During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Prayer for Syria
The church dates from the first century and traditional churches have a well-respected place in society. Evangelical churches experience freedom of worship, but face problems when they reach out with the gospel. Evangelism is discouraged and believers from a Muslim background often face opposition from family and friends. One of the government’s main targets seems to be to retain stability, and to ensure that Christians, as well as other religious minorities, do not disturb communal harmony or threaten government.
Challenge for Prayer
Syria’s role in the Middle East has been a troubled one in recent decades. But a new and younger president, economic difficulties, nervous minorities and, above all, shifting political fault lines in the region put Syria’s own stability at risk. Lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without Syrian participation in any solution. Pray that God might somehow use this nation to bring peace to the area.
Changes within the country point to a potentially dangerous future. The Iraq situation created possibly 1.8 million refugees to add to the 600,000 Palestinians in Syria. They are now beginning to move onward, either to Western countries or back to Iraq. Traditionally moderate Sunni Islam is shifting toward more fundamentalist expressions just as the exploding youthful population find themselves jobless and without prospects. Water issues grow more significant in the region. Pray for God to use the uncertainty to draw people to seek the truth more urgently.
- For strong Bible focussed church leadership
- For churhces working together in reaching out to others
- For young Christians to model and spread the message of the Prince of Peace