A world wide call to release children and youth in prayer and praise!
Dear IPC Leaders and Networks,
The heat of the battle is intensifying in our families, churches, and nations. In this critical time of history, we believe a united call to release our children, youth, and families is a key to changing nations. Therefore, we are asking pastors, leaders, educators, and parents to unite, empower, and release the voices of the children and youth in prayer and worship.
Psalm 8:2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger.
Global Prayer and Praise is a collaborative worldwide initiative asking leaders to empower the children, youth, and families of nations to raise their voices together for the release of God's justice. With the participation of various organizations including The International Prayer Council, Children in Prayer, YWAM, IHOPKC, 4/14 Window Movement, Global Day of Worship, Transform World, TheCall, Arise International, and numerous others, we believe this is a God movement.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them"
(Matthew 19:14). Will you let them come?
For 24 hours, on the weekend of April 13 - 14, 2014, there is a worldwide call for all children, youth, and families to unite in prayer and worship of Jesus our Lord. We invite local communities to gather together to pray, knowing that they are joining countless others around the world.
HOW TO PARTNER AND HELP THIS INITIATIVE
Visit the Global Prayer & Praise website for more information: globalprayerandpraise.com
Get the word out to all believers, organizations, denominations, and networks, especially those who focus on children and youth. (Please feel free to forward this email)
Ask those with current ministries to children and youth to gather and host prayer & praise events however big or small.
Include an announcement in your bulletin and newsletter.
Announce on Palm Sunday and invite families to participate.
Would you extend a personal invitation to those in your network to participate?
In February, on-site prayer initiatives were carried out in Iraq and for Lebanon/Syria with local ministry leaders. Our small team of four facilitators-Sam, Elizabeth, Lucrece and I- felt the prayer support of many, and so the Lord blessed in wonderful ways.
50-60 Christian leaders and intercessors gathered in the city of Erbil in the northern part of the country known as Kurdistan. It was a time of teaching sessions as well as authoritative and united prayer for breakthrough. Participants were so hungry to learn and to pray that they did not seem to care about taking coffee breaks or meals. We did teaching sessions on transformational praying for nations, repentance for corporate sin and reconciliation, strategic intercession, spiritual mapping and deliverance (this included praying for the deliverance of oppressed participants and others who came for counseling). Many there have been through terrible experiences of seeing others killed before their eyes, torture, kidnapping, etc.
The final Saturday was an especially strong day of authoritative praying, and I felt there was a measure of breakthrough for the development of a united prayer movement as well as for the binding of spiritual forces of darkness and the overthrow of the terrorists. Later in the day, while we worshipped and prayed at the Citadel in central Erbil, high above the city, we got news that a top commander of the Al Qaeda- related Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been killed. This was followed by the reports of four other mid-level commanders and then a report of 21 more who were killed as they tried to build a bomb to destroy others. We had felt led to hand over mass murderers into the righteous judgment of God. Though we never rejoice in the death of people, God knows best how to deal with those who have made themselves the devil's agents of death and terror.
Since returning home, we have heard from leaders in Erbil and Baghdad about the continuing impact of the initiative and their attempts to bring others together to continue the prayer of deliverance for the nation. A leading pastor from Baghdad writes: "I have just returned from a combined meeting for many churches gathered together to pray for the nation, the presence of The Lord was awesome and powerful."
The leaders in Erbil who arranged the initiative ask us to pray for the following:
1) To start a small prayer group (the nucleus) in Erbil, and connect with leaders in other cities such as in Baghdad and one couple from Duhok who attended the prayer training.
2) A strategy for local and outside prayer networking.
3) For two bishops who are hindering the Lord's work in their churches. Pray for open doors and favor.
4) Above all, let's pray for a strong and well-connected prayer movement to arise in Iraq so that full deliverance and transformation can come.
5) Let's also continue to pray for the overthrow of terrorists and their attempts to destabilize the nation and that His shalom/ salaam will be upon this battle-scarred, bloodied country.
Our small team drove the breadth and length of this small, but captivatingly lovely nation, celebrating communion along with our intercession a number of times for the healing of the land and spiritual breakthrough. We went out to visit the Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley and prayed at the border with Syria. We also met with local intercessors in various places and had strong times of agreement in prayer at massacre sites and places of ancient idolatry. We believe such places still empower the principalities and powers to bring war, violence and division to nations today since they give the devil a legal right to be present.
As we were praying in Tripoli, a northern city that has been increasingly infected by the war in Syria through the same factions who also live there, a grenade went off not far from where we were praying. We continued to pray with His authority against the violence and the attempts by terrorists to cause confusion and harm in the country. The next day it was reported that four terrorists were captured with over 200 lbs. of explosives before they could detonate it, praise the Lord!
As we drove across the rest of the land, we sang His praises, claimed His promises and interceded with all our hearts joined by the local people. We felt like spiritual commandos on a mission and had the shared sense that the Lord was listening and answering throughout. One of the things we all prayed for was rain since the country was in a dry spell for more than a month. The last day of the initiative, clouds gathered and cool breezes began to blow in from the Mediterranean. Raindrops appeared on the windshield followed by a gully-washer of a downpour a couple hours later. What a cause for joy!
We also prayed with our Lebanese friends about the lack of a working government and the political intrigue that has paralyzed the nation for more than a year. On Saturday, the day we departed, our wonderful hostess, Nuna, sent this message: "This is no less than a miracle after 10 months of no being able to form a government, this Saturday after a very hard and long night the prime minister finally announced the new government. Now we're praying that the parliament will approve it. God is on the move!"
Let us continue to pray for the prayer movement to be strengthened and connected. Recently, eight churches in Beirut met to pray together, but this needs to continue and to expand to include the traditional churches as well as the evangelical and charismatic ones and go right across the country.
Pray for an honest, good, effective government to be agreed to by parliament and established.
Let's pray also for heart unity among the churches and their leaders.
For Syria, pray that a cease-fire will be agreed on that enables those in many besieged cities to evacuate and for relief shipments to get to desperate people needing help all across the nation. May the government and the opposition also come together to negotiate what form a transitional government will take.
Thanks so much for praying for these troubled nations and their people that the Lord loves so much.
Yours in Christ,
Use this link to find excellent articles with pictures to use in your prayers for the healing of the conflict in Syria which has now claimed well over 100,000 lives, men, women and children. Please continue to pray for His peace to cover this land and for negotiations to end it.
Click here for more details!
We thank God for his assistance; we have succeeded in organizing our second session with children, church leaders and Sunday school teacher, 15th February 2014. In total 275 participants (255 children, 5 church leaders and 15 Sunday school teachers). We have succeeded this meeting, with our small grant. For now, we have 500 children and Youth who already know what is the CIP.
(They have a need for funding to get an LCD projector if anyone would like to help. If so, please write to Desire at the email address above.)
Reported in Joel News International
"We reported on the role Christians played in the massive protests in Ukraine. Last week saw an escalation of violence and police opening fire on the crowds, leading to the death of 88 protesters.
In the weekend the corrupt President Victor Yanukovych fled the capital Kiev. Journalists and Ukrainian citizens storm
ed his private mansion and surrounding grounds, closed off to the world for nearly a decade, to discover their President had lived in incredible opulence. The new government has charged Yanukovych with murder and has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, considered a hero of a 2004 Orange Revolution against Yanukovych, was released Saturday after 2½ years behind bars. The court case against her was widely considered politically motivated. Just hours after her release, in a wheel chair, she addressed the jubilant crowds on Independence Square. Tymoshenko sees the crisis in Ukraine as primarily spiritual. For this reason she proposed spiritual education in all Ukrainian schools. In 2010 she participated in a national prayer meeting organized by the churches in which she confessed the sins of the government. "I want to ask the Lord for forgiveness to be given to all the authorities and to me personally, for all unjust and dishonest things done," she said.
On Sunday, Oleksandr Turchynov, a well known Baptist pastor and top opposition politician in Ukraine, was unanimously named interim President by the Parliament in a bid to fill the political void and to end the three-month-long crisis. The choice of a Baptist pastor as acting president in Ukraine does not come as a huge surprise to Sergey Rakhuba, head of U.S.-based Russian Ministries. "He is well-known in political circles as a principled, honest leader. It is great that Turchynov is calling for unification and healing of the nation."
Ukrainian evangelicals are calling for national prayer, forgiveness and reconciliation in the wake of the traumatic recent violence. Valery Antonyuk, vice president of the All Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Churches, issued the following statement:
A Message of Reconciliation
"During this time of fateful change in the life of the Ukrainian nation, the Church and each Christian individually cannot remain spectators on the sidelines of the battles and losses. The Church serves society and mourns together with it. We went through difficult days together with the nation - we served through prayer, evangelism, volunteers, medical help, clothing, and food. Today a time has come for a ministry of active reconciliation, which will help maintain unity in our country and nation.
We supported the nation's demand to put an end to the tyranny of the authorities and repressions by the police. Now it is important to restore justice and due process of law in the country, to form a government that has the people's trust, and provide fair presidential elections. We believe that those guilty of crimes against the people will be justly judged, and that peaceful citizens will be protected.
But on behalf of the Church we must say more, we must speak the whole truth; we must say that which is still hard to accept and fulfill; that, which is a precondition for a better future.
Therefore the Church calls the Ukrainian nation to more than just feelings of human justice - to Christian forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation. We pray to God for repentance for the guilty. However at the same time we ask victims to forgive those who are already repentant as well as those who are still lost. In order to unite the nation, in order to reconcile its various parts, its various social, cultural, and political groups, laws and justice are not enough. Without repentance, grace, forgiveness and reconciliation, the country will remain divided and in conflict. This is the precondition for a deep spiritual transformation of Ukraine...
We call on the Evangelical churches of Ukraine to serve to bring peace between people and healing to the wounds of war. We do not call black white and do not justify crimes or even mistakes. But we, as Christians, forgive, because we have been forgiven by God. He reconciled us to Himself, and gave us a message of reconciliation. This grace-giving Word to our whole nation should be heard from Lvov to Donetsk, from Kiev to Simferopol.
We also call upon the international Christian community asking for prayer and intercession for the Ukrainian nation and for help with peacemaking. We mourn for the victims, and thank God for His grace toward Ukraine, and pray for peace and spiritual revival in our nation."
The Parliament has set new national elections for late May.
Let's pray with our Ukrainian and Russian brothers and sisters for the resolution of this crisis in Ukraine and Crimea during this pivotal time in this nation's history.
A call to pray for the traumatized, remnant Church in North Korea
On 27 February South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook (50) fronted a North Korean press conference in Pyongyang to 'confess' to his crimes and plead for mercy. For seven years, Kim Jung-wook had been providing food, clothing and sanctuary to North Korean refugees and job-seekers in the Chinese border city of Dandong. Kim was arrested in North Korea on 8 October 2013, a day after crossing into the state, although a source in China told South Korea's Chosun Ilbo that Kim was kidnapped by North Korean agents in Dandong. In the press conference, Kim confessed to conducting 'anti-State' crimes with funding and assistance from South Korea's intelligence agency. When arrested, Kim reportedly had Christian literature and DVDs that allegedly he was going to use to set up 500 underground churches to spy on and overthrow the regime.
When Hong Kong-based Australian missionary, John Short (75), was arrested in North Korea in mid-February, he confessed to his 'crimes', apologised and was expelled. As an Australian, Short was of little value to the regime in Pyongyang. The situation is more serious for Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae. Arrested in late 2012 while leading a tour, Bae gave a similar press conference confession in April 2013 before being sentenced to 15 years' hard labour. In August 2013 Bae was transferred to a hospital due to his deteriorating health. However, on 20 January the regime returned Bae to the labour camp to protest American B-52 bomber flight drills around the Korean Peninsula. As an American, Bae is a pawn of great value.
There is no word yet as to what punishment Kim Jung-wook will face. According to Radio Free Asia, 'dozens' of people have been detained, accused of assisting Kim. Border guards who let Kim slip through security, North Korean believers, new converts and the families of the accused are amongst those banished to labour camps upon Kim's 'confession'. Now South Korean news agencies report that 33 of the accused have been sentenced to death, charged with conspiring with Kim to overthrow the regime. It is reported they will be executed in a secret cell at the State Security Department. Doubtless these 33 are predominantly Christians, probably significant Christians who may or may not ever have been in contact with Kim but whose ministry is deemed an existential threat to the regime. This will be a terrible and traumatising blow to North Korea's remnant Church.
As noted in RLPB 248 (18 Feb 2014), the regime's main concern is managing the state monopoly on information in the face of severe challenges posed by new communication technologies, while endeavouring to raise living standards so as to ward off revolt. In response to pressure, the regime is ramping up repression, spreading darkness and stoking fear. Security on roads has reportedly doubled, making it more difficult for North Koreans to travel around the country. Furthermore, North Korean security agents now have new signal detectors, enabling them to intercept mobile phone signals in real time. Now people using cellphones smuggled in from China can be arrested within minutes. The recent wave of arrests will ensure that people stop using their cellphones.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL --
- 'Lift up his hand' to 'break the arm [instrument] of the wicked' and 'call his wickedness to account'. Pray Psalm 10 for North Korea.
- Spare the lives of the 33 who are to be executed. However, if that is not to be, then sustain and comfort them so that instead of being overwhelmed with fear, they will know 'the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding' (Philippians 4:7 ESV) as God himself encompasses them. 'And he will become a sanctuary [Hebrew: miqdas, the place where God dwells] . . .' (from Isaiah 8:11-14a ESV). [For more on this subject, see: The Promised Presence, by Elizabeth Kendal.]
- Comfort and encourage the North Korean remnant Church; may they know 'the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding' (Philippians 4:7 ESV). 'When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."' (See 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 ESV.)
- Take this evil event of the executions and use it for his glory to effect the exact opposite of the regime's intent. May the news of these executions spread through all the country, establish not terror, but the link between Christianity and freedom. May interest in the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ and in his power and grace to spring up all across the nation. 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.' (John 12:24 ESV)
'Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.'(Psalm 24:7 & 9 ESV)
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin (RLPB) 251
Special to ASSIST News Service
Trapped in cages built for animals. Beaten, chained and forced to stand in torturous poses. Left to subsist on snakes and rats. The damning UN report on North Korea's crimes against humanity contains shocking allegations, but its message of misery is driven home even more powerfully by eight sketches drawn by a man who survived more than two years in Pyongyang's hell on Earth. The drawings, released as part of the 400-page report, lay bare the brutality of a regime that has practiced torture on its people, undeterred, for years.
"This was the first thing that I saw: there it said that 'if you run, you die,'" Kim Kwang-Il, the 48-year-old artist and one of some 300 witnesses the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights spoke to in compiling the report. Kwang-Il's sketches offer a rare glimpse inside a prison camp, where photographs are forbidden. Some depict the torturous poses inmates are compelled to assume for hours at a time, under threat of beatings by chains and ropes. "We are supposed to think there's an imaginary motorcycle and we are supposed to be in this position as if we are riding the motorcycle," he said, describing one such torture. "And for this, we pose as if we are airplanes ourselves. We are flying. And if we stand like this there's no way that you can hold that position for a long time. You are bound to fall forward. Everybody in the detention center goes through this kind of torture," said Kwang-Il, who now lives in South Korea.
Another heart-wrenching sketch shows a starving inmate trying to catch a rat.
"Because we starved so much and did not have enough to eat, we would find snakes in street," said Kwang-Il, who now lives in South Korea. "How do you eat a snake in the street? But for us the first one to find it was the person who got to eat it. Everybody raced to catch those snakes and that's because we were so starved."
The UN report castigated the Hermit Kingdom for its ruthless treatment of people, depicting a brutal nation "that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
"Crimes against humanity have been committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the state," the U.N.'s high commissioner on human rights stated in a report released Monday. "These crimes against humanity are ongoing because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their root remain in place."
Kwang-Il served 29 months in a North Korean labor camp after he was caught smuggling pine nuts across the border. Other survivors told the UN panel during its yearlong investigation of conditions in the secretive communist dictatorship. One witness described how a female inmate gave birth inside a camp. When a guard heard the baby's cries, he beat the mother as a punishment. And when she begged him to let her keep the baby, he forced her to drown the newborn.
Experts say it is common for prisoners in North Korean camps to lose up to half their body weight, or starve to death altogether. Many who survive are permanently disfigured from being chained to walls for days or even weeks at a time. The cruel regime not only punishes those it brands as criminals or disloyal, it also imprisons and tortures members of that person's family and succeeding generations, according to those who made it out of Pyongyang's gulags alive..
Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, estimate that more than 200,000 North Koreans are being held in camps similar to the one depicted in Kwang-Il's sketches. Other activist groups, like Open Doors USA, estimate that number to be even higher, reporting that the secretive nation has detained about 400,000 of its citizens -- many of them Christians. In North Korea, the practice of Christianity is illegal. Owning a Bible is a crime, and any person caught with one is sent - along with three generations of his or her family - to prison.
Pyongyang refused to cooperate with the investigation and denied the commission of inquiry access to North Korea. Last May, North Korea sent a letter saying it "totally and categorically rejects the Commission of Inquiry," said Michael Kirby, the chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay pressed Tuesday for North Korea to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) following the report.
"We now need strong international leadership to follow up on the grave findings of the Commission of Inquiry. I therefore call on the international community, in line with the report's recommendations, to use all the mechanisms at its disposal to ensure accountability, including referral to the International Criminal Court,'' Pillay said in a statement.
Please continue to cry out to the Lord for the plight of suffering people in North Korea. This has got to stop and this wicked regime must be reformed or removed so that the two Koreas can be reunified and these horrors are ended.
There will be an on-site prayer initiative in Afghanistan, March 25-30. An international team of six or seven ministry leaders will join with local and expatriate believers, focusing on the national elections happening the first week of April. This is a very crucial time for the nation. Please pray for His anointing and protection on the team and those they meet with and for the right person of God's choosing to become the new president.
Additional prayer concerns from believers in the country:
The situation with President Karzai has not been solved yet. In each of our prayer meetings we bring this up to the Lord, but we feel that more prayer is needed that Karzai signs the agreement between his and the US Government.
As a matter of fact the relationship between the two is getting worse. Now president Obama tells Karzai that the US is planning for a full pull-out of the country http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-26346115.
Please pray for patience for the American government. If they go ahead with the "zero plan" it would be disastrous for our country. But our prayer can and will make the difference.
Every day that the treaty is held back is a lost day for Afghanistan. The weekly incident list reports a total of 568 separate incidents in the country, that is 113 incidents more than the week before! We need your prayers that the security situation will not raise in face of the upcoming election and that president Karzai signs the paper. That would definitely bring more stability to the country which the people are longing for.
At the same time we need your prayers for the neighbouring country where the peace negotiations with the Tal... terrorists took place during the last weeks. We praise Him that instead of reaching an agreement they began fighting each other. This is a good opportunity to pray that the Government comes to realise that covenants with people on jihad (holy war) mean nothing to them. They only succumb as long as they get their way. If this "peace" talk would be taken up again it would mean a total set-back for both of our countries. Please pray fervently that the opposite will happen and the present situation of confusion between both sides will last.
Thank you so much for standing with us in your prayers,
Anonymous Christians in Afghanistan