Prayer Movements have had a huge impact on the church in Africa. The Global Day of Prayer originated in Cape Town through Transformation Africa and now involves tens of millions of Christians each year. The ‘Holy Ghost’ all night prayer meetings in Nigeria attract perhaps 500,000 people to pray. There are many other prayer initiatives in Africa and the Christian church has grown quickly. But still Africa, the fastest urbanising continent on earth, has massive needs and now faces the greatest famine on earth. How can we join Africans in praying effectively for their home continent?
Pray for the least reached nations in Africa. By percentage of population, Africa has 13 out of 20 of the least evangelised countries in the world. According to Operation World there are 101 million people in 160 groups living mainly in Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. How is it that, in this area where there is a great concentration of least-reached peoples, there is one of the great famines ever seen on the planet? Pray for the aid, development and evangelisation efforts in this massive area of crisis.
At the same time, the African evangelical population is nearly as large as in all the Americas combined and is increasing at a faster rate than any other continent. There are increasingly aggressive Islamist movements but also people of Muslim background are coming to faith in Christ. This is one factor behind civil war, unrest and bloodshed across the region.
Africa has an unenviable record in terms of political stability, human rights and poverty. With names like the Lord’s Liberation Army, confusion is rife. More children aged less than five die in Congo than in China every year. Many Congolese pastors need bicycles not motorbikes because they cannot afford petrol. Malaria is even more destructive to the health and welfare of Africans than the impact of HIV/AIDS and yet less than 5% of Africa’s children sleep under nets.
Despite the many obstacles, Africa is emerging as one of the greatest missionary sending regions of the world. Its missionaries are working in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Pray for funds to train, send and support them. And pray for the Lord to send more Kiwis to work among the peoples of this wonderful, beautiful, vibrant continent.
• Jock Brunskill is the National Director of WEC New Zealand, one of the Strategic Mission Partners of MISSION WORLD.