Very often for me a large part of living in the city means that some important things get neglected. You get so caught up in the buzz that things go un-noticed or unprayed for, sometimes for months on end.
Some bad news this morning reminded me how important it is to keep praying: for the people in our neighbourhood, for our leaders in government. For justice of the wicked and mercy for the oppressed and destitute. I was also reminded to pray for our brothers and sisters in places where freedom to follow God is hindered or outlawed.
Check these stories:
CHINA: Prominent House Church Leader Repeatedly Beaten by Police – China Aid Association
On October 11, prominent house church leader, Hua Huiqi, was repeatedly attacked by police at his home. According to China Aid Association, "Hua was reading his Bible at his home despite police surrounding his house. He was sent to Beijing Tiantan Hospital, because he lost consciousness after repeated beatings from the police." China's Public Security Bureau (PSB) recently put Hua under house arrest. PSB officers had been surrounding his house when they attacked him. Pastor Hua's 77-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, remains very ill in prison, serving a two-year sentence. VOM contacts say she is being held hostage by police in order to put pressure on Pastor Hua to reveal names and information of believers. Pray for Hua's speedy recovery and for God to encourage him. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict his attackers and draw them into the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
GAZA STRIP: Gaza Bible Society Worker Murdered – Christian Broadcasting Network
On October 7, 26-year-old Rami Ayyad's body was recovered near the Teachers' Bookshop in the Palestinian territory of Gaza where he worked. His body had stab wounds and bullet holes. According to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Ayyad was kidnapped the day before by an unidentified group. CBN quoted the spokesperson for the Palestinian Bible Society, Simon Azazian, who said, "We do not know the exact identity of the group, but we know he was martyred for his faith in Christ." The report added, "Ayyad told co-workers he'd noticed a car with no license plates following him. At 6 p.m. (on Saturday), his wife received a phone call from him saying he'd been taken captive by a group of people and would be home late. A second phone call relayed the same message." Rami is survived by his pregnant wife and two young children. Pray the Holy Spirit comforts his family during this difficult time. Pray Rami's testimony will bring non-believers, especially his killers, into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Ask God to protect believers in Gaza. Psalm 23, Psalm 91
SUDAN: Suicide Bomber Kills Youth, Wounds Others in Sudanese Church – VOM Sources
On September 27, a suicide bomber in military clothing detonated a grenade, killing five youth and critically wounding four others, in Sudan's Upper Nile state. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts in Sudan, "A pastor was having an overnight service in Khorfullus town, when an unidentified man walked into the service and detonated a grenade, killing himself, five children and critically wounding four others, including the pastor and his wife." VOM contacts added that the bomber was dressed in full military clothing, normally worn by government officials. VOM is assisting families affected by this tragedy during this difficult time. Pray God comforts and encourages the families of those killed. Pray for a speedy recovery for those injured. Psalm 118: 17, Isaiah 40:31
source: Voice of the Martyrs USA