These famous verses from Psalm 23 have been a comfort to Christians through the ages: they are a beautiful reminder that wherever we find ourselves, and however dark our paths may be, we will be accompanied by God’s powerful, protecting presence wherever we go. We, and the people we pray for, are watched over by the Shepherd who walks ahead of us into the darkness.
There’s been a severe uptick in violence in the city of Jos, in central Nigeria. On Thursday 27 September, gunmen attacked and killed 14 Christians, including four children. Nine of the victims were from the same family.
The violence and killings escalated despite a 6am to 6pm curfew in the affected areas. On Saturday some youth reportedly killed a Muslim youth in retaliation for earlier killings, and five non-Muslims were killed in further retaliation.
On Sunday morning came reports of Christians being attacked after church services. Unconfirmed news of the murder of a Christian woman by Muslim youth in the Dutse Uku area led to an immediate reprisal killing and surge in violence.
Finally, of course, the hostage situation involving Leah Sharibu is still ongoing
, with Leah’s life and the lives of midwife Hauwa Mohammed Liman and nurse Alice Loksha Ngaddah very much still in the balance, following the execution on 16 September of Saifura Husseini Ahmed, a humanitarian worker abducted in March.
In summary, please pray:
- For God’s healing for the survivors of the recent attacks in Jos and comfort for the bereaved.
- That God would deliver Plateau state from this violence, expose the perpetrators, and bring an end to their activities.
- That the armed forces would protect communities in an unbiased manner.
- For the release of Leah, Hauwa and Alice.
- That God would move powerfully to bring justice, peace, reconciliation and healing to every part of Nigeria.
Prayer Diary: North Korea
It’s no understatement to say that North Korea is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, imprisoning thousands of its citizens in labour camps and controlling the everyday life of its people in ways that are barely imaginable. Though we’ve been seeing some steps towards dialogue between North Korea, South Korea and the United States, there’s still a long way to go before the peninsula is truly on the path to freedom.
Sunday 7 October
Today, please pray for Kim Jong-Un and the North Korean regime – pray that God would change hearts and minds, and that genuine progress can be made through dialogue with South Korea and the United States, leading to true peace on the Korean peninsula, and respect for fundamental freedoms and human dignity for the people of North Korea.
Monday 8 October
Pray for everyone imprisoned in North Korea’s gwanliso prison camps – for protection, strength, an end to torture, sexual violence and slave labour, and for their release.
Tuesday 9 October
While we watch events unfold on the peninsula and pray for peace, we remember all those who are unable to practise their religion or belief freely and openly in North Korea today. Today, please join us in simply praying for freedom of religion or belief in North Korea.
Wednesday 10 October
In our recent report, Movies, Markets and Mass Surveillance, we reported that many North Koreans have a window to the outside world through foreign media smuggled into the country. Pray that God would keep these information flows open – through radio, USB sticks, cultural engagement and other means.
Thursday 11 October
Many refugees seek safety by escaping via China – today, please pray that China would allow them to pass safely through the country to South Korea, and would end its policy of sending them back.
Friday 12 October
Please pray for God’s wisdom, guidance and protection over everyone in the international community working to bring about peace and real change in North Korea.
Saturday 13 October
Heavenly Father who is above all rulers and governments, we bring the nation of North Korea to you today. Please watch over its people as they hunger for a world very different to their own, and guide the hearts of its rulers towards genuine peace and freedom. Amen.