Though the nation of Azerbaijan is not on the 2017 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, social pressure from family and neighbors often isolates believers from fellowship with the body of Christ.
Guzal* came to faith many years ago, converting from Islam. Her husband Asad* did not initially mind her being a Christian because he noticed the good changes in her behavior and character that made life more pleasant for him. She prayed for him for a long time—asking God to bring her husband to faith in Christ. After several years, Asad turned from Islam and professed faith in Christ. But then the couple came under harsh criticism from their relatives and neighbors, and Asad hardened his heart toward Christ—and toward Guzal. Now he forbids Guzal to attend church, to meet with believers, and even to read the Bible. Asad has demanded that Guzal renounce her faith and he is becoming very aggressive towards to her. Nevertheless, she faithfully continues to secretly read her Bible, pray, and worship. Please, pray for her security, for opportunities to meet with believers, and for freedom to read the Word and visit church. Pray especially for Asad that the Lord would soften his heart towards his wife and draw him back to faith in Christ.
*Not their real names.
Merciful Father, we cry out today on behalf of Guzal. Clearly You have strengthened her in recent months and years to stand firm in her faith against great pressure to deny Christ. Please protect her now from harm and from attacks on her faith. We pray that she will have opportunities, divine appointments from your hand, to meet with other believers and even to share her faith. Give her secret times to study Your Word and bring to mind Scripture that she has hidden away in her heart. And we pray for Asad, that You soften his heart toward Guzal, and that You will humble him and draw him back to Yourself. Free him from the pressure to please his family and we even ask with boldness that You might then use the light of Christ in him to turn family members to saving faith in Christ. In the name of Jesus, our Rock and Fortress in whom we take refuge in the day of trouble. Amen.