DAY 18: Today we lift up the Middle East countries of Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Iraq; and Iran

1.  ADORE GOD & SEEK HIS FACE BY CALLING ON HIS NAME

You are the Giver of Life…. 

Only you Lord, give life to everything.  You give life to your creation and even give life to the dead.  Lord Jesus, in the beginning you were there…with God. All things came into being through you, and without you not one thing came into being. What has come into being in you was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:1-5)… 

Lord Jesus, you are the giver of life.  Your light gives life and hope… 

2.  CONFESS ANY SIN 

Lord, reveal to me any form of pride, lack of love, unforgiveness, or bitterness…. 

Please show me any unholy practices or areas of disobedience to you….. 

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love…blot out my transgressions…and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51)…. 

3.  THANK THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS, MERCY & PROVISION 

Thank you Lord for forgiving and forgetting my sins….  

Thank you for those things that you have already done in my life (even those things that don’t feel good)…. 

Thank you for the things that I know you will do…. 

Write down a few of the people, events or things that you are thanking Him for today: 

4. SUPPLICATION 

(a) Pray for the world: The Middle East: Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Iraq; Iran 

Father God, I lament the plight of your people in Saudi Arabia as they try to live out their faith in the second most repressive nation in the world for Christians where all non-Islam public worship is forbidden.  I ask that you give Muslims courage as they convert to faith in Jesus Christ because leaving the Islam faith is punishable by death. I ask that you shield your mission workers and the new converts and protect them from jail, expulsion, flogging, torture and execution.  Please let them be a witness of truth and hope to their families and give them strength as they face punishment, abuse and even death from angry family members who sometimes engage in the “honor killing” of converts.  Help these converts develop relationships in your family of faith and provide them with safe places to gather and study your word.  Please encourage new believers and give them boldness to stand up for Christ as they face intense persecution.  Please continue to bless the satellite television programs and internet sites that provide a source of fellowship and spiritual encouragement.  Please dismantle the leadership of the Wahhabi extremists who call for violence against Christians.  I also ask that you raise up leaders who will practice your righteousness and justice and allow your children to worship you in peace… 

Lord, my brothers and sisters in Iraq are facing severe persecution.   Father, I lift up my brothers and sisters who are suffering for your name.  Please shield and fortify the Iraqi Christians (3% of the population) who are increasingly being persecuted for their faith in you.  Please strengthen the approximately seventy evangelical congregations and give them courage as they are being threatened with violence.  I grieve that many potential witnesses have been forced to flee because of an increase in the kidnapping and murdering of Christians.  I am saddened to see this mass exodus of your witnesses because it is increasingly unsafe to be a Christian in Iraq.  Lord, provide safe refuges for the more than 200 Christian families that have been displaced from their homes.  Please comfort those mourning the loss of their Christian friends and family members.  Strengthen the faith ofIraq’s beleaguered Christians and enable them to persevere in the face of great danger. Lord, I pray that these tragedies will serve to embolden your witnesses as they reflect your love, light and life to their communities.  Lord, what man means for evil, you use for good  (Gen. 50:20).  So I ask that you use these evil incidents for the good of the kingdom – to draw more Iraqis to you.  

Father, I thank you for the Kuwait constitution that provides for freedom of religion even though there are some limits on religious practice – Christians are free to praise and worship, as long it is not outside of the church walls. I pray that you will soften the hearts ofKuwait’s leaders so that government’s restrictions on worship will be relaxed.  Please give the governmental leadership wisdom as to how to deal with extremists.  Lord, help the Kuwaiti people see the emptiness of riches and the true wealth of the Gospel.  Lord, I ask that you reveal yourself to key leaders so that avenues of evangelism can be formed.   Please give the Christians (mostly foreign workers) temperance and humility in their daily walk and business activities with non-believers.  Let their lives serve as a light that is attractive to the Muslim community because evangelization of Muslims is prohibited.  

Lord, encourage the indigenous Kuwaiti Christians when they face discrimination as a result of governmental policies (citizenship and governmental financial incentives are only for Muslims). Shield and support the Kuwaitis who convert to Christianity as they are often publicly harassed and sometimes arrested.  Please provide resources (human, written, radio, and internet) to Christians so that they can be discipled, trained and equipped “to be imitators of God, as dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1)  Let the way they love you, love each other, love their neighbors and love their enemies be a bold witness to the awesome power of you, Jesus Christ.  I pray that you will increase the handful of Kuwaiti believers “and day by day…add to their number those who [are] being saved.”  (Acts 2:47).  Father, let me join in with my Kuwait brothers and sisters as I pray that for the “godly transformation and blessing of Kuwait.”  One day, let this nation serve as a lighthouse showing the way to God for the surrounding nations. 

Father God, I ask that you move the hearts of the government leaders of Iran so that mission organizations will be allowed to enter and be your hands to the Iranian people.  I pray for the Protestant pastors who are forbidden to preach in Farsi (the official language) and must only use the Armenian or Assyrian language. Please allow the message to be heard even though there is often a language barrier.  Please shield the Christian groups who are being vigilantly monitored by the secret police.  Help the Christian believers as they are being discriminated against in education, employment and property ownership.   Please shield, strengthen and comfort the many Christians who are falsely charged and imprisoned.  Please protect them from the possible death sentence that many of them face for to convert Muslims. Yet even in the midst of this oppression and darkness, your light shines.  Thank you for the many Iranians who call into Christian programs broadcast by satellite and ask for information about Christianity. I ask that you give perseverance and protection for the House church leaders who are overwhelmed with caring for the new believers who are hungry for your truth right now after a generation of living under the heavy hand of Islam.  Use these recent arrests to strengthen the commitment of new Christians.

 (b) Write down the names of people who you are praying for today (especially the unchurched):

(c) Pray for your personal needs: 

5.  PRAISE, MAGNIFY & GLORIFY GOD 

“Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my sighing.  Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray.  O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.” (Psalm 5)…. 

“For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever…Amen”

 

© [The Center for Prayer & Spiritual Growth; a ministry of First Presbyterian Church,Norfolk,Virginia] and [thewayofprayer.com], [2011]

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