In yesterday's prayer list, we tried to identify Christian footballers in the national team. However, for these countries today, it was hard to find information about the religions of the players. This reminds us of the task at hand and the opportunities in these countries.
Pray for Sweden
In recent years, Sweden often polls as an irreligious nation. Yet this wasn't always so. UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, who died en route to negotiations in the Congo Crisis in 1961 was a Christian. After his death, a diary that he has kept since the age of 20 was published. In this book titled Markings, it is clearly evident how his faith influenced his work that revolves around maintaining world peace and order. In it he writes, "In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."
Pray for the Swedish Christians as they seek to obey God and live out their faith in a country that is not always welcoming to the faith. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel and to point to who God is to people that might be familiar with cultural Christianity.
Pray for England
England is highly secular, and recent statistics indicate that only 3% of the 65 million living in the UK are evangelicals. It is to this context that Tim Keller spoke to recently, at the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in the Houses of Parliament in London. Seated in the audience included members of the British government, and Prime Minister Teresa May. Praise God for this opportunity to address the leaders of Britain. We too have much to learn about how to share the gospel in a clear and winsome manner when presented with the opportunity to. Pray for Christians in England -- whether in government or even in the football teams -- will be able to engage with those around them on matters of the faith.
For those that are interested, here's the video:
Pray for Russia
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is often regarded as a great novelist hailing from the golden age of Russian literature. He was raised in the Eastern Orthodox Church and his faith influenced and shaped his writings too.
Many in Russia still belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but there's also a growing population of Muslims. There are about 25 million Muslims in Russia today. Pray that as these people meet Christians in their workplaces and also through art and literature, that they will be prompted to explore more about Christianity and the God of the Bible. Pray that God will also raise and send missionaries to live and work among the people of Russia.
Pray for Croatia
"If God were not angry at injustice, that God would not be worthy of worship. The only means of prohibiting all recourse to violence by ourselves is to insist that judgment is legitimate only when it comes from God," writes theologian Miroslav Volf. Miroslav Volf currently works at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University.
Pray for IFES as they try to reach out to the university students in Croatia. Currently they only have groups in Zagreb, with 1 full-time and 2 part-time staff only. According to the IFES website, we can pray:
- for students to have courage, vision and competence to start their own evangelistic initiatives;
- for new partnerships with churches to flourish;
- for STEP to capitalise on the newly gained publicity and public favour;
- for the next generation of student volunteers;
- for financial stability in the long term.