Daily Prayer - January 2024

Monday 1 January 2024

The Western New Year can be a time of increased danger of violent attack for Christian minorities in parts of the world where this season is considered to be a Christian celebration. Pray for the protection of our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Ask, too, that they will be kept from fear, filled with the knowledge that they dwell in the shelter of the Most High, and rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). Pray that they may face the coming 12 months with joy and hope, springing from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

“We are gradually losing our lives, our homes, land and rights without help as the attack continues. The state forces have forcefully taken some tribal towns and villages and they are planning to take others in the near future … There are a few charities [including Barnabas Aid] supplying relief materials but never enough to feed the 41,000 displaced persons. I personally see no sign of improvement and hope for the foreseeable future … Please continue to pray for us.” This message came to Barnabas Aid from a church leader in Manipur state in north-east India in November 2023, where the Christian-majority Kuki people had been suffering violent attack for the previous six months. Temperatures in January can fall as low as 8°C causing great suffering for displaced people without blankets or warm clothes.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Hundreds of Christians were affected by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 3 November 2023. They were among thousands of Nepali families made homeless by the disaster, with many left injured and mourning the loss of loved ones. One pastor lost his daughter and four grandchildren. Barnabas Aid project partners estimated that 18,000 houses were destroyed, along with at least 20 church buildings. We have sent funds for food, blankets and temporary shelters for the earthquake-affected Christians. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for their needs and comfort them in their sorrow.

Thursday 4 January 2024

Please pray for Mae A-neng, a Christian widow in Laos, and her five children, aged 13 to 26. The family became Christians in 2018 and have refused to yield to demands by their village authorities that they renounce their Christian faith. On 23 September 2023 villagers therefore dismantled the family’s rice barn, used to store food year-round. The next day they dismantled the family’s house, then evicted the family from the village and turned them over to the Toumlane District authorities who put them in police detention. At the time of writing, they are believed to be still detained. The Lao Constitution affirms the freedom of Lao citizens “to believe or not to believe in religions” (Article 43). Pray that this right will be recognised in rural parts of the country as it is in cities.

Friday 5 January 2024

Between 2019 and 2021 many people became Christians in Khampou village, Assaphone district, Laos. This triggered two years of persecution (2022-23) by the village authorities. Under such pressure, some renounced Christ but others remained faithful. On Sunday 1 October 2023 the remaining Christians were worshipping together when the deputy village chief and village security authorities interrupted the meeting and ordered them to “cease manifesting their religion or belief in worship”. The Christians were threatened with arrest and huge fines if they disobeyed. They were also threatened with a huge fine if anyone in the village were to fall sick or die. Pray for the believing remnant in Khampou that their faith will not fail.

Saturday 6 January 2024

Bangladesh will hold a general election tomorrow, 7 January. The current Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and there have been violent protests and many arrests as supporters of the main opposition party demand her resignation. Sheikh Hasina has done much to protect the rights of Christians and other non-Muslim minorities in Bangladesh. She has affirmed the equality of all Bangladeshi citizens and her government has paid for the restoration of 65 major churches and other Christian properties across the country. Pray for peaceful and fair elections, and that the Lord will work out His purposes for Bangladesh through them.

Sunday 7 January 2024

Lord Jesus Christ, we saw so much death and destruction at the end of 2023. Please give us Your peace which transcends all understanding and help us to trust in You as the world sinks into mistrust and anxiety. We ask that You guard the hearts and minds of those who are persecuted because of their belief in You. We pray that they will overflow with hope despite their circumstances. We ask this in Your precious Name. (Philippians 4:7)

Monday 8 January 2024

“We thank God for the life of each one of you and for the privilege that we have of being able to count on God’s people.” These words from an impoverished Cuban Christian reflect gratitude for a vital food delivery. Barnabas funded transport costs for more than 139 tonnes of food to around 35,000 Cuban believers across the island. One of the seven containers transported served as an emergency response to a hurricane season, which saw 8,000 forced to flee their homes. Give thanks for this vital aid and pray that the Church in Cuba will grow in strength in the communist-ruled state.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

When the conflict in the Holy Land erupted in October, Bethlehem was quickly sealed off. No tourists could visit – even if they had wanted to amidst the violence. Many Christian families in Bethlehem earn their living through jobs connected with tourism, so this sudden change in circumstances drastically affected their livelihoods. In November, the head teacher of the Christian school in Bethlehem supported by Barnabas Aid wrote to us of Bethlehem’s “great turmoil” as many of the children’s parents and others in the Christian community had lost their incomes. Pray that Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider, will help all in Bethlehem, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.

Wednesday 10 January 2024

“I pray that all wars, especially between Jews and Arabs, will end and I know that the world really needs my universal Prince of Peace,” said S.H. He is an Iraqi from a Shia Muslim background, who now describes himself as a “follower of Jesus, Immanuel, the heavenly Prince of Peace”. Although S.H. wrote his prayer back in 2006, when war broke out in Lebanon between Israel and the predominantly Shia Muslim Hizbullah group, it is just as relevant today. Add your “Amen” to the prayer of our Christian brother.

Thursday 11 January 2024

Marginalised Christians often struggle to find work in Egypt, especially in rural areas. In the last year Barnabas has helped more than 310 women (mainly widows) and young men amongst these impoverished believers to earn livings by setting up 289 small businesses ranging from transport enterprises to market stalls and carpentry. “Ruth” said her small enterprise selling slippers and shoes gave her family “hope and a new beginning” after her builder husband was paralysed in a fall, leaving them without income. Give thanks to God for these new beginnings. Ask that the fledgling businesses will thrive.

Friday 12 January 2024

The suffering of chronically ill Christians in Lebanon has been compounded by the country’s long-running economic crisis. Many believers can no longer afford the rising costs of medicines and some have resorted to taking their medication every other day to eke out supplies. Christian widow Samira, 71, who has heart problems and diabetes, is among 200 chronically ill Christians whose medical needs are being supported by Barnabas. She is thankful for the assistance, and for the joy our project partners bring when they pray with her as they deliver her vital medicines. Lift up our sick brothers and sisters in prayer and ask that they draw strength from God (Psalm 73:26)

Saturday 13 January 2024

“While I am many other things – a son, a husband, a father, an accountant – all other people seem to see me as is an IDP [internally displaced person]. So long as I am an IDP, I feel like I cannot embrace the beauty of being anything else.” These were the words of a Christian in Iraqi Kurdistan, one of thousands of Iraqi believers who have fled to the autonomous region, mostly in 2014 when terrorists from Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL Daesh) seized the areas where large numbers of Iraqi Christians lived. A recent study of Christian IDPs in Iraqi Kurdistan showed that many struggle deeply with the loss of their homes and the trauma they experienced. Yet they also spoke of their Christian faith being a help and comfort. Pray that the Lord Jesus will continue to strengthen the displaced Christians, and that they will find their identity and hope in Him.

Sunday 14 January 2024

Father God, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia, who cannot show or speak publicly about their belief in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Please especially sustain Saudi converts who have to keep secret their faith in Your Son or face severe punishment, perhaps even death. Please keep safe from persecution all Christians in this land, if it is Your will. Whatever happens to them, may they grow in faith, knowledge and love. We ask this in the Name of Jesus.

Monday 15 January 2024

Give thanks for the success of Ugandan police in foiling another terrorist bomb plot. Extremists planned to explode bombs in two churches in Kibibi, Butambala District, on Sunday 15 October. The devices, sent disguised as gifts to pastors, were discovered and defused. Pray that any further anti-Christian plots in Uganda, often perpetrated by militants based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, will also come to nothing.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Christians in Somalia are like lambs in the midst of wolves (Luke 10:3). Their country is practically 100% Muslim, and dominated by a strict interpretation of Islamic law. As converts from Islam, the tiny Christian community are severely persecuted to the point of being hunted down and killed. The preaching or propagation of any religion apart from Islam is illegal, and there are no functioning church buildings. Pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will fill Somali believers with hope, peace, joy and love.

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Six Christians were shot dead in an attack in the Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria, and six others were injured. The community targeted are part of the Christian-majority Atyap Chiefdom. Pray for those who mourn for Sarah Adamu, Rejoice Adamu, Enoch Adamu, Juan Aminu, Salomi Aminu and Meshak Aminu asking that the God of all comfort will sustain them with His peace. Pray for full healing for the injured. Pray also for many Nigerian Christians who have been injured or bereaved, or lost their jobs and livelihoods in other similar attacks that frequently occur. In recent years an estimated average 500 have been killed per month.

Thursday 18 January 2024

Barnabas Aid is organising a petition to “End the Genocide of African Christians”. Around 45,000 believers have been killed by violent extremists in Nigeria since 2009, around 5,500 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since October 2014, and around 1,800 in northern Mozambique since October 2017. That makes an estimated total of 52,300. Pray that we will receive at least 52,300 signatures on the petition and that it will result in more help from the international community for the African governments who struggle to combat this violence. See barnabasaid.org/resources/africa-petition.

Friday 19 January 2024

Children in Zimbabwe are showing marked improvement in their health since receiving daily servings of the nutritious porridge ePap, funded by Barnabas. More than 2,000 children under 6 years old are among nearly 12,000 people having their health transformed by the extra vitamins, minerals and protein contained in ePap, including this blind young man. Conditions such as ringworm, patchy skin and discoloured and sparse hair are being reversed. Praise God for these gains and pray that many more needy Christians in Zimbabwe will receive this life-giving nourishment.

Saturday 20 January 2024

In the midst of heavy shelling, all the children were safely evacuated from the village in an operation organised by the mayor – all except Michael (10) and Nver (8), the mayor’s own sons, who were yet to leave the village. A few days after the attack began, both boys were found dead. This family tragedy occurred in Sarnakbyoor village in Nagorno-Karabakh, as the Armenian Christian population of the enclave fled en masse following Azerbaijan’s attack on 19 September 2023. Almost the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh (120,000 people) are now in Armenia. They arrived malnourished after a nine-month blockade. They are traumatised and grieving for their lost homes and homeland, now under Azerbaijan’s control. Most have no work and nowhere to live long term. Pray that the God of endurance and encouragement (Romans 15:5 ESV) will meet their needs.

Sunday 21 January 2024

Dear Lord Jesus, we pray today for our Christian brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. We rejoice that they come from across the spectrum of ethnic and religious backgrounds as well as from families who have faithfully followed You for generations, and we pray that this will be a powerful witness to You and Your love. We ask that You will protect them from harassment and persecution and will provide for the needs of the many who are desperately poor. Give them daily courage, hope and joy as they follow You.

Monday 22 January 2024

A Sunday morning worship service in Sri Lanka’s Puttalam District was broken up by police after a complaint made by a resident via an emergency hotline. Two police officers came to the pastor’s house, where his church were meeting. The officers ordered the congregation to leave, questioned the pastor, and warned him that he could be arrested if they were called again. This incident followed previous complaints made to police about the church. Pray that a way will be found to enable the pastor and other Christians to live at peace with their neighbours (Romans 12:18).

Tuesday 23 January 2024

A Christian leader in Pakistan wrote to Barnabas Aid about the mental anguish which the Christian community endures because of the way in which Christians are viewed by many other Pakistanis as “second class citizens” of little worth, suitable only for the lowest and most menial cleaning jobs. Even if highly qualified, non-Muslims are never given the most senior positions in government, police or military. Pray that Pakistani believers will not be disheartened by this attitude towards them, but will rejoice in the knowledge that as Christians they are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9).

Wednesday 24 January 2024

The murderer of a Pakistani Christian woman has been given a 25-year prison sentence for his crime by the Islamabad Sessions Court. The man shot Sonia Bibi in November 2020 after she refused to become a Muslim and marry him. “We are Christians from generations, and Sonia was a true Christian and strong in her faith,” said Sonia’s father. Christian and Hindu women and girls in Pakistan remain at risk of abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion. Pray that this prison sentence will act as a deterrent and thus protect these vulnerable women and girls.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Towards the end of last year, Pakistan began to crack down on allegedly illegal immigrants from Afghanistan. Some Afghans were deported, while others made their own way back in response to the pressure being put on them by the Pakistani authorities. All are returning to a country of strong repression (especially for women and girls) and much hunger. Any Afghan Christians deported to Afghanistan also face the possibility of death if their faith is discovered. Pray for all who are suffering in Afghanistan, especially our brothers and sisters. You might like to base your prayer on the words of David, whose life was often in danger: “I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me” (Psalm 31:14-15).

Friday 26 January 2024

A new church building, seating 750 people, was opened on Sunday 8 October in Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the inauguration ceremony. This is remarkable given the Turkish state’s record of unjustly expropriating churches and other church properties, adding greatly to the difficulties of the Christian communities in Turkey since the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Pray that the unprecedented event will be the start of a new and more positive attitude by the Turkish authorities to their country’s Christian minorities.

Saturday 27 January 2024

A 91-year-old Christian in the south-eastern Turkish province of Mardin was killed on 6 November 2023. Gevriye Ego was ambushed in front of his house in the Christian village of Enhil and shot multiple times in the head. He died in hospital. Christians have lived in south-east Turkey for many centuries but are now a small minority. Pray for comfort and protection for these believers and particularly for Gevriye’s family and friends.

Sunday 28 January 2024

Lord Jesus, we pray for Your followers in countries where they face persecution from “rulers and authorities”. Give them grace not to worry ahead of time how to speak and defend themselves if they are arrested. May they face the future with peace in their hearts, knowing that You will give them the words and wisdom they will need when the time comes. Give them assurance that You will strengthen them to face prison or torture, if that is Your will for them. May they be effective witnesses, so that even their persecutors may come to know and love You. (Luke 12:11; 21:12-15)

Monday 29 January 2024

“The religious freedoms in our country are steadily, increasingly eroded,” wrote a Christian leader from a Central Asian country in November 2023. “The situation in [City X] is also intensified, and it is now eight years since the local authorities have been trying to prohibit brothers and sisters to meet for worship, fellowship and prayer.” The most recent incident was the forced closure of a church building, so that believers now gather in small groups in homes. Muslim religious leaders in X are also “concocting a variety of obstacles to prevent believers from meeting”, adds the Christian leader. Pray that our brothers and sisters will be able to keep meeting to pray together and build each other up in the faith, whatever the pressures and problems that face them.

(Names of city and religious leaders is withheld for confidentiality reasons)

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Christians in Uzbekistan thanked the Lord for answered prayers after the donations of Barnabas supporters funded repairs to a registered church (meaning a building in which it is legal to gather for prayer). We replaced the roof and repaired walls and flooring. Three church congregations share the building, enabling them to meet legally. It is also used by the host church for twice-weekly Bible studies, for its youth and children’s ministries, regular prayer meetings and for training courses. Give thanks for this vibrant Christian community. Pray that their joy in the Lord will be a light to others (Matthew 5:14).

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Christians in a Central Asian country ask us to pray that “brothers and sisters experiencing persecution would not be intimidated by the threats but continue attending services and witnessing. Regardless of the opposition from the enemy of the souls of men, we still have wide open opportunities for evangelising and witnessing to people around us.” Praise God for the courage of our fellow-Christians in that country and ask the Lord to continue to add to their numbers as more people put their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Pray also that the Lord will encourage and help them as they face the hardships of winter right now.