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.
Would you like to play a game where you had to move a goat carcass to a goal? If so, you could join the Uzbek people for a friendly game of buzkazi! The object of the game is to move the goat carcass into your goal. In some ways, the game resembles tug-of-war.
Today there is a tug a war like battle for the hearts and minds of the Uzbek people group. Islam is the majority religion of the Uzbeks, so they are like the home team in this game of buzkazi. But where is God's team in this game? So far the team representing Jesus Christ has yet to arrive!
Uzbekistan became independent in 1991 when the Soviet Union broke apart. Most Uzbeks are farmers who grow cotton, grains, and vegetables. Some Uzbeks also live in neighboring countries. There are a few believers serving the Lord in the major cities of Uzbekistan, but at this point, there are almost no efforts to reach rural Uzbek families with the blessings of Christ.
Ask God to open the hearts of the Uzbeks to the the person of Jesus Christ. Pray that faithful workers will be called to serve the Uzbek people with community development projects and by teaching them the ways of Jesus.
Matt 6:33, NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Pray that the Uzbek people will seek and find his righteousness, so that their desires will conform to God’s.
(This is a hypothetical story.) In Western China, Kim, a Korean visitor, sat down to have dinner with Chong, his Hui friend. Chong uncovered the serving dish. “We're having mutton,” he told the Korean. The visitor studied the meat with great curiosity. “Are you sure that's mutton? That looks like pork to me.” With a sheepish grin, Chong replied, “Don't call it pork, because good Muslims aren't supposed to eat pork. Just say it’s mutton.” Kim joked, “You might not be a good Muslim, but you know how to enjoy delicious food.” They both laughed.
During the 1200s AD, the ancestors of the Huis arrived in China as allies of the Mongol invaders. The Hui were originally from Central Asia, and they were Muslims before they arrived in China. Over the centuries the Hui intermarried with the Chinese, and this people group now speaks Mandarin just like the Han Chinese peoples do. But the Hui remained Muslims. They usually have had good relationships with the Chinese majority. But last year the government closed down a Hui mosque in an attempt to control religion. Today there are 14 million Hui in China, and there has not yet been a spiritual breakthrough.
Ask God to open the doors for outreach in Hui communities, so that they can have the opportunity to become part of God’s family and enjoy his blessings.
Matt 10:7, NIV
As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Pray for the Kingdom of heaven to come upon the Hui people in such a way that they will live joyfully for the Lord.
As many as 15 million Uighurs live in China—yet only one in 1,000 follow Christ. Ninety-nine percent of them are Sunni Muslim. In the 9th century A.D., this Turkic people group was forced out of Central Asia into what is today northwest China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The World Uighur Congress estimates that another 1.0-1.6 million Uighurs live outside of China, predominantly in Central Asia, with smaller communities in the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
A prominent, highly-respected Uighur leader living in the U.S. describes his people as very relational, community-oriented, and family-honoring. He also emphasizes how the Uighurs struggle for the survival of their culture, language, and religion in China due to severe and systematic oppression by the Chinese authorities. Indeed, recent reports indicate as many as one million Uighurs are imprisoned in Chinese “re-education” camps.
The Bible, the JESUS Film, and various gospel audio/visual resources exist in the Uighur language. However, most of China’s Uighurs live in rural, village communities, where the large majority maintain strong Islamic values. In China’s cities where there is more Chinese and Western influence, the young Uighurs tend not to be religious.
Ask God to soften the hearts of Uighur family and religious leaders to Christ and to facilitate a gospel breakthrough in the Uighur communities. Pray for freedom from the brutal oppression of the Chinese authorities. Ask God to start disciple-making movements through a Christian witness and resources available in Uighur communities in China and worldwide.
Rom 3:30, TPT
Since there is only one God, he will treat us all the same—he eliminates our guilt and makes us right with him by faith no matter who we are.
Pray that both old and young Uighur people will soon turn to Christ by faith—bringing God’s forgiveness and blessings to Uighur families and communities.
What if the name of your people means “one who helps”, and you needed help yourself? This situation applies to the Muslim Ansari people who live in six countries including India. If the Ansaris are ever to receive the forgiveness of sins and the hope that can only come from knowing Jesus Christ, they will need the prayers of Christ followers like you and me!
The traditional occupation of the Ansari people has been that of weaving silk and other fabrics. Although some Ansaris have moved to the cities, most live in villages like their ancestors did. Many of the Ansaris are poor and illiterate, and they would benefit from the practical assistance that Christian workers can potentially offer. They need help in educating their children, learning new jobs skills, and in obtaining access to clean water and electricity.
Pray for believers to reach out to the Ansaris with practical help. Pray that the few Ansari believers would be effective and fruitful in sowing God’s word among their families and communities. Let them fuel a movement of God’s blessings of salvation that would spread from household to household. Pray for Ansari families to be increasingly drawn to seek forgiveness for their sins and to recognize the abundant provision found in the finished work of Christ.
1 Tim 1:14, ESV
And the grace of God overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Pray that the Muslim Ansari people of India would experience an overflowing of God’s grace in their communities.
The Arain people are the largest community in Pakistan and have the greatest concentration in Punjab Province. Being of Arab descent, many of them are fair-skinned. Even today, the highly urbanized Arains don’t like to marry outside of their clan. Therefore, they claim to be the purest race on the subcontinent. Under British rule the Arains, who used to be exclusively an agricultural caste, were brought to Punjab to cultivate the areas around the cities. They understood the importance of education for their children and the wealth gained through hard work. Over time they transitioned out of agriculture, and now the Arains dominate law and politics. Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of a Muslim county and two-time prime minister of Pakistan, hails from this caste. Numerous other Arains have been presidents, ministers, foreign ministers, governors, judges, navy chiefs, anchormen, and—in the arts and sports—writers, painters, film stars, and cricketers (cricket players).
Arains are Sunni Muslims. There are no known believers among them.
Pray for these highly educated and influential people to be drawn to the Bible to find out more about Jesus. May God give them discernment between Christianity and Westernization. Without understanding, some believe that this could have a negative impact on the Arains. Pray that the Lord will start a movement of blessings and salvation among the Arains that would spread to those in their sphere of influence.
Matt 13:45-46, NIV
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Pray for the prosperous Arain people to learn that spiritual riches are far more valuable than anything they can find on earth.
“Bania” or “Baniya” is a Sanskrit word that means “trader.” The Startup Journal, a secular Indian paper, reports they are experts in number-crunching and trading. They have the business gene and know-how to take financial risks. They are meticulous bookkeepers, and never miss opportunities to make money. They can splurge when necessary, always marry inside their clan, and can adapt to today’s fast-changing circumstances. The India Times complains that many Indians are “leaving” their other centuries-old castes in an effort to emulate the Banias and make money. In addition to the business world, Banias also have a powerful presence in Indian politics.
The Bania are in the third rank of the four-tiered Hindu caste system. Most speak Hindi as well as the regional language of the states where they reside. They worship the main Hindu gods, and appropriately, Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity. About ten percent are part of the Jain religion. There are no known followers of Christ among the 25 million Bania. There are numerous resources where they can find out about Christ, but these are unlikely to be on their radar screen.
Pray for workers to go to the Bania and prepare their hearts to be ready to receive their savior. Pray that Banias will pay attention to the spiritual resources on the Internet. Ask God to bring a strong movement to Jesus that will bring whole families and communities into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
Matt 5:5, NIV
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Pray that despite all distractions, Bania leaders will be filled with a desire for the true righteousness that only Jesus offers.
If someone were to draw a triangle representing Hindu society, the castes at the top would be the influential Brahmins. They are the priests and teachers. They would be followed by the warrior/rulers, and then by the merchants and the common laborers. Below all of them are the Dalits or untouchables. Discrimination based on caste has been illegal in India for more than six decades, although it is very difficult to root out something that has lasted for thousands of years.
Brahmins were always highly regarded as they were the original writers of the Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures) and responsible for carrying out all religious rituals. Today, Brahmins still perform traditional Hindu religious duties. But their families would prefer that they earn a good living as an engineer, politician, or a university professor.
Changes in India’s economy, politics, education, and job markets have broken down some of the old social hierarchy. A new secular Hindu middle class is emerging. Ironically, lower castes are given “reservations” for a bigger share of the high paying jobs. Brahmins are no longer receiving the recognition and privileges they once enjoyed
Pray that the Brahmins will come to know the Living Lord through all available sources from the radio, internet and personal contacts with believers. May they humbly ask for forgiveness and receive God’s grace, compassion and strength. Pray that Brahmin believers will disciple others who will, in turn, disciple still others.
Matt 7:28-29, NIV
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Pray that when Brahmins in India hear the words of Christ that they will be amazed, and willing to give up all to follow him.
Do you know what bluing is? Do you know what a dhobi is? Do you know that dhobis and bluing go together? When I lived in Model Town, Delhi, I hired a dhobi to do some laundry. The man and his son would collect my underwear and socks to launder them while I did the rest. Imagine my surprise when he brought back blue, not white, underwear! They had turned blue from indigo dye to erase yellowing. After that, there was no more bluing needed.
Today dhobis are found in major urban centers of India. They are Dalits, also called untouchables. In Mumbai they congregate in a community near a large community washing area, where they wash clothes, turning used ones clean enough to re-sell as new. Watching them work is a tourist attraction! Some use modern washing machines but still iron by hand and hang to dry. According to Wikipedia, dhobis may be Hindu, Muslim, or Christian. Dhobis need to know just “how precious is the flow that makes us white as snow,” the red blood of Jesus.
Pray that the Christian Indians will witness to Hindu and Muslim dhobis and demonstrate their faith through kind actions. Pray that they will tell them how Jesus blesses and heals families and communities. Pray for a Christ-ward movement among Hindu Dhobis. Pray for career and educational opportunities. Pray that their needs will not be forgotten by the Indian government.
1Tim 1:14 ESV
And the grace of God overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Pray that the Dhobis of India would experience an overflowing of God’s grace in their communities.
“Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever,” is a well-known Jat proverb. The Hindu Jats of India are characteristically a proud group and were especially known for their military prowess during the British control of India. They are conservative by nature and rarely marry outside of their ethnic group. Historically, they have been farmers and nomadic herdsmen. But today they can be found in all walks of life, some occupying high academic and technical positions.
India is rapidly modernizing. More and more the traditional rural lifestyle is a thing of the past; especially for the younger generations that are encountering the world beyond India due to exploding technology and social media. Technology opens up many avenues for evangelism to tech savvy people. But nothing can replace the energy and excitement of one believer witnessing to an unbeliever about what God is doing in his or her life! These Jats can potentially encounter believers in their work places or communities. How will they learn about Jesus Christ? Jesus himself told his followers, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).
Pray that Christian co-workers will show compassion and love to unbelieving Jats. Pray that the Jat community will be reached by efforts to win them to Christ. Pray for a vibrant church-planting movement to become a reality for Jats.
Matt 5:38, NIV
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
Pray that the Lord will raise up Jats in India who will be spiritually strong enough to show restraint and love even in the face of injustice.
How does one inherit an entire nation? As the Psalmist points out, it is Almighty God’s promise to those who ask. That is what we are doing for the Jat peoples of Pakistan today.
Jat people have a history as brave and ready fighters. They are fiercely independent in character and value their self-respect more than anything, which is why they offer heavy resistance against any foreign force that treats them unjustly. They are known for their pride, bravery, and readiness to sacrifice their lives in battle for their people and kinsmen. Jat people are born leaders and protectors. Many have gone on to government leadership positions where they have had a good influence on Pakistan. How will these self-sufficient people see their need for the savior?
Ask Father God to pour out his blessing on Jat families and communities. Ask God to heal and strengthen broken families. There are few if any followers of Jesus among any Jat community. Pray that these believers will be fruitful and effective in sharing God’s word and blessings. Pray for God to strengthen their own families and spread God’s blessing to other Jat households. Pray that God will raise up many prayer teams to “adopt” the Jat people, and keep them praying until the blessing of knowing Jesus spreads rapidly from family to family.
Matt 8-10, NLT
But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
Pray that the Lord will raise up many Jat people who will have the faith of this Roman military officer.
America has romanticized the story of the pioneers braving hardships and settling the west. India, too, had its “pioneers,” but it was much further back in history. Twenty-five hundred years ago the Kapu people migrated into the area of southern India that is now the modern-day state of Andhra Pradesh. Today they make up one-fourth of the population of that state. In ancient times they cleared forests so that communities could be developed. Besides being an agrarian community, the Kapus easily converted to military roles when various wars ensued. Ironically, for the most part, their community has little prestige since they are closely associated with the land and farming instead of thinking positions.
The Kapus have yet to experience a multiplying movement of God’s blessing throughout their community. For the most part they are still mired in poverty. They need opportunities for education and job training that can improve their economic opportunities. But, mainly they need believers to share with them Bible stories that will lead them to the astounding good news that Jesus loves them and wants them to be part of the heavenly kingdom.
Pray for believers as well as missionaries to reach out to Kapu Hindus in a dynamic way that will address both their physical and spiritual needs.
Matt 4:17, NIV
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Pray for the Kapu people of India to understand that the kingdom of heaven is much bigger than their community, and realize they have no choice but to repent and follow Christ.
A people of legend, the Kumhar are described by Indian mythology as being the offspring of Lord Braham (Prajapati). They remain inseparably tied to ancient Indian culture. Yet they are considered to be a “backwards” community since they do common work.
The name Kumhar means “a maker of pots” or “one who creates,” and the Kumhar are indeed known for their beautiful pottery and their hard work. Pottery-making has such a history in the Kumhar culture that they claim to have invented the pottery wheel. Even so, it is a difficult tradition to maintain, as the demand for earthenware vessels decreases. However, in addition to pottery, they also make statues of folk deities, famous people, and animals, which have a growing market in India’s urban centers.
Like most Indian peoples, the Kumhar are primarily Hindu, worshiping Shiva. In addition, there are a great number of local deities that the various Kumhar groups worship. The Kumhar are highly spiritual, very loveable and honest.
Please pray for a revelation of Christ amongst the Kumhar people, and that they would begin to pursue him eagerly. Pray for blessings on the Kumhar communities, and that their businesses would prosper. Pray that Kumhar family units would unite around the banner of Christ, and that they will become stronger and more loving as a result of a testimony of Christ’s blessings.
Is 64:8, NLT
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
Pray that many of the Kumhar people will understand this truth expressed by Isaiah.