7 Days of Prayer: Sunday, 24 December 2023

By Justin Long

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Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…

1. On this Christmas Eve, we praise God for the Incarnation of Jesus in fulfillment of the ancient promise that “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2). We pray that the Light of the One who is the Way, Truth and Life will continue to spread into every corner of the world, until “the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14). Over a quarter of the world has yet to have access to the Good News.

2. On Christmas Day, let us be reminded of the Shepherds and Wise Men who responded to the drawing of the Holy Spirit and came near to worship. Let us, too, draw near in worship and—like the Shepherds—share with others the great story of the God who put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. And let us pray for peace on Earth.

3. We pray for the believers who recently endured arrest in Mauritania (link). While I have seen some conflicting reports, it appears at this point correct that the eighteen were released last Sunday. The arrests occurred after a baptism ceremony video was circulated. There is some indication of continued pressure on the believers. We pray for the families to be reunited, for more family members to come to faith, and for those who have found it necessary to leave the area.

4. We pray for peace and the justice of God’s Kingdom in Sudan, where the RSF is making significant gains and seems likely to conquer much of the country. With their reign comes allegations of murder, oppression, systematic abuse of women, genocide, and massacres. We pray for the church that is enduring a significant trial, and for the people who are falling under this tide of apparent evil. We pray for the many who have been displaced form their homes, and the hundreds of thousands who have fled the country and are now refugees abroad. We pray for those trying to provide humanitarian aid, whose operations have been significantly disrupted by recent RSF gains.

5. We pray for peace and the justice of God’s kingdom in Israel and Gaza. We pray for the many Gazans who are caught up in the midst of the conflict, and whose families have suffered harm and death. We pray for those who are still held hostage by Hamas. We pray for those who are desperate, hungry, and sick. We pray for the believers attempting to bring aid in the midst of the fighting.

6. We pray for the hundreds affected by the earthquake in Gansu province, on the Tibetan plateau. This is one of the less reached areas in the world. At least 140 are known dead at this point, and with many more under the rubble that number is likely to rise. We pray for the survivors who are “enduring freezing temperatures and mourning their dead.” We pray that believers will be able to be a blessing in the midst of this disaster.

7. We pray for the spiritual transformation of Bihar, in India. This province is #3 on the least-reached provinces list. At 130 million, it is roughly equivalent to Japan, Mexico, Russia or Bangladesh in total population. It is one of the most densely populated, rural, poorest, challenging regions of the world. It is less than 2% Christian now. There has been significant focus on the area by many churches and agencies, and some significant fruit has been had, but much remains to be done, and persecution has been marked. We pray for kingdom workers who are even now continuing to spread the Gospel and make disciples here.

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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.

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