By Justin Long
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Join us in beseeching (δέομαι) the Lord of the Harvest this week for…
I have recently returned from an international conference this week. I don’t have a Roundup this week, so this week’s deomai is based on recent reports and brief skims of current events.
Special note: On the night of 6 February, Beyond will be hosting a 1-hour evening of prayer for the Buddhist world. Workers from the region will share prayer points, and we’ll break into small groups to intercede. If you’d like to come and join us, register here.
1. We pray for Myanmar, which has slipped off many people’s radar. Millions are “traumatized and despairing,” others “radicalized, committed to destroying Myanmar’s military rule.” There are only tiny shifts between the government and the rebels. Myanmar has become the world’s largest provider of opium and methamphetamines. The chances of stopping the current regime this year seem low, and even if they do, Myanmar’s future faces many challenges to unity. We pray for believers in the midst of this crisis, and for outside groups to find ways to be a blessing and to be peacemakers.
2. The world’s largest displacement crisis is Sudan: a staggering 11 million people (1 in 8). Of these, over 1.7 million have fled the country for its neighbors. Chad and South Sudan each host about a third of these. “Every second person needs aid in Sudan” (link). We pray for the many believers and organizations laboring to help these. If the RSF wins (and unleashes its trademark ethnic massacres) or the country continues in a divided fashion, how safe will it be for many of these to return home? Much of the Kingdom work in the country has been completely overturned and disrupted, and many laborers have had to relocate and make completely new plans. Pray for wisdom, compassion, and discernment for these workers.
3. Ever hear “To be _x_ is to be [Christian|Muslim|Hindu|Buddhist”? A new 21-country study from Pew explores the connection between national identity, birthplace, language, and religion. Less than half said religious identity was important. Pray for the many earnest seekers who want to find the Truth, are interested in the Way, and are struggling with issues of culture and nation. Pray for God to send revelation, dreams, visions, and workers into the harvest.
4. We pray again for the upcoming election in Indonesia. We pray especially for charity between believers – there has been some division between those within the church over political candidates. In addition, we pray for peace and protection for the believers, as elections can, at times, be “exciting” (in the words of one leader from the field). There can be scuffles, demonstrations, and violence. Please pray for the believers to continue to be a witness in the midst of this time.
5. We pray for Ethiopia, facing a potential famine. Recent reports say over 90% of Tigrayans are at risk of starvation – a disaster that could match the 1984-1985 crisis. Over 20 million Ethiopians in all need food assistance. Read this analysis and pray for the people of the region and the many organizations and Kingdom movements in the area, seeking to help.
6. We pray for the spiritually hungry in India to discover the true Bread of Life. The recent dedication of the Ayodha temple was a major event, some say symbolizing a new form of Hinduism in India: “This new form of political Hinduism requires all Hindus to conform to a uniform idea of God, where a ritualistic demonstration of faith through regular practice is essential to ensure enduring allegiance to the otherwise evolving tenets of an ancient faith. A transient flirtation with Hinduism – something allowable under the flexibility long imbued within the faith – will be a thing of the past; now the follower will have to be a practitioner of the faith as well.” 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 transformation of Sichuan, China, one of China’s geographically largest and most populous provinces and the gateway to the Tibetan peoples. It is China’s leading producer of food and rare mineral resources, and its globally connected cities of Chongqing and Chengdu export products to the world. About 3% of the province is Christian, but most of these are in Chengdu. Pray for the Gospel to spread into the less-reached areas.
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.