Pray for Our World: Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a large area of land between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, connecting North and South America.  It is one of the poorest countries in the Americas due to nearly two centuries of dictatorships and civil wars.  Young people have grown up in a country ravaged by war, where stable families are rare, and churches are not equipped to handle all their needs.  Despite the challenges, evangelical growth is on the increase from only 2% in 1960 to 30% in 2010.  Pray that Nicaraguans will continue to see the source of their help comes from God and a belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Pray for Our World: New Zealand

New Zealand is composed of two mountainous main islands 1600 km southeast of Australia.  There is a high percentage of the people living overseas for work.  The majority come from British roots.  There is freedom of religion but no established church.  Their biggest religious threat to Christianity is not from other religions but from unbelief.  In 1951, only 1 percent of the population was non-religious.  In 2010, it has increased to 41 percent.

Why?  Have Christians become so legalistic that it is no longer a better way?  Is the church too divided among themselves?  Are we not embracing the message of the gospel which is forgiveness, love, hope and joy?  Are we too burdened by things that do not matter?  Prayer is the Christian’s strongest defense.  In prayer, we have direct access to God, and we are inviting the presence of God into our lives.  May we continue to pray – for others, for our world, and for our own actions.

Pray for Our World: Madagascar

Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique.  Much of the population lives in poverty after their land was destroyed through over-use of farming and forestry.  Though there is freedom of religion, the old Malagasy folk religion remains pervasive.  The four mainline churches have great influence but the government and traditional churches are suspicious of the emergence of younger, more charismatic groups.

The Protestant Churches of the past have had a great history of faith despite persecution and harassment by the French colonial authorities.  The church grew from 5,000 in 1861 to one million in 1900 – in just 40 years!  There have been several other significant revivals in 1895, 1941, 1948 and during the 1980’s.  Pray that this movement will continue, that there will be unity among the Christian churches, and that more Christian resources will be made available for the youth.

Pray for Our World: Macedonia

Macedonia is a landlocked state surrounded by Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania.  It is one of the poorest of the former Yugoslavia state.  There is high unemployment and low standard of living, which has spurred an exodus of young people.  The ethnic composition is made up of Albanians, Romani and Turkish communities.

In New Testament times, Paul visited Macedonia several times on his missionary journeys.  The first European convert was from Macedonia after Paul had a vision about a man from Macedonia.  Today, the evangelical population is small and has a stigma of being a cult, but they are growing.  The people of Macedonia are responsive to the gospel, and their needs are great.  Pray for the people of Macedonia, that they will embrace the good news that Paul brought to them many years ago.  While our circumstances may have changed since then, the truth and message of the Good News of Jesus Christ has not changed over time.   

Pray for Our World: Luxembourg

Luxembourg is situated between France, Belgium and Germany.  They have 100% literacy rate and are a highly industrialized and highly educated multilingual workforce, with an excellent infrastructure.  Banking and finance are the dominant economy in a country known for its low taxes.  It has the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the world.

They are a melting pot of religions too.  There is a strong Catholic heritage, but many other faiths have recently increased, including Islam, Orthodoxy, Jehovah’s Witness, and Eastern mysticism.  Evangelicals are a small minority and have a negative bias from the government and society with the stigma of being a cult.  Foreign missions and resources are difficult for this reason.  Pray that the local churches will be able to reach out to their communities with faith.