Monday, April 02, 2012

International Prayer: April 2nd, 2012

So often as Christians we seemed to have an adversarial relationship with our culture. Our belief in the absolute truth of salvation and the established moral law of our God often leaves us standing on the ‘wrong’ side of the debate in the culture war, be it when speaking out in the public square or at times when speaking to teens and other family members in the privacy of our living rooms. Always remember we fight not against flesh and blood. Do not grow bitter but in love and with compassion pray for others, even when we disagree.

Let us join together in prayer for:

Coptic Christians in Egypt – According to the Encyclopedia Coptica, the Coptic Church was established based upon the teachings of the Gospel writer Mark, who brought the Gospel to Egypt in the first century. Today Christians are a minority in Egypt, accounting for only 10% of a country which is 90% Muslim. Tensions between Muslims and Christians have simmered near the surface for quite sometime, with the Coptic’s religious leader working with former president Hosni Mubarak to maintain peace.

Mubarak was driven from power last year. In March of this year Pope Shenouda III, the long time leader of the Coptic Church, died. Now the Coptic Church must move forward under new leadership in a climate where they fear their rights are being eroded by conservative Muslims. Pray for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as they look to a new leader and as they deal with the changes going on in Egypt. Pray also for inroads for preaching the Gospel in Egypt.

Mali – A March 21st coupe resulted in the ouster of Mali’s president. The military revolt that led to the coupe is in part the result of the view of the government being too soft on rebels. Rebel groups have taken the northern part of the country trying to establish that territory as a separate sovereign nation. Pray for the people of Mali during this turmoil.

Sudan and South Sudan – Last year we prayed as the new nation of South Sudan was formed. Today pray as South Sudan seems headed for a war with Sudan. According to CNN.com ground fighting erupted recently and the Sudan continues to bomb its new neighbor. Pray for the people of Sudan and of South Sudan as the tense relationship between the two continues to deteriorate.

We touch lives when we lift them before the Lord in prayer. But authentic prayer is not about duty. It is about love and compassion, about caring enough for others to seek God for their wellbeing. Let us continue to reach out to our neighbors, lifting them up in prayer.

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