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.
Another family issue involves the conflict between the parents’ wishes and the needs of their children. Many homes have single moms who have been married and divorced several times. These women have been totally disillusioned and betrayed. Some have left their children in the islands with family members to go to a European city. They hope to find a more prosperous life where the children can later join them and get a better education. Others have divorced their husbands, and married different men who live with them and other spouse’s children.
There tends to be a distant relationship between the fathers and their children as they grow older, which doesn’t allow for mentoring or involvement in their lives. At times the children are caught in between the mother and her husband, especially if the mother returns to the islands for a period of time, leaving the husband with children who don’t belong to him. The phone calls can be difficult and strained when the financial expectations of the husband aren’t met.
Pray that parents will have a heart for the well-being of their children and make sacrifices for them, leaving their own interests aside. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts to seek after Christ and obey His teachings regarding family matters.
Eph 6:4, NIV
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Pray that African fathers will heed this advice from the one who created us for His purposes.
Many Africans in urban Europe live in government housing which is often in big crowded apartment complexes with many different immigrant communities living alongside each other. Many of these complexes have drug trafficking sites and gangs. Anyone coming into these complexes are closely watched by appointed “guards”, at times preventing those who live in the apartments from using their own elevators, etc. Shootings happen regularly as a form of revenge.
Sadly, young men who have finished school without going on to university or finding a job, end up getting pulled into these gangs. They have nothing to do, so the possibility of having money draws them into dangerous circles. Children of families who live in these complexes are constantly exposed to an evil and dangerous lifestyle. In many places, once one area of drug trafficking is removed by the police, another site is established, making the situation very difficult to monitor, let alone eradicate.
Pray for the Lord to intervene. Pray that the forces of evil will be destroyed in the lives of these people and replaced with victory in Jesus. Pray for the protection of families and a desire to find resourceful avenues to further themselves in productive ways. Pray that young Africans in Europe will seek after God, and embrace His ways.
Gen 1:29-30, NLT
Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.
Pray for the Africans in Europe to seek God’s perfect sin-free innocence. Pray that many who are in bondage to drugs and gangs will show the way to spiritual freedom in Christ.
African children living in European cities face the challenges of materialism, strong social pressure in school, and few outlets for their energy. Unlike the islands where children run freely and safely in their villages, they are confined to their apartments after school to watch TV programs that the mother has chosen. Fathers are often not present in the home until the evening after the last prayers. Therefore, homework is done without encouragement from either parent. This is difficult for those who need extra help. Children are seldom given positive verbal affirmation, and they can easily lose their motivation. Added to their normal school schedule, many children go to Qur’anic school in the afternoons and on weekends. Religious instruction is as important to them as it is in Africa.
As they get older, girls are expected to do more of the housework and meal preparation which takes away time from study. Many mothers have not finished school and do not place a high priority on helping their children do well academically. Without improving their educational standards, the next generation of Africans in Europe can easily be stuck in poverty.
Pray for parents to realize the importance of education and seek to help their children to thrive in their studies. Pray for hearts that desire to learn, to understand the truths of God’s word, and a willingness to obey the Lord.
Ps 98:7, NLT
Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise! Let the earth and all living things join in.
May the next generation of African Muslims in Europe shout His praise no matter how much community pressure there is to be silent.
Imagine a family in France or Spain where parents arrange marriages for their offspring, and the bride’s family must pay a dowry to the groom’s family. This is the situation for the Moors in Spain and France today. They probably seem backward to the Europeans, but their proud history has given them a sense of superiority.
The Moors have a long history in Spain and France. Black Africans identified as Moors were recruited as soldiers by the Roman Empire. Hundreds of years later after Rome fell and the Islamic empire expanded, Moorish Muslims were instrumental in taking over what is now Spain and Portugal. They contributed to European civilizations with their advances in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture at a time when even most European royalty could not read or write. Some historians credit Moors with helping to propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.
Today Moorish people do not know how to answer the most important question of their lives. There are no known Moorish believers in either country. There is no Bible translation in their Hassaniya dialects; however the JESUS Film, and other audio/visual resources are available.
Pray for audio and visual resources to become easily available for the Moors. Pray that God will grant Moorish people eyes to see their spiritual need. Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Moors in France and Spain so that they can reach their own people.
Rev 19:7, NET
Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.
Pray for the Moors in Europe to make themselves ready for their groom, the savior, Jesus Christ.
The crowd of Saharawis stood and cheered loudly as Ali struggled for breath. He gave a mighty kick and scored the winning play in the championship soccer match. This victory would speak loudly for his Saharawi refugee countrymen in Western Sahara section of northwestern Africa.
France's Saharawi population lives mostly in Paris and Marseilles. Saharawis are trying to convince the French to be sympathetic to the situation their people face in the Western Sahara where they are in a state of low-level war with the Moroccans.
They consider themselves to be pure Muslims, but pre-Islamic beliefs are strong among the Saharawis. The Saharawis need to be transformed by a relationship with Jesus Christ who loves them and died for their sins. This is extremely difficult in northwest Africa, but they can hear of Jesus in France where there is relative freedom of religion. A worker in Europe tells us that there is a ministry that addresses refugee needs while sharing good news.
Pray for workers in France as they prepare to receive 300 North African refugees. They need English teachers, cooks, and lawyers. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften hearts and supernaturally reveal Jesus to the Saharawis as the way to true spiritual peace. Pray that God will save key leaders among the Saharawis who will boldly declare Jesus among their people in Europe and in Africa. Ask God to raise up intercessors, strong local churches, and disciples.
Rom 8:37, NET
No, in all these things we have complete victory through Him who loved us!
Pray that the Saharawis will look to the Lord for victory. Pray that they will understand that what matters most is being on the Lord’s side.
(This story illustrates some truths about Bambara people in France.)
“This pottery is stunning. Who made this?” Monique, the owner of a pottery shop in Paris, responded to her client. “This unique design is the work of Madou Sissoko. He is a Bambara refugee from Mali who has been here in Paris for over four years. In Mali, he made his living as a potter producing beautiful pieces like these. When he first came here the only job he could get was doing janitorial work. He felt lost and depressed. Then he heard about a group who tries to help refugees in France find jobs related to the work they did in their country. Now many people here in France will be able to benefit from his outstanding talent.”
Bambaras are considered to be a powerful and significant people group who primarily live and work as farmers in Mali, West Africa. They blend their traditional ancestor worship into their Muslim faith. There are an estimated 3,000 Bambaras living in Paris where their local mosques become a place for worship and a place where they meet others from Africa. Almost none have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Many are undocumented refugees. Most of them are working in low paying jobs and have chosen a secular life.
Pray that God will prepare more believers to reach out to the Bambaras in France.
Acts 4:12, NIV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.
Pray that the Bambara people in France will embrace this verse, and put their faith in the only savior, Jesus Christ.
In a developed nation like France, a drought only means you must not water your lawn or often wash your car, but in developing countries in Africa, lack of water can be life threatening. In the 1970s lack of rain in the southern region of the Sahara Desert (called the Sahel) brought disaster to the nomadic Tamacheq people. Many lost their herds of camels, cattle, sheep, and goats, which is all they had. Others were forced to move south to find pastureland. In order to survive many moved to the cities or left their native land to find work.
Others traveled to France to earn money to send home. Oddly enough, the majority of the Tamacheqs plan to return to their families in Africa rather than stay in France. A few Tamacheqs come to France to sell jewelry made by their skilled artisans, but most of them work as laborers and in other businesses. They are Tamacheqs who come to France to stay with friends or family living there. Such networking is a cornerstone of Tamacheq culture. Tamacheqs mix their ancient Berber beliefs with Islam, and very few have found a relationship with Christ.
Pray that believers would build friendships with the Tamacheq living in France. Pray that the Tamacheqs in France who find Christ will take the gospel to their relatives in Africa. Pray that the Lord would plant strong churches among the Tamacheq people in France and Africa.
Heb 11:8 ESV
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Pray that the Tamacheq people living in France would find spiritual rest in Jesus from their wanderings.
“Young people see no future here, that’s why they want to go to Europe,” shares an angry, young, educated man from Senegal, West Africa. He tried unsuccessfully to get to Europe until Moroccan authorities deported him back to Senegal. There are thousands of young people like him, some educated and some not, some who make it to Western Europe and some who don’t—including many who die trying.
There are over 5.6 million Wolof people who make up Senegal’s largest ethnic group. Approximately 41,000 now live in France. Senegal became a French colony in the 1800s, with the Wolof being awarded French citizenship in 1946. Senegal has since gained independence, but European influence is still seen in Wolof culture. About two thirds of Senegal’s population is below the age of 18. Multitudes of young people can’t find viable work. Many Senegalese families rely on income from a relative abroad. However, the dream of European prosperity often leads to mounting frustration for Wolof people who can’t find good jobs in Europe.
Few Wolof people try integrating with the French majority. Despite numerous Christian resources available to them, the Sufi Muslim Wolof people are also closed to the gospel.
Pray for softening of Wolof hearts through the JESUS Film, radio, and other evangelistic tools. Ask God for anointed, culturally-sensitive witnesses to go to the Wolof. Pray for disciple-making movements among France’s Wolof diaspora.
Eph 1:7-8, NET
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.
Pray that the Wolof people in France will embrace this promise and allow it to transform their communities.
Rashad stood under a tree in a Paris park, gazing at the distant Eiffel Tower. He was a member of the Fulbe people group, the same one we prayed for in February.
His journey to France had begun in Nigeria. Ten people from his village had each paid a smuggler $400 to get them to France. The group had decided to leave Nigeria because of religious violence, and they wanted to earn more money. First came a hot, dusty bus ride through the Sahel Desert, followed by a second bus ride to war-torn Libya. Then came a rickety boat ride to Italy. Five of them had died, some drowning off the coast of Italy, and others were shot to death in Libya. Rashad felt lucky to be alive, and he thanked Allah for that.
There are 32,000 Fulbe people living in France today, most of them recent refugees. Almost all of them are Muslims. They speak a language called Fulfulde. Some are college graduates, but most are much less educated. There are few, if any, followers of Christ among them.
Ask God to strengthen mission efforts to reach Fulbe and other African peoples in France. Pray that God would break the spiritual stronghold of Islam, and give them a spiritual thirst that will lead them to Jesus. May there soon come a day when Fulbe people in France will be discipled in Christ’s ways.
Mark 6:53, NET
As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized Jesus.
Pray that the refugees who are fleeing to Europe will recognize Jesus for who He is, and seek Him as they begin their new lives.
Hailing from Argentina, Abel and Patricia Vallejos have worked side-by-side among the Fulanis in Guinea Bissau and Portugal. Their impact has been felt wherever there are Fulani migrants in Europe. Both the Fulani and Mandingo people have been a particular focus of this couple. They have attempted to reach the Muslim groups in Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Portugal, and even Paris, France. The work is slow, but they have made progress. Since first arriving as missionaries to Equatorial Guinea in 1990, they have planted multiple churches. There are now a few Muslim-background members beginning to fill the seats. As a doctor, Abel has started a medical clinic in Lisbon, and they have also established a school to teach alphabetization to adults.
Twice a year, they returned to Africa for short periods, taking pastors along from Argentina and Portugal to see the needs of the people and to spread the desire to reach the unreached.
Pray that the Lord would bring good fruit from this work, and that Fulani hearts would be open and receptive to Jesus Christ. Pray for additional resources and materials in the Fulani language, especially digital media and film. Pray that attempts to spread zeal for the lost and unreached would be wildly successful among European believers, so that they will take part in this emerging harvest.
James 3:17, NET
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.
Pray that the good fruit that comes from the work of missionaries among Africans in Europe will result in many putting their faith in Jesus Christ alone.
“Your whole life you will be tired, from when you start working till the day you die.” These are the words of a Soninke man describing life as a migrant worker in France.
The Soninke are an agricultural people spread across seven countries in West Africa. Since the 1950s, however, after desertification of natural farmland, Soninke men began supporting their families as international laborers, primarily in France. These migrants were once a valued source of labor within France, as they served in reconstructing the country after WWII. Today, the Soninke migrants are condemned as an unwelcome social burden. Nevertheless, the promise of overseas labor remains a source of hope to them, and many Soninke youth consider immigration to be a sign of manhood.
The Soninke migrants have a saying that captures the difficulty of life abroad: “A foreigner has no value in foreign places.” Soninke laborers experience constant racism in their host countries. Their living situations are also dismal. Often laborers will sleep only two hours a night in a room packed so tightly with other workers that they will not even be able to turn in their bed. Almost all Soninke are Muslim.
Pray for the French church to embrace the Africans in their home country. Pray for the Soninkes in France to find rest in the knowledge of Jesus, and for many to return to Africa sharing the good news of the true riches of knowing the savior.
Prov 25:25, NIV
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Pray for the Lord to provide spiritual rest for the Soninke people in France, and use them to provide the same for those in West Africa.
Can you play ping pong? Do you like soccer? Do you like to eat and socialize? Have you led a Bible study? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you probably qualify to work with refugees in Europe.
Refugees from Iraq and Syria are still arriving along with others from Sudan and Somalia. One worker is organizing ping pong and soccer for teenagers, and she is surprised by how respectful the young people are. Once they get into the job market, they will do great with their people skills! For security reasons, we will just call her Rhonda, though it’s not her real name. The refugees also play video games, learn dance, and attend Bible studies.
Africans gravitate towards Bible studies in English, while the Arabic speaking people hear God’s word in their own language. For most of them, this is the first time they have had a chance to interact with God’s word and to hear of the lovingkindness of the Lord. Teenagers are among the most spiritually receptive. With all the confusion from being in a foreign country, many of these refugees are even more open to spiritual change.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of both workers and refugees. Pray that Bible studies will lead to discipleship and transformed lives. Pray for loving volunteers to help lead Bible studies and befriend these Muslim refugees.
Eph 3:18, NLT
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
Pray that through this work of the Lord, Muslim refugees will understand the depths of God’s love, and embrace Him with all their hearts.