and violence. We pray for God’s mercy and compassionate care for the workers as well as for peace for these places of terrible suffering.
7. We pray for the expansion of the Kingdom in Iran. We are thankful for many new reports of growing work; for years now we have known the church in Iran, small though it is, has been rapidly expanding. We pray that the existing streams of work will send workers to the places where there is no work yet. We especially remember the Qashqa’i and Luri, nomadic groups in the south of Iran that have long been among the top 5 unevangelized mega peoples in the world. (They are not completely untouched; I remember holding back tears the first time I met a Qashqa’i believer, and heard about efforts to reach the Luri. But these two groups are, insofar as I know, largely unevangelized to this day.)
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.