Don't forget that Friday is our monthly day of fasting and prayer in anticipation of the Lord's Supper this Sunday. Many will fast from sundown tonight to sundown tomorrow (both about 6:30 pm). If you join with us in this time of fasting, the elders invite you to pray about the following three things.
a) your own relationship with Jesus. What are the areas of your life where doubt and fear have crept in and replaced faith? What sins are you "managing" instead of repenting of? Where do you need to confess your sin to someone (or group of someones)?
b) your relationships with others, especially people in the body of Christ. Where are you sinning against others and what do you need to do to repent and an amend your wrongs? Selfishness and gossip are two areas where we easily let ourselves "off the hook." Where do you need to forgive? Matthew 18:21-35. Is there any sin which you need to confront according to Matthew 18:15-20?
c) your persecuted brothers and sisters in the body of Christ around the world.
Here are several prayer requests for the persecuted church:
David and Fiona Fulton are missionaries to Muslims in Gambia. They have been arrested for "sedition" and sentenced to one year in prison. Please pray for their release and their health. David has scurvy and Fiona has a mouth ulcer and they are facing an additional year and a half added to their sentence
Ashraf Masih, a Christian working as a milk deliverer, was murdered by his three employers when he asked to be paid for several months of work. They were offended that a Christian worker would ask for pay from Muslim employers. The authorities have yet to make any arrests, even though the perpetrators are known. Please pray for his killers to be brought to justice and for Pakistan to start protecting the rights of Christians who are consistently abused by Muslims because the authorities will not aggressively investigate Muslim crimes against Christians.
Also in Pakistan, a 14 year old girl named Naomi was gang raped in front of her family when thieves found out the family was Christian. The Muslim police chief, Mohammed Saeed, refused to prosecute the case. The local government finally said they would prosecute this case when Christians in the village staged a protest, blocking the main road through the village. In Islamic countries there usually have to be several eyewitnesses to the rape itself or the accuser is usually found guilty of adultery. Please pray that these men would be brought to justice and the Pakistani government would start protecting women from these types of crimes.
Please pray that the church in Pakistan would be persevering and faithful. Please pray that the gospel of Christ would continue to advance. The persecuted church prayer requests are from International Christian Concern (www.persecution.com).