Daily Prayer - April 2024

Monday 1 April 2024

African Christians were mobilised for urgent prayer after at least 15 believers in Mauritania were arrested in late November 2023, a country which has a death sentence for leaving Islam. A video of a baptism ceremony had become public. Praise God that by 18 December all the Mauritanian Christians (converts from Islam) had been released without charge. Praying Christians in other countries rejoiced at this answer to their intercessions and some asked for prayer to continue that the Mauritanian laws and structures which “criminalise being a Christian” will be repealed. Join them in praying for the day to come when Mauritanians can openly worship the Lord Jesus and talk publicly about their faith without fear of punishment.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Please pray today for Christians in Morocco, who are mostly converts from Islam and their children or grandchildren. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is in progress, during which it is illegal for Moroccan citizens or inhabitants to eat or drink in public during the daytime. A typical Ramadan day begins with drummers or the town crier blowing a horn to wake families for the pre-dawn meal. A cannon is fired to mark the beginning of the day’s fast and an air raid siren in the evening marks its end. People go to the mosque more often than normal during Ramadan. In this situation, Moroccan Christians must be even more discreet than usual. Pray especially for those who follow Christ in secret without their families knowing, at this time when Muslims are expected to be extra devout in their religious observances.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

An Algerian church leader, Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, has partially won an appeal against a two-year prison sentence, which has now been reduced to one year. He had been charged with holding an unauthorised religious meeting in a building not permitted to be used for religious worship. The allegation arose because of some Christian families staying in a church compound with a chapel that had been sealed by the Algerian authorities. (At the latest count, 49 church buildings in Algeria have been forced to close by the authorities, leaving only about seven open.) Youssef is appealing to a higher court hoping for an even more favourable decision so that he will not have to go to prison at all. Pray for him, for Algerian Christians who are currently in prison, and for all the Lord’s people in Algeria, that the difficulties they face will continue to draw them closer to each other and to God.

Thursday 4 April 2024

At the time of writing, armed conflict in the Holy Land continues. As you pray about the situation, remember all who are suffering so terribly there, including the Christians of Gaza, who number fewer than a thousand. By mid-December, 20 of them had been killed and most of the rest were sheltering in two church buildings in the Old City area of Gaza. At that time, they still had some food stocks but needed medicines. Pray that they will know the Lord’s presence with them and hear His words in their hearts: “Do not be afraid, little flock” (Luke 12:32).

Friday 5 April 2024

Mina Khajavi (aged 60), an Iranian Christian convert from Islam, was summoned on 3 January to present herself within five days at Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison to begin her six-year prison sentence. She was arrested in 2020 and sentenced in 2022 but deemed unfit to go to prison at the time because a car had run her over and broken her ankle. She now has metal plates in her ankle and walks with a limp. Two other Christians arrested with her have already been to prison and both were released early. Pray that Mina, too will be set free early.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Esmail Narimanpour was arrested in Iran on 24 December, his house searched and Christian books confiscated. Esmail was among several Iranian Christians from a Muslim background who was cleared of “propaganda” charges in 2021 but subsequently required to attend classes on Islam. Pray that Esmail will be strong in the Lord and that, like the apostles, he will rejoice to be “counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41).

Sunday 7 April 2024

Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You for the growth of the Church in Iran, despite harassment and pressure by the Iranian authorities. Please be with Iranian Christians in prison today. Be with those who have been released from custody but banned from meeting with fellow-believers. Be with those whose punishment is to be sent to remote places for internal exile. Give each one a special awareness of Your loving presence with them. Enable them to rejoice in You. Build them up in faith and understanding so that they will continue to stand firm and to glorify You in all they do.

Monday 8 April 2024

Many Iranian Christians have fled pressure and persecution in their homeland only to find themselves detained in prisons and camps in Turkey. Pray that they will not become downcast, embittered or afraid and that their time in prison will be fruitful for the Lord. Ask that, in His perfect timing, they will be released and, if it His will, not deported back to Iran with all its dangers for Christians from a Muslim background and for Christians involved in ministry to Muslims.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Today is the last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast between dawn and dusk, abstaining even from water. Many do so not only to keep the rules of their religion but also because they hope to draw near to God. Pray that those who long for a loving relationship with their Creator and the assurance of sins forgiven may come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

According to the constitution of the Maldives, if a Maldivian leaves Islam to follow Christ they will lose their citizenship. Praise God for some indications of a softening of attitude in the Maldives on this point, even though the constitution remains unchanged. Pray that this will progress further and that there will also be a relaxation of some of the other restrictions, which forbid any non-Muslim public worship, forbid church buildings and severely restrict the importation of Bibles. Ask that the Lord Jesus will sustain the faith of His people in the Maldives, whether Maldivian citizens or migrant workers from India and Sri Lanka.

Thursday 11 April 2024

North-east India has a higher percentage of Christians than the rest of the country, with the states of Mizoram and Nagaland having large Christian majorities. This region of India also has higher poverty levels than the rest. The population is growing, but the number of jobs available is not keeping up. Agriculture is not very productive, due to lack of capital to invest, problems with storage, and lack of awareness of new farming technologies. Many young people, in search of employment, migrate to other parts of India, where they are often discriminated against and exploited. Ask for God’s blessings on efforts to alleviate the poverty of our brothers and sisters in north-east India and pray that at the same time they will always be “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).

Friday 12 April 2024

Your prayers for Musarrat Bibi, a Christian widow in Pakistan, and her Muslim colleague Mohammad Sarmad have been answered. Both were acquitted on 8 December 2023 of the “blasphemy” charges made against them in April that year. They were clearing out a storeroom at the school where they worked, and burnt some discarded papers, which their accusers said were pages of the Quran. Being illiterate, neither of them knew what they were burning. Praise God that the judge at the court in Arifwala, Pakpattan, declared them innocent. A guilty verdict would have resulted in life sentences in prison.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Barnabas supports 121 Christian schools in Pakistan of which 45 are for the children of impoverished Christian brick-kiln workers. At the time of writing, these 45 schools are helping 2,719 children to break free from the cycle of illiteracy and poverty that has trapped previous generations – children like Yashua. Until recently Yashua would have been expected to go to work in the brick kilns, where his father has laboured since childhood. Yet now Yashua is receiving an education, free of charge, at a Barnabas-funded school, helping him to move closer to his dream of becoming a doctor. Give thanks for the opportunities these schools give to Christian children to grow in their faith and knowledge. Pray that, as a result, poor Christian communities will be strengthened.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Heavenly Father, we ask that You will protect the Christians of Pakistan, who are despised by society at large. May they know themselves to be the treasured possession of the Lord Almighty. Although, as a small and poor minority, they are weak and powerless, may they know that You are holding their hand and will help them. Despite the hardships of daily life and the constant possibility of being violently attacked or falsely accused, may they keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we pray. (Isaiah 41:13-14; Malachi 3:17; 2 Peter 3:18)

Monday 15 April 2024

Bangladesh has re-elected its Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed (aged 76). It is her fourth consecutive term in office and fifth term overall. The main opposition party had boycotted the polls on 7 January and refused to accept the result. 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 84 churches and part funded another 643 church building projects. Pray that these policies will be continued during her new term in office and for an end to the political unrest and violence that plagued the country in the run-up to the election.

Tuesday 16 April 2024

By the end of 2024 more than 50 countries, which together are home to half the planet’s population, will have held national elections. In many nations, the treatment of Christians and other minorities depends greatly on the attitude of the individual at the top of the political hierarchy. Remembering that ultimately it is God who “removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21), pray that He will work out His purposes through these elections.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Praise God for the release from captivity of Treasure Ayuba (now aged 15). He had been kidnapped from Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, Nigeria, along with 120 other pupils on 5 July 2021, when he was 12. All the other students were set free, in groups or individually, over the next six months, leaving Treasure by himself with the terrorists for nearly two more years. Pray for the healing touch of the Lord Jesus on His child Treasure, as he recovers in body, mind and spirit from his ordeal.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Pastors continue to be a main target of terrorists in Nigeria. On 11 October 2023 Pastor David Musa was abducted on his way to his farm in Kogi State and shot dead three days later. On 17 November Pastor Amako Maraya in Kaduna State was shot dead and his wife Grace kidnapped when militants stormed their home. Grace was released on 20 November. Pray for their grieving families and their congregations, left like sheep without a shepherd. May they be encouraged by knowing that David and Amoko are honoured in heaven as those killed in the service of Christ (Revelation 6:11 ERV).

Friday 19 April 2024

Boko Haram terrorists attacked the Nigerian village of Geidam in Yobe State about 2.00 am on 5 January. At least six people were killed including Pastor Luka Levong and church treasurer Maina Abdullahi. Several houses and a church building were burnt down. Many other attacks like this are happening all the time in northern and Middle Belt Nigeria, where around 45,000 Christians have been killed since 2009. Pray that this constant assault will not “wear out the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:25 ESV), and that God will give His children in Nigeria the strength and perseverance to endure.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Please pray for Christians across Africa, as they continue to face anti-Christian violence across the continent. Since 2009, over 50,000 Christians have been killed by extremists throughout sub-Saharan Africa – 45,000 in Nigeria alone. Ask the Lord that governments and security forces would be able to protect the innocent and that peace and stability would replace the violence so many have to endure.

Sunday 21 April 2024

O Jesus, our dearest Lord and Saviour, we praise You for the continuous presence of your followers in Egypt for the last 2,000 years. Thank You for their faithfulness, despite centuries of persecution. Thank You also for the way in which pressures have eased off in the last few years, giving them some respite. Thank You for the growing number of churches which have been granted registration and for the shrinking number of violent attacks against Christians. Please keep our brothers and sisters strong in You, whatever their earthly future holds.

Monday 22 April 2024

More than 900 Iraqi Christians gathered to celebrate their faith at a three-day conference in Erbil, part funded by Barnabas. Another 450 believers watched on Facebook. The majority of attendees, aged between 17 and 40, had been forcibly displaced in 2014 from Mosul and the Nineveh Plains by Islamic State (IS, also called ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). The conference encouraged believers and helped them grow in their faith. Praise God for the steadfastness of our brothers and sisters who have endured so much because of their love of the Lord.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Four people were killed and about 50 injured when a bomb was detonated at a church worship service in the southern Philippines on Sunday 3 December. Militants from Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) claimed responsibility for the attack on the service, which was held in a university gymnasium in Marawi, on Mindanao island. Although Muslims are a minority in the Philippines overall, they are dominant in the south. Ask the Lord to comfort those who mourn and protect His people in the southern Philippines.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Papua, the easternmost part of Indonesia, is rich in minerals, biodiversity and marine products. However, the indigenous people, who are mainly Christians, are poor. Their standard of living is one of the lowest in Indonesia, and they are frequently attacked by the Indonesian military. Muslims from other parts of Indonesia (the most populous Muslim country in the world) are settling in Papua, thus weakening still further the voice of the Papuan Christians who are becoming a minority in their own provinces. Thank the Lord that He has a plan and a purpose for Papua and His people there and that no one can thwart Him (Isaiah 14:27). Ask that the needs of Papuan Christians will be met, especially for health care, which is very hard for many of them to access.

Thursday 25 April 2024

“This is an answer to prayer,” declared our church partners as food.gives flew vitamin-enriched dried soup mix from the USA to poverty-afflicted Haiti. Once rehydrated, the mix provided at least 40,000 soup servings for hungry Christians at community centres, schools and other relief programmes. Barnabas also funded four flights carrying much-needed medical supplies to remote airstrips on the island, avoiding seaports controlled by criminal gangs. Give thanks for the safe arrival of the soup and medicines. Pray for strong leadership to restore law and order in Haiti.

Friday 26 April 2024

Please continue praying for nearly 120,000 Armenian Christian refugees, including 30,000 children, who fled their ancient homeland, Nagorno-Karabakh, when it was seized by Azerbaijan. Most of them are now in Armenia, a poor country struggling to meet the needs of the newcomers, who are crowded into the homes of distant relatives or staying in church halls. Barnabas is helping them, through the Armenian churches. The refugees arrived exhausted, malnourished and traumatised, having endured a nine-month blockade which led to severe food shortages. “We live by the grace of God, giving glory every evening and morning. It gives us strength to cope,” said grandmother Anahit, one of the refugees. Ask God to guide them as they seek to settle down and find permanent homes and new ways to earn a living.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Despite a law guaranteeing freedom of religion, there are parts of Belarus where Christians of certain denominations are distrusted and face a host of restrictive regulations. Belarussian believers, suffering in many ways themselves, are greatly moved to hear of the plight of other Christians. After a sermon from a Barnabas speaker, one woman emptied her wallet and offered the contents to the speaker. “But it is your last money,” he protested, aware that Belarus is a poor country. She responded, “Today I understood that there are people who are in a far worse situation than we are. Please, take this and give it to those who don’t have anything.” The Barnabas speaker could barely hold back his tears. Pray that generous and compassionate Christians in Belarus may know God’s blessing and provision in their own lives (Luke 6:38).

Sunday 28 April 2024

Lord God, who knows and sees everything, we pray for Christians in prison in Eritrea, suffering from heat and cold, hunger and thirst, beatings and torture. Though they are forbidden to sing or pray aloud, enable them to sing and pray to You in their hearts. Although they are not allowed any religious books, may the Holy Spirit remind them of all that Jesus said. We pray especially for pastors and theological students, often singled out for extra punishment or longer time in prison. May their love, joy and patient endurance glorify the Lord Jesus in Whose Name we pray.

Monday 29 April 2024

At the time of writing, hundreds of people have already starved to death in a renewed food crisis in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Predictions are that by mid-2024 it will be a near-nationwide emergency that could result in half a million deaths. The basic cause is drought, but Tigray has not recovered from a two-year war (2020-2022) which ravaged its infrastructure, making it particularly vulnerable. “People have accepted daily mourning and funerals, and they have understood that they are destined to die,” said an Ethiopian doctor in the city of Shire, lamenting that many Tigrayans had already given up hope. The people of Tigray are nearly all Christians. Cry out to the Lord on their behalf, that food aid will be delivered and rain will fall, in the right amounts, wherever it is needed in Ethiopia.

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Please ask God’s blessing for Barnabas Aid’s new initiative “Opportunity Africa”. The aim is to help Christian communities in Africa to become resilient and self-sufficient in the face of anti-Christian violence and increasingly frequent natural disasters caused by weather extremes. God willing, Opportunity Africa will include infrastructure such as water and solar power, start-up costs for sustainable agriculture and other livelihoods, local medical projects, and human capacity-building through training of many kinds. Pray that He will guide us in everything.