Scripture of the Day

Matthew 13

3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

UPDATE: Continued Prayer Needed for Eritrea and Sudan

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Friends, we just received word that another 31 Christians have been arrested in Eritrea—this time from Godife, an area in the south of Asmara. No further details are available at this time. However, the arrest does suggest the situation for Christians in Eritrea is intensifying as 141 Christians were taken from the Mai Temenai area about a week earlier.Please remain in prayer for all those taken. Pray that they will experience the Lord’s peace and courage at this time.Pray for wisdom as they interact with the authorities and for grace to be a clear testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ at this time. Meanwhile, we are thankful to report that under the current circumstances the church in Sudan is doing fine. So far during the revolution and riots, there have been no targeted attacks against them. However, the atmosphere remains tense, complicating travel and making churches work harder. There is also concern about increasing pressure on negotiators to incorporate Sharia Law into the transition. The church in Sudan is calling on Christians around the world to join them in prayer for their country. They ask that we pray:For God’s intervention in the situation in Sudan, including the need for good leaders for the people. “There are many mature Muslims and Christians who can be good leaders of our country,” one source commented.That the current political change will result in equal treatment of Christians as Sudanese citizens in all sphere of life, including justice, education and politics. Pray especially that Christians will come to have representation in Parliament.That the revolution will not be hijacked by Islamic extremists, but that justice and peace will prevail for the people of Sudan. *Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Pray for Widow and Children of Murdered Christian in Libya

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We recently received news of a Christian believer named Golibe* who was murdered while rushing another wounded Christian man to the hospital in Libya. During their journey, the men were stopped at a checkpoint. Golibe got into a verbal argument with one of the soldiers there. While the wounded Christian man survived, reports suggest the soldier pointed his gun at Golibe’s head and shot him without any hesitation.

Golibe was a married father of eight children.

Sadly, the situation for other Christians in equally difficult. An armed conflict started in Libya—which is #4 on the World Watch List—at the beginning of April, which aims to take control over the country’s capital of Tripoli. The conflict has already caused several civilian casualties because of shelling and aerial bombardments. Because of the intense fighting, tens of thousands of Libyans have fled their houses and have been displaced to other regions.

Pray for the widow of Golibe and his eight children and that the expat-church in Libya continues to be able to support her.

Please pray Golibe’s widow and her children will be comforted by the Lord. Pray they have strength to be able to forgive Golibe’s murderer whose family has asked for forgiveness.

Pray that the violence in the country will end without further casualties and that stability will come to the country.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Pray for Teams Traveling in South Asia

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This week, a local network of churches known as ALIVE—sent outreach teams all over South Asia. They are on a mission to talk to pastors and church workers about their ministry and find out how ALIVE can serve them better.

One team is currently in an extremely dangerous and tense part of South Asia. There has been violence in this region very recently so we value your prayers for the teams.

Please pray for the teams’ safety.

Pray for profound connections as they seek to strengthen their networks, to be present with persecuted Christians and to share the hope of Christ.

Pray the teams have wisdom and discernment as they navigate risky situations.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Scripture of the Day

Psalms 149
1. Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
4. For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
5. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
6. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
7. To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
8. To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9. To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.

Scripture of the Day

Psalm 147
1. Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2. The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
4. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
6. The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
7. Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
8. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
9. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
10. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
12. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
13. For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
14. He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15. He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
16. He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
17. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
18. He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
20. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

Ephesians 4

11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Scripture of the Day

Psalms 143

7. Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9. Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11. Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Scripture of the Day

Psalms 141

1. LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3. Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
4. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Scripture of the Day

Revelation 11

3. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

141 Christians Arrested in Eritrea

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On May 10, security agents arrested 141 Christians in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. The 104 adult females, 23 adult males and 14 minors were rounded up from the same area of the city. The men were taken to Aid Abeito prison and the women to Police Station Number 4.

As far as we know, none of them have been charged. However, there is concern about the well-being of the minors and elderly in the group.

Eritrea in the Horn of Africa is ranked #7 on the 2019 World Watch List, which provides glimpses into the 50 places around the world where it costs the most to be a Christian.

Please pray that these believers would experience the comfort and peace of the Lord as they endure this persecution.

Pray for the Lord’s spiritual and physical provision to them.

Pray that they would not be ruled by fear but by the power of God, His love and a sound mind.

Pray that God would glorify Himself through the testimonies of our brothers and sisters.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

UPDATE: Despite Grief Believer Committed to Jesus in Sri Lanka

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Recently, some Open Doors’ field workers were able to visit nine families of the deceased and seven of the injured from the Easter bombings at Zion Church in Sri Lanka. In the blast, 29 people from Zion Church were killed. 14 of them were children who had gone outside to have snacks after finishing Sunday school.

The first home our team visited was that of Arasaratnam Verl. He lost his son Jackson (13), his sister Verlini (36) who was one of the Sunday School teachers, and his brother-in-law, Ranjith (39) in the blast.

“Losing someone hurts,” Verl tells our team. “They are special people. They were not killed. They were sown. They are like seeds. And the blood of the martyrs are the seeds of the church. Jesus died on Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday, He was resurrected. My son, sister, and brother-in-law died, but they were resurrected with Jesus on that day.”

Despite the heartache, grief, and loss, Verl is committed to dedicating his life to God, even after the bombing. “God is good,” he says. “God is great. My foundation is Jesus Christ. I’m zero. Jesus is everything.”

He continues, “My son was mine for 13 years, but he is His forever.”

Our team requests we pray with our Sri Lankan brothers and sisters.

Please pray for God’s healing to be upon His people, and the entire nation of Sri Lanka. There is so much pain still, but God grieves with them, and He is at work.

Please pray for peace in the country. It is so easy for hatred to be sown at this time. The Christians are scared, but so are the Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. The Muslims are in fear of retaliation right now. Because of fear, locals have boycotted their shops. Some have been driven out of their homes.

Pray for love to conquer fear among different communities in this country.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Scripture of the Day

Galatians 4

5. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?