Week of Prayer for the Nations
Even now, amidst the present circumstances, our church needs to be continually engaged with global missions. We want to continue sharing the good news of Jesus cross-culturally around the world, that more and more people would come to know him and believe in him. Our prayers are the most significant way we can support missionaries overseas, as we invoke the power of God to intervene in the hearts and lives of the lost in every nation.
From December 6 to December 13, every day for one week, we will be praying for a different International Mission Board (IMB) missionary around the world. If you’d like to receive daily emails, please contact Summer at [email protected], and she will add you to the list.
Day 1: Naivasha Children’s Shelter, Kenya
Hundreds of thousands of boys sleep on the streets in Kenya. These children are often marginalized, beaten, sexually abused, and arrested. Many Kenyans call these children “trash eaters.” IMB missionary Kristen Lowry and Kenyan woman Eunice Murage direct the Naivasha Children’s Shelter in Naivasha, Kenya, a voluntary place of refuge for boys living on the streets. They not only provide food and shelter, but also education, rehabilitation, and trauma counseling, with the long-term goal of reuniting them with their families.
- Pray that the boys in this shelter will find new life in Christ.
- Pray that as the boys are reconciled with their families, the families will also find hope in Jesus.
- Pray that God will bless the work of the shelter’s staff as they reach out in love to boys who are hurting.
Day 2: Radio Ministry, Croatia
Croatia is a country of 4 million people, and there is a long history of reluctance when it comes to believing the gospel. In 2014, long-time IMB missionary and church planter Eric Maroney decided to start a Christian radio ministry, which now includes nine local partners who serve as speakers, translators, and technical support. The group fills the airwaves twice a week with a sermon, spiritual songs, interviews with believers, and questions from callers, and more than 40,000 listeners today tune in each broadcast.
- Pray that more national partners will choose to be a part of sharing the gospel across Croatia.
- Pray that more church plants will result from the radio broadcast ministry.
- Thank God for the tens of thousands who hear truth from God’s Word each week.
Day 3: Mobile Medical Clinics, Thailand
Only 1% of Thailand is Christian. In fact, many Thais have never even a single Christian before. One of these places is Baan Po, where there is yet to be a single church. Doug Derbyshire, a doctor and IMB missionary, is passionate about sharing the gospel with the Thai people, and he regularly leads a team to set up mobile medical clinics in Baan Po, as a means to not only address people’s physical health but also their spiritual health. Every day, they have the opportunity to have conversations with hundreds of patients, and after six years of little fruit, people are starting to believe in Jesus.
- Pray none of the new Christians would fall away from the faith.
- Pray those who have yet to decide will choose to commit their lives to Christ.
- Pray for the formation of healthy churches in Baan Po.
Day 4: The Akawa*, Peru
There are countless, small, widely dispersed tribes in the Amazon rainforest. One of them is the Akawa.* The Akawa tribe is so isolated that it requires a 2-hour plane ride and a 3-day boat ride to reach. Four times a year, IMB missionary Joe Brewster and several local partners collaborate to visit the Akawa to share the gospel. Some people have recently trusted in Christ, but there is much work to be done. One of Brewster’s goals is to train up indigeneous leaders, like the church planter Edwin Blanco*, so that they can eventually reach people that he is unable to reach.
*Names changed for security.
- Pray for Joe, Edwin, and their teams as they share the gospel with the Akawa.
- Praythat many members of the Akawa will come to faith in Jesus.
- Praythat new Akawa believers will gather into groups and start churches.
Day 5: Remembering Lives Given
Since 1845, about 60 IMB missionaries and children have died due to violent circumstances while serving with the IMB. In some cases, the missionaries were targeted specifically because of their faith or missionary service. Each of these lives lost is a sacrifice of a life lived in obedience to Christ. As Jesus said in John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
- Thank God for the men and women who, with their children, have traveled to the ends of the earth to share the gospel with those who have never heard.
- Thank God for the uninterrupted witness of Southern Baptists among the nations for 175 years.
- Ask God to continue to protect missionaries and their families serving in cross-cultural and often difficult areas around the globe.
Day 6: The Worthys, Italy
For more than 17 years, Charlie and Shannon Worthy have invested their lives and ministry in Italy as IMB missionaries. Most Italians are nominal Catholics at best. But by immersing themselves fully in Italian culture and partnering with local Italian ministers, they make strategic connections that bring the gospel to areas of Italy with little to no Christian witness. Charlie believes that the most effective method to plant churches and disciple believers is to invest in local believers.
- Pray that the Worthys will continue to build strong relationships in Italy.
- Pray that many Italians will come to faith in Christ as a result of the Worthys’ witness.
- Pray that new Italian believers will gather into churches to reach the people of Italy with the gospel.
Day 7: The Adairs and the Serranos, South Asia
It took 20 years for a gospel presence to be established among the Khaleela*, a Muslim unreached people group of 10 million in South Asia. After years of setbacks, Luciano and Sofia Serrano*, a Christian couple from Brazil, started to partner with Ralph and Lovie Adair*, IMB workers who live in a neighboring region, and slowly but steadily, people are coming to Christ. One Christian from the Khaleela is Saalim*. Although Saalim became a Christian 10 years ago, he only recently made the commitment to be intentional in sharing his faith. Now, Ralph, Luciano and Saalim share the gospel in neighborhoods, and Saalim faithfully follows up with the men and women they meet.
*Names changed for security.
- Pray that local Christians would be bold in sharing the gospel with the Khaleela.
- Ask for discernment for the Adairs and the Serranos as they share the gospel and train local Christians.
- Pray that the Lord would send more Christian workers to partner with the Serranos and Adairs.
Day 8: The Southern Baptist Convention
As Christians, we are not called to hoard the gospel, but to herald the gospel to all who would hear. And ever since its founding, the Southern Baptist Convention has sought to do just that. Of the 3,623 IMB missionaries around the world, no two missionaries look the same, as each seeks to contextualize their ministries to their immediate contexts. But all are united by their common goal of making disciples of all nations.
- Praise God for the continued work of Southern Baptists who have remained committed to reaching the lost for more than 175 years.
- Ask God to send more individuals and churches who will be committed to the vision of reaching all nations and all peoples with the gospel.
- Thank God for sustaining the work of missionaries through all circumstances, including the most recent global pandemic.