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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pray for Peace on Easter

Photo Credit: Map of Zanzibar

Photo Credit: LonelyPlanet.com

The following report was published by International Christian Concern

Longstanding tensions between Muslims and Christians in Buseresere, a town in Tanzania’s northwestern Geita region, flared on Feb. 11 after a cleric demanded the closure of Christian butcheries in the area.

Pastor Mathayo Kachili of the Tanzania Assemblies of God Church (TAG) was killed while trying to intervene in an attack by Muslim youths against Christian butchers. “A group of Muslim youths, armed with machetes, big clubs, knives and sticks assaulted the Christians [butchers] and seriously beat them,” ICC’s source in Tanzania said.

“When the Muslims saw [Pastor Kachili] they brutally attacked him,”  witnesses said. Pastor Kachili died on the scene as a result of this attack.

Six days later, Father Evarist Mushi, a Catholic priest, was murdered on the island of Zanzibar off Tanzania’s east coast when two men, presumed to be Muslim extremists, confronted him at the entrance of his church. “One of the attackers shot him in the head,” said police spokesman Mohammed Mhina.

The Vatican’s Fides news agency reported that a threatening text message was received by local bishops and priests after the shooting. The text read, “We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster.”  The text message was signed by an extremist group calling itself the ‘Muslim Renewal.’

As you prepare to celebrate Easter with family, friends, and church please remember the faithful believers in Zanzibar and Tanzania. Please pray for the enemy’s plans of violence to be thwarted and for the safety and protection of all Christians in those regions, including pastors and layworkers in the churches. Pray that they would be able to celebrate the Savior’s resurrection with joy and hope, not mourn the day in fear of their enemies.

 
 

VOM Prayer Calendar: March 7-8, 2013

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs' 2013 Prayer Calendar

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar

 

Lord, You are enthroned above the heavens, mighty in power and awesome in splendor. By You all things were made and all things hold together. In You, we live and move and breathe. In You is freedom forever. You bring joy and light and love and laughter. You are the healer and restorer, the redeemer and the everlasting Father. You are the prince of peace and the rider on the white horse, the leader of the angel-armies. Within Your jurisdiction are the events of the world, and in Your care are the innocent prisoners whom only You can judge righteously. Thank You for the early release of Li Ying who has been arrested multiple times in the course of her service to You through journalistic reporting. Please continue to uphold her with Your mighty right hand and bless her efforts as she seeks to tell the truth and do Your will.

Lord, also I ask that You would be our great teacher, that You would equip Your faithful servants in China with knowledge and wisdom that comes directly from You. I pray that You would open doors for them to receive training in the understanding and teaching of Your Word, that You would enrich them yet not allow them to become puffed up. I pray that You would safeguard their educations and the sharing of their lessons. I pray that as they draw closer to You in Your Word that Your Spirit would be their own personal teacher and that You would flow through them and out of them to their congregations.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

VOM Prayer Calendar: March 5-6

Photo of Voice of the Martrs' 2013 Prayer Calendar

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar

 

“On Nov. 25, 2009, Zhang Huamei and four other Linfen-Fushan church leaders from Shanxi Province were sentenced to criminal detention for two to seven years, according to China Aid Association. The five church leaders were accused of “gathering people to disturb the public order,” because they organized a prayer rally on Sept. 14, the day after 400 military police raided the church’s grounds. During the raid, more than 30 believers were seriously wounded and 17 buildings were destroyed.”           –From PrisonerAlert.com (click the above link)

Lord, You have said that it is not good for man to be alone, that we ought not to forsake meeting together with our brothers and sisters in You, that we should be one even as You and Your Father are one, that two are better than one and that a three-cord strand is not easily broken. You have called us one body with many parts, with each member having different functions. Lord may we all have the common function of encouragement. Lord, fill us up with a desire to see our brothers strengthened and encouraged, and fill us with the unction to take the initiative on it. Lord, fill us with a desire to be a voice of hope and of love and of truth. Fill us up with Your heart for pastors Zhang and Wang, and for pastors Yang Xuan and Yang Rongli who were arrested at the same rally. Father encourage these men as they wait out Your will for them in prison these past 1200 days. Lord, be their Banner of victory. Persuade them of Your impartation to them of Your conquering nature. Bless them with strength and power to overcome in this period of testing.

Finally Lord, I pray that You would not be silenced in China. I pray that Your plans would not be thwarted, that Your heart would not go unheard, that Your will would not be left undone. I pray that Your kingdom would be established in China through the house churches until they can have legalized houses of worship, houses without compromise of the Gospel. I pray that Your people would continue to grow both in depth and breadth, but most importantly in depth. I pray that sacrifice would be faced with a pure and willing heart. I pray that Your light would penetrate the darkness and would overcome it and that China would be a beacon of freedom for those escaping from other, harsher countries. I pray that You would reach out to the harassers as You reached out to Zaccheaus and to Matthew and forever changed them into disciples. I pray that You would change them and would call them irrevocably into Your kingdom to become healers and helpers instead of hurters.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

VOM Prayer Calendar: March 3-4, 2013

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs' 2013 Prayer Calendar

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar

 

Heavenly Father, You are the God of the large and the small, of the impressive and the unnoticed. You are as present in a gathering of two as You are in a congregation of two million. You are the hope of all. Your eyes have roamed the earth and seen the tenuous relations between governments and churches throughout the ages. You know how treacherous they can be when mixed unequally. Lord You have decreed change in the heart, not change in the offices. I pray that as we seek more peaceful relations between the Chinese church and its government, that we would pray not just for changes in the law and the governors, but for change in the hearts of the leaders of that nation. I pray for the members of the Shouwang church, that they would continue to grow in depth and not numbers only, that their passion and fervor would spread like a wildfire of Your Spirit. I pray that the officials of their government would not view them as an encroaching threat, but as a positive agent in their nation and region. I pray that even the elected and appointed men and women would come to know You by the faithfulness and peacefulness of the Shouwang members.

I thank You for Your provision in bringing Your Word through the Bibles Unbound program. How often do we–do I –disregard Your Word? How often do I set it aside or save it for later? How often do I forget Your promises, Your decrees, Your instructions, Your Gospel? Lord, make Your Word more precious to these new believers than it has been to me. May they ever cherish it in their hearts and minds. May they commit it to their memories, write  it on the tablets of their hearts. May they understand Your truth as fully as You have desired to reveal it. May it renew their minds, purify their hands, convict their hearts, refresh their souls, and strengthen their conviction. May Your very face leap off the pages at them. May their tears, and not their blood stain the pages. Be the Word that You have brought to them, each day that You walk with them, and let them know it.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

VOM Prayer Calendar: March 1-2, 2013

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs' 2013 Prayer Calendar

Photo of Voice of the Martyrs’ 2013 Prayer Calendar

“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” –Genesis 22:17-18

Elohim, You are the Creator of the world. You constructed the molecules inside each grain of sand; You designed the molten beauty of each star in the galaxy; and You also multiply Your faithful. You multiply us as the tiny things of earth and as the giant things of outer space. You have blessed us so mightily. In a country where once Your name was not even heard, You have called the hearts of 80 million people to repentance and to everlasting joy. You have called them into sonship, into an inheritance. O great Father, bless Your children in China, Your beloved ones who have fought so hard for the right to worship You in Spirit and in truth, who have gained ground against the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Lord bless them not only with freedom in their government, but with freedom in their hearts. Do not let them be overcome by the encroaching materialism that now seeks their attention, but re-gird them with the belt of Your truth. Remind them that they gain to give, that the earth is Yours and the fullness thereof, that everything they need and desire is in You, not in this world. Lord bless them with the glory of Your presence so that they do not fall into the trap that has so firmly entangled the West. Keep Your Church in China pure from the attachments of this life, Lord, for only You can do so.

Father, for those who have been arrested for unauthorized religious activity, remind them of who holds the ultimate authority. Grant them peace in the midst of their trials with the knowledge that You are their true judge, the one who has sealed their fate in heaven. Remind them that the trials of this life are but for a moment. As they are kept hidden from their families, from their husbands, wives, children, parents, God uphold them with the love that is in Your heart. Carry the prayers of their family to them and theirs to their families. Comfort them with hope of their release, and even more with hope of the souls who You have sent them to win in Your name. Renew their vision in prison so that they would know Your plan and purpose for them in jail and not cast off the restraint of a hopeful man. Press into the hearts of Your suffering ones and call them blessed. Bless them and keep them and make Your face to shine upon them so that they may reflect Your glory and splendor.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.