Millions of pupils are returning to classrooms in England and Wales, amid fears of a spike in Covid cases. Most Scottish schools went back in mid-August and since then Scotland’s Covid cases have reached record levels. Pre-term Covid testing is being used to limit infection, but rules on social distancing and face masks have gone. Scientists have warned of a rapid rise in school cases without such measures and experts have not recommended jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds. Ministers want a return to normality, but cases are more than 30 times higher among children compared with last year. Headteachers are hoping for a much smoother term but also want school safety measures to be kept under review. Modified exams have been pledged but there is little detail yet on England's plans. Teachers are asking for more information as they focus on helping pupils recover from the disruption.
Legalising physician-assisted suicide could make the 'right to die' into a 'duty to die' for the most vulnerable. The following are ways to pray for end of life care. Ask God to provide necessary finances, staff and volunteers to the hundreds of UK hospices that offer individual holistic care for people approaching the end of life within a peaceful, compassionate atmosphere. Pray for the God of peace to equip nurses, doctors and all caring for terminally ill patients with everything good for doing His will. Remember vulnerable people who fear about the future and ask God to watch over anyone who is alone, uncared for, neglected or abused. Shine Your light into their lives and send Your saving grace and peace. As political and public pressure mounts, ask God to raise up respected medical experts to campaign against permitting assisted suicide and persuade the professional Colleges to maintain their stance against it. For more prayer points click ‘more’.
This year, all three of the biblical autumn feasts (Leviticus 23:23-43) take place in September. The Feast of Trumpets on 6-7 September is followed by the Day of Atonement on 15-16 September and the Feast of Tabernacles on 20-27 September. Among much else, Tabernacles is a 'harvest festival', celebrating the ‘ingathering’ of the summer harvest (Exodus 23:16). Just as the spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost) were fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming and by the sending of the Holy Spirit, so the autumn feasts will be fulfilled by His return, the gathering of His people to meet Him, the redemption of Israel, and the Messianic Age. As we celebrate this year’s harvest, both from the fields and of those who have been added to His Kingdom, give thanks that God is working His purpose out and that the time draws ever nearer when ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Hab. 2:14).
Praise God that in Romania the International Justice Mission (IJM) workers have seen many answers to their prayers. Specifically - IJM Romania has been receiving an increase in referrals from law enforcement. Training conducted by IJM has been a great success with positive feedback from police and prosecutor participants. There are continued strong and engaged partnerships between IJM Romania and the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Justice, police, prosecution offices and the Anti-Trafficking Agency. IJM Romania and the Orthodox Church have seen good progress in their collaboration. Please continue to pray for their work with churches, including engagement with the Evangelical and Catholic Churches and for more fruit to come from partnerships with public justice agencies.
An ex-Muslim Christian working among Gazans in Jerusalem for medical treatment of war wounds said, ‘They’re tired of hatred and fighting so it’s easier to talk about love and reconciliation.’ Several became believers and one man was miraculously healed of cancer. If only more people would preach the Gospel, many more Muslims would come to Jesus! A great number of Jews have also come to discover their Messiah, and now contend that they are more Jewish than ever. Some had visions of Christ.’ Also, the Church of England will offer an act of repentance in 2022 for its anti-Semitism. The service will mark the passing of 800 years of humiliating anti-Jewish laws which eventually led to the expulsion of Jews from Britain. This monumental move follows their 2019 document ‘God’s Unfailing Word’, which acknowledged the Church’s role in fostering anti-Semitic feeling.
We are pleased to bring you this September 2021 edition of IPC Connections.
Our Editorial this month is a response to the tough question of how to pray for the persecuted. We know that many believers all around the world are being discriminated against and persecuted due to their faith. Among others, the situation in Afghanistan has shocked many, as overnight, the risks facing the people of the Christian Church there have escalated. Dr Jason Hubbard reminds us how we can respond in prayer for those facing persecution. He illustrates his points with a moving worship song and a video of the emotive prayers of young children in India.
Our 30 Days of Prayer for Afghanistan continues. More info here.
This month, a number of partnered prayer and worship events are taking place under the banner of Trumpets to Tabernacles – a series of events with the theme of RETURN | REVERE | REVIVE. We would encourage our contacts and networks to watch the 50-minute Trumpets to Tabernacles broadcast which premieres at 9.30pm Jerusalem time on 7th September and can be watched online here. Further details follow below.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in mobilising and informing united prayer across nations, denominations, movements, and generations for the fulfilment of the Great Commission.
May we express grateful thanks to Andy Page and the IPC Editorial Team who put this email together each month.
Jason Hubbard - Director
International Prayer Connect
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Disclaimer… The views and opinions expressed in IPC Connections and the articles on our website are those of individuals and our partner organisations. They do not necessarily represent the policies or views of IPC or its individual leaders.
We aim to respect the diversity within the prayer movement and yet embrace our unified calling to mobilise prayer for the nations. (2 Chron 7:14) If you wish to discuss the appropriateness of any articles, please contact us.
Praying for the Persecuted…
We know that many around the world today are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Many have given their lives for the sake of the Gospel and we know this will continue to the end of the age! The estimates today are that more than 340 million Christians are suffering high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.
Places like North Korea, China, Nigeria, and many places throughout the Middle East, including the current crisis in Afghanistan. Our hearts are breaking for our precious brothers and sisters and their families.
I have often struggled over the years with how I can be involved, and help to serve them? I read verses like Hebrews 13:3 and wrestle with how to respond?
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body”
I think one of the most powerful ways is to pray and intercede on their behalf. As Brother Andrew from Open Doors writes, “Our prayers can go where we cannot. There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”- Brother Andrew
Jesus was clear that we would experience tribulation and trouble in this world but to take heart that He has overcome! In Paul’s last letter, the letter of 2 Timothy, he shares with his beloved disciple Timothy his last words about life and ministry to encourage him, “my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Timothy 3:11-12).
We know in many cases God miraculously sets free believers from their imprisonment or severe persecution. At other times he allows his saints like Stephen to be martyred and to give their lives for the message of the Gospel. In either case, God calls us the church to pray and intercede on their behalf!
I have been inspired by the story of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was imprisoned a few years ago in Turkey. After 11 months he was given 3 life sentences and assigned to solitary confinement. At a place of despair with little to no hope, he wrote a powerful song, called Worthy of my All. He would sing this song every day and it would strengthen him to keep persevering to the end! Here is a link to the song and words below …
Worthy of my All Video:
Worthy of my All - Lyrics and Chords
Let’s ask the Lord for his burden and heart for those who are suffering today. We want to grow in Love-motivated prayer, “a love-motivated plea, to a love-giving God, on behalf of love-needy persons who live in a love-starved world.” May God give us his compassion and even the ‘gift of tears’ as we enter into the pain of those are suffering today in the place of prayer.
We have worked together for many years with the Royal Kids in India. They have adopted thousands of children, many who had been left to die on the streets or in the garbage slums. Many include the children of temple prostitutes.
These children are growing day by day in their relationship with their ‘Abba Father,’ and praying for people around the world. Here is a short video clip, where they are praying for the suffering saints in Afghanistan.
To connect with key prayer points for our persecuted ‘family’ we recommend Voice of the Martyrs The Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com) or Open Doors, Serving Persecuted Christian's Worldwide they have both put together excellent prayer guides and you can sign up to be a prayer partner, receiving first-hand prayer points and testimonies from around the world!
3 Prayer Points:
Pray: that God would strengthen Jesus Followers with his grace. Pray through Ephesians 3:14-21 on their behalf.
Pray: for ‘Open Doors’ for the sharing of the Gospel in the midst of their persecution. Pray for these workers to be ‘filled with the Spirit and speak the Word of God boldy!’ (Ephesians 6:18-21, Acts 4:29-31).
Pray: for the families of those who have lost loved ones through martyrdom or imprisonment (Galatians 6:2).
May we follow those that have gone before us, ‘denying ourselves, taking up our cross daily, and following Jesus.’ (Luke 9:23).
Dr Jason Hubbard – Director
International Prayer Connect
As of 1st September, the total global figure for people infected by Covid-19 stood at 217.7 million according to Johns Hopkins University. In addition to this, the recorded number who have died totalled 4,519,287. Cases are rising steadily from a recent low point in mid-June, fuelled by the Delta variant.
39.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.5.29 billion doses have been administered globally, and 41.1 million are now administered each day. Only 1.7% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
Data on a county by country level can be found here.
After a relative successful initial phase dealing with Covid, many countries in South East Asia are struggling to vaccinate citizens at an effective rate.
Pray: for divine intervention and for God's name to be glorified even as each nation and government tries its best to vaccinate, prevent or control the emergence of new waves of infection and finally arrest this epidemic.
Pray: that individuals, leaders and nations focus on the needs of others rather than themselves, and that co-operation and compassion lie at the heart of the world’s response to the crisis.
We continue to release faith, hope, and love over the peoples of the world. May the Church seize this opportune time to manifest Jesus our Lord and Saviour to those who are seeking answers and purpose.