(WAH-soo-loo) - During the last 10 days of Ramadan, the Islamic month of prayer and fasting, Muslims recognize one evening as the "Night of Power," which they believe marks the period when the initial verses of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad by Allah. Like scores of Muslims around the globe, many Wassulu will challenge themselves to stay up all night on May 8, the "Night of Power" in 2021, in order to pray, asking for forgiveness and a blessing upon their future. Those who serve among the Wassulu ask you to mark your calendar for a focused prayer time on May 8, when there will be many Wassulu and other Muslims--and yes, many are "culturally Muslim" only, but they are still lost without a relationship with Jesus--seeking to know the truth. Pray that those whom God is calling will have sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's speaking to them, turning them to pray to El Emet (the God of truth). "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth." (Psalm 31:5 NKJV).
"When Lazarus was dying, his sisters begged Jesus to come and heal their brother, but Jesus delayed His arrival and Lazarus died. Jesus' greater desire was that through the upcoming events, His name would be glorified and people would see the power and love of God work in their presence. Prayers and petitions have been raised to our Father from all over the world for the past four months, begging for the life of our brother and colleague, George Smith. George remained unresponsive while medical personnel fought ongoing infections, body organs shutting down, and what they felt was an impossible healing. However, through the prayers of the saints and a continued trusting in God's power, George began 'waking up' in mid-April! George, who was considered beyond further help, is now conscious, recognizing people, smiling, and seems to be slowly on a road of recovery. Would you please pray for continued healing for George? Pray that he would be free of infections, that his kidneys would function, and that he would regain his strength. Would you pray for the medial personnel who have witnessed this 'raising of Lazarus' in their own workspace to truly give God glory?"
Michael* and his Muslim neighbors met a man who came to their village to share the gospel. However, in addition to the gospel, this man told them that they would receive money if they turned to Christianity. Michael and his neighbors said that they would follow Jesus, but none of them meant it. One day, Michael heard that one of his relatives had been taught by some believers and had left Islam to follow Jesus. Michael was indignant at hearing that, so he sought out these believers to turn them back to Islam. He met with the believers and debated. He listened to their testimonies and their explanation of who Jesus is based on the Bible and the Quran. God changed Michael's heart, and he trusted Jesus. Now, Michael shares Jesus in his mosque and in different villages. Through his labor, many Muslims have come to Jesus, and Michael has discipled them. However, he has never left the mosque, and now, he is struggling with this decision. Pray for wisdom for Michael to know whether to stay in the mosque as a Muslim or to declare his new identity in Jesus and leave his Muslim community. Pray for his ministry as he shares and teaches others. (*name changed)
(sor-AH-nee) - Romans 3 speaks of the universal condemnation of all mankind because of sin and, at the same time, the hope of justification through the righteousness that God provides for those who trust in Him. The Sorani Kurds are in desperate need of both the humbling reality of seeing their sin and failure and also the balm of hope of God's righteousness being granted to them through faith in Jesus. God is the God of the Gentiles also, and He promises that many of them will come into His kingdom. As Sorani Kurds observe Ramadan, the Islamic month when many will double down in their religious efforts, pray that the Lord will grant them the gift of seeing their sin. May many come to honor Jesus as Lord.
(kwi-BEK) - Student Impact Houses are valuable in connecting to the lost around university campuses. They house Christian students who want to reach their campus for Christ. Currently, there are four such houses in the province of Quebec. Please pray that each of these houses will have the number of students they need to do ministry and to pay the rent. They need to be filled by the beginning of next semester, and it's at this time that students can apply to live there.
(pun-JAH-bees) - There was an isolated incident involving a Punjabi brother who faced opposition to the gospel, and this landed him in prison. Pray that the hearts of those involved will be softened to the gospel. Ask that many will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus through the sharing efforts of local believers. Pray for Punjabi brothers and sisters in Christ not to have a spirit of fear because of this incident and others like it. Ask that, instead, they will boldly share their faith in Christ with their unbelieving neighbors and friends. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).
Many in Madagascar are still suffering from COVID-19, including the variant strains. Vaccines are unavailable, and treatment is limited. International borders remain closed. The tourism industry continues to suffer. Many people are without jobs. The fragile means of livelihood that have long sustained many just on the edge of poverty have been disrupted. Many families have been thrust into a desperation even more intense than what they usually face. A famine stretches across the south. Pray that as health challenges and financial burdens deepen, families will look to Christ alone for salvation. Pray for comfort for those who have lost friends and family. Pray for perseverance for believers sharing the hope of the gospel in the midst of fear and dire circumstances. May Jesus be glorified!
(mah-LONG) - Because of COVID-19 and the effects on school schedules, the summer months will be different than normal. There is a group of young people who are preparing to go next month to live in a Malong community for their summer break from school. Pray for their local church as they help prepare them and send them out. Ask the Lord to provide for their needs as they use this time to serve and sow seeds in an area where there is great need. Perhaps some of these young people will be called out to serve long term. The Malong people need to hear the message of hope. Since this small group of young people may face fears when they go, pray that they will be given the courage to speak truth as they build relationships within the Malong community.
(kohl-KAH-tah) - Approximately 20% of Kolkata's population is Muslim. This year, Ramadan began in mid-April and will continue until mid-May. This is a month when Muslims all around the world fast from food and drink in an effort to earn Allah's favor and obtain salvation. Observing Ramadan is one of the five major tenets of Islam. The last day of Ramadan, May 12, is called the Eid al-Fitr. This is a celebration where families and friends gather for a big feast to end their month of fasting. Please pray that many Muslims will find Jesus and believe in Him as the giver of true salvation and assurance for the future. Pray that many will come to the understanding that no one can be justified through works.
(CARE-ah-muh-jong) - "There has been an ongoing land dispute between local villages and families in this area. This has resulted in quarreling and fights between the two sides, with no clear end in sight. Please pray for the believers involved in this dispute, asking that they will choose to remember that this is a spiritual battle and that they will promote peace as much as possible. Pray against the people in the community who are intentionally stirring up strife and violence, asking that their ways will be thwarted and that the evil one will not gain a foothold. Pray for believers to listen to the Holy Spirit's leading in the midst of this difficulty. Pray that the church, community leaders, and authorities will have the wisdom and discernment needed to sort through the lies and find the truth in this situation. Pray that a clear resolution will be found and that forgiveness will be exchanged on all sides."
Imagine having spent 10 of the last 12 months mostly in your home: unable to meet with family and friends or to have a normal daily routine that takes you to a workplace where you're able to be with others and chit-chat. Think about what that would look like for families, couples, and singles. It's been a struggle for people financially, relationally, and health wise. COVID-19 restrictions are due to begin lifting in larger ways this month, allowing for more people to come together socially in different venues. Pray for believers to be able to meet new Jewish people who are open to having gospel conversations. Pray for an increased openness and for opportunities to meet the social and spiritual needs of isolated Jewish people after such a long period of lockdown. "See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end" (Hebrews 3:12-14 NIV).
Tailoring training is being done in several sewing centers in a state in southern India. This six-month training allows the women to have a livelihood and provide help for their families. They hear Bible stories during their weeks of training. Recently, 10 widows were given sewing machines since they did not have the money to buy them. Pray for these 10 women to have a new beginning in every aspect of their lives!
A documentary film reports that the Geman Deng claim to have lived in their corner of Tibet since the beginning of time. They have often been oppressed by the Tibetans, at one time not being allowed to leave the area without permission. Most of the work is done by Deng women, who wear clothes that are richly decorated. They often have elaborate boxes in which they keep a copy of Buddhist scripture. The Deng offer animal sacrifices to appease the spirits, which has left the Geman Deng an impoverished people. Their communities are reachable only by foot or boat, so taking the gospel to them has been difficult. Very few Deng have become Christians; most have had no witness. Pray that God will give them an opportunity to hear the good news and receive it joyfully. Pray for God's Word to replace the scriptures that now guide them and for God's peace to replace any fears they may have. May they discover the freedom that comes from following Jesus.
Coley Cox* recently moved into her new home in Southeast Asia. Soon after that, she hosted an event and invited about 20 Deaf friends over to give thanks to God for providing her with a house. The Deaf church wanted to pray over the rooms. Coley shares: "I love what one member said, 'God gave you this space to share truth with Deaf who are like I was, clueless about Jesus. Now you have a house with open doors, and anyone who is seeking God can come and learn truth here. Praise Jesus!' My desire is for my house to be just that: a light in this community. My prayer is that everyone who enters through the front doors would learn the truth about Jesus." Praise God for friends who understand that our purpose on earth is to glorify the Father in everything! That evening, the gospel was shared and Coley's home was prayed over. They had a great time worshiping the Father together. Pray that this group will be used by God to bring many Deaf Southeast Asians into His kingdom. (*name changed)
United States partners usually come to serve on mission trips during the summer months. Please pray that God will give them wisdom and discernment as they plan and make decisions, even up to the last minute, about whether or not they should go and serve on the field. This can be challenging, as coronavirus restrictions continue to fluctuate throughout the Americas.