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.
Only God knows the heart of a man and whether he is ready to hear about Him; thus He is winning some to His kingdom!
Nabil (name changed for protection) and his family of Muslim refugees settled in a small apartment that happened to be near a believer named Greg. Nabil found a job as a common laborer, but one day suffered a debilitating ankle injury. He was unable to work. His new friend, Greg, stopped in as often as he could to help him rehabilitate, but Nabil’s ankle did not respond. One day Nabil called Greg and almost pleaded, “Greg, I need to see you immediately! Come over now and bring your Bible.” When Greg arrived, Nabil excitedly said, “A man in white came to me in a vision and told me to get a Bible.” Greg noticed that Nabil was not limping and asked, “What happened to your ankle?” Nabil excitedly responded, “The man in white healed it!” He then recounted a dream he had where this man led him into a beautiful garden, and at the entrance, he told Nabil that he must read the Bible and that it would lead him to life.”
Pray for believers to pray for and expect God to hear their pleas for salvation for their lost Muslim neighbors. Pray that holy visitations will lead to hundreds of Muslim families devoting their lives to Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:8, NLT
God knows people’s hearts, and He confirmed that He accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us.
Thank God that He knows the hearts of men!
In Revelation we read of people from every language worshiping Jesus. What will He do about people who speak languages that die out? We don’t have an answer for that, but we know that many of the world’s languages are dying. Today and tomorrow, we will pray for people whose languages are being replaced by others.
Hobyot speakers number between 100 and 1,000; most of those who speak this language are elderly, and only speak Arabic as a second language. They are one of six groups speaking a modern south Arabian language. It is sad that the Hobyot language is dying since it has a rich oral poetry.
Only about one in 500 follows Christ. This is out of a total Hobyot population of some 35,500. Although Christian resources are available in Arabic, it is only a second language to those who speak Hobyot.
Pray for every Hobyot family and clan to accept blessings of the Lord. Pray that Hobyot believers will reach out to their Muslim kinsmen whom God has prepared to receive their witness favorably. Pray for resources to become available in Hobyot. Pray for a people movement to Christ among this group that will result in many being discipled. Pray for them to come together in Christ-centered fellowships and go out to those who do not know of His sovereign grace.
Pro 8:20, NLV
I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.
Pray for many from the Hobyot people to walk in Christ’s righteousness.
Do you like to drink coffee? There is a reason why one of the main types of beans are called “Arabica.” Parts of the Arab world, especially Yemen, were among the first places where coffee was grown. In Yemen, some of the Mahras people grow coffee, and you might have been drinking some of their harvest this morning. Some Mahras people live in one place and tend to farmland, while others are semi-nomadic herdsmen. They are viewed as low class and conservative by other Yemeni people groups.
Muslim Sheiks control Mahras society and communities. They are both the religious and political leaders. They control commerce and territorial integrity. Sheiks also act as brokers with the outside world. They are the leaders among this people group, and no one but a real rebel would dare to stand against their wishes. However, as infrastructure improves, Mahras communities are becoming open to the outside world regardless of what their sheiks tell them.
The Mahras people are solidly Sunni Muslim, so there are very few followers of Jesus (Only about 57 in a population of 57,000).
Pray for increasingly improved infrastructure. Also pray that believers will take advantage of new opportunities to take Christ to this unreached people group. Pray that the few Mahras believers will be encouraged to share their family ties with the king of Kings. Pray for intercession and availability of Bible resources in their language.
Job 29:14, NLV
Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban.
Pray for righteousness, honesty, and integrity to define believers among the Mahras people of Yemen.
Between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula exists a dry, wind-swept island that presents one of the most daunting challenges for the spread of the gospel. Socotra is an island that is home to nearly 130,000 inhabitants that are more than 99 percent Muslim.
Isolated from the world by monsoonal storms for four months out of the year, this island holds some of the rarest species of trees and plants on Earth. Located in shark infested waters, the island has been dominated by Islam since the 1600s. Tradition reports that the Apostle Thomas originally brought the message of the cross, although much of the witness was eventually lost. Today believers constitute about 0.4 percent of the population.
There is little water for vegetable gardens. The only hospital is currently run by Russians and, due to a lack of money, it is always short of supplies. There is a need for English teachers for the lucrative tourist industry. There is also a need for speakers versed in the Socotran language to help create Christian radio broadcasts. Getting permission to visit the island has been difficult as the local government is controlled by the Yemeni military.
Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send the needed laborers. Pray that local believers will have the boldness to share their faith in the face of Muslim opposition.
Heb 9:22, NLT
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
Pray that the message of salvation by the blood of Christ will spread throughout Socotra Island.
Numbering about 67,000, Yemen’s Razihi people speak an endangered language, believed to be a descendant of the Old South Arabian languages. Though they speak a language that can’t be understood by other Yemenis, the Razihis have a similar lifestyle to others in Yemen. With the dry climate, most Razihis earn their living through livestock herding. Some work in the oil industry.
The Razihis live in the highlands on Mount Jabal Razih in the far northwestern corner of Yemen. Yemen is marked by serious food and water shortages, which includes dwindling access to clean water. The water shortage is partly due to growing qat, a plant that when chewed is a mild stimulant. Qat growth uses more than half of Yemen’s water supply, and farmers gain more money from growing qat than from growing nutritious food.
The Razihi people are 100 percent Muslim, though with Yemen’s high substance abuse from qat, most likely they do not seriously follow the Qur’an. Few can read classical Arabic and so they depend on their spiritual leaders, imams, to teach them. In addition, there are no Christian resources available in the Razihi language, including no Bible portions or gospel recordings.
Pray for Bible translation and gospel recordings for the Razihi language. Ask that Razihi people will hear and receive spiritual truth that leads them to Christ. Pray for a Disciple-Making Movement to begin among Yemen’s Razihis.
John 4:14, NLT
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.
Pray not only for clean drinking water for the Razihi people, but for them to drink of Christ’s spiritual water and live forever with God!
Coffee used to be a main trade among Northern Yemenis, and it is still an important part of social life. Northern Yemeni men like to drink communally, sitting on the floor and drinking from glasses or cups without handles. Unfortunately, coffee has been overtaken by a stronger stimulant, qat. For every coffee farm, there are seven qat farms in Yemen. Qat is a mild narcotic that has become the mainstay of rural life among Northern Yemenis. According to The Economist, one of the biggest causes of hunger in the country is addiction to qat. Valuable fresh water is used for qat rather than nutritious foods.
Qat used to be grown primarily in the northwest mountains of Yemen, home of the Northern Yemeni people. Now it is grown all over the country. The people of northern Yemen are also known as the Sanaani Arabs. Numbering around 11 million, they live in the northern mountains, the north-eastern deserts, and the capital city of Sana’a. There are no followers of Christ among them, and they are among the highest priority “frontier” people groups.
Pray for the Northern Yemeni people, who hunger for truth but are mistakenly feeding that hunger with qat. Pray that they will long for truth and righteousness and find it in Jesus Christ. Pray for disciples to make more disciples among the Northern Yemenis. Pray that there will be ongoing efforts to pray for them.
Jn 8:10-11, NLT
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Pray that Yemeni peoples caught up with drug addictions will understand and accept the forgiveness and grace offered by Jesus Christ.
(This story illustrates aspects of Southern Yemeni culture.)
Yasmin awoke early, knowing she faced another hot day, but hot or not, she donned her all-black balto. This is the long flowing gown that all the women wore over their other layers. She combed her hair then proceeded to cover her head with a headscarf. This was required by Islam. Finally, she put on her face veil. This was not required by Islam, but her husband insisted on it. He wanted her to protect her dignity whenever she left home.
Today Yasmin would be leaving the house at an early hour to purchase food for her son’s wedding. She had picked the bride for her child-bearing potential, and the young people had been agreeable to the match. In a couple of hours, Yasmin’s women friends would come to her house to help prepare the wedding meal. She looked forward to their company. Being with friends would help pass the time while fixing all that food for the men. The mother-of-the-groom smiled at the thought of one more benefit from the wedding: she wouldn’t have to do the laundry today!
Pray for God to send courageous believers to reach out to the six million Southern Yemeni Arabs. Ask Him to open their hearts to Jesus, the only one who can satisfy their spiritual needs.
Jn 1:4-5, NLT
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Pray that the Southern Yemenis will be drawn to the Lord of Light and give Him thanks for giving them abundant life.
If you picture Yemen as a lengthwise brick that you slice vertically into thirds, the middle third is where the Hadrami Arabs live. In a country of some 28 million, the Hadrami number 1.5 million. One household name of Hadrami descent is Osama bin Laden, who was not from Yemen, but whose father was Yemeni.
The Hadramis used to be nomads, but now, half of them live in towns scattered throughout the region. There are distinct social differences among the people. The wealthy Sadahs claim to be descended from Mohammed. Hadramis usually marry within their own social class, and they are segregated in their communities. On special days, Hadramis will gather to dance under a shady tent. On these occasions, the women can dress up in colorful clothes but still cover everything except their hands and eyes. Music is provided by one or two simple wind instruments and drums.
Referring back to the “brick” map, you will notice that the area that the Hadramis inhabit borders the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Arabian Sea. It takes but a small leap of logic to understand that the Hadramis were once a seafaring people. Today there are no believers among the Hadramis, nor is there any witness among them. They are 100 percent Muslim.
Please pray that God will send people to tell them about the savior. Pray that they will respond by forming discipleship groups.
Luke 1:77-78, NLT
You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us…
Pray for Hadrami Arabs to embrace and accept the forgiveness of Jesus, and spread His forgiveness to others throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
Sweet-smelling herbs around the “flower men’s” necks wafted through the thick, hot air, smoky with qat, a mildly narcotic leaf that is chewed for hours at a time. Tihami celebrations are elaborate, involving much dancing and music. Their folklore dance is just one demonstration of their dedication to maintain and preserve their ancestral traditions.
Tihama is the narrow western coastal region of Yemen on the Red Sea. It is made up of sand dunes and plains and is largely arid except for a few oases. The Tihamis are fiercely independent, shunning modern ways. Tihami people are nomadic, having resisted efforts by governments to settle them into permanent homes and cities.
Marriage comes early, and families are large. Most Tihamis are dependent on each day’s wages to provide for the next day. The majority depend on agriculture and sea resources to provide their daily needs; they often have barely enough to feed their families. In some villages there is little more schooling than Qur’an memorization. Tihami people are 100 percent Muslim.
Pray that audio Bible resources will soon be available in an understandable dialect for Tihami people; theirs is different from other Arab dialects. Pray that political change will result in more openness to the outside world. Pray that broken disciples will do what is needed to see to it that the Tihami people are discipled in the ways of Jesus Christ.
Ps 98:2, NLV
The Lord has announced His victory and has revealed His righteousness to every nation!
Pray for the Lord almighty to reveal His righteousness to the Tihami Arabs of Yemen.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have been born at the bottom of the social, economic, and religious order of your country? People would refuse to touch you or be touched by you. You would not be able to find sufficient work to support your family and yourself. You children would search for cans and bottles and beg for enough to buy food for their hungry stomachs. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to worship a false, unloving, and harsh god? Can you imagine never having heard about the work of Jesus?
Arabized Blacks in Yemen, also known as “Akhdam,” are these people. They live on the bottom rung of a supposedly abolished caste ladder. They are shorter and darker than typical Yemenis, making them stand out. Akhdam people mostly live in slums in big cities, primarily in Sana. They desperately need better living conditions, clean water and sanitation, education—and the Lord Jesus Christ, who loves them and paid the penalty for all their sins.
Written, audio, and visual resources are available in Arabic; however, the distribution and use of these materials is difficult and dangerous in this Muslim society.
Pray that long-term “tentmaker” believers will befriend and reach desperate Akhdam people with the help they need now and in eternity. Pray for them to have the chance to study the Bible, and find hope and joy as they become His disciples.
Is 33:5, NLV
Though the Lord is very great and lives in heaven, He will make Jerusalem His home of justice and righteousness.
Pray that the Lord will make Yemen a place of justice and righteousness and use the Akhdam people as an example of how He can lift a people group up when they obey the Lord.
There is a country that rivals Yemen for the brutality of their civil war: Sudan. Sudanese Arabs in Yemen hope to find a place where they can raise their families in peace, but they have gone to the wrong country for that basic need. Largely because of the ongoing civil war, Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world.
Sudanese Arabs in Yemen are a people with a mixture of diverse blood and cultures. They straddle the cultures of Africa and the Arab world. Rigid codes of honor, loyalty, hostility, and hospitality are among those values that have remained strong among them throughout the centuries.
Sudanese Arabs have seen what religious violence and brutality can do to a nation. Whether they are in Sudan or Yemen, they are almost entirely Sunni Muslim. In Yemen there is very little religious freedom; open belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is very dangerous. The worst persecution comes from families. Written, audio and visual Bible resources are available in Arabic, but not easily accessible in Yemen.
Pray that Sudanese Arabs will wake up spiritually and realize that only Jesus can provide peace and spiritual safety. Pray for natural and spiritual peace to come to Yemen. Ask the Lord to call out prayer teams to go and break up the soil through worship and intercession.
Is 61:1-3, NLV
Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth. The Lord will hold you in His hand for all to see—a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Make this your prayer for the Arabs of Sudan. Pray that even the most violent and wicked among them will become tools of the Lord to disciple others in new ways that bring justice and peace.
Egyptian life and culture have undergone very little change in hundreds of years, even among those who now live in Yemen. Egyptian Arabs are known for their music, which is popular in Yemen. According to legend, music in Egypt originated by a god as an effort to civilize the people.
Egypt’s population is the most rapidly growing of any country in the Arab world. With limited arable land, overtaxed resources, and societal problems, many Egyptian Arabs have migrated to Yemen. However, Yemen’s economy is in even worse condition than Egypt, so it’s hard for Egyptians to find good jobs.
As Yemen degenerated into civil war, Egyptian military forces entered the country to protect the Sunni Muslim dominated leaders from a possible Shi'ite takeover. Egyptian forces have entered Yemen on many occasions.
The majority of Egyptian Arabs in Yemen are Sunni Muslim. Most speak Egyptian Arabic, because most broadcasting originates in Egypt. Scripture resources, written, audio, and visual are available in Egyptian Arabic, but not accepted because the people are 97 percent Muslim.
Pray that there will soon be a Christ-centered church planting movement among Egyptian and Yemeni Arabs in Yemen. Pray for sincere, seeking hearts and minds among Yemeni Egyptian Arabs. Pray that persecuted Egyptian believers will soon become a mighty missionary movement to Yemen.
Matt 2:13-15, NLT
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
Pray that the Lord will raise up many Egyptian Muslims to remember their connection with the Savior and put their trust in Him alone.