Sunday, 03 September 2023

By Justin Long

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

1. We pray for the women and children in the Al-Hol refugee camp. As a result of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, thousands of people are ‘detained’ here (and in other camps in Iraq). Many are (or were) IS sympathesizers—but also their families, displaced people under their sway, and tens of thousands of women and children with ‘ties’ to IS soldiers (often forced to marry). Some of the women are bought in to jihadist ideology and raising their children in it. The story of the place is horrific, and worse, no one wants to help resolve it. “Western governments have walked away. ‘They’re hoping for a cholera epidemic,’ says one consultant.” Yet the 42,000 or so in the camp are precious to our Father in heaven, and worth more than any sparrow (Matthew 10:29-31). Is God asking us to intercede for Al-Hol, as he went down to ‘talk with his friend Abraham’ about Sodom & Gomorrah? With so many in the camp, it is unlikely there are absolutely no believers. Many more are sitting in grave darkness. Pray for peace, and justice, and for redemptive light to dawn for them.

2. We continue to pray for the people across the Sahel, from Burkina Faso to Sudan, where coups, civil wars rage. Thousands are experiencing severe trauma. We lament the seemingly unrelenting violence of these months, and the wounding of men, women and children. I confess I cannot see a rapid end to it. Yet we know God can take what the enemy means for harm and use it for good. Pray for the many mission agency and aid agency workers who are laboring to help in the midst of this crisis (Psalm 126:5).

3. We pray for the women and girls migrating from Somalia via the perilous ‘Eastern Route.’ This leads from Ethiopia through Somalia to Yemen and thence to the Gulf States. In 2021, over 50,000 women migrated this way; in 2022, over 100,000. Many find themselves in terrible situations of abuse along the way. Read some of their stories here and here and pray for Kingdom workers who will labor to be a blessing to them (Matthew 25:31-40).

4. We pray for more workers for the harvest in China. China and the nations are ‘disconnecting’ from one another. China is closing in on itself, and other nations are pulling away from it. One recent example: Students in other countries don’t see the value in learning Mandarin. This period of government control and oppression is also a difficult time for the church, and there are some indicators the persecution and harassment has led to stagnant church growth. In this time, we pray God will raise up believers who are passionate for God’s heart for China, and will work on behalf of the church there, despite the many significant obstacles.

6. We pray that God will raise up workers and use us on behalf of North Korea. A number of stories this week highlight some small ‘cracks’ in the walls of this land—North Koreans abroad are returning to the country, regular air flights are being held, and trade between China and North Korea is resuming. Pray that God will raise up innovative individuals who will find ways to bring the Gospel into this land.

7. We praise God for the rise of spiritual hunger in Latin America, especially on the part of the youth. We know in the past many Latin American missionaries have done significant things for Gospel expansion in unreached parts of the world. We pray that out of this new hunger will rise a generation ready to pray, give, and go to the nations.

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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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