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Prayer requests from Global Diaspora Forum participants
From January 14-21, European Evangelical Alliance is encouraging a week of prayer with the theme, “Pilgrims and Foreigners.” Please pray that as people reflect upon the experiences of specific people in the Bible, they will have a clearer vision of heaven and better identify with other diaspora peoples around them (see Hebrews 11:13-14).
Diaspora is a major focus of the Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism (CCCOWE) young leaders conference in Hong Kong from January 19-22. Please ask God to give the right words for SG and others who will be speaking about diaspora, “for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
Please pray for Russian-speaking mission workers from Ukraine, Israel and Russia who will gather in late January for training in ministry to Jewish-Gentile couples and their families. Pray for “unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8).
The 15th annual Refugee Highway Partnership European Roundtable will be held in the Netherlands from February 5-9. Please pray that the interactions will lead to more of the Church engaging refugees in ways pleasing to the Lord, who “executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner” (Deuteronomy 10:18).
Please pray for clarity and favor for GDN leaders during discussions in early February for a revised edition of Scattered and Gathered: a Global Compendium of Diaspora Missiology. We call on our Rock and Fortress to lead and guide them (see Psalm 31:3).
The Winter Olympics will be February 9-25 and the Paralympics March 9-18 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Please pray that our brothers and sisters in Korea during these times will be able to intercede for every visiting athlete, spectator and worker (see 1 Timothy 2:1). Pray that the personal interactions during the games will lead to more people eyeing “the crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
The season of Lent may be the most widely practiced time of corporate fasting within the Church. Lent might lead to discussions about faith. Please pray that this Lent would be a true fast for those who fast (see Isaiah 58). As appointed times of corporate fasting are common among other religious backgrounds, pray for opportunities for Christ-followers – whether they personally observe Lent or not – to share their hope of salvation with neighbors, co-workers, classmates and friends of others during the season.
Please continue to lift up the preparations for the Hybridity and Missio Dei Consultation in June in Manila. May the Holy Spirit stir the hearts of presenters, participants and givers (see Exodus 35:21).
Please pray for ministry among Jewish-Arab/Palestinian couples residing in Israel and the Diaspora. There has been a recent openness about their unique community and much needed resources for social and spiritual harmony. Please pray that these couples and families will find complete unity in Christ (see John 17:23).
Nearly 385 million children live in extreme poverty; a little over half of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Many are at risk to become (or already are) unaccompanied migrants or trafficking victims. Please pray for holistic efforts in Uganda to minister to children already separated from their families as well as to help families escape poverty. We appeal to the King of Kings to “defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor” (Psalm 72:4).
Elam, which is dedicated to ministries in Iran and among Iranians, writes, “Wisdom is needed on how we should pray following these protests. We urge people to intercede for the righteousness and peace of Christ to rule all over Iran.” Many in the Iranian diaspora have turned to Christ. Please follow the Spirit’s leading in praying for Iran (see Romans 8:26-28).
Please continue to pray for GDN leaders advocating for diaspora peoples and issues as they prepare and teach classes, as they write scholarly articles and as they consult with churches, mission agencies and other ministries. Pray that the Lord will speak clearly through these GDN leaders and that those who hear will receive the word well (see Proverbs 2:6).
On the Move: Mission Agencies
According to the UN, there were 258 million international migrants in 2017. To make the movement of people become the movement of the good news of Christ, many mission agencies realize they must undergo some deep organizational, philosophical and methodological changes. For the past two years, NextMove, a close working partner of GDN, has fostered a collaborative effort among thirty North America based mission agencies to develop practical solutions in adapting agencies’ ways of doing ministry to diaspora reality.
Ask the Creator of the universe to fill the NextMove teams “with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge” and creativity so that they may combine and integrate their cumulative efforts into an effective, usable tool as well as prepare an online platform to make it accessible and user-friendly (see Exodus 35:30-31). Please pray that agencies’ first attempts at using the tool will bear much fruit among diaspora peoples and that the Lord will show what improvements can be made (see Acts 18:24-26). Please pray for discernment as to how NextMove can be helpful to mission agencies based in the Global South (see Proverbs 27:17).
Strategic Gathering: Madagascar
Praise God that Madagascar has a growing Church and official religious freedom. Thank the Lord of the harvest for bringing to Madagascar multiple unreached people groups from countries and areas which try to restrict the knowledge of Christ. Please pray for North Koreans, Yemeni Arabs, Comorians, Malays and Gujaratis to encounter the Living God and develop strong relationships with people who follow Jesus. Ask God to send forth laborers to work among each of these different groups (see Matthew 9:37-38, Acts 17:26-27).
(Information gathered from UNICEF, Elam.com, UN, Operation World, Joshua Project, Global Prayer Digest)