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.
John and Rachel Miller have so much love for the Zaila people of North Africa that they drove nine treacherous days to reach their remote village. They traversed miles of sand dunes with no cellular reception. Beset by multiple breakdowns, the Millers finally arrived at their new home, a hut that offered little protection from the 120-degree weather. As their village did not have a market for fresh food, the Millers brought their own supply of dehydrated vegetables, fruit, and meat, which they rationed very carefully.
The village chief told John that his people were hungry and did not have a produce market. He asked John, an agriculturist, to help start a garden. The chief also invited Rachel to “help staff a small clinic that offered the only medical care within a three-day radius in any direction.”
The Zaila people receive indoctrination by Islamic radicals. Following a week of special teaching by Islamic religious leaders, the Zailas turned cold towards John and Rachel. Still, the Millers persist in showing God’s love to the Zailas. John continues his work in the community garden. Rachel has seen three children healed through prayer in Jesus’ name. (http://sendforth.net/sake-of-the-kingdom/)
Pray that God would soften the hearts of the Zailas to Christ and His servants. Pray that they would recognize the provision of fresh food and medical healing as God’s blessings. Ask God to reveal Jesus as the Truth and their only hope.
Luke 2:8, NKJV
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Pray that the Father will help us to expect great things from Him as we attempt great things for Him! Pray that we will never see anyone as being too insignificant to hear the gospel.
From northernmost Africa (October 2015), Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) reports that in “a region once hostile to the gospel, now tens of thousands of Muslims are following Jesus.” Filmmaker Tino Qahoush has traveled this region to document God’s transforming work. Tino shares about Muslims who “see the appearance and the presence of God appear to them in reality, like a vision.”
In Algeria, Pastor Salah leads one of the largest churches, 1,200 believers, of whom 99 percent were once Muslims. Farhat, a former Muslim, talks about his “miraculous encounters.” Youssef, a prominent Algerian pastor, speaks of “many opportunities to witness at the police stations and at the courts.” Youssef describes Muslims asking him, “Tell us about Jesus!”
Veteran missionary “Peter” credits the Internet and satellite TV for bringing dramatic changes in how people in North Africa see Jesus. Moreover, bold Algerian believers empowered by God, now seek to take the good news worldwide.
Praise God for His work among North Africa’s Muslims! Pray the light continues shining brightly in this region, reaping not only a growing harvest of believers, but of disciples. Pray that the Lord equips and sends forth many of these disciples with His life-transforming gospel. Pray that God keeps using the Internet and satellite TV to accomplish His wonderful purposes in Algeria and other parts of North Africa.
Luke 2:17, NKJV
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Thank the Lord that He uses even the low-status shepherds to tell of the King of kings to those who need to hear.
How do you unlock a closed door? You can use keys, or Christian Satellite TV, or ISIS. ISIS shames Muslims, and TV reaches behind closed doors to receptive individuals and families in Libya to remove that shame. Stations such as KINGDOM SAT, owned by Leading the Way Ministries, and SAT-7 are reaching Libya via satellite TV.
What if a man schooled in the Qur’an and Islamic Law began to ask questions? What if he is told that such questions should not be asked, thus setting off a quest for spiritual answers? What if he chanced upon Christian music on TV and heard about Jesus?
In the case of Sahid, that is exactly what happened. He phoned the counselors at the TV station and met with them for discipleship outside of Libya. He came to faith in Jesus and continued to return to Libya; eventually he was denied re-entry. So he witnessed in refugee camps, establishing Christian cells in the Middle East and Europe. He did telephone ministry, mail correspondence, and networking. The Book of Acts is coming alive today in Libya thanks to Christian television!
Pray that God will give Christian TV counselors and disciple makers the wisdom and connections to reach Muslims for Jesus. Pray that more in Libya become disenchanted with Islam and turn to Christ for answers. Pray for programmers to develop and broadcast wholesome and exciting programs that uplift, encourage, and challenge their viewers to believe in Jesus and live for Him.
Luke 2:30-32, NKJV
For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.
Praise our glorious Lord that His salvation is meant not for some, but for all nations, Gentile as well as Jewish!
Can a reached people become an unreached one? At one time all of North Africa, including Libya, had a church. Islam replaced Christianity in 624AD, near the very beginning of the advent of Islam.
Today there are almost no followers of Christ among nearly two million Libyan Arabs. Because of a pervasive network of secret police and a fear of betrayal that would lead to persecution, it is not possible for Libyan believers to gather publicly.
Congregations of expatriate believers are allowed to meet; however, they are closely monitored. A Libyan would not be able to attend a church for fear of being watched, betrayed, imprisoned, or even killed. The Libyan government allows only one church of foreign denomination per city.
Approximately one half of Libya’s population is under age 17. Young people often wear jeans and modern clothing. Women dress modestly and may or may not wear a headscarf in public. Education is compulsory for both boys and girls. Women usually work in certain jobs such as teaching or secretarial. They are considered inferior to men in the business world, but they may serve in the army.
The Bible has been translated into Libyan Arabic. However, there is no JESUS Film, no audio materials, nor radio broadcasts.
Pray for bondservants filled with Almighty God’s love, grace, and mercy to reach this dark, but not forsaken people. Pray for a powerful disciple-making movement for Libyan Arabs wherever they live.—KH
Matthew 1:23, NKJV
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”
God with “us” means God with the world’s peoples. Pray that our plans will be as big as the God who sent His son to Israel 2,000 years ago.
Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry His cross to His death in our place. One must wonder what went through Simon’s mind. Was his life eternally changed when he was “laid hold of” to help his unknown Savior?
Cyrenaican Arabs now live in the east coastal region of Libya. These Arabs have a Greek and Roman background. They are only found in this region.
We know very little about the lifestyle of the Cyrenaican Arabs. There are many forests on the northern slopes, and soil in these areas produces much barley. The hillsides and valleys are grassy. There are no good roads in the province, and very little internal communication and trade, so the Cyrenaican Arabs are sometimes isolated from information.
The temperature is mild with adequate rainfall, but there is a drought about once every five years. This is potentially hazardous to the well-being of the Cyrenaican Arabs, as many of them farm the land and feed their livestock from production of the land.
Islamic Arabs conquered this part of North Africa in 643-644 A.D. In 2014 there were only 75 known believers in Jesus among their population of over 1.6 million; most Cyrenaican Arabs are Sunni Muslims. The Bible translated into their language is the only Christian literature available to them.
Pray that the regular droughts will help them to see their desperate need for the Living Water. Pray that they will find their security in Christ alone.—KH
Mark 15:21, NET
The soldiers forced a passerby to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus).
Pray that the story of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection will inspire Cyrenaican Arabs to consider His radical claims.
Did you know there is a major people group of over 77 million that are split between three major religions? The Punjabis of South Asia are divided between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. Because they have different religious affiliations, we can say that each of these three communities have little positive contact with one another.
The Hindu and Sikh Punjabis are unreached, but the Lord is moving among them. Indian mission agencies like India Gospel Outreach are trying to evangelize them.
Far fewer believers are reaching out to the Muslim Punjabis. Anyone who wants to reach them in Pakistan is taking their lives in their hands. The same goes for Punjabi Muslims who live outside of South Asia. Those who have migrated to Libya for work have few, if any, chances to meet a follower of Christ. Most of the Punjabis who have left South Asia for work are Sikhs, but according to the Joshua Project, those who live in Libya are Muslims.
Today is Christmas Eve. Throughout the year, Punjabis celebrate Hindu, Sikh, or Muslim holidays, but very few celebrate the birth of Christ.
Pray that by next Christmas Eve, thousands of Muslim Punjabis will celebrate Jesus’ birth as Lord and Savior rather than as a prophet. Pray that Punjabi-speaking believers will take His fame to Punjabi Muslims. Pray for a disciple-making movement among Muslim Punjabis in Libya.
Matthew 2:23, NKJV
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Nazareth was considered to be the worst part of Israel, partly because it was a place where Gentiles mixed with the Jewish people. Pray that God will show you how He views His servants from places that have little or no social status.
Picture an oasis in the desert. It is a verdant patch of soil with swaying palms nourished by wells of precious water. It has not succumbed to the rocky, barren land that surrounds it. Yet every day, a little more water dries up and is lost as the desert encroaches on the oasis. Soon it will be utterly gone.
The unique language of the Awjila Berbers is also being lost. These people, one of the Berber tribes, are named after their language. They inhabit the town of Awjila, an oasis in northeastern Libya. The oasis is still there, but Awjila is dying out as Arabic increasingly becomes the dominant language in Libya. The youngest of the 2,000-3,000 Awjila Berbers speakers that remain are middle aged. When they are gone, no one who knows Awjila will be left.
The ancestral Awjila people originally followed the ancient Berber religion which incorporated animism and ancestor worship. The Arabs brought Islam to the area when they conquered North Africa in the seventh century and the Awjila Berbers have remained exclusively Muslim, as reported by the Joshua Project. No follower of Christ has ever worshipped in this tongue. The glory of God deserves to be expressed in all languages, including Awjila!
Pray that Christ would be known and spoken of in Awjila before this language is gone. Pray that the Awjila people would not thirst in the desert of sin, but find His oasis and drink the water of life.
Luke 2:14, KJV
The Baby was named “Prince of Peace” both over David’s Kingdom (Israel) and “Galilee of the Nations” (the Gentile nations beyond Jordan.) His birth was announced by angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Intercessor, as you pray for harvesters to be led to men of peace among the remaining unreached 6,600 peoples, do it with all the authority the Prince of Peace has given you in Matthew 28:18.
Where in the world can you find a pearl in the desert? True, most of these luxurious “gems” are treasures of the sea, but there is one to be found in the arid sands of the Sahara Desert: Ghadames in western Libya. This Berber town has welcomed travelers to its lush oasis and beautiful architecture and landscape for thousands of years, earning it the designation “the pearl of the desert.”
The city lends its name to both its inhabitants and their language. About 10,000-11,000 Berbers live there, making up the Ghadames people group. The Libyan travel agency Temehu describes the old city of Ghadames: “Between each building, the streets and alleys are roofed over, making a system of tunnels; these are for the men to use; on the rooftops are open-air streets reserved solely for women. The houses inside are beautifully decorated with painted Berber designs, ornaments, and textiles.”
Like most Berbers, the Ghadames adhere to Sunni Islam. Christ followers face opposition from conservative Muslims in most Berber communities. The Joshua Project, however, makes mention of a small population of believers among the Ghadames. They believe that there are perhaps less than 10 all told, yet they are still present.
Pray that God would strengthen those few Ghadames who follow Christ. Pray that they may persevere and have joy in their faith. Pray also that they would lead the rest of their people to faith in Christ. Pray that all those who live in “the pearl of the desert” would find and treasure the pearl of great price.—Will Mason, Guest writer
2 Timothy 2:25-26, NKJV
… in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Pray that God will grant repentance and true hope to the Ghadames people so that they can come to their senses and follow Jesus.
(This fictitious story is intended to explain the beliefs of this people group.)
The Jabal Nafusah Berbers had traversed the barren landscape for hours, walking quietly and steadily beneath a merciless sun. Then the limestone formation finally appeared on the horizon of the Libyan Desert. At first, it looked like nothing more than a mirage, a slight inconsistency in the distant desert that wavered in the rising heat waves.
But Adir recognized it as their village—they were almost home! The sight buoyed everyone’s spirits, and the men in the caravan began to talk and laugh. Some even began to sing. Slowly, the village took shape. Dark openings which were carved into the limestone served as windows peering out at them like unblinking eyes.
As he passed by a window, Adir heard someone say, “Did you hear about Izim?” Someone else answered, “No, what happened?” “He went to Tripoli and began following the prophet Isa.” Adir continued on, thinking: What does it mean to follow Isa?
The Jabal Nafusah Berbers are thought to be among the earliest inhabitants of Libya. They historically made their home in the harsh deserts of Jabal Nafusah carving their houses into the rocky hills. They have been Muslim for centuries and are members of Ibadaya, a tiny Islamic sect with unorthodox practices.
Pray for missionaries to take the good news to the Jubal Nafusah Berbers, communicating God’s love to them in a way they can understand and embrace.—CL
Titus 3:4-5, NKJV
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit…
Pray for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of the Jabal Nafusah Berbers of Libya.
Dawad, a Christian Missionary living in the Middle East, was encouraged as he read a report on the work of Bridges to Common Ground. It said, “For six years, two devoted Bridges to Common Ground board members labored tirelessly with God’s help to create, The Qur'an with References to the Bible. Finally it has been completed. In the spring of 2016, Bridges to Common Ground was invited to participate in the Islamic Society of North America’s Annual Government and Interfaith Forum where The Qur’an with References to the Bible was publicly presented and distributed to attendees.”
The significance of this new translation of the Qur’an into contemporary English lies within its references to similar Bible verses and themes. The opportunity to present and share with so many leaders was incredible. Many hearts were touched, and 100 books were eagerly snatched up. Muslims can see that the Bible is not such a threat, since their own holy book refers to it. This revelation can be significant.
Bridges to Common Ground has been working to develop lasting relationships of reconciliation by uniting different faith communities.
Pray that Muslims who read The Qur'an with References to the Bible will have a desire to read the entire Bible so that they will come to understand the true nature of God. Pray that Christ followers who work with “Bridges” will develop lasting friendships with Muslims. Pray that Christians will lead many of them to the understanding that to be saved, they need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and accept salvation through Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:15-17, NKJV
… and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Pray for the unreached people to treasure the Scriptures as inspiration from God.
Those who do translation work for people in closed countries not only deal with the usual difficulties of making sure the work is accurate, but it must be done in such a way that it doesn’t attract attention. Yet God empowers people to produce these materials so that Christ’s Name can be heard in places where the gospel is forbidden. Here are excerpts from a prayer letter which was received a year ago from people who finished a translation work for inhabitants of a closed Muslim country.
“Rejoice with us! The final edits for the JESUS Film and the MAGDALENA Film are now finished, and the movies are ready for reproduction and distribution! Helen’s (not her real name) colleague is taking up the Southern “Puk” project now, finding actors and traveling for the recordings. For the past seven years Helen has worked on translating and editing the scripts, locating 30 actors, and working with the JESUS Film team to get their voices recorded. Two years ago her overseas trips began overlapping with New Testament translation checking trips as well, when she started translating the book of Luke with a new team.”
Pray for widespread distribution in DVD format, via phone app, and online postings on the Internet. Parts of the film can now be used in a variety of ways in other media products. Pray that God will send this team a narrator for recording the audio/radio version of the JESUS Film.
1 Timothy 4:13, NKJV
Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Pray for new leaders to be faithful in studying and applying the Scriptures to their own lives so they can be a good example to others.
The widow in New York City took a deep breath as she brewed tea. A ministry leader with her church, she led a discussion group about grief. She had also come to know a Muslim woman, and had invited her over to this meeting. There was a knock on the door, and the widow opened the door to her burka-clad friend. The widow greeted the Muslim with a smile and an earnest desire to love her. Having just attended Project Crescent’s “Without Borders,” she felt well equipped to have a meaningful and respectful relationship with Muslim women.
Project Crescent is equipping Christian women to see Muslim women through the eyes of Christ instead of through the distorted lenses of news headlines. Their training conferences mobilize women who follow Christ to become bold ambassadors of His love to Muslims in their own cities. Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) give women insight into the Islamic faith and cultural views on women. They inspire and equip women looking for new ways to engage with the Muslim world here and abroad. The goal is for authentic relationships to spring up that will open doors for Christ’s followers to share the Word of God.
Their latest conference “Without Borders” was in New York City on August 5-6. Women learned to move past stereotypes and anxieties in order to have inter-faith dialogue with Muslim women.
Pray for lasting fruit from these conferences. Pray for future breakthroughs in the Muslim world as people have contact with those who love Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:5, NKJV
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith…
Pray for Christ’s servants this coming year to have pure hearts and sincere, life-changing faith.