18 Jul 2021
Dear church family
In Matthew 24:14, Jesus told his disciples that “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” To hasten the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, the gospel must be proclaimed to every people group in the world. Not many of us can go out into the mission field to be missionaries, but all of us can give financially and definitely, all can pray fervently.
For the past two years, I have been using an app that provides information prayer pointers from “Operation World” in my daily prayer for the nations. You can download this free app on your mobile phone via this weblink http://www.operationworld.org/prayer-app/ Currently, this app is only available in English. There is a printed book version of “Operation World” in Mandarin. Pls speak with the church staff for assistance if you would like to buy a copy.
Let me give two examples from this week’s prayer focus.
IRAN (14 July)
Massive numbers of Iranians have come to Jesus in recent years! From only 500 Muslim-background believers in 1979, many estimates suggest the number is even greater than 1 million just in Iran alone. Large numbers of Persian people have also encountered the risen Christ outside of Iran. The Church in Persia has not grown this fast since the 7th century. In Iran, a person can receive a death sentence for apostasy (abandoning religious faith). This growth is a remarkable move of the Holy Spirit, with many signs and wonders, dreams and visions.
IRAQ (17 July)
The Christian community has lived an unbroken existence in Iraq since the 1st Century, but this legacy is at risk of disappearing. The majority are Assyrians and descendants of the Nestorian, or Ancient Church of the East, centred in Nineveh and Mosul. The Nestorian Church was one of the greatest missionary denominations of history, winning 6% of all of Asia’s population 1,000 years ago. Today, it is reduced through persecution, harassment and compromise to less than two million in the world. Christians in Iraq, the victims of sustained persecution and even genocide, are now only half of what they numbered in the 1990s. Most have fled persecution to Syria or Jordan, others to the West. Few are likely to ever return. Two-thirds of Baghdad’s churches are closed or destroyed. Pray for the preservation of Iraq’s biblical heritage, and for the restoration and rejuvenation of this most historic of Churches.
May the Lord open our eyes and heart as we pray for the nations, that God will continue to do His mighty work of grace and mercy, especially amongst the unreached peoples.