Thursday, October 24
United Nations Day
With few words to paint a picture, little can be seen. Yet perhaps these three simple strokes of the brush, like three small loaves in the hands of the Master, will be enough to guide you as you seek to know and support the church in the Middle East in this time of rapid change and development.
Pray first for the witness and effectiveness of Christ-followers as they serve in society. Historically, Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants have formed a divided minority and been a conflicting witness in the context of a Muslim majority. However, in these days of the Arab Spring, there is evidence that habits of disrespectful engagement are dying. Cooperation is on the rise, especially in meetings for prayer and as ecumenical Christian groups make grassroots attempts to assist and direct politicians while new governments are forming and old laws and social systems are being reformed.
Pray second for the integrity and institutional welfare of the Middle Eastern church. As protest and revolution grip society, the church feels its effects too: issues of discontent and reform explode within consistories, synods, and seminaries; pastors are being deposed; young leaders vie for power; gender equality and women’s ordination is discussed; and structures of hierarchy and accountability are examined. All this has the potential to change the church but could also produce further divisions and pain, or even persecution.
Finally, pray for the majority moderate Muslims who seek to establish a just civil society with equal rights for all citizens. Pray also for the many Muslims who have shown interest in learning about the Christian faith and new life in Jesus Christ.
—Naji Umran, leadership develper for transformational networks with CRWM in Cairo, Egypt
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, we bring before you the church of the Middle East—your “home” church. May they experience unhindered unity, grace in the eyes of Muslim neighbors and government, revival and integrity within their institutions, and unparalleled miraculous growth through the power and revelation of your Holy Spirit. In your name we pray. Amen.