For our work to mean something, we need God to work. By prayer, we acknowledge our dependency on Him in all things. GMO has a Chief Prayer Officer, daily ½ hour prayer meetings, quarterly half-days of prayer, and weekly “All Nations” prayer conference calls. If we’re really serious about reaching the world, we’d better know how to pray for each country’s church and government leaders, the other active ministries, and the unreached.
I lead the Central Africa region prayer group. For GMO’s purposes, the 33 nations we identify as Central Africa are (by population):
Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Senegal, Rwanda, Chad, Guinea, Burundi, Somalia, Benin, Togo, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Liberia, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Gabon, Djibouti, Comoros, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe and Seychelles. They’re the world’s poorest nations. Nigeria, with the world’s 7th largest population, is #129 for GDP. Only six of the bottom 26 countries are not Central African nations.
Why? There are many reasons: war, terrorism & militant Islam (terrorist groups al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, Ansar Dine, Hezbollah and Boko Haram/ISIS all operate in Central Africa), corrupt government (21 of the 50 world’s worst dictators are in Africa), poverty and disease, drought and other natural disasters, and the so-called “brain drain”: emigration of achievers to other nations.
News reports, the CIA World Factbook and missions sites (like Operation World, PrayerCast and Joshua Project) and help me prepare prayer sheets on each of these countries. A lot of the news about Africa is bad. But there’s good news too, in terms of spiritual awareness. James 2:5 reminds us that God has “chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom.” Eighteen (18) of GMO’s top 30 nations for indicated decisions (by % of visits) are in Africa. The population of many of these countries is quite small, but the response rate makes it clear that God is at work. Five African nations (South Sudan, [174th wealthiest of 198], Benin, [#176], Burkina Faso, [#178], Mali, [#179], and Guinea, [#190]) are on the list of the top 20 countries where Christianity is growing fastest.
If the inverse relationship between wealth and spiritual sensitivity is that pronounced, what does that mean for wealthy nations? America and Western Europe are in spiritual decline, usually not in our top 20 countries by response numbers or rate. But the gospel is our only hope, just as it is for Africa’s poor. Please join us as we pray for the nations, (ours included!), that barriers will be overcome and distractions will topple.
I hope a peek into our ministry’s prioritization of prayer helps you understand why we value your prayers for us so much! Thank you so much for praying for us as we serve the Lord through Global Media Outreach and Campus Crusade for Christ. Please consider sharing your own requests with us so that we might better know how to pray for you!
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!