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Adding a new discussion to foster prayer for the persecuted church in 2016.  I will be using the Open Doors World Watch List and Prayer Calendar, as well as other resources to pray.  Inviting anyone who is interested to join in!

Click on the image for a link to the Open Doors "prayer" page.  The prayer calendars, prayer alerts, and World Watch list can all be found there.

World Watch List 2016

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Jan 14: Islamic State Releases More Assyrian Christians

Father, thank you for the recent release of Assyrian Christians by ISIS.  Thank you for hearing the prayers lifted up on their behalf, for using the church negotiators to work for their release, and for getting hold of the hearts of their captors.  We praise you, Lord, that you do indeed hear the cries of your people and that you see the suffering of those who are persecuted for your name's sake.

Please bring comfort, health, and restoration to those who have been released.  As they reunite with families and friends, re-establish those binds of love.  Bring healing to mind, body, and soul from what they have suffered.  Turn the evil that has been done to them into good - both in their lives and in their testimonies for you.  May many others come to know you through their witness.

Please encourage those who are still in ISIS' captivity.  Sustain them spiritually, mentally, and physically. Grant them hearts of forgiveness and protect them from bitterness and discouragement. Enable them to rejoice in their suffering, and may their joy be a witness to their captors.  Bring their release soon, Lord. Please also safeguard those who have been displaced due to all the violence and hasten the day when they will be able to return to their homes.

Watch over those who are negotiating for the release of other captives.  Protect them from discouragement and give them wisdom and discernment to know how to communicate in a way that will both honor you and touch the hearts of the persecutors.  Bring conviction of sin to those who have been responsible for this violence and cause them to seek your forgiveness.

We trust in your sovereignty over the situation in Syria.  Please bring an end soon to the violence and bloodshed there.  Turn back the hands of those who hate you and hate your people - change their hearts as you did Paul on the road to Damascus. 

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Jan 15: Bombings in Indonesia Linked to ISIS

Father, please strengthen and encourage everyone affected by the recent ISIS bombings in Indonesia.  Bring healing to those who were injured and comfort to those who lost loved ones.  Use this incident to show the ugliness of sin and hatred for what it really is, and to cause people to long for the love and peace that only you can bring.

Guide the police department as they search for the surviving perpetrators.  Protect their safety and lead them clearly to the right parties. 

Please protect Indonesia, especially Jakarta, from panic and chaos.  Reign over the situation there to keep peace and order.  Bring to justice those responsible for this evil, and use this entire event to draw many non-believers in Jakarta to yourself.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Jan 1-4: Refugees

Father, please hear the cries of the refugees in and from Syria.  Calm their fears and protect them from those would prey on them in any way.  Provide for their needs of food and shelter.  Raise up your church as a source of grace and hope for them.  Please especially grant wisdom to Germany's government regarding the influx of refugees - by your Spirit, enable them to balance compassion for the refugees with the safety of their country, especially in light of the Cologne violence.

Please grow the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in their faith as they meet in secret.  Grant them instruction and wisdom from your word, accountability to each other, and safety in their meetings.  Protect them from those who would persecute them.

Please see the needs of the refugees without proper shelter in Iraq.  Resource the NGOs and churches who are working to provide shelter and care.  May your love and grace shine through your people and draw many of these refugees to yourself.

Finally, Lord, please strengthen your church in Lebanon to reach out with grace and compassion to the many refugees there.  May your church be known as a place and as a people who love the outcast, and may you be honored in their service.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

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Jan 15: Latin American Church - a Voice that Won't Be Silenced

from the Open Doors website:

Father God, we stand in awe of the faith You have bestowed upon these Christians in Latin America who are persecuted relentlessly for Your sake. Thank You for miraculous conversions, for strong faith, for voices that refuse to be silenced. We pray for Your protection to cover them, Your strength and encouragement to surround them, Your courage and wisdom to strengthen and guide them. Sustain them with food and water and a roof over their heads. When they are displaced, give them land to till. Silence the voices of indigenous councils, drug traffickers, and guerilla forces, that the voice of Christians might be heard above the clamor of wickedness. Let Your gospel message be heard and dispel the power of the evil one, drawing a mighty army out of the darkness, into the light of Christ, to proclaim truth and grace. In the name of Jesus, whose voice is powerful and majestic. “Though nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, and the earth melts.” (Ps 46)  Amen.

Jan 5-10: Churches

Father, please strengthen your church in Kenya with your peace in the midst of the attacks they are enduring.  Protect them and grant them safety.  Show yourself powerful on their behalf, that their attackers may know that you alone are God.

May your love overflow in the secret church believers in Mauritania.  So fill them with your grace that it overflows and influences those who are persecuting them.  Bring Damascus Road experiences to the persecutors.

Please resource your church in Sri Lanka to minister to children who have lost parents or families in the violence.  Take care of those who have lost limbs from land mines; encourage them and draw them near to you.

Lord God, please reign over the satellite TV programs showing in Iran.  Lead non-believers to see these programs at just the right times while you work in their hearts.  Grant many of them the grace of an encounter with you through these programs, and by your grace give them faith to believe.

Thank you, Father, for the faith of those who are suffering for your sake in Nigeria.  May their suffering not be in vain, Lord, but may it bring about the salvation of many who persecute them.  Their blood is precious in your sight, Lord.

Watch over the churches in Sudan; keep them strong amidst the pressures from Islam.  Ground them firmly in your word, in love for you and love for their neighbors.  Cause these churches to thrive; bless them both materially and spiritually, that your power may be made known among the Muslims.  Make these churches channels of your blessing to those who are far from you, that they may be drawn into relationship with your Son.

In His name. Amen.

Jan 22: Saeed Abedini Released!

From the Open Doors website:

Father, how thankful we are for the release of Saeed Abedini! As he reunites with his wife and children, we pray for the many adjustments that will be needed. Even in this welcome reuniting, surely his family relationships will be difficult in many ways. Give them all patience and understanding. What Satan would use to tear down, we pray You will use to build and make strong. Heal him, body and soul, from the terrible ordeal he has suffered. And we consider the many other Christians who remain in Iranian prisons, praying for their release soon and for their protection and encouragement even now. We pray for love, mercy and justice to prevail in that nation and we pray for those in authority, those in deep spiritual bondage, to encounter Christ and turn to You in spiritual freedom and faith. In the name of Jesus who sets the prisoners free, Amen.

Jan 11-14: Discipleship

Father, please teach young Egyptian Christians your ways and your thoughts.  Make available to them your word and raise up teachers for them.  Place in their hearts a hunger to know you ever more deeply and follow you ever more closely.

Please work through the Standing Strong Through the Storm trainings in the Philippines to equip Muslim Background Believers to face growing persecution.  Teach them your ways of forgiveness, and grant them grace and favor in the eyes of those outside the faith.  Use them to draw others to yourself.

Thank you for the Biblical training, literature distribution and livelihood projects taking place in Vietnam.  May your name be proclaimed in word and in deed through these projects.

Thank you also for the seminars in East Java teaching Muslim Background Believers to apply Biblical virtues in their families.  As they learn and apply your word, bless their families in ways that will be noticed by those far from you and that will draw them to yourself.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Jan 15-19: Leaders

Father, please grant pastors in Gaza wisdom and discernment to support believers pressured and threatened by radical groups.  Enable these pastors to pass on your peace to their congregations.  Speak words of comfort and encouragement through them.

Thank you for the seminar in Bhutan, which you used to bring guidance, knowledge, and even healing.  Please bring both ongoing encouragement and discipleship as a result of that seminar.  Enable the leaders who attended it to continue to grow not just in ministry but also in their personal relationships with you.

Lord, please raise up translators and workers in the Maldives to make the whole Bible available in their language, so that new believers may grow in their faith and your church may be strengthened in the knowledge of you.

Please strengthen house church pastors in Laos who are opening their homes to persecuted Christians.  Bless them for their hospitality and protect their homes and families.  Use these pastors as channels of your blessing to those whom they serve.

Father, grant strength, wisdom, and courage to pastors in Brunei as they teach their congregations how to live faithful lives in the midst of growing Islamic rule.  Please protect these pastors and their families and use them to advance your kingdom in places of darkness.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Jan 24: Burkina Faso dead include 7 mission workers

From the Open Doors website:

Father of all comfort, it has been with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Michael Riddering and of Yves Carrier and his family and friends. We struggle to understand, but place our trust firmly in Your goodness and power. Bring comfort to their families and continue to give them wisdom and courage as they consider the next steps in the work You have called them to. We pray also for Ken and Jocelyn Elliot, that perhaps even now they have been returned safely to Djibo. Satan would use these attacks to thwart the work of Your church, but You have promised to take everything that happens and use it for good for Your people and Christ’s church. We take heart in that truth. Open the eyes of those who have set their hearts against Christ. Draw them into saving faith that the name of Christ may be exalted in the nation of Burkina Faso. In the name of Jesus who strengthens the weary and brings hope to the hopeless. Amen.

Jan 20-24: Women

Thank you, Father, for the encouragement felt by women persecuted for their faith in Tanzania from knowing that their brothers and sisters around the world are praying for them.  Please draw especially near to them, strengthen them in the face of persecution, surround them with your peace, and give them grace to respond to their persecutors with your love.

Please watch over Kifah(*) in Algeria.  Protect her from her parents while she is imprisoned at home for her faith.  So fill her with courage, peace, and forgiveness that her parents would be drawn to you.

Care for Leng(*) in Myanmar; protect her from her neighbors who believe her house is cursed.  Prove to them that you are a loving and powerful God by blessing Leng in ways that they can see and understand.  Make Leng a channel of your blessing, that her neighbors might know the truth of your love and grace and may be drawn to you.

Please protect Dilmora(*) in Uzbekistan.  Blind the authorities who watch her with the aim of arresting her.  Blind them as you blinded Paul, and transform them as you did Paul.

Please strengthen Bermet(*) in China in the midst of persecution from her Muslim family and community.  Bless her in ways that will draw their hearts to you.

Lord, you once heard the cries of your people enslaved in Egypt.  You protected the women of Israel during childbirth when Pharaoh had decreed that their sons be killed.  Now again, hear the cries of these and other women around the world suffering opposition, discrimination, and persecution for their faith.  Strengthen them to remain faithful to you, and be so active in their lives that their persecutors are changed.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

2016 World Watch List

From the Open Doors website:

Our Heavenly Father, we pray for our world. We pray for an end to the escalating violence by extremist groups around the world, even in our own nation. We pray Your hand of protection on Your people, our brothers and sisters in the faith, who are being persecuted and harassed on a daily basis. We pray for their sustenance and for their comfort and encouragement. Where they live in fear, grant peace and courage. Keep their hearts free from fear and from bitterness. Grant them both wisdom and courage in ways only Your Holy Spirit can give. Keep us faithful in praying and writing letters and giving as You give us the ability. And in the midst of all the hostility, Christ’s church is growing. We prayer that in our lives and in the lives of Christians around the world Your Name will be exalted. In the name of Jesus who reigns above all nations and rulers. Amen!

Jan 27: Egyptian Christian Conscript Dies in ‘Mysterious’ Circumsta...

From the Open Doors website:

Father of all comfort, our hearts go out to the family of Bishoy Kamel. Comfort them and give them wisdom and guidance in their quest for truth and justice on behalf of their son. We pray, too, for other Christians serving with the police and the army in Egypt that You would hedge them about in Your protection from harassment and bullying. Strengthen their faith that they might stand in the truth. When they are being mocked for their faith, grant them courage to stand in wisdom and authority from Christ who suffered scorn and ridicule on their behalf; still their hearts with confidence in their Savior that they might respond in wise and godly ways. Let Your light shine through them that others may see Christ in them and believe. In the name of Jesus, who reigns with a scepter of justice. Amen.

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