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.
Though originating from the Oromo tribal clusters of Ethiopia, today the 64,000 Southern Oromo people reside only in neighboring Somalia. They exhibit group-oriented culture with authoritarian fathers and a male warrior tradition. Also known as the Arusi people, they emphasize male bravery and war from an early age, including spear throwing and fighting. Male readiness to marry traditionally involved presenting their brides with part of a man they had killed. Today, wild animals are used instead.
The Southern Oromos reside in rural areas, making a living primarily from raising animals and farming. Male status is now determined by the number of farm animals he owns. Some move to towns, drawn by employment and modern schooling opportunities.
The majority of Southern Oromo people follow Islam. However, over 10 percent still practice their traditional ethnic religion. They worship a sky god called Waqa through various feasts and animal sacrifices. Many of these people believe that trees, rocks, and springs have spirits. Two percent of the Southern Oromo are Christian, but only 0.3 percent are evangelical. Their main language is Borana-Arsi-Guji Oromo in which the entire Bible and various audio recordings and The JESUS Film are available.
Pray that these materials will soon become widely available in their communities. Pray that God will send prayer teams and anointed witnesses to soften Arusi hearts to receive God’s only acceptable sacrifice, Jesus. Pray for Disciple-Making Movements among the Southern Oromo people of Somalia.
1 John 3:8 (EXB)
The Son of God came for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s work.
Pray that the Southern Oromo people turn to Jesus so the devil’s work among them is destroyed and they become God’s warriors.
In the Somali civil war the only available protection comes from your clan. But the Bajuni are not ethnic Somalis and do not belong to a Somali clan. As a result, they are vulnerable to violence and exploitation by clan militias and criminal gangs. Many Bajuni fled their coastal villages to seek refuge on small islands or among the neighboring Bajuni of Kenya. Some have since found asylum in Tanzania or the UK.
The culture and language of the Bajuni people is very similar to the Swahili of Kenya. In fact, their language, ki-Bajuni, is considered a dialect of Swahili. But while most Swahili live in the old coastal cities of East Africa, the Bajuni are poor farmers and fishers in remote villages along the coast of southern Somalia and northern Kenya.
Most Bajunis understand standard Swahili, but many Swahili speakers would have trouble following Bajunis speaking their own language. It is important for people from each group to hear the gospel message in their own language. Global Recordings Network (GRN) has made audio Bible teaching recordings in the Bajuni dialect.
They were introduced to Islam centuries ago by Arab traders, and the Muslim faith now dominates their lives. Their social and religious lives revolve around the mosque.
Pray that the Bajuni would find opportunities to meet believers and respond to the gospel. Pray that the Bajuni would be given representation and protection in the new government.
Is 42:10, NLT
Sing a new song to the Lord! Sing His praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands.
Pray that the Bajuni people will make it their purpose to praise the Lord and obey His commands.
The Banadir is a costal stretch in southern Somalia that includes three ancient trade cities: Mogadishu, Marka, and Baraawa. For almost 1000 years, the inhabitants of these cities have traveled in wooden dhows throughout the Indian Ocean, trading with Swahili, Arab, Persian, and Indian communities. Out of these contacts emerged the Banadiri people, a cosmopolitan community of traders and artisans speaking a distinct dialect of Somali.
Islam came to the Banadir coast more than a millennium ago, and the Banadiri people have played an important role in spreading the religion in the region. Although Islam is a core part of their identity, many Banadiri also believe in spirits of the ocean and perform rituals to protect their boats and their cities from these spirits.
Within Somalia, the Banadiri are a minority group that is economically powerful, but politically weak. This made them an easy target during the early years of the Somali civil war as clan militias looted their homes. Many fled to Kenya to rebuild their businesses in exile.
Most Banadiri can easily understand the Bible and radio broadcasts in standard Somali, and some are able to understand Christian resources in Arabic or Swahili.
Pray that the Bandari will be exposed to the gospel through radio, TV, and the internet. Pray that many will experience Jesus as their peace and protection. Pray for God’s blessing and healing of families so that there can be a new generation of disciples.
2 Chr 20:20, NLT
Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in His prophets, and you will succeed.”
Pray for the Banadiri people to put all their faith in the God who created them, and enjoy His blessings forever.
Most Somalis who fled to Kenya were poor before they left, and even poorer when they arrived in Kenyan refugee camps like Dadaab. They lived in tents and depended on outside help. The more fortunate of them eventually moved to suburbs of Nairobi like Eastleigh where some are now prospering in businesses. Somalis often encounter hostility from the police and the general public in Kenya.
These Somalis are moving from one of Africa’s least Christianized countries to one of the most Christianized parts of the continent. Kenya has a strong church; Operation World tells us that 82 percent of Kenya’s population identifies as being Christian. There is a good chance that believers can reach the Muslim Somalis in Kenya, though it is humanly impossible in Somalia at this time. Somalis can also take advantage of the Christian-run Kijabe Hospital for their medical needs.
Pray that believers in Kenya will reach out to the Somalis and share the blessings of the Lord with them. Pray that Somalis who go to the Kijabe Hospital for medical needs will experience the hand of God directing them to the Risen Christ who has power over sin and death. Pray that Kenya will become the place where the Lord raises up strong Disciple-Making Movements among Somalis that will extend to Somalia.
Is 42:7, NLT
You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
Make this your prayer for the Somalis in Kenya.
What do these North American cities have in common? Toronto, Edmonton, Minneapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, and Columbus? The answer is that all of these include unreached Muslim people from Somalia.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is noted for having a large population of Somalis. According to Global Gates, an agency that focuses on the unreached in North America, the biggest need is for workers in Toronto. However, someone can build an excellent case for reaching out to the Somali Bantu (a different ethnic group) in Columbus or Seattle. The Somali Bantu were also allowed into the United States starting in 2004, and they speak a different language than the people of Somalia. The two groups are unlikely to mix, especially since the Somalis have persecuted the Bantu Somalis (see day 21.)
Pray for the Lord to thrust out many workers who will focus on the Somali peoples in North America. Pray for Somalis to have the kind of spiritual openness that will allow them to seek and find answers in Jesus Christ. Pray for a Christ-ward movement. Please pray for the Bible to be translated and made available into the Somali Bantu language in oral form. Ask God to lead the workers to find the people of peace who can open the door to the gospel reaching both Somali peoples in North America.
Jeremiah 29:13, NLT
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Pray for the Somali peoples in North America to become spiritually dissatisfied so that they question the religion of Islam and seek God with all their hearts.
There has been a small population of Southern Baloch people in Somalia since the 1960s. When the civil war erupted in the early 1990s, many of them fled Somalia and returned to Pakistan, but approximately 6,800 remain.
Reaching the Southern Baloch in Pakistan is difficult because of the Islamic environment and the very real threat of persecution. However, reaching them in Somalia is not much easier. In fact, traveling to this war-torn country continues to be quite dangerous. Islamic extremist groups and terrorists, such as Al-Shabaab are active in Somalia.
Parts of the Bible have been translated into Southern Balochi, the language of this people group. The New Testament is available online—which could be a more practical format for the Baloch to access than print editions. The greatest challenge is getting them to read and accept the Bible.
Pray for the Baloch to hunger for a relationship with the one true and living God that will give them the willingness to seek Him in the Bible. Pray for the full Bible to be completed in their language. Ask God to use the online format of His Word, along with the JESUS Film to reach the Baloch with the gospel. Pray for their hearts to be soft, fertile ground for the good news. Ask the Lord to move powerfully among them so that some will not cease to tell of His great name.
Luke 17:4, NLT
Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.
Pray for the Baloch people in Somalia and Pakistan to be given power by the Holy Spirit to forgive others who have violated them as a people.
Most of the South Asians who migrate to the Middle East are Muslim, but in Somalia, about half are Muslim and the other half are Hindus, mostly from Gujarat. Some of these Hindus have converted to Islam.
Conversely, the customs of South Asians are increasingly being appropriated by Somalis. For instance, Somali woman can sometimes be seen wearing colorful Dirac wraps and henna tattoos, both of which came from other cultures. Language, cuisine, and hair styles are being adopted from the South Asian communities in Somalia.
What does this mean for missions? We can hope and pray that this means that Somalis are becoming open to adapting aspects of other cultures. This ongoing merger of cultures—which is taking place not just in Somalia but all over the world—can potentially be used powerfully by God to break down obstacles to the gospel by making it “safe” to adopt something that previously seemed “foreign.”
Pray for South Asians and Somalis to embrace Jesus as their own, and not see Him as “foreign.” Pray for South Asians in Somalia to accept the blessings of the Savior and share Him with others. Ask the Lord to speak to South Asians during this confusing time in their lives and give them a desire for true holiness that will lead them to Jesus. Pray that there will soon come a day when South Asians in Somalia will form discipleship groups.
Acts 13:38, NLT
Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins.
Pray that both Muslim and Hindu South Asian communities in Somalia will internalize this verse, and submit to His reign as King of kings.
February 2019 Intro: Chad
There is a reason why Chad did not have its own flag when it gained independence from France in 1958. A flag gives a nation its identity, and it says something about the country and its people. How do you make one flag say something about 120 people groups? Chadians are still working out their identity as a nation.
Chad is not unified for different reasons than Yemen or Somalia, the two countries we prayed for during the last two months. Chadians are not divided by clan as much as they are by people groups and languages. Even Arabic, one of their two trade languages, has 30 different dialects in Chad alone! (https://data.mongabay.com/reference/country_studies/chad/SOCIETY.html) There are 120 languages in Chad, divided into 10-12 groupings. Sometimes one language represents a specific people group, but at other times, it does not. Joshua Project lists 77 unreached people groups in Chad, 31 of which are listed as unengaged as well as unreached by Finishing the Task. These 31 people groups are the ones that we will lift up in prayer this month.
Where are the Unreached Peoples in Chad?
Chad is basically divided into three ecological regions. There is the desert in the north where almost no one lives except for the rugged Teda people. Only about 20 people per square mile live in this part of the country. In the middle of Chad is the Sahel region, which has barely enough rainfall to support nomadic tribes, most of which make up Chad’s 77 unreached people groups. Chad’s south has enough rainfall to support growing cotton. Most northerners practice Islam, and most southerners practice either Christianity or animist (i.e., indigenous religion).
What Are Chad’s Physical Needs?
Chad has not been blessed with an abundance of resources, though they now have oil reserves that have the potential to help them develop a needed infrastructure. There are mixed reports about whether or not the government has used oil money for this purpose. Though Chad’s government is not as corrupt as the two we prayed for the last two months, they face the challenge of having a long-standing president who was just re-elected in 2016. Idriss Dévy has been president of Chad since 1990. History has shown that the longer someone is in office, the more temptation there is to lock everyone out of power who is not in the current regime’s inner circle. Dévy is facing strong opposition, and there have been several coup attempts.
Chad has a powerful military, and it has been active periodically in fighting insurgents since it gained independence in 1958. Since the dawn of the 21st century, Chad has had military confrontations with Niger, the Central African Republic, and especially Sudan. Today, Chad is a bulwark in the fight against Islamist rebel groups, and was instrumental in fighting against Nigerian-based Boko Haram. Chad gained much international recognition for its efforts, and the United States has shown considerable interest in working with Chad in anti-terrorist efforts.
Unfortunately, Chad’s energies and resources have been devoted to fighting and not developing their educational and medical facilities. Schools and hospitals are not available to help this African nation move into the future. Chad’s few rural medical facilities typically close down as rebel groups make living in these areas dangerous. As fighting continues, many of their best and brightest leave the country instead of staying to develop Chad. With the ongoing war on terror in Africa, this situation is likely to continue.
Chad’s Spiritual Condition
Operation World reports that 53 percent of Chad’s population is Muslim, and 38 percent are Christian, mostly Roman Catholic. About 10 percent of these Christians are Evangelical. Other sources offer different numbers, but the fact remains that there is a sizable Bible-believing presence in Chad, unlike the other countries in Africa’s Sahel region. There is a degree of religious freedom. However, there is animosity between the Muslim and Christian communities, and at times it has been violent. Such a situation makes Muslims view any Christian who comes their way as a potential enemy.
Pray for Chad’s Muslims:
• Pray for the Lord to impress on Chadian Muslims that they need a savior who is holy and righteous.
• Pray for them to have spiritual hunger that will lead them to Jesus Christ.
Pray for Chad’s Believers:
Pray for Chad’s Needs:
My name is Tito, and I was born into a Muslim Mandinka family. When I was young, I went from Senegal where I had been living to Guinea Bissau to help my brother build his house. He had promised to send me to France once the house was finished. It was during this time that I found an evangelistic group preaching that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I asked the man: “Why do you say that Jesus is the Son of God if God never had a woman? We only recognize Jesus as a prophet.” Right then the man handed a NT to me and asked me to wait for him until he finished. When he finished he began to share how Jesus is the Son of God and invited me to his Christian evangelism study group.
I began to go to the missionary’s home regularly. He began to teach me a lot about Jesus and especially about John 14:6. As I was interested, I too took him to the place I lived, where he would read portions of the Bible to me. My brother then got upset with me and kicked me out. He said that we couldn’t read the Bible in his home.
Pray for many from the Mandinka people to choose to follow Christ through service to others.
Jn 14:6, NIV
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Pray for Mandinka leaders to understand that Jesus meant just what he said in this verse.
I once again began to live a worthy life, and it was during this time, that I accepted Jesus into my heart. I still longed to know more about God and how to live as a good believer. I went through many difficulties, yet the Lord carried me through.
The missionary that brought me to the Lord then asked me if I would work with his mission group. I accepted the good offer, and did so until the war broke out which is what brought me back to Senegal in 1998. I continued learning the word of God and working for the mission. In 1999 I met my wife and was married in 2000. I had been able to do some medical courses and am currently studying at a correspondence Bible school. I continue to learn more and more about my Lord and how I can be closer to Him. We also continue to serve the Lord in the medical field as well as sharing His word wherever we go, especially among the Mandinka and Fulani peoples.
Pray that African believers will walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and be victorious over all demonic depression, oppression, and attacks of every sort. Let the Spirit demonstrate that Jesus is truly King of kings and Lord of lords on earth and in heaven.
Heb 9:27-28, NLT
And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.
Pray that this will be the message preached by African missionaries to Chadian Muslims this year!
The 9,000 Bernde people are few in number, but God loves them! Even simple farmers who live on the edge of the desert are people whom God calls to be part of His kingdom. The problem is that no one has answered the call as yet.
Most of these people live in one town in the Guera region of Chad, and they have lived there since the 1100s. Today they engage in farming, but their local community has only a simple infrastructure. The town, however, does have an elementary school. In some nearby towns there are churches which ought to reach the Muslims for Christ; but no church exists among the Bernde.
The Bernde people is unevangelized, unengaged, and unreached. There are no Bibles, no JESUS Film, no gospel recordings, no radio broadcasts, and nothing biblical in their Morom language. They are a people without Christian resources in their language. How can they choose to follow Jesus if they have not heard His great name?
Pray that nearby churches will reach out to the Bernde people with the gospel. Pray for resources to be developed in a language they can understand, especially in their own language. Pray for spiritual openness that will lead them to Jesus Christ, the only one who can save them. Pray for an unstoppable disciple-making movement among the Bernde people of Chad.
Heb 10:10, NLT
For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Pray for the Bernde people to be made holy this very year by the sacrifice of Christ.
Today’s people group, the Boors, are composed of only 200 to 275 people. 80 percent of them are Muslims. At this point in time, none of them follow the Christ who paid for their sins and calls them to join His family. Little is known about these people of Chad other than that they are Muslim and are few in number. Most likely they engage in agriculture, commercial fishing in the Chari River, or work at a slaughter house.
The Boor are a people with a dying language. Few of their children speak Boor. However, some of them speak Bagirmi as a second language, which is widely spoken in this part of Africa. Indeed, the Boor language is giving way to Bagirmi, which is a written language with literature, but not a Bible. Neither language has biblical resources that can be used to show the Boor people the way to the cross.
Pray that churches will adopt this people group. Pray for their spiritual and physical well-being. Pray for believers to be thrust out to reach the Boor speakers through songs, skits, and stories. Pray that there will soon come a day when the Boor people will have churches that multiply and spread out until all have had the chance to allow Jesus to come into their lives and bless them.
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 Boor people will soon hear about Christ and believe that His blood is the only way to have their sins forgiven.