Prayers: 2018

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December 2018: Pray for missionary evangelist Laston Bissani (click here to read about his work). After four years of building a good house for his family in Milange, Mozambique, he and his wife Carlotta were attacked in their home with a demand for money. The family has gone to Malawi to recuperate with the church family there. Pray that the Holy Spirit would minister healing to the family after this trauma. “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” Isaiah 41:10.

December 2018: Igreja Evangélica Irmãos Menonitas em Angola (Mennonite Brethren church in Angola) is officially recognized as a legitimate church by the government, however, some of their local congregations which lack a formal meeting place have been deemed illegal and forbidden to worship. Additionally, a former church leader has been distributing fraudulent certificates to threatened congregations. Pray that the leaders of IEIMA will be wise and principled as they raise money for more church buildings and seek to be compliant with government regulations.

Click here to contact leadership of IEIMA.

December 2018: DR Congo is awaiting the presidential elections of 23 December 2018. Pray for the unity of Congolese churches as they support this historic process. Congolese Christians often have polarized opinions on the current electoral process. May God give us peace and reconciliation among ourselves so we can then facilitate peace and reconciliation among the political actors. Pray for the calming of different actors involved in the electoral process as the course is set for the 23 December 2018 election.

Prayer submitted by pastor Josué Selemani, leader of Paroisse Missionnaire Shalom in Bukavu, a Mennonite Brethren church in eastern Congo.

November 2018: May our churches be transformed by the Holy Spirit to embody a spirit of peace and reconciliation amid sharp polarization on political and theological issues in society and within congregations. For example, October’s elections in Brazil resulted in divisions in the community of Christians in Portugal as many evangelical groups supported one of the candidates. Pray that the churches around the world would have one voice and one spirit as they follow one God together.

November 2018: God, have mercy. Only two months after the earthquake on Lombok, another island in Indonesia, Sulawesi, was hit by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami. The death toll has exceeded 2 000; around 5 000 are still missing as search and rescue efforts near an end. The congregation of the Mennonite (GKMI) church in the affected city Palu fled to safety, but the pastor has chosen to stay and help the victims. GKMI Missions Board and Charities (PIPKA) and Mennonite Diakonia Service are mobilizing volunteers to create relief posts and collect materials to distribute to underserved areas. Pray that the process of rehabilitating the victims can quickly take place. Pray that PIPKA and MDS will be given the power to express God’s love in the midst of destroyed communities.

October 2018: Lord of the wind and the rain, your creation is both calm and storm. We pray for those who fall in the path of hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and tornadoes: recently, the Philippines, Japan, the USA and Mexico. May the grieving sense the nearness of your comforting Spirit. May your church be the hands and feet who rebuild and reassure those who experienced loss.

October 2018: With the upcoming election rounds in Brazil, pray for the churches to demonstrate how to listen graciously and show respect to people they disagree with – even within their own congregations – in a polarized political climate with extreme tensions between Marxist ideas and right-wing parties with military support.

September 2018: Praise God that the Hmong Mennonite church in Thailand became a 20th District in the Church of Christ. The Hmong church in Thailand receives its official status via the Church of Christ, one of five Christian groups the Thai government recognizes. Becoming a separate district allows the 23 Hmong Mennonite congregations to address issues specific to their ethnic group and also to claim and promote an Anabaptist understanding. It creates opportunity to draw other Hmong churches to an Anabaptist understanding of faith.

September 2018: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19:13–14). Lacking the physical strength and cognitive abilities of adults, children are more vulnerable. We pray that where violence and political uncertainty cause displacement, faith communities would be safe places that shelter and nurture vulnerable, helping them find education, healing from trauma, and the love of a family. Thank God for the Faith Action for Children on the Move Global Partners Forum 16–19 October 2018 in Rome, Italy. May this forum be a space where faith communities can commit toward tackling the realities that many children face around the world. 

Click here for more information.

September 2018: Bhartiya General Conference Mennonite Church requests prayer. On 19 August 2018, arson severely damaged their child development center office in Jhilmila Saraipali, Chhattisgarh, India, destroying many original title documents, financial records and office equipment. Praise God that no one was injured. Pray for the chairpersons, treasurer and secretary who have lost their offices, computers and important documents. Pray that the police investigation may lead to gospel encounters.

August 2018: With hope, we proclaim that neither death, nor threats of violence, nor war can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). Lord God, we mourn the violence by state, rebel and criminal actors against people created in your image that is affecting citizens in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. We pray for your transforming Spirit of peace to touch hearts and minds of perpetrators and to inspire leaders to make just and peaceful policies. 

Click here to read more.

August 2018: “He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4). Pray for courage and creativity in the Association des Eglises Evangéliques Mennonites de France (French Mennonite church) as the country considers a return to mandatory national service. May the peace churches stand on their commitments not to bear arms, and instead offer alternatives to military service that build solidarity in French society.

July 2018: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1–2). Zimbabwe holds general elections 30 July 2018. “We covet peace, fair and harmonised elections,” says MWC regional representative Barbara Nkala. Pray for leaders willing to follow the wisdom of advisors and to understand the needs of the people.

July 2018: God of the fatherless and the widow, defender of the foreigner and the stranger, call your church to be your hands and feet, bringing comfort to those who are displaced. Empower us to challenge the powers that oppress and cause people to flee. We pray especially for Angola, DR Congo, Kenya, Colombia, the Middle East, Europe and North America where governments and citizens are overwhelmed by high numbers of displaced people and refugees, and divided on how to respond. Lord, have mercy.

July 2018: Praise God for support from Mennonite churches in Colombia and the USA as Venezuela continues to experience political and economic crisis. May God strengthen and encourage church members as they respond to hunger by making and distributing arepas in hospitals, seniors homes and squatters communities, and become hubs of response to human needs both physical and spiritual. Praise God for the opportunity to carry out the “cooperative games” peacebuilding program in schools and a university.

June 2018: Pray with the Anabaptist churches in Nicaragua as their country is in the midst of political uncertainty. Peaceful protests continue to be met with violence. As churches minister all over the country, pray that they may be a force for peace and for constructive resolution of grievances. 

June 2018: Lord, our hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in DR Congo. We call on the church around the world to support them in prayer. They struggle against economic depression, political instability, the threat of disease (Ebola), violence from militia forces and displacement. We pray for children who are separated from their parents. We thank you for the churches who have opened hearts and homes to refugees, and pray for the unity of the body of Christ in Congo. We pray for smooth and equitable distribution of relief supplies and food. We thank you for raising up leaders who act with humility and justice. Lord, hear our prayer. 

Click here to learn more about how MWC is responding through our partners. Respond with financial support here:

June 2018: The refugee influx has changed and divided German society. Praise God that many churches have also responded to needs around them by developing relationships with new neighbours and “old” churches previously regarded as strangers. Praise God that the witness of the gospel is reaching into the new Arabic-speaking, African and Iranian communities in Germany. Pray for grace as the changing composition of congregations creates linguistic, cultural and discipleship challenges. Pray that church members will be ambassadors of the gospel of peace to refugees and agents of reconciliation among groups who don’t want to dialogue with each other.

May 2018: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Praise God for safe travels to and from General Council meetings in Kenya. It was a blessing for delegates, Global Mission Fellowship, Global Anabaptist Service Network, Global Anabaptist Peace Network steering committee andCommissions to learn, discern and fellowship together, transformed by the Holy Spirit to a people united despite diversity.

May 2018: Pray for Nepal. It is a small country but contains the highest point on earth. Its 30 million inhabitants include 25 different people groups in seven provinces. Brethren in Christ churches exist in three provinces with 1 000 baptized members. Until recently, Nepal was constitutionally Hindu and there continue to be laws against conversion. Christians are sometimes blamed for unpleasant events, like the earthquakes and flooding the country has undergone in recent years. Pray that as the citizens of Nepal look for peace and grace for their lives, they would find it in surrender to Jesus as Saviour. Praise God for the Anabaptist church in Nepal that is growing as it lives out the mission of God among their neighbours.

April 2018: “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation’” (Mark 16:15). Central America is often affected by tropical storms causing mudslides, droughts or flooding which can lead to destruction of homes and farms, malnutrition and contaminated drinking water. The Mennonite Church in Guatemala ministers among vulnerable people in remote rural areas and underserviced urban areas. The most vulnerable populations of Guatemala City have been affected by critically low levels of drinking water, putting them at greater risk of disease and social unrest.

This prayer first appeared in Courier/Correo/Courrier April 2018.

April 2018: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4–6). Praise God for the opportunity for national church leaders to meet face-to-face at the triennial Mennonite World Conference meetings of the General Council 23–26 April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, preceded by meetings of MWC committees and networks. Pray for the gift of unity as delegates decide upon the MWC program plan and strategic goals, review finances (including Fair Share contributions), appoint new representatives to commissions and executive positions, and consider a guideline on responding to controversial issues, a statement of solidarity with Indigenous peoples, a teaching resource on ecumenicity.

April 2018: Praise God for the resilience of Nepali people who are rebuilding after severe flooding in September. Landless villagers are grateful to MCC and Brethren in Community Welfare Society that provided materials to rebuild, leased land to farm, facilitated a market to sell produce, and trains women in the seamstress trade. Uphold the local BIC congregations in prayer as they carry out God’s mission through various activities of the church and reach out many more people in the area. Click here to read more.

March 2018: The Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies, seek justice, and share our possessions with those in need (MWC Shared Convictions 5). Praise God for those who speak up against gun violence and for a holistic peace in the USA where mass shootings often occur. Pray for those who grieve loved ones injured or killed in senseless attacks. Pray for those who see violence as a means of protection and achievement. May they learn to confront fear with love and to transform categories of enemy into neighbour. “We mourn the loss of life and the terrible road of grief and recovery to physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness,” writes Ervin Stutzman, executive director, Mennonite Church USA. “And after we mourn, let us search our own hearts and inquire – do we want to get well?” Click here to read the full MC USA statement in English.

March 2018: Leaders of Meserete Kristos Church (the Ethiopian Anabaptist church) ask for prayer for their country. The prime minister has resigned and the ruling coalition has declared a six-month state of emergency. Pray that human rights would not be infringed upon. Pray for the formation of a government that seeks the best for its people. The church is active in its ministry of prayer, witness, service and proclamation in the midst of these challenges. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead and inspire the bearers of good news.

February 2018: Christians all over the word are invited to pray together for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where many members of our Anabaptist-Mennonite family are suffering. From all faith traditions, we join together in prayer and fasting on 23 February (the first week of Lent according to the Gregorian calendar) for the gift of peace and witness of the gospel to those who are experiencing ongoing socio-political tension and violence in those regions. Click here to read about how MWC is working with partners in the region to respond.

February 2018: After guerilla violence affected the larger community, Mennonite pastors, leaders and their congregations publicly committed to a continuing proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the peaceful and holistic development of their country, Paraguay. May the Holy Spirit empower them to promote peace, reconciliation and justice in Paraguay as churches united in prayer and faith. Click here to read their public statement in Spanish and German.

Update: Praise God that in early February, two kidnapped Old Colony Mennonite men were returned to their communities. Praise God that Mennonites and other Christians in Paraguay are coming together to pray for peace and reconciliation in the ongoing situation with the guerilla group.

January 2018: “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the year ahead. Pray for personal and communal transformation through God’s Spirit as we participate in building the reign of God on earth. Click here for World Fellowship Sunday worship materials on the Holy Spirit transforming us. 

January 2018: Pray for pastors and church members in India where followers of militant Hinduism threaten those who practice other religions. MWC has received reports of Mennonite pastors in Telangana who have been physically attacked. Pray that they would continue to boldly proclaim the gospel of peace and love through their ministry.