Pray for Our World: Haiti

Haiti is one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the Americas.  Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have fled or emigrated, not including the loss of life from the 2010 earthquake.  It will take billions of dollars and many years of stability and sustained redevelopment to see any long-term progress.  Major sources of income come from aid and relief organizations.  Literacy is 51% and functional literacy may be as low as 20%.  Early slavery from the French, dictatorships, and earthquakes have all but left the people with little hope.  Most identify themselves as Christians, but 75% practice voodoo.

However, since the earthquake in 2010, there has been a spiritual outpouring of faith that shook not only the nation but moved the entire world.  The president called for three days of prayer and fasting in place of Mardi Gras in February 2010, and over one million people showed up.  Churches were filled and overflowing.  Pray that this spirit will continue, as there is still a lot of work to be done and it will take time.  God works miracles, changes hearts and people, and if the people will continue to look to God, there can be much hope and change in their future.

Pray for Our World: Guyana

Guyana is on the north coast of South America.  It was in Dutch and British rule until its independence in 1966.  The 1960’s seemed to mark its change on the world as many smaller countries were gaining their independence from Europe around this time.  Guyana was in Marxist rule after that until the 1990’s, another similar statistic around the world for that time period, and now it struggles with poverty, living standards and education after the devastation left by Marxism.  Atheism too was promoted until 1985, with considerable tension between the government and churches.  Racial tensions also continue as there are influences from Venezuela to the west and Suriname to the east.

There have been positive movements toward Christianity in Guyana in recent years, but at the same time, Islam is becoming quite influential.  Pray that the people will have the freedom and access to the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ in order to heal their country.

Pray for Our World: Greenland

Greenland is 85% glacial ice cap, the world’s largest island, and the lowest population density.  Total population is about 57,000.  The economy is primarily fishing and supported by the Danish government.  The culture of Greenland has been so ingrained with the inhospitable environment for so long, that it has been devastated by the change to more modern ways.  There is widespread immorality, sexual abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and suicide.  Thankfully there are some indigenous believers and missionaries that are helping with counseling, healing and deliverance through the work of the Holy Spirit.

In 1984, there were only about 20 born-again believers in the entire country.  Since then it has been growing.  Pray for more contemporary Bible versions to be available, training, resources, and counselors for the people.  Jesus offers hope to all, and it is the only lasting and true hope for all our problems.  Not religion, but knowing the living Jesus and having Him be a part of your life.

There is a restlessness within us that can only be satisfied when we rest in the presence of God. – AW Tozier

Pray for Our World: Greece

Greece was the first European country to be evangelized.  The Apostle Paul went to Lystra (Turkey) where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek.  The brothers at Lystra spoke highly of him.  They traveled through the towns, and the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily.  Then one night Paul had a vision.  A Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, “Cross over to Macedonia (Greece) and help us!”  After he had seen the vision, they immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to evangelize them. (Acts 16)

In Acts 17, we have a record of Paul’s famous sermon at the Aereopagus in Athens given to the philosophers of the day.  It is still worth reading today and seeing Paul’s boldness in a foreign world that did not yet understand. Truth stands the test of time.  If it was true 2000 years ago when Paul spoke, it is still true today.

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was troubled within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him.  Some said, “What is this pseudo-intellectual trying to say?” Others replied, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities”—because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the Resurrection.  They took him and brought him to the Areopagus, and said, “May we learn about this new teaching you’re speaking of?  For what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these ideas mean.”  Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.

The Areopagus Address

Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect.  For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed:  TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.  The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands.  Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.  From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.  He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.  Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him. But others said, “We’d like to hear from you again about this.” Then Paul left their presence.  However, some men joined him and believed.

Current day Greece has many challenges – financial, immigration, social, and spiritual.  Pray that Greece will recognize their wonderful Biblical history and choose to follow the truth that Paul once spoke to them.  The Macedonian vision is just as true today as well: “God, come help us!”

Pray for Our World: Georgia

Georgia is located on the Black Sea between Russia, Turkey and Armenia.  It is regarded as the world’s second-oldest Christian nation.  The Georgian Orthodox Church dates back to AD 150 and is considered almost a peer to Jesus and the apostles time period.

Georgia became independent in 1991 after centuries of dominance by surrounding empires.  They still have some regions of the country where Russia remains a significant influence.  Since their independence and the collapse of communism, they have continued to make progress in positive social, economic and political changes.  Many have returned to the church, but it is more about an expression of nationalism than of true faith.

Pray for the churches there, that they will once again become a place of hope for the people, and help for the almost 100% unemployment or underemployment in the villages.  The churches need more resources to do this.  The Jesus film has been translated in Georgia, Russian, Ossetian and Mingrellian (which is the first film ever in this language), and it continues to be well received.