Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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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.
Anwar, now a new Baloch believer, told me his story. The Baloch people are fighting to obtain independence from Pakistan. His father was the leader of the resistance movement. He himself had been arrested and imprisoned for 14 months. During this time he was beaten and tortured. The harsh treatment left him traumatized, so he needed medicine. We agreed that the Lord could heal and restore him without medicine, so we prayed for healing. Then he felt better, and the following week he said he was completely healed, praise God!
We returned to his camp each week, and I continued to disciple him in the Scriptures. I sent him a message on his smartphone telling him to read John 14 and 16. The next time we met he was rejoicing; he understood the Holy Spirit is the teacher who reveals the truth to him through the scriptures.
Now he boldly witnesses to his Pakistani friends about Jesus, giving out gospel booklets in Urdù. In fact, he has given his own New Testament in Urdù to his best friend. The next step will be to teach Anwar the need to be baptized and to live in obedience to the word of God.
Pray for Anwar to live an obedient life even in the face of persecution and rejection. Pray that he will begin a disciple-making movement among the Baloch in Italy.
Rom 1:5, NLT
Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
Pray for the Lord to offer the Baloch people the privilege and authority to be apostles and tell the Hindus and Muslims in Italy that they are not alone; they can trust Christ!
Do you like sweet and gooey baked goods? Many Italians do, and Bosniaks have been some of the people who provide them. Bosniaks are by no means limited to opening bakeries. They have become well assimilated into Italian society since they began to arrive in huge numbers starting in 1992. Some Bosniak women have married Italian men. Some are now vibrant believers, but they still have a long way to go before we can say there is a “people movement” to Christ among them.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (formerly a part of Yugoslavia) were united as Bosnia to become a single country in 1992. Then a three-year civil war broke out among the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Croats (Catholics), and Serbs (Eastern Orthodox). About one million people were killed and two million displaced. Currently there are about 29,000 Bosniaks living in Italy, mainly in Rome and other large cities. They became well integrated into the communities and are currently working in all sectors as university professors, teachers, doctors, dentists, engineers, domestic workers, mechanics, caretakers, and business owners. The majority of Italian-Bosniaks are secular Muslims and approximately 1,500 are Christians. Italian believers have reached out to these immigrants which has contributed to a number of them putting their faith in the Lord.
Pray that the Muslim background Bosniak believers will lead others to Christ and disciple them until they have strong fellowships in Italy.
Rom 2:23-24, NLT
You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”
Pray that the damage done by “Christians” who abused Bosniaks 25 years ago will be undone by the Lord’s amazing grace, mercy, and love.
(This story illustrates truths about this people group.)
“Shalom, Aviva! I have heard from relatives in Israel that your bakery has the best ebraico (fruit-nut coffeecake, also known as Jewish Pizza) in all of Italy. Is that true?” Aviva laughed and replied to the Israeli customer, “My family started this business in Rome several generations ago. Now people come from all over Italy and even Israel to try out my ebraico.”
There are an estimated 50,000 Jewish people living in Italy, primarily in Rome and Milan. About 15,000 are native Italians while the others are immigrants from the Middle East, Morocco, and Germany. The current Jewish cultural revival would have been unthinkable only a few decades ago. Jewish people in Italy now have many synagogues, schools, and businesses. They are active in education, professional positions, social reforms, business, and economics. A number are pursuing degrees in Hebrew studies. Jewish walking tours of Rome are a big attraction for tourists allowing everyone to learn Jewish history in Italy.
Most are secular but uphold their Jewish traditions. Messianic Jewish believers have had some response to sharing the gospel with the Italian Jews.
Pray that there will soon come a day when there are several Messianic Jewish fellowships in Rome and Milan where they can learn and teach the ways of the messiah to others. Pray that visitors from Israel will be blessed by Italian Jews who follow Jesus.
Rom 11:15, NLT
For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead!
Pray for life and salvation, both for the Jew and for the Gentile in Italy.
(This story illustrates truths about this people group.)
Father Josef, a Catholic Priest in Rome, was responding to questions about a program he was heading to help African immigrants. “I’ve asked Louis, a Fula Jalon from Ghana, to tell you his story. It explains what thousands of Africans have gone through to come to Europe.
Louis began, “I came in a boat with 347 Africans, some were Christian and most were Muslim. A terrible storm arose, and the waves shook the boat. Christians cried out, ‘Jesus save US’, and the Muslims pleaded to God by crying out ‘Allahu Akbar.’ God heard our prayers and we survived. I’m now working in Father Josef’s Catholic church. A few Muslim Fula Jalon immigrants have been baptized by Father Josef. I hope that the Italian government will help immigrants like me, but I know that Italy can only take in so many people at once.”
War, conflict, poverty, and fear of persecution have caused over 3,500 Fula Jalon people to flee to Italy. Most of them have assimilated into the Italian culture, and they are hard workers. Due to economic pressures, Italy is reluctant to allow for more immigrants.
Pray that the Fula Jalon people in Italy will grow strong in faith and lead many non-believing Africans to faith in the Lord. Pray for a disciple-making movement to arise in Italy for the Fula Jalon and other African peoples.
Rom 10:9, NLT
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Pray that Africans coming through the dangerous Mediterranean waters will understand that their souls are in even greater danger than their physical bodies unless they depend on the Savior.
Centuries ago the Wolof people established a large empire of self-governing states in what is now Senegal. This occurred before they split into four kingdoms. In the 1800s, the French incorporated the Wolof people into their own empire, and they were granted French citizenship in 1946. As a result, many Wolofs have since migrated to France and from there to other countries in Europe like Italy.
Like other African peoples who have migrated to Europe, the Wolof people are seeking to improve their quality of life. Wherever they live, the Wolof people hope to trade the difficulties of rural life for an urban lifestyle. However, few have the training to be prepared to function as part of an urbanized workforce.
The Wolof are highly Islamic, following the traditions of the Sufi. This is a more mystical branch of Islam than the Sunni or Shiite branches. To date, the Wolofs remain highly resistant to the gospel and have not responded to the resources available in their language.
Pray for the Wolof people to find employment and good lives wherever they go. Pray for God to raise up Holy Spirit anointed believers to prepare them in Italy for urban jobs. Pray for open hearts that will lead them to accepting the blessings and responsibilities of following Christ. Pray that soon there will be a disciple-making movement among Wolof people in Europe that will spread to those in Senegal.
Rom 9:25, NLT
Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.”
Pray that the Wolof people will desire to become God’s people and do what they can to learn to obey him.
Perhaps most associated with modern-day piracy, the Somali people do indeed consider themselves warriors. Though they share a common language, a single Islamic faith, and the same cultural heritage, the Somalis are also individualistic and clan divisions are the rule. Fighting between clans is frequent, and the loss of life is tragic. Due to this infighting, the region is ungovernable, and there is no stable economy. It is then no surprise that many make the attempt to escape to more peaceful parts of the world. Italy is one of these places, though the life that awaits Somalian immigrants or refugees is usually nowhere near as good as what they had in mind.
Having risked their lives to reach the safety of Europe from their war-torn homes, those who land in Italy have new troubles–specifically, having no money, having no means of producing income, not speaking the language, and having no friends or family. This results in a very high unemployment rate for Somalis. Though they understand the need to learn Italian and develop job skills, they lack the means of doing so.
Pray that the Somalis in Italy will find productive work. Pray that more believers would step forward to offer training and assistance for employment and language. Pray that the gospel would be presented, and that Somalis would be receptive to Christ and eager to form discipleship groups.
Rom 15:13, NLT
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pray that the Somalis, who have known no physical peace, will experience spiritual peace in Jesus Christ.
The UNHCR estimates that there are 28.5 million refugees and asylum-seekers in the world today! As thousands flock to Europe hoping to find safety, relief, and a better life, Italy continues to receive a flood of refugees from North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The island of Sicily is the landing point for those who make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. Sadly, many do not survive the voyage.
While this may sound like an overwhelming situation, there is a light shining in the dark. Working in conjunction with a local church, there is a team reaching out to the poor and the refugees. Strong relationships have already been established with many refugee families, opening doors for sharing the love of Christ. In addition, there is a soccer outreach serving the young people, and a discipleship course. The long-term goal is to plant churches amongst those who have responded to Jesus Christ.
Pray for grace and favor for both short and long-term team-members. Pray for a Holy Spirit-driven spiritual hunger among the unreached peoples with whom the team has made contact – including the Wolof, Mandinka, Somali, and Bengali peoples. Pray that those being discipled would have authentic encounters with God, and they would share it with their friends and families. Pray that the soccer outreach would lead to a disciple-making movement.
Rom 15:17-18, NLT
So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them.
Pray that this will be the attitude of those reaching out to refugees in Italy.