Answered prayer

16 Sep 2021

On 10 September Prayer Alert reported that government ministers were rejecting Scientists recommendations of Covid jabs for 12- to 15-year-olds. You prayed for the Government to change its mind and step in so that pupils got what was needed according to God’s plans for them (Jeremiah 29:11). On 14 September the Government announced that a Covid jab rollout will start in schools in England. Although they are deemed at very low risk from the disease, factors such as disruption to education tipped the balance.

After raising over $28 million to rescue Afghan Christians, Glenn Beck shares an update. ‘Seven years after the IS blitzkrieg, there is revival in northern Syria. The establishment of Islamic government provides ripe soil for the Church to grow. The Afghan Church is determined to do the same. They are still actively meeting, studying the scriptures together and sharing the gospel. We have heard a report about Christians sharing the gospel with Taliban members who came into their village, and they have actually been engaging in Bible studies and prayer.’ While it is often the sensational reports or heroic action that make headlines, Richardson said Afghanistan's Christians are just real people choosing to live out their faith. ‘They say they are scared. Many of them are in despair, but it is in that weakness that they're still pushing forward and they are finding sweetness in all of it.’ he said.

Help the Persecuted (HtP) hosted 100+ Christian converts at a retreat in the Middle East. Most were new converts seeking refuge from war-torn Syria. Others were families HtP helped after the Beirut explosion. All face persecution for their faith. Seif, one of the attendees, said, ‘I lost my brother two months ago. Today, in Christ, I have more brothers than I can imagine. I feel like I am home among my family!’ HtP are praising God for bringing together a community of former Muslims who now live for Christ, and who have now experienced the community of the Body of Christ personally. The HtP team focused on discipling these new believers, as they sought the Lord for healing and hope, and were overjoyed when 49 Muslim converts stepped forward in faith and were baptised!

Christians in Parliament met two days before the cabinet reshuffle and the theme of their service was ‘hope in waiting’. Their worship was based on Psalm 86. With this in mind we can base our prayers for our new and established cabinet members on that psalm: ‘Father among the gods, there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. You created every nation and have a purpose for each one. You created these islands and raised up leaders through generations. We lift today’s leaders to You and pray that each one will bring glory to Your name. Teach each cabinet member Your way forward, help those who are in new offices to humbly learn and quickly grow into the new role you have prepared for them. Lord, inspire their decisions. May the Christians in Parliament continually have Your insights as they rely on You to do marvellous deeds in the coming months and years.’

Ken McCallum, MI5’s director general, warned that the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is likely to have ‘emboldened’ so-called lone wolf terrorists in the UK. He said that while the terror threat would not change overnight, there could be a ‘morale boost’ for extremists. ‘We need to be vigilant about an increase in inspired terrorism,’ he said. In the past four years a total of 31 late-stage attack plots have been foiled in the UK, including six during the pandemic period. While they were largely Islamic extremist plots, there were also a growing number of attacks planned by extreme right-wing terrorists. He also said, ‘The terrorist threat to the UK, I am sorry to say, is a real and enduring thing.’ Pray for God’s plans for the future security of the UK to be established, and for His wisdom and discernment to flow through everyone working in MI5, border security, internet security, antiterrorism, and military.

Catholic bishops and organisations voiced their opposition to the arms trade, as the UK hosted one of the world’s largest arms fairs on 14-17 September for global governments and military delegations, with over 1,500 companies selling guns, bombs, and other weaponry. A statement from the bishops and other concerned organisations emphasised how conflicts fed by the trade harm the world’s poorest communities, forcing people to become refugees. In 2015 Pope Francis said, ‘Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer is simply for money - money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.’ Pray for all the voices of those peacefully campaigning against the arms trade to be heard so that leaders commit to ending it in pursuit of peace.

The National Day of Prayer for Schools is on 28 September. A few years ago, Scripture Union research found over 95% of UK youth were not connected to a local church. 99% of young people engage in mainstream education. Many believe that if we want to reach the unchurched 95%, we need to learn how to serve our schools and meet these youth where they are. Due to the challenging situation the pandemic created for children, young people, schools, staff and families, church groups across the UK are prayer-walking their communities, praying God’s blessing over their local schools, and seeking God for breakthrough in schools. On 28 September Christians will join an online prayer gathering in the morning, with prayer videos released every hour, before they gather to prayer walk in locations across the UK later. For more information see

There are no official data on absence due to school anxiety. Many affected pupils are labelled truants, but support groups are being flooded with calls. An education lawyer says the pandemic has made an unprecedented crisis even worse. Children with school anxiety may experience physical symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea and headaches before school or have immobilising anxiety, panic attacks or something that seems like a tantrum. They may even threaten to harm themselves if parents make them go to school, yet their parents can be threatened with fines and court action. Fran Morgan helps families with this problem and said it is not about refusal, a child that won't do something: It is about a child that physically can't. Parent groups are warning of a ‘tsunami’ of crippling school-anxiety cases leading to debilitating absence from education. The education department said it was investing £17m in school mental health.

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