DAY 20: Today we lift up the South Central Asian countries of Nepal; Bhutan; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka and Maldives

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

You are my Refuge and Rock… 

I can trust in you at all times…I can pour out my heart before you because you are a refuge for me. (Psalm 62:8).  I know that “it is better to take refuge in [you] Lord than to put confidence in mortals” (Psalm 118:8)…. 

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge.”  (2 Sam. 22:3)…. 

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: South Central Asia:  Nepal;  Bhutan; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka; Maldives 

Lord, I thank you that Nepal who was once the world’s onlyHinduKingdomhas enacted a law that allows freedom of religion (but only in limited measure.  If non-Hindus are caught proselytizing, they risk fines, imprisonment and, in the case of expatriates, expulsion. Yet, Hindu fundamentalism has increased in recent years and the Maoist former rebels hold the keys to the finely balanced government.   Lord, giveNepal’s leaders wisdom, courage and grace so  that they might put personal or party differences aside and work together to fight the immense economic problems still gripping the country.  Lord, I thank you for the recent growth of the Church in Nepal largely because of courageous evangelism.  Please raise up Christian ministries who:  provide education programs to children to get them out of the workplace (2.6 million children work as child labourers; 70% of them are forced to work 10-hour days or longer); reach and rescue the hundreds of thousands of Nepali and in Mumbai girls who are exploited for the Middle Eastern and domestic sex trade; work with lepers.  I pray that you will move your servants to answer your call of working with the last, the least and the lost. 

Lord, please protect Nepali Christians because Hindu fundamentalists as well as Maoists often single them out, partly because their non-violent nature and connections to the West make them soft targets.  Lord, give your believers perseverance, and let neither the laws of man nor threats of violence deter them from sharing the gospel.  Please protect and strengthen Christian converts from Hinduism because they usually become outcastes – as lowly as the Dalits who are very much oppressed.  I pray that you will provide them with new family and social supports for they are usually shunned by the families and communities.  Lord, I ask you to give grace and perseverance to believers and I pray that Christians will be accepted and appreciated for their contribution to the country’s well being.  

Father, I thank you that Bhutan has recently held its first ever parliamentary elections and a new king was crowned who implemented a new constitution guaranteeing more religious liberty, but this still does not officially exist. I ask that you soften the heart of the Bhutanese King so that he will recognize the injustice of criminalizing public worship and evangelism by non-Buddhists. Open his eyes to see the unfairness of the ban on visas for religious workers.  I ask for protection for new believers.  Give them humility and perseverance as they face persecution from their families, their communities and Buddhist monks who have significant influence. I ask you to protect believers who meet in secret and face discrimination in education and employment.  Please bless the Christian children so that they can grow in their faith even though they face discrimination and the constant pressure to attend Buddhist religious festivals.  Please raise up leaders who can train and teach the small community of Bhutanese Christians.  Lord, giveBhutan’s Christians creative ways to copy and study your word because non-Buddhist religious texts are not allowed in this country.  Lord, I ask that Bhutan.  Lord, in the midst of this persecution, I ask that you raise up Christians to serve as beacons of your light and hope to Bhutan, one the least evangelized nation in the world. 

I also ask for protection for believers on the island of Sri Lanka.  These Christians have experienced increased violent persecution as well as discrimination in employment and education.  Please protect your believers in this country and give them courage to claim you as their Lord and Savior.  

Father, I thank you that Maldivian people enjoy many democratic freedoms, but I sorrow with you over the fact that there is no religious freedom.  Maldivians are required to convert to Muslim or lose their citizenship.  I ask you to protect the very few Maldivian believers who are constantly under surveillance.  Give them strength and perseverance as they suffer ostracism.  Please encourage them in their faith so that they can stay strong in you. 

Please raise up leaders in these countries who will end the persecution of Christians and instead, let them worship safely and openly.  Help Maldivian believers remain faithful to the gospel by continuing to spread the good news to their neighbors as they reflect your truth through their words and actions of hope, light and truth… 

Lord, I thank you for all the recent work done by Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO’s) in the fight against poverty in Bangladesh which is among the world’s poorest nations (gross over-population and periodic devastating floods and cyclones).  I pray that governmental leaders will have the wisdom and courage to enforce constitutional religious freedom.  Lord, I ask that you guard this country from Islamist pressure.  Lord, I sorrow for the Hindus of Bangladesh who are oppressed, but I rejoice that because of this ill-treatment, many of them have been receptive to the gospel message.   Please protect the tens of thousands converts from Islam who now call on Jesus as Lord, but a wider breakthrough awaits.  Lord, please ministries that will help nurture the faith of these new believers.  I pray that you will strengthen leaders so they can model biblical values and lifestyles.   Please give them God-honouring worship patterns and cultural relevance without compromise of biblical faith.  Often leader not only face social and family pressure to renounce Christ, but also opposition from some Islamic leaders.  I pray that new believers may experience dependence on God in poverty, firmness under persecution, evangelistic vision and unity with other Christian communities.  

(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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