"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
“… and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.”
2 Chron 31:27
Pray for our Nation, the Government and the Royal Family
Pray for the Royal Family and for all that are in authority.
Pray for God’s mercy on our nation.
The Church: Christ died for His Church – pray she will be strengthened and equipped to serve Him. Pray that the true church will stand out from the apostate church. Pray that the church will be drawn back to true Biblical faith and will seek Biblical standards. Pray for a love of the truth amongst Christians.
Let us give thanks that the Christian couple, Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, who were prosecuted for a “religiously aggravated” crime were declared innocent last December. They were prosecuted under Section 5 of the Public Order Act after a female Muslim guest complained that she had been offended by the couple’s comments. Now in a bid to protect other Christians from a similar ordeal, the Vogelenzangs have encouraged Christians to visit their MP and ask for the word “insulting” to be removed from the Public Order Act as part of the Coalition’s forthcoming Freedom Bill. As a result of the trial the couple’s financial situation is now “very serious”. Their hotel is up for sale and they may have to hand in the keys. They say they couldn’t have survived until now without gifts from Christians around the world. Mike Judge, The Christian Institute’s Head of Communications, writing in the Mail on Sunday, questioned why the case was even brought against the Vogelenzangs. He said: “Now that the case is over I hope the nation will ask itself: What’s happening to free speech? How did a breakfast discussion about religion end up with two Christians sitting in the dock at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court? If freedom of speech means anything it must mean the freedom to say something that someone else may not like. Otherwise all we are left with is the freedom to be inoffensive – and that kind of freedom is not worthy of the name.”
Let’s continue to pray for Peter and Hazelmary Bull the Christian guesthouse owners who were sued on grounds of sexual orientation by two homosexual men because of their ‘married couples only’ policy for double rooms. A judge has ruled that Peter and Hazelmary acted unlawfully and ordered the payment of Ł3,600 in damages to the homosexual couple. He has given the Bulls leave to appeal as he explained that his ruling affects “the human rights of the defendants to manifest their religion and forces them to act in a manner contrary to their deeply and genuinely held beliefs.” Peter is undergoing surgery for a triple heart bypass. When he has recovered they will consider whether to appeal this ruling. Please also remember the legal team and the staff of The Christian Institute in your prayers
Please pray for Lesley Pilkington, a Christian counsellor, due to appear before a Professional Conduct Panel for giving therapy to a homosexual man who pretended to be a Christian. She has sought an adjournment and is calling on her professional body to bring in the police to investigate intimidation of one of her key witnesses. Lesley has over 20 years experience as a counsellor and is defending herself against a formal complaint by Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual journalist who went undercover to secretly record two therapy sessions with her by strapping a recording device under his clothing. Mr. Strudwick published an account of the sessions in The Independent and has since received the award of journalist of the year by Stonewall. Mrs Pilkington met the journalist at a Christian conference. Mr Strudwick told the counsellor that he wanted to leave his ‘homosexual lifestyle’ and wanted help to change his behaviour. Those offering counselling for men and women wanting to change their homosexual behaviour have been increasingly targeted by the homosexual lobby, many of whom do not accept that people can change their behaviour. Since writing the article, Mr Strudwick has become a campaigner against those offering such treatments and has organised protests at various Christian conventions. Lesley is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre who will assist both her and the police.
Children and Youth: The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the UK’s largest abortion provider, has mounted a legal challenge to liberalise the law on abortion. At present, women seeking an early medical abortion make two visits to a clinic, during which they take drugs that cause the termination of the pregnancy. BPAS is challenging the current interpretation of the law to allow the second drug to be administered at home, citing comfort and safety concerns for the woman. The second drug, misoprostol, is taken a day or two after the first drug, completing the abortion of the unborn child. Typically, between 4 and 48 hours later, the baby is miscarried, following heavy bleeding and cramps. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a pro-life group, is seeking to intervene in the case. SPUC’s general secretary, Paul Tully, commented: “Abortion is an appalling ordeal for women, as well as the killing of an unborn child. In taking this legal action BPAS is trivialising abortion and jeopardising women’s welfare.” SPUC’s Press Release continued: “If BPAS challenge is successful, women taking misoprostol will go into labour at home. This can be very distressing as labour, usually associated with child-birth, now becomes associated with the delivery of a dead child.” Josephine Quintavalle, Director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE), observed: “It is well-known that the pro-abortion lobby in the UK wants to see abortion on demand in the first trimester of pregnancy and this attempt to entrust the second stage of medical abortion to the patient would move that agenda forward dramatically.” The case is due to be heard at the High Court on January 28th.
Explicit sex education aimed at primary school children: The Government is under pressure to change the law to compel all primary schools in England to teach sex education. If the law is changed to force sex education on primary schools, the use of resources containing explicit material not suitable for children will be used in primary schools around the country. Teachers and school governors would no longer be able to veto such material. Pray that the right to veto inappropriate material will remain in the hands of local schools, not centralised in the hands of distant officials.
Pornography: Mainstream pornography has become much more violent and is affecting mental health. Children are becoming addicted in their teens and emotionally damaged, affecting their relationships.
Pray for the Persecuted Church across the World: Iranian Christians arrested in home raids
“The authorities came to our homes. They arrested us and many other believers. I want to ask you to pray for us. We are sure God will never leave us or forsake us... Sorry for giving you bad news, but I believe God will do something for us.” More than 70 Christians have been arrested in a crackdown on Iran’s house church movement by the authorities. Armed special security officers forced their way into various homes in Tehran and the western city of Mashhad in the early hours of 26 December while the occupiers were asleep. Dozens of Christians were verbally and physically abused before being detained for interrogation. Among them were house church pastors and leaders, married couples, two of whom were separated from young children, and a number of young single women.
One of those arrested, Davood Kaboli (31), was blindfolded and interrogated about the work of churches in Tehran, before being released. He said, “They have made it impossible for Christians to gather. They want to create fear so we abandon Christianity.”
Some of the detained have since been released, after signing statements that they would no longer participate in Christian activities. The others remain in prison, where, one detainee reports, they are being subjected to sleep deprivation. No charges have been made, though it is clear that the Christians were arrested because of their faith.
The Governor General of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed on 4 January that a number of Christians had been arrested. He described house church worshippers as “deviants” and “parasites” and warned of further arrests. Governor Tamadon also suggested that the Christians have links to Britain, amid growing fears among the authorities of foreign influence in Iran.
The leaders and members of Iran’s house churches, who are often converts from Islam, have been in heightened danger since Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made a speech last October warning against the network of house churches that “threaten Islamic faith and deceive young Muslims”.
We hope to keep the prayer points as up to date as possible. If you are aware of needs we should include please let us know.