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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.

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Mar. 18: Missionary Biography, Igor Barbanel

I grew up in a highly educated family of what I call Jewish atheists in Odessa, Ukraine. My dad and older brother graduated from the Higher Military Academy and were military officers. Since my childhood I wondered why the Jews were scattered around the world. My dad just told me it was “Jewish luck,” but I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. I married a Jewish girl. In the years that followed we had two children, our own apartment, friends, and a good job, but emptiness remained in my heart. I found no answers to my questions.

We began to receive invitations from Jews for Jesus to the Jewish holidays starting in 1992. Three years later we came to a meeting at Christmas time. After listening to the preacher, I realized that Jesus could cleanse me from my uncleanness, because he personally died for my sins. I accepted Yeshua (Jesus) into my heart. After the meeting, a missionary of Jews for Jesus told us to read the passage from Deuteronomy, chapter 28 about blessings and curses. I then understood why Jewish people are scattered all over the world. God answered my questions! God was clearly showing me that he had called me to be a missionary to the Jews, so I decided to serve with Jews for Jesus.

Pray that God would use Jews for Jesus to turn the hearts of the Jewish people in Ukraine to Yeshua.

 

Is 62:1, KJV

For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof goes forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Pray that Igor will disciple many who will go forth as spiritual lights to the Jewish peoples of Ukraine.

Mar. 19: Romanian Jewish People in Romania

Two thousand years is a long time! Jewish people have lived in Romania since Roman times. They were later joined by Polish and Spanish Jewish people, both of whom arrived during the Renaissance, the latter as refugees from Catholic Spain in 1496. More Jewish people came in the 1800s from the east. Others are from Italy, Greece, and the Middle East. As time went on, the Romanian Jewish community became a blend of all of these Jewish communities.

Until WWI, not all Romanian-born Jewish people were citizens. Between the wars, they were denied jobs and a university education. During WWII they suffered loss of property and lives even as the Romanian government sought to protect them from deportation. Since the war, there has been an outmigration. Today some 3,000 to 23,000 remain in the cities of Bucharest, Iasi (pron. eeyahsh), Cluj, and Oradea. 

Today there is a Federation of Jewish Communities that publishes a newspaper. In Bucharest, the capital, there is a Yiddish theater and a Chabad House. Indeed, Romania was where Yiddish theatre began. Curiously, to pray that the messiah should come this year is thought to be heresy by some Romanian rabbis!

Pray that Romanian Jewish people will increasingly long for and find their messiah. Pray that as they emigrate that they will go where they may be evangelized. Pray that churches in Romania and their new homelands will earnestly seek the salvation of Romania’s Jewish people.

 

Gen 3:15, RSV

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Pray the ancient Romanian Jewish people will seek and find their virgin-birthed messiah who will crush their enemies under His feet.

Mar. 20: Jewish People of Georgia

One of the mysteries of history is what happened to the ten “lost” tribes of Israel. These Jewish people were removed from the land of Israel 2,700 years ago by the Assyrians. The Jewish people of Georgia claim to be the descendants of those 10 Jewish tribes or of those taken into exile by Babylonians 2,500 years ago.

The Jewish quarter in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi is the home of most Georgian Jewish people today. Most have immigrated to Israel, the United States or Belgium in the past 30 years. Those who remain in Georgia tend to be Orthodox who have adopted Georgian as their first language. Another group of Jews, the Askhenazi, were moved from Eastern Europe to Georgia by the policies of the Russian and Soviet governments.

Georgian Jewish people work as doctors, university professors, businessmen, artists, attorneys, and writers. Many are active in government and public life. There are no known followers of Jesus among the Georgian Jews.

Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the Georgian Jews. Ask the Lord to send Messianic Jews to bring the gospel to the Jews of Georgia. Pray that the Lord wins key leaders of the community to himself and that many others will follow their example of becoming believers. Pray that the Lord plants a growing church among the Georgian Jews.

 

Is 48:10-11 ESV

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction ... My glory I will not give to another.

Pray the the Lord would get the glory he deserves by bringing many Georgian Jewish people to himself.

Mar. 21: Hungarian Speaking Jews

Hungary is one of the nations in the world that contains Jewish people. It is home to the largest Jewish community in eastern Europe. From as early as the second century AD, there are records of Jewish people living in Hungary, and those records continue throughout medieval times into the present. The Jews were integrated with the local people before the anti-Semitism of the early and mid 20th century.

In modern times Jewish peoples have other issues. A younger generation is growing up lacking in identity and understanding of their roots. There are efforts to educate them in their traditions so that they can keep their culture alive. This is very important because much of the Jewish culture comes from eastern Europe. If their culture is lost there, it can be lost forever.

Judaism as a religion has much in common with Christianity. This is not surprising, since Christianity started as a sect of the former. The main difference between them is that Judaism does not recognize Yeshua as the promised messiah, while Christianity does. Tomorrow you will pray about what Jews for Jesus is doing about this.

Pray that the Jewish peoples in Hungary will be able to communicate their culture to the next generation. Pray for the revelation of Yeshua Messiah, the hope of mankind, and the fulfillment of Jewish history.

 

Is 35:4-6a, RSV

Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy!

Pray for the Jewish people of Hungary to read this prophesy and understand that their messiah not only has come and done all these things, but wants to do the same things through them!

Mar. 22: Missionary Biography, Kata Tar

I was born during the time that communists ruled in Hungary. My parents were both children of their age—atheistic communists. I was raised in that mindset and eagerly believed it until my university years when I lost my faith in communism and started searching. I took part in a séance, which made me aware of the invisible world. One Sunday I decided to visit my friends who had become Christians. They shared their faith with me.

That night God touched me and convicted me of his love and my sin. He also showed me what his call for me was (Is 49:6). Three weeks later I made Jesus the Lord of my life.

My Reformed pastor had Messianic Jewish friends who came to minister in Hungary. Jesus resurrected my Jewish identity. After eight years I joined a Scottish mission for the Jews, and we started a messianic congregation in Hungary.

I joined Jews for Jesus, and now I serve my people by proclaiming the gospel in many different ways. We do Messianic music, dance, and art shows by displaying paintings of a Messianic Jewish artist. We interview Jewish musicians, artists and scholars about their identity, film shows, and I go to streets to hand out gospel tracts. I also phone and visit Jewish people who are interested in the Messiah.

Pray for my work to result in many Jewish people embracing their messiah.—Kata, Jews for Jesus

 

Is 9:6, Lk 1:30-32, RSV

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the son of the most high; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David ...”

Pray for this verse to become very real to Kata Tar and the Hungarian Jewish people he is reaching.

Mar. 23: German Speaking Jewish People

The Jews arrived on the European continent at least 2,000 years ago and much of what is considered to be “Jewish” today has roots in the Jewish peoples of Europe.

There are two main branches of European Jews—one is the Ashkenazi Jews and the other are Sephardic Jews. The Sephardic peoples come from the Iberian Peninsula, having lived in Spain or Portugal prior to their expulsion in 1492. They speak a Judeo-Spanish language known as Ladino. The Ashkenazi peoples are from the Germanic region of the world, and speak Yiddish, a language with Hebrew and Slavic elements. The religious practices of Jewish Europeans are quite varied, and there is a great deal of diversity amongst Jewish movements. Nevertheless a significant minority are non-practicing or non-religious.

Despite the history of the region, or perhaps in keeping with it, German-speaking Jewish peoples still contend with anti-Semitism, as they have throughout history. In Austria, it springs up from grass-root groups. Some believe it also comes from the state level.

Pray for the safety of Jewish peoples in Europe. Pray that they would have favor in the eyes of both the people and the governments. Pray that their eyes would be on God, and that they would be opened to the reality and identity of their true messiah.

 

Is 53:9-10, RSV

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he had put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand …

Pray for German and Jewish people alike to see the astronomical price their messiah has paid for them, so that they will have willing hearts to bow their knees to him alone.

Mar. 24: Missionary Biography, Aaron Lewin

Being a teenager isn’t easy. Along with schoolwork there is the awkwardness of searching for identity. Despite being raised in a believing home to a Messianic Jewish father and a Christian mother, Aaron Lewin rebelled as a teenager in his quest to discover himself and joined a punk rock band.

In spite of the blue hair and pink bass guitar, God didn’t let go of him and at the age of 16, Aaron was confronted with his sins. God revealed to him that he could only find a purpose for his life in Jesus. After an experience with the Holy Spirit and a well-timed book from his mother, he gave his life to Jesus.

The next day, all was different. The Bible was no longer an irrelevant book; instead, the words sprang off the page and spoke directly to him. The punk music CDs were thrown in the trash, the posters were torn down, and his attitude was different. There was such a big difference that even his school teachers were amazed!

Aaron went on to study linguistics at a university before joining Jews for Jesus, where he served with his newly-wed wife and later three children for four and a half years before moving to Berlin in May 2016 to start a new office of Jews for Jesus.

Pray that the gospel will go out to all Jewish people in Berlin, but specifically to the 20,000 Israelis living there.

 

Acts 1:9-11, NRSV

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Pray that the reality of life and resurrection will stir many teenaged Jewish people to seek life and hope.

Mar. 25: Polish Speaking Jewish People in Poland

(This fictional account is intended to portray the situation in Poland today.)

“Why do the Poles hate us?” the boy asked his father, Jacob. “They don’t hate us. They’re just ... afraid. They don’t understand us. They fear what they do not know.”

Jacob paused. “Do you remember the story I told you about our people?” The boy nodded. “Most were killed in WWII, and most of those who weren’t killed escaped to America or other parts of Europe.” The little boy asked, “Why didn’t our family escape?” “Your great grandparents were very brave. Poland was their home, so they decided to stay.” The boy’s eyebrows furrowed as he asked, “Do we still have to stay? Can’t we escape to America?” Jacob shook his head. “Running away isn’t the answer.”

Approximately 90 percent of the three million Jews living in Poland in the 1940s were killed in the Holocaust. Those who remain today make up less than half of one percent of Poland’s population. Despite their small numbers, they face an atmosphere of growing anti-Semitism.

Ask the Lord to protect the Jewish people in Poland. Pray for God to use the difficult situation today to give Jewish people a spiritual hunger that will lead them to their messiah. Pray for God to establish his kingdom in the hearts of the Jewish people of Poland.

 

Ps 3:8, NET

The Lord delivers; you show favor to your people. (Selah)

Pray that the remaining Jewish people in Poland will live by this Psalm.

Mar. 26: Latvian Jewish People

(This story illustrates things that could happen in Latvia.)

Andris looked at his co-worker Edgars with a mixture of fascination and shock when Edgars put on a yamulke before leaving work. He rushed to catch up with him as Edgars walked out the door. “Hey, Edgars, what’s with the beanie?” Edgars glared at him and replied, “It’s not a beanie. Beanies are for cartoon characters. This is a yamulke, and when you’re Jewish like I am, you wear one when you go to temple.” Andres then asked, “Did you just start getting religious?” Edgars rolled his eyes back and replied, “This has nothing to do with being religious; I was born Jewish, and this is Passover.” Andres didn’t dare ask what Passover was, so he just watched him walk away.

In Latvia, Jewish people look and dress like everyone else, so people often don’t know they are Jewish. Jewish people don’t regularly face anti-Semitic behavior, but few of them hold political power. Like the people of the other two Baltic States, (Lithuania and Estonia) Latvian Jewish people use Russian as a trade language. There are plenty of evangelistic materials in that language.

Pray that Christ’s ambassadors will go to Latvian Jewish people with the JESUS Film. Pray that Latvian believers will welcome them as friends, and show them the love of the savior.

 

Is 53:4-6, RSV

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will stir Latvian Jewish people to repent from going astray from God’s best.

Mar. 27: Finnish Speaking Jewish People

Up until the middle of the 19th century, Jewish people were forbidden to live within the borders of what is today Finland. Even after the ban was lifted, life was restricted and controlled by stiff administrative decrees prejudiced against Finnish Jewish people.

Today around 1,300 Jews live in Finland, and they are distinguished in many cultural areas including music, politics, science, and literature. The Central Council of Jewish Communities is Finland’s leading group that strives to encourage Jewish culture and prevent assimilation. Along with learning Hebrew and participating in extracurricular educational activities focused on Jewish heritage, Finnish-Jewish students have the opportunity to visit Israel in order to get in touch with their Jewish identities. Finland has only two synagogues; one located in the country’s capital of Helsinki and the other in Turku. Although these synagogues operate according to Orthodox Judaism, most Finnish Jews are less strict in their religion.

Pray that God would send Holy Spirit-filled workers with a heart for Finnish Jews to the land. Pray that these missionaries will have clear eyes and can see past any false promises of prosperity and identity in this world. Pray that Finnish Jewish people would know Jesus as the messiah, and as the one answer to all questions, all desires. Pray that the Finnish Jewish people will soon be discipled in the ways of the savior of all nations.

 

Is 53:12-13, RSV

He shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Praise the Lord that he has given you the opportunity to pray for the Finnish speaking Jewish people today.

Mar. 28: Italian-speaking Jewish People

God has not rejected his chosen, destined people! – Paul (Romans 11:2a TPT)

The first Jewish people in Italy came to Rome in the 2nd Century before Christ. They were sent to secure an agreement between the Jews of Israel and an ascending Rome. Jews have remained in Italy ever since, now numbering about 28,000.

In an August 2015 interview, a Jewish Italian painter insightfully described the long, rich, and sometimes oppressive history of the Jews in Italy. “Above all, it’s a community that survives invasions, barbarians, the economy. We’re a small community that is reborn, that grows. We play a very important role in Italy.”

Despite rising anti-Semitism in other parts of Europe, Jewish leaders in Italy display unexpected optimism. They face similar challenges to small cultural communities elsewhere: shrinking populations, youth moving to other countries, and high intermarriage rates. However, Jewish vitality in Italy has grown.

Italy’s diverse Jewish communities have deep cultural and religious roots with few followers of Christ among any of them. As a people, they strongly understand their connection to the Abrahamic Covenant, but they reject messiah Jesus who fulfills that covenant.

Pray for Jewish Italian hearts to soften to Jesus as their messiah. Ask for anointed believers to serve, pray, and witness in Judeo-Italian communities. Pray for strong local fellowships in every Jewish community of Italy.

 

Is 53:7-8, RSV

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

Pray that every sacrifice of the Jewish peoples will remind them of the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world.

Mar. 29: French Speaking Jewish People in Switzerland

Probably no other race has been as successful in adapting to and assimilating to their environment as the Jewish population. They live virtually all over the world and are very successful in their chosen occupations. No other racial group has won as many Nobel prizes as have the Jewish communities.

The Swiss have learned the art of survival through the centuries. They band together. They believe in unity; all for one and one for all is their philosophy. One would expect the French-speaking Jewish people of Switzerland to fit right into this country and its lifestyle.

Yet there are ways that the Jewish people do not fit in with Swiss ways. Switzerland has no kosher meat because of an old law about humane slaughter of animals. Its sports activities for children are always on Saturdays. This makes it hard for Jewish families observing the Sabbath day of worship. Although there are no outward, obvious signs of bias against Jews or Muslims, there are very subtle practices and observations that seem to exclude them.

Pray that Swiss believers would make a concerted effort to reach out and befriend their Jewish neighbors, showing interest in their religion and culture that might lead to opportunities to share Jesus with them. Pray that they will disciple Jewish people in the ways of Yeshua.

 

Ps 9:11, NET

Sing praises to the Lord, who rules in Zion! Tell the nations what he has done!

Pray that the Jewish people will soon understand that the Lord wants to use them to reach the nations. Pray that Jewish people will use their God-given abilities to help the nations to see his glory, wisdom, and might.

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