Ramadan Prayer – Nigeria and Sudan
During this month of Ramadan we take time to pray especially for Christians in Muslim nations, that they might embody the essence of Jesus in their speech and in their actions. And, during this time, when Muslims are seeking God in deeper ways, we pray that God will draw them into the light of Christ.
Today, pray for Christians in Nigeria, who came under another assault by insurgents on June 29. The attackers sprayed worshippers with bullets and torched four churches. A witness said the attackers then went on to neighboring Kautikari, where they shot at villagers and burned homes. At least 30 people were confirmed dead after suspected an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria insurgents attacked Kwada village, near Chibok, the village where more than 200 school girls were kidnapped almost two months ago. The death toll is expected to rise as vigilante group members discover more bodies in the bush.
According to the Associated Press, a car bomb detonated in a market July 1 in the northeastern village of Maiduguri where dozens of people are feared dead. Maiduguri is considered the birthplace of the Boko Haram Islamic extremists. Join in praying for Christians in Nigeria who have kept their faith despite continued attacks.
Further east, in Sudan, the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), Bahri, North Khartoum was demolished on July 1. On June 30th the government issued a 24-hour notice that it would demolish the sanctuary because it wanted to use the land to construct low-cost housing. The church administration appealed for the demolition to be postponed until the end of the rainy season, which has already set in, but the officials refused to grant their request.
“The authorities demolished the church. We tried our best to meet with the people in charge, but to no avail,” reported local Christians. Now, the Bahri SCOC congregation of more than 600 members has no place to gather for worship.
Father, we thank You for the persevering faith of these Christians in Nigeria and Sudan. We pray for those who mourn the loss of loved ones, that You would bring comfort to their grieving souls. We pray for congregations whose church buildings are no more. In this season of rain, we pray for places of shelter in which to worship. We pray for protection from violence and for wisdom for church leaders as they shepherd the people in responding in ways that honor You. Where Satan would use these circumstances to destroy Christ’s church, we pray boldly that You will not only protect Your church, but that You will even cause the church to grow and flourish in the midst of persecution. And during this month of Ramadan, as the Muslim world watches on, whether they are sympathetic neighbors or extremists, we pray that they will see You and turn their hearts from spiritual darkness to the light of the gospel of Christ. In the name of Jesus, who is gathering His church from all nations and peoples, Amen.