“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33).
On April 7, Acts 29 held a global prayer meeting for our member churches. The leaders of our networks and collaborative each took time to share some items for prayer for their areas, which we’ve shared below to encourage continued prayer for these issues.
- Pray for perseverance and joy. There is a sense of God’s people being marked by joy in the midst of pain and suffering.
- Pray for the church plants that are starting or attempting to get going. Navigating planting in the midst of online church is challenging.
- May there be a sense of renewal that this season would not be wasted but would be stewarded and utilized well. May God bring renewal to his Church across the world in this time.
- Pray for the new church plants in Yukon, Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. People are coming to Christ and being ministered to in new ways.
- Pray for funding. The annual event to raise money as a network to support church planters was cancelled. The network is still moving towards the goal of raising $42,000 in order to support planters but it has been postponed.
- Braveness and boldness are not known to be Canadian virtues. Pray that there may be braveness and boldness for salvations and not to waste this time of crisis. Pray that we would not quarantine the gospel, but expand the gospel.
- Church leaders will need wisdom to care for new people coming into the church online.
Church in Hard Places (CiHP) Collaborative
- Our pastors need encouragement to remember that Christ is the King of this crisis and they are not alone as planters.
- It can be impossible to self-isolate in the slums. Pray for God’s mercy in those places and that the virus does not reach them as much as it has reached other parts of the world.
- Many CiHP contexts have existing serious underlying health problems and COVID-19 will significantly impact the community.
- For many who don’t have food storage options, lockdown means either go without food or face likely exposure to COVID-19 daily by going to the market.
- Mental health issues, suicide, and abuse are a likelihood in many CiHP homes. Lockdown is dangerous for many wives and children who are forced to be with their abusers.
- Prior to this pandemic, our network was in a time of increasing momentum. Pray for recovered momentum after isolation and cancelling different events, assessments, trainings, etc.
- Pray for a breakthrough as many places in the Emerging Regions are not in Christian contexts nor are there many churches that have a desire to even join a network. Pray that people would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and that the Lord brings breakthroughs in places where churches have never been planted before.
- The lockdown is tiring and some countries have been in it for 6 weeks now. Perseverance is needed as individuals, in families, and in marriages. May this time be used for parents and spouses to invest time in their families well. May the churches persevere in maintaining online church because for so many it is tiring.
- This crisis proves that the prosperity gospel has no standing nor does moral therapeutic deism. Pray for our church leaders and members to make space for theological reflection. This crisis requires thinking intentionally about suffering, death, time, eternity, sovereignty, and providence.
- There will be much to navigate after the pandemic: How churches will respond to the economic downturn and the many members with no employment, how to keep supporting other local churches and networks who will also be struggling, and how to create helpful church habits and reap the spiritual dividends that are coming from this season.
- There is significant financial strain. Many church members and bi-vocational pastors are being let go from their jobs. In Guatemala, for example, only 30% of companies will be able to continue paying salaries in a 2-week lockdown.
- Many churches are being forced to decide between paying for their building rent or paying salaries of their employees. Many churches are giving up their building, which means they will not have meeting space once the quarantine is over.
- Pray for Acts 29 Brazil leadership as their conference was cancelled and they are in the midst of a leadership transition. The dynamics of quarantine and not having the conference has made the leadership transition difficult to navigate.
- The remote isolation of many rural planters means basic resources are not getting through. Pray that the church in these forgotten places has the resources to feed the community.
- The emotional toll the pandemic and quarantine are having is devastating. As an example, members of a rural plant in Clio, Michigan witnessed a public suicide in their small town on Monday, 4/6.
- Rural planters often don’t have a team and ready-to-go resources to put together an online service at the level so many are expecting. They are required to be the sound/lights/production one-man-team, as well as preach and shepherd. They wrestle with exhaustion and false expectations.
- There have consistently been seasons of transition in our network. Clarity is needed for what God’s calling and direction are for the network.
- South Africa has a major disparity between the rich and the poor. Pray that the rich would want to move back to physical meetings and community once this is over. The poor do not have the ability or resources to utilize the technology for church online. Internet data is very expensive for those members. Pray that the poor are able to find connection and community in this time.
- The network may need to realign and readjust. Pray God would guide and introduce ways the current members can work together to push forward God’s agenda.
- Pray for those who just started their churches or have planned to start in the upcoming months. These churches are unstable and trying to plan for their plants is hard.
- Our leaders need wisdom to know how to lead during this unprecedented and difficult time.
You can watch a recording of the call below to hear these requests shared first hand.