By Justin Long
Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…
1. We continue to pray for those caught in the conflagrations igniting throughout the 10/40 Window. Be it the Israel-Hamas war, the ongoing terrible violence in Sudan (now in its sixth month), the instability in the Sahel and the ‘coup belt’ nations of Africa, the continued civil unrest and warfare in Myanmar, or the threats of war on the horizon (Taiwan, North Korea, Ethiopia and its coastal neighbors, etc) or the impact of the war between Russia and the Ukraine—all of these are wounding and scarring, sending millions of refugees scurrying to the faintest vestiges of safety in terribly poor camps, and causing untold suffering. In their midst, believers and networks of believers are struggling to provide compassionate and charitable aid and relief to those around them. We pray for those who are trying to figure out what to do, how to do it, and how to live in the midst of very difficult and confusing times.
2. We pray for the many who are attempting to flee war, rumors of war, natural disaster and economic hardship. In an article on Tunisians trying to leave their towns to make it to Europe we read a heartwrenching lament: “I would do anything to go to Europe. Europeans are living in luxury; here, we are dying.” We the many who find themselves “stuck” in unlivable situations, bordering on death, will find rescue and redemption by the God who sees every sparrow that falls. We also pray for believers in the host European countries who will have compassion on these men and women who also are made in the image of God.
3. We pray for the Spirit to give parents the wisdom to talk with their children about the terrible events happening in the world, and help their children manage their access to social media. Let’s ask God to give us wisdom and protect us from the “brutal voyerism” with which the Internet is now awash. We want to know enough to pray for people and discern if and how we might be a blessing, while keeping ourselves and our children safe from terrible things they don’t need to see or hear.
4. We pray for the many young girls who, in the midst of the world’s current instability, wars, and economic disasters, are being married off very young. This article from Afghanistan is only one of the latest in a string of examples. See also 23 million child brides in Nigeria, and another earlier about Covid brides from Bangladesh). “Underage and forced marriages have been a serious concern in Afghanistan in recent years.” Many families feel they have few options for their children. UNICEF estimates 100 million girls are at risk of child marriage by the end of the decade.
5. As Sri Lanka opens its doors to tourists, we pray many believers will find innovative routes to serve the spread of the Gospel in that nation. The country would like to boost itself from its current 1.5m tourist arrivals to 5 million. Many of these come from India and Russia.
6. We pray for the various diaspora groups in the UK, including the Chinese church (one of the fastest growing as people from Hong Kong arrive) and Sudanese (who are worried about their future as their six-month visas are expiring). We pray for believers to have the desire to reach out to these diasporas, to build friendships, and to be a blessing to them.
7. We pray for the peoples of India, who are caught up in many forms of idolatry, and for believers who will introduce them to the saving power of Jesus. This article is a colorful introduction to the festival of Durga Purja. While it highlights a sense of modernization about the festival, at bottom it is still obviously a celebration of idols, gods, spiritism, etc. We are thankful for the many rapidly growing movements to Christ throughout the states of India, and pray that these and the tens of millions of other believers in India will be bold witnesses of the only true God.
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.