the World Around
We believe in the power of prayer at First Baptist Harlan and are committed to praying for our church, our community, our state, our nation and our world. Each month we will focus on a different nation to pray for. The third Sunday of the month, we will focus our corporate prayer on that country and would ask others to remember it in prayer throughout the month.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
July's Nation - Afghanistan
The 652,225 sq km dry and mountainous area of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been fought over by rival foreign empires for nearly three thousand years. It is a dry and mountainous region with fertile valleys nestled between Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
The official language of Afghanistan is Pashtu and Dari. The people are Iranian-Median, Turkic, and South Asian. The economy has been shattered by decades of war. There are still over 1 million landmines and other undetonated ordnances throughout the bombed out countryside. Much of the infrastructure has been destroyed including housing and irrigation.
The monarchy was overthrown in 1973, followed by a USSR invasion, civil wars among ethnic, political and religious factions. The Taliban gained control of over 90% of the country by 2001. The post-911 invasion by the United States has attempted to gain control over the Taliban and Al Qaeda. A democratic government structure and constitution were established in 2002-2004. The United States has spent considerable funds on development aid over the last 15 years. Thousands of US-led NATO government forces continue to occupy the country to train and advise Afghan government forces.
Present Political Situation
A foreign military working with a national government is trying to be both progressive and conservative, but it is far better than the tyranny of the Taliban. Pray that the Afghan government would continue to gain strength and power. Pray they might serve and govern with wisdom. Pray that attempts by insurgents and warlords to destabilize the government would be thwarted.
Upheaval of the Last 30 Years
Drugs have long been a major source of income, peaking at 1/3 the GDP, which financed the Taliban. Afghanistan is responsible for approximately 90% of the world’s opium-producing poppies. Heroin and opium addicts abound. Pray for the continued threat of violence, health risks, the disabled, the poverty and living standards and most importantly, for the drug trade to end.
Recovery and Rebuilding
The Country's infrastructure has been decimated by decades of war. Prayer for genuine improvements in the culture and attitude of the Afghan people. Pray for a new generation of Afghans, for national security, physical infrastructure, and human development. Pray for the Christian involvement in aid and development. Pray for Christian relief organizations and development agencies to minister to the blind, maimed, sick, illiterate and deprived. Pray for the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ to descend upon these people.
Church in Afghanistan
The number of Afghan believers is increasing. They can never meet publicly, and locations must change frequently. Pray for resources to be available to train and disciple them. Pray for the safety and perseverance of missionaries and aid workers. Pray that no attacks of the enemies of the gospel might discourage or destroy the Church, but through the crucible of suffering, the body of Christ might mature and grow.
Need for the Scriptures
After decades of work, the whole Dari Bible is available; 70% of the population can understand this language. The Pashto translation is also available in part, but not in the native dialect. Pray for the entry and distribution of God’s Word into this closed land.
Using radio and television, not to mention smart phone technology to distribute the truth of the gospel continues to expand. Pray that appropriate methods of witness may be used in an effective manner. Pray for culturally appropriate discipleship courses to become available. Pray specifically for those involved in producing, distributing and studying these materials. Pray for Christian programming on Radio. One of the easiest way to make Christian literature available to the masses is through the use of Mobile phones. Pray for scripture to make its way to the people through Christian websites and videos.