7 Days of Prayer: Sunday, 7 January 2024

By Justin Long

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

1. We continue to pray for those caught up in the war in Sudan. Sudanese citizens are in “total panic” and “rushing for arms to defend themselves” as the RSF make significant gains. The RSF “offered” a cease-fire (or is it a publicity stunt?), but Sudan’s army chief has rejected any chance of reconciliation. RSF gains have been marked by massacres and other abuses. It seems likely the war will continue to grind on. We pray for an end to it, and for justice and reconciliation, but in the meantime we pray for those who are suffering, and for the Kingdom workers who are trying to help. “The Lord is close to the broken hearted…” (Psalm 34:18)

2 We pray for the suffering, distressed and hungry in Tigray, Ethiopia. Hunger and insecurity continues to spread. More than 2 million Tigrayans face acute malnutrition., and “many worry the current famine will grow to equal the catastrophe of 1984” (Le Monde). Additional political uncertainty and stress stress is being felt in the Horn as the effort by Ethiopia and Somaliland to agree on access to the Red Sea port is opposed by Somalia (which views recognition of Somaliland as an attack on its sovereignty) and Djibouti (which would suffer the lost of significant trade through its ports). We pray for the Kingdom workers in the region who are trying to be of help. 

3. We are thankful for continued growth in openness between the West and China, small though these cracks may be: the lessening of visa requirements for US citizens, and the increasing appeal of overseas jobs for Chinese workers. We pray new avenues for the Gospel will open up as a result of this; while the church in China numbers likely over 100 million, many millions still have no access to the Good News.

4. We are thankful for the ability of some Chinese businessmen and workers to enter North Korea (Daily NK). Yet we also know the “wall” around North Korea remains very strong. We pray for continued ‘cracks’ and for the Gospel to find ways to enter and spread. We pray that North Korea, once the “Jerusalem of the East,” will once again “be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the seas” (Habakkuk 2:14).

5. In many places around the world, diaspora workers are eagerly sought due to widening demographic crises: with slowing birth rates, there are too few workers for local economies. A recent example is seen in Thailand, where companies are asking the government to allow as many as 400,000 additional Lao migrant workers in to work for them. In many places, we have seen the flow of migrant workers has brought significant new opportunities for the Kingdom to spread, and we pray that will happen in Thailand as well. The majority Thai are significantly under-engaged.

6. We pray for believers who will be a blessing to the many refugees. This week, we pray especially for the hundreds of refugees resettling in Minnesota (over 1,500 in 2023), especially Somalis, and pray for the Gospel to spread among them. Many are not always welcomed in host communities, but we pray for believers who will be a blessing to them.

7. We pray for the spiritual transformation of Punjab, Pakistan. This is the fourth province on the least-reached provinces list. One of the largest provinces in Pakistan, it is criss-crossed by the Indus River and borders India. Punjab province was divided between India and Pakistan in 1947, and today is a political center. Although there has been no census since 1998, most estimates suggest Punjab has more than 100 million, or more than half of Pakistan’s population. Punjab has a strong economy but poverty is widespread; it is the breadbasket of the nation, but industrial centers are in several of its cities. Christianity first entered Punjab around the 1590s. Today, over 80% of Pakistan’s Christians are found in this province, yet they make up just a little more than 2% of its population. Over 2 million Christians are thought to be living in and around Lahore and Faisalabad. We pray that these workers and others will be used by God to spread the Gospel throughout this province and the rest of Pakistan.

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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.

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