Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
The Global Prayer Digest is a daily devotional encouraging prayer for Unreached Peoples. A ministry of Frontier Ventures (formerly the US Center for World Mission), this devotional is available as a daily subscription from the GPD website (see link above).
Keith Carey, the editor-in-chief of the Global Prayer Digest, has graciously given me permission to post their daily devotions here in order to encourage more prayer for the Unreached Peoples. Please join in the prayer for the gospel to go to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14). If you find these devotions helpful, you can subscribe to their daily e-mail or to the printed publication - or just check them out here on Pray.Network! Past monthly issues of the GPD are also available on their site.
Christians throughout the centuries have been imprisoned and slandered by ruling authorities. God has used these trials to bring His people to the light that shines through the darkness of oppression.
This gospel light was played out greatly in the life of Tamrat Layne. He started out as a 19-year-old communist and atheist, eventually becoming the prime minister of Ethiopia, only to be sentenced to prison for 18 years. His story tells of how the hand of God leads to His own special will and purpose.
Fleeing to the nearby mountains outside Addis Ababa, Tamrat spent the next 15 years amassing an army of 150,000 revolutionaries that would eventually overthrow the Soviet supported regime of Mengistu Haile Mariame. Tamrat's main desire was to help impoverished people.
After five years as prime minister, Tamrat realized that the poor were no better off under communist rule. When he addressed this to his central committee, his fellow revolutionaries promptly had him arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Branded as a corrupt politician who stole a fortune from the people, Tamrat fell ill and was moved to a nearby hospital.
It was here that he would be introduced to a man named Jesus.
Pray that God will work in the hearts of hardened people throughout the Horn of Africa—Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. Give thanks to the Father for his abiding Spirit that strengthens and encourages His persecuted people.
Ezra 7:25, NLT
And you, Ezra, are to use the wisdom your God has given you to appoint magistrates and judges who know your God’s laws to govern all the people in the province west of the Euphrates River. Teach the law to anyone who does not know it.
Pray for the Lord to raise up leaders in Ethiopia and Somalia with the God-given wisdom of Ezra to help them build a new foundation on the Rock!
In 2002, while in the hospital, a nurse slipped Tamrat a note telling him about Jesus. Tamrat was then visited by Jesus for the next three nights, inviting him to follow Him. Later, the nurse brought him a Bible. Tamrat began a seven-year study of the scriptures while in solitary confinement. After serving 12 years in prison, Tamrat was released to go out into the world.
At about this time in Newport Beach, CA, a former pastor named Tim Timmons was being set free from “a prison of religiousity”, as he would later recount it. Both had been given a strong desire to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). They would team up by 2010 to create a “purely Jesus” curriculum called “The Way.” It employs Jesus’ methods of making disciples using only His teachings. This involves small group discipleship which centers on the two invitations by Jesus to His disciples—"Come and see!” and “Come and follow!”
This curriculum is being used by church groups and leaders around the world. Using the words of Jesus exclusively, this curriculum aims at avoiding theological debate and confusion. It promotes fellowship among a small group of believers desiring to obey Jesus by making followers of Him.
Pray that the Lord would use these groups for His glory by making disciples of Jesus all around the world. May this curriculum be shared by sincere believers to train, equip, and bless everyone.
Neh 8:8, NLT
They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.
Pray that as this effort to share the words of Jesus spreads, that people will eagerly learn His teachings and apply them to their lives so that Ethiopia and Somalia can be transformed.
Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus told His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” Matthew. 28:18-20, HCSB
It is with these verses in mind that Tamrat Layne and Tim Timmons teamed up to create a simplified group of study materials that exclusively followed Jesus’ methodology of making disciples.
Frustrated with the current crop of Christian books that served only to make “more knowledgeable” church workers, the pair decided to limit their curriculum to Jesus’ own words and nothing else. There are no marketing techniques or psychological theories. The simplicity of the materials has inspired churches around the world to form hundreds of thousands of fellowships. Broken down into two volumes containing 12 lessons each, the studies have attracted many college educated graduates and professionals seeking a more personal experience as followers of Jesus.
Give praise to the Father that so many are attracted to sincere Christian fellowship and disciple making. Pray that the thousands of fellowships will multiply into an unstoppable Disciple-Making Movement throughout the Horn of Africa, including Somalia.
Neh 9:3, NLT
They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God.
Pray for the peoples we pray for this month to be so eager for God’s word that they will gladly listen to the reading of God’s word and respond to it with repentance, faith, and obedience.
Historically, Yemen and the nearby "Horn of Africa" have had close relations, so it is not surprising that Yemeni Arabs should be found in Somalia, both of which are "failed states." Both countries are Muslim. However, we must not ignore denominational divisions in Islam and the cultural divisions in both Somali and Yemeni societies. Yemeni society consists of four classes of people ranging from elites who claim descent from Mohammed's family to slaves. There are also four denominations and some 1700 subgroups, distinguished by dress! Some herd livestock and others live in villages and farms.
One can expect antagonisms with so many divisions. Civil war has caused collapse of Yemen’s infrastructure and economy. That, in turn, has caused many to flee to Somalia, especially if they have kin there, as many do. However, Somalia is as divided and violent as Yemen. By 2015, some 28,000 Yemenis had moved to Somalia and three times that number elsewhere. Yemeni community organizations help assimilate these expatriates and refugees, most of whom do not speak Yemeni Arabic.
Consequently, we should pray for stability in Yemen and Somalia, but also that doors would open to Christian aid workers. Pray that the chaos will cause many Yemeni Arabs to question Islam and begin a spiritual search that will lead them to Christ. Pray for entire Yemeni families to be discipled in Somalia.
Ezra 3:11, NLT
With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.
Pray that the Yemeni people in both Yemen and Somalia will find joy and purpose in worshipping the Lord.
Socotra, a Yemeni island east of Somalia, was once Christian; today it is 100 percent Sunni Muslim. The Mehri-speaking Mahras live there, and in Somalia they are considered to be ex-patriates. The Mahras also live in Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These Mahras are also 100 percent Muslim. The Socotrans speak Arabic. Modern South Arabic has been unintelligible to Arabic people since at least the 9th century A.D. They also speak Somali and their own Soqotri language, which is written in our alphabet and in a modified Arabic alphabet. It is a dying language. Ethnologists’ says the Mahra number some 115,000 but gives no data on their numbers in Somalia. Few Mahra people can read. Hence, they need literacy and job skills in order to survive in Socotra and Somalia.
Pray that believers will go to this people and teach them how to read and job skills for the glory of God. Pray that faithful linguists will be able to translate the Bible for them, thereby stimulating the revival and survival of this language. Pray for the opening of their hearts to the Bible and Jesus Christ. Pray that the Mahras will come to faith in Jesus, and that there will be a church planting movement that will spread far beyond Socotra Island and Somalia.
Ezra 7:23, NLT
Be careful to provide whatever the God of heaven demands for his Temple, for why should we risk bringing God’s anger against the realm of the king and his sons?
Pray for the Mahra people to have a healthy fear of the wrath of the Lord that will motivate them to obey Him.
Like Yemen, Oman's relations with the Horn of Africa go back millennia. And like Yemen, Oman is Muslim. Omani Islam is more literal in its understanding of the Qur’an than the Islam usually found elsewhere. Unlike Yemen, however, Oman is not a failed state. There are some Christ-followers among the Omanis in Somalia—about one in 200.
It is not surprising that some 65,000 Omanis are in Somalia. Their presence in Somalia may date back to the 19th century. These Omanis live in the south and northwest of Somalia. Despite such a history, many still speak Omani as well as Gulf Arabic and maintain a conservative life-style, farming in villages and herding livestock. Herders carry their own housing with them. Men worship in mosques, women at home. Theirs is a patriarchal society.
Pray that Omani Arabs gain spiritual hunger when they hear the name of Jesus, and begin to seek and find the true Savior. Pray that Christian witnesses will find men of peace so that the gospel can spread along family lines among Omani Arabs in Somalia. Pray that Omani families and clan leaders will disciple their children in the ways of Jesus until there is an unstoppable movement to Christ among this people group. Pray for deliverance from the fear that hinders God's blessing from multiplying through Omani families and communities.
Neh 12:43, NLT
Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.
Pray for Omani children throughout Somalia to lead this nation into celebrating the Lord through song and dance!
Arabs are a diverse people who live all over the world, including Somalia. We prayed for Yemeni Arabs in Somalia a couple of days ago, but the Arabs in this country come from elsewhere as well. Many are from Egypt, the largest Arabic speaking country in the world. Historically, there were Arabs who migrated to Somalia centuries ago. Ethnically they were from Kush and Egypt. Some Arabs came to Somalia to spread Islam and married Somali women.
Today there are over 5600 Arabs living in Somalia. Many of them are involved in commerce, and they are noted for being good businessmen. Others are successful professionals or educators. Most are fluent in both Somali and Arabic.
Though there are a small number of traditional Christians among them, most of the inhabitants are faithful Sunni Muslims. They share that faith with the Somali majority. To them, Islam offers the only way to live.
Pray that God will send faithful and anointed believers to reach the Arab Muslims in Somalia. Pray that God will encourage, strengthen, and protect the small number of Arab believers in Somalia. May they become His witnesses to both Arabs and Somalis that do not know Him. Pray that this witness will result in many Arab families being blessed by Jesus Christ, May they joyfully follow Him, and teach their children to do the same.
Ezra 9:6, NLT
O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give Arabs in Somalia true repentance that will lead them to the abundant life Christ offers all who call on His name.
(This story illustrates problems faced by the nomads in Somalia.)
“I was once master of myself.” Faarax, a nomad, was telling an aid worker how hard life had become for him and his family in Somalia. “The economy was good, and I had many animals including several camels. But over the years the droughts and war have destroyed almost everything I had. I now only have 12 skinny sheep; at one time I had a 100! My sheep are too weak for me to herd them to a better place to graze. My wife, six children and I have to depend on the rice given to us from the UN. One good thing is my children have been able to go to school. I pray to Allah that their lives will be better than mine.”
In Somalia less than a tenth of the land is suitable for farming, so the majority of Somalis are predominantly nomads. The camel is especially important as it provides the family with milk and does not require much water. War, political upheaval, and droughts have placed a great burden on these nomads. The older generation now feels that the only hope for the future of their children is to learn new ways of earning a living through education.
Pray that God will send His servants to these nomadic people to help them both economically and spiritually. Pray for veterinarians and educators to go to this mission field.
Ezra 1:3, NLT
Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you!
Pray that as Somalia’s nomads go through painful time of change that they will find their purpose: to joyfully worship the Lord and follow Him all the days of their lives.
(This story illustrates problems faced in Somalia.)
“I thank God each day for the wonderful well that the people from Mercy-USA drilled for us! Our life has changed in so many ways because of it! “Gargarro, a widow with four children was expressing her appreciation to an aid worker visiting her village in rural Somalia. “I had to take my three daughters out of school each day to get water from the river. This caused so many problems; the water had to be boiled for us to drink, there were dangerous snakes that were near the river. I never had enough to water my vegetables, so I could not earn much in the markets and my daughters could not stay in school. Because of the well all of this has changed! I’m able to provide for my family, my daughters are doing well in school, and we are all feeling so much better!”
The majority of Somalia’s population face poverty, poor nutrition, medical problems, and lack of clean water. Mercy-US has drilled over 560 wells in communities across Somalia.
Thank God for their work! Pray that God will send more skilled believers through the drilling of wells, and may their witness lead these Muslims to know the Lord. Pray for God's blessing, strengthening, and healing of Somali families through Disciple-Making Movements. Pray for deliverance from the fear that hinders people from embracing the true Lord, Jesus Christ.
John 4:15, NLT
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
Pray that all peoples in Somalia who thirst for physical water will also thirst for the spiritual water that only Jesus can provide.
Shamshi, a frightened nine-year-old girl, was found crying as she hid in a dark alley of one of Addis Ababa’s largest slum districts in Ethiopia. After receiving an anonymous call, Anika, an International Organization For Migration (IOM) worker, quietly approached the girl and assured Shamshi that she was there to help.
After several days, the girl told her that a woman had approached her when she was walking in the street of her home town in Garowe, Somalia. That women took Shamshi to a house and drugged her, then took the unconscious girl to Ethiopia. When Shamshi woke up she was in a room with other children. Shamshi was forced to go through blood testing, and when they found out she was sick they said she was “useless” and dumped in an alley. She found out they wanted to take her kidney. After recovering Shamshi was reunited with her family.
Somalia has a high rate of human trafficking. The victims are mainly young women and children who are trafficked for domestic work, forced prostitution, and organ removal. The main destinations for these victims is not Somalia; they are usually transported to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. IOM has done an amazing job in their efforts to care for these people, but the needs are great.
Pray that the human trafficking problem in Somalia will be stopped! Pray that God’s servants will be His hands and feet as they try to comfort these victims.
Eph 4:26-27, NLT
And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower those victimized by human trafficking in Somalia to not give way to fear or rage, but instead to seek and find their heavenly protector.
Throughout this prayer guide you will notice that Somalia has many economic woes stemming from spiritual problems. The unemployment rate is so high that a whopping 40 percent of their population is displaced, either in other parts of the country or outside of Somalia. Many others suffer from the grim “employment” we call human trafficking.
What if someone lived in Somalia and was able to teach useful work skills? What if Somalis were taught skills in nursing, IT training, computer repair, and business skills? Could this help at least some of them live useful, peaceful lives?
One of the main obstacles is a deep-rooted lack of trust for one another. Such a situation kills possible business transactions because everyone must first protect themselves. Anyone who was going to teach the peoples of Somalia how to earn an honest living would need to start with spiritual and character issues.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of the people of Somalia so they will be willing to change and accept God’s blessing of a relationship with Jesus. Pray for 1,000 true believers to go to Somalia and teach skills in midwifery training, nurse training, IT training, and any other practical training that will help re-build that crumbled nation. Pray that the Lord will protect believers who go to Somalia, both spiritually and physically.
Neh 6:9, NLT
They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.
Ask God for determination to pray fervently in your prayer life this year. Pray that spiritual warfare will only make you more determined to pray on!
An old Somali proverb sums up the cultural attitude that pervades Somalia: “Me and my clan against the world; me and my family against the clan; me and my brother against my family; me against my brother.”
Though there are variations of this proverb in the Arab world, no people group on earth is so clannish as the Somalis. The clan is everything to them, and its influence invades every aspect of life–from personal relationships, to corporate life, to politics. The founders of the largest telecommunication service in Somalia were from the same clan, and because of their kinship ties, they were able to trust each other and establish the company.
In 1991, Somalia’s military dictator was overthrown, and the result has been chaos ever since. No one and no political party has been able to fill the vacuum. Unfortunately, a strong dictatorial leader is what often holds contrasting groups together in a country. Countries like Somalia cannot thrive under democratic ideals that the Western world upholds. Somalia is considered a “collapsed state” due to the inability of clans to work with one another because of distrust. The result has been the collapse of state institutes, civil war, terrorism, and piracy. Clannishness stands in the way of national reconciliation and unity.
Pray that Somalis will meet Jesus, the One whom they can trust implicitly, and once reconciled to Him, they can reconcile with one another.
Eph 4:3, NLT
Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Pray for Somalis to hear the voice of the Lord, so they can come together for a common purpose. He wants them to experience the abundant life that Jesus offers!