May 24, 2019

Psalm 77

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, the years long ago. I said,“Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah. Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 

VOM Weekly Prayer Updates: 04/08/2011

The Voice of the Martyr’s weekly email prayer update on persecuted Christians around the world. Please pray for them and if you haven’t ever checked out VOM’s website take a minute and check it out here: http://www.persecution.com/.

  • SAUDI ARABIA–Eritrean Believer Faces Possible Death Sentence
    An Eritrean Christian faces a possible death sentence after being accused of preaching to Muslims outside a mosque in Saudi Arabia. Mussie Eyob, who converted to Christianity two years ago, was arrested at a mosque in the Haya Roda area on Feb. 12 and is being held at a high-security prison in Jeddah. Officials initially thought Mussie was mentally ill, but a medical examination found him to be in good mental health. Mussie’s family visited him on March 20 and found that although he had lost weight, he was being treated well and was in good spirits. Mussie began preaching at the Eritrean Embassy on Feb. 9 before moving on to the local mosque days later. Pray that God will soften the hearts of Saudi officials toward Mussie and that he will not be sentenced to death. Praise God for Mussie’s boldness.
  • EGYPT–Christian Convert Escapes Egypt An Egyptian man who has been in hiding for two-and-a-half years fled the country recently with his daughter. Maher El-Gohary, 58, had been in hiding since August 2008, when he filed a suit requesting to change the religious status on his ID card from Muslim to Christian. He and his daughter, Dina Mo’otahssem, 17, flew from Cairo to Syria in February. Maher had hoped to obtain a visa to the United States, where his wife lives, but he tried for one week and was unsuccessful. He then sought assistance at a U.N. office in Syria and was granted an appointment for late April. Although Maher and Dina are safer in Syria than they were in Egypt, they still spend much of their time in their apartment because converts from Islam to Christianity are persecuted in Syria. Maher has no income, so he and his daughter have difficulty obtaining basic necessities. During this time of struggle, Maher continues to acknowledge God’s enduring care. “Without God’s love, we would have been dead by now,” he said. Thank the Lord for the ways in which he has provided for Maher and Dina. Pray that they will continue to rely on his strength and not on their own.
  • BELARUS–Pastor Charged After Church Raid
    On Feb. 13, police raided a Baptist church in Gomel, Belarus, and charged the pastor with “holding an unauthorized religious service.” The pastor, Nikolai Varushin, faces a fine of up to $345 if found guilty. The police major in charge of the raid said police had received repeated complaints about the church from nearby residents. Police officers filmed the worship service and confiscated CDs, audio cassettes of sermons and religious literature. In January 2008, Pastor Varushin was fined for leading an unregistered religious organization. Pray that the congregation will remain steadfast in faith as they undergo this trial.

Proverbs 12:5-7

5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. 7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.

Psalm 73

Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them. And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Luke 8:40-56

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” 49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

VOM Weekly prayer update

For those of you who don’t know, VOM is the Voice of the Martyrs ministries. They are an organization that is dedicated to helping the persecuted church around the world. You can view their website at: http://www.persecution.com/. Every week they send out an email to their subscribers with prayer updates from around the world. Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer from around the world.

  • NORTH KOREA–Gospel Balloon Launches Threatened–VOM Sources, AFP In February, North Korea warned the South Korean government to stop allowing the launch of balloons that drop “propaganda” leaflets into its country. North Korea even threatened to open fire on locations in South Korea from which the balloons are launched. Some activists use balloon launches to drop political leaflets in North Korea, but VOM uses similar methods to send the gospel into North Korea. Because of North Korea’s threats, some South Koreans are now refusing to allow VOM partners to launch balloons from their neighborhoods. “We’ve decided to prevent the leaflet launch as it would make our hard life harder,” one of the district chiefs told AFP news agency. The balloon team asks for prayer that they will reflect Christ well as they continue to seek ways to send Christ’s message of hope into North Korea.
  • PAKISTAN–Cause of Christian Prisoner’s Death Questioned–VOM Canada, VOM sources A Christian serving a life sentence on blasphemy charges has died under suspicious circumstances in Lahore. Qamar David, who was imprisoned in June 2006 after a business rival accused him of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, died on March 14, 2011. Initial autopsy reports seemed to confirm prison authorities’ claims that he died of a heart attack, but Qamar’s family believes he was killed. He was reportedly threatened and beaten regularly by prison guards and inmates during his almost five years in prison. Qamar’s son told VOM contacts that the family was too scared to attend the hearing at which the medical reports were announced. Also in Lahore, 40-year-old Shaheen Bibi, a Christian mother of seven, was recently freed from her Muslim captors after being kidnapped last August. Shaheen had been drugged, raped, sold into marriage, and threatened with death if she did not convert to Islam. On March 6, a team managed to rescue Shaheen from her captors. She reported that at least 10 other women were in captivity with her. Thank God for her release. Pray that God will equip Pakistani Christians to be bold and gracious witnesses in an environment of severe opposition. Also pray for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which is often used against Christians. 

  • SUDAN–Violence Precedes South Sudan’s Secession–Assist News Service
    Violence has increased in south Sudan since the Jan. 9, 2011, Referendum on Southern Self-Determination. In February, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) clashed with forces of northern opposition figure Gen. Akhor, leaving 200 dead. Another 50 were killed in fighting between the SPLA and forces of Gabriel Tanginya, who is backed by Islamic Khartoum. In the north-south border region of Abyei, 100 Misseriya Arab militiamen and other Khartoum-backed forces massacred police and civilians. On March 2, 1,000 members of the militia attacked another Abyei village, killing 33. The violence has caused the displacement of 45,000 southern Sudanese–mostly women and children. Both the north and south are preparing for conflict. Please pray for the war-ravaged, predominantly Christian people of south Sudan.

Japan Update from Heart Cry Missionary Society

Hey everyone! No doubt you have all heard of the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan. I thought I would share an update I received from Heart Cry’s email update this past Saturday. If you have never heard of Heart Cry, check their website out at: http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/ and also sign up for their email updates. Here is a letter from one of the missionaries in Japan.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Here in Tokyo, our family, church and friends are safe. Just after we finished a Bible study, we felt the big earthquake. Some things fell down, but we just ended up dizzy from the movement. The coasts are the most affected areas. Most probably you have watched on the news that they are estimating 20,000 dead people, and that there was some explosions in two nuclear plants in Fukushima. The reactors didn’t explode with these explosions, but the government is trying to cool down the reactors to prevent this from happening. There was a release of vapor with high levels of radiation from one of the reactors. The country is in a state of emergency. Some people were contaminated, but thousands are being evacuated 20 kms. away from the nuclear plants.

The world’s perspective of what is happening is focused on the spectacular show of houses and cars floating, on the buildings on fire, or the power of the tsunami. The most terrible sound we Christians heard these days is not the terrible sound of the earthquake or the roaring of the tsunami, but we heard in our spirits the cry and screams of thousands of souls going to hell. We do not deserve to be alive, each person who is reading these lines or breathing today–it is just because of the mercy and grace of our God. It is hard to see so much pain and devastation, but we cannot blame God. We have to praise god for blessing us with another day to live.

God decided to take away the life of thousands of people, and He decided also to keep the lives of many. We are crying for the consequences of His purposes and sovereignty. God is allowing all this devastation, death and suffering in Japan for a purpose. We believe there is a specific precious message from Him to each one of us. So it is our first prayer that we will eagerly seek to listen to His voice behind this tragedy. To spend time entertaining our interest in the images and videos will make all these events worthless. All this will make sense only if we listen to the message of our Lord.

It is disgusting to see people who call themselves Christians united in prayers with Buddhists and idol worshipers. Everybody is ‘spiritual’ now in Japan, but everybody is conveniently keeping silent about to whom they are really praying, and describing this time as an impersonal act of nature for the sake of the false atmosphere of world spiritual unity. Jesus have mercy on us.

After this tsunami in Japan, it is very sad that Japanese people continue praying to the animals, to the toilets, to buddha, to mountains, to their worthless idols, to demons and much other garbage. But it is more sad that many Christians are afraid to tell that there is only One God and there is Only One NAME under heaven by which we can be heard, and His name is Jesus Christ. God have mercy.

Please help us by praying so God has more mercy and patience with this idolatrous country. Japan is the country that rejected the most-over hundreds of years-the Gospel and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for more mercy for Japan.

Please pray for more missionaries who are ready to suffer for the faithful preaching of the true Gospel. We need more missionaries here because the missionaries who do come, most of them return after only a very short time here.

Please pray that all Japanese people will repent from their idolatry and will run to our Lord Jesus, that they may be reconciled through repentance and faith.

Please pray that in this time of unbearable pain, the Japanese people will find through our Lord Jesus reconciliation, and real hope, comfort, love, joy and peace.

Please pray so Christians in this country will be brave enough to share the name of Jesus and to attack the idolatry.

Please pray so many Christians will talk with Japanese people about repentance and faith in Jesus, and that Christians will not use “Bible Promises for God’s children” to counsel and encourage the God-rejecting people.

Please pray for God to break our pride and break the pride of this country.

Pray so Japan will understand that their idols and thousand of gods are dead, and that they will not enslave or kill Christians like they did in the past, but this time they will melt and surrender and live on their knees worshiping the Only True God.

Urgent Prayer for a Friend

A friend of mine posted this note on facebook and asked to spread the word. Please pray for this young lady and for the family.  Thanks! -Haley

Prayers are needed in this family badly.

Back last December, my 21-year old cousin was taken into the hospital for heart failure as a result of a rare disorder that caused her to be born with a heart that was not 100% developed. She was back in earlier this month for similar reasons. Her heart was “booted” back up both times.

She went back in last night due to liver problems, and the doctors have determined her heart is failing on her (as in, “point of no return” failing). They’ve got a heart for her, and they are planning a heart transplant within the next 48 hours, possibly as soon as tonight.

Grandma is hysterical, I don’t even want to know how Grandpa is right now. There is no word from her end of the family (probably would put grandparents to shame with the hysteria), and my end is BEYOND distraught. As my brother is currently at school, he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on for now, but that’ll change really fast in about 2 hours.

Dad’s looking at going up this evening to be tested for blood type and to donate blood if we can. God willing, we’ll see her before she goes in. That’s all I want. Whether God takes her or not, all I ask for is one time to see her.

I’ll try to keep you informed, but it may be difficult given the circumstances.

Scatter this as well. Repost on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. I don’t care who you tell, I don’t care how you tell it, but this has GOT to get out.