IFC LATEST PRAYER UPDATE (ENGLISH)
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This prayer guide is contemporary as at the time of going to press. Please adapt according to developing events.
INTERCESSORS FOR CYPRUS PRAYER UPDATE DECEMBER 2019 No. 74
Intercessors for Cyprus. Prayer Update. December 2019 No. 74
We suggest you print out the update for use this month. The words are close-typed for economy of printing. Use the Bible and its promises alongside this update.
Why not read the Bible through every year on a daily basis? Please go to our website: www.intercessorsforcyprus.org page: ‘Daily Bible Reading Plan’
Giving thanks; Editorial: Retreats & United Prayer; The Church: Specific churches & ministries;
The Revelation of St John; Reconciliation north & south; Revival & transformation, ITI.
The Government and those in authority: This month; Peace process; The North; Gas; Health (see list)
National issues: (see list); Moral & social; Cities & municipalities; Caring & compassion; International; IFC information.
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December Prayer Issues. 2 Corinth 1:20. ‘For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ.’
(An interpretation of) Isaiah 62v6-7a: I have set intercessors on your walls who shall cry out to God for the fulfilment of his promises.’
NB. We hold a main weekly IFC prayer group in Larnaca every Friday 9am-noon and others weekly e.g. Prayer for Israel, Ministries & Refugees, at other times. Details: Email the above. Use the Prayer update in your home group, prayer group, church prayers, and devotionals. Use it topically or work through it over the month.
^ GIVING THANKS: 1 Thessalonians 5:18. ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’
Many are grateful for the opportunity of a rest over Christmas and time with family and friends. Then there are the carols, many full of theology, and services, turkey and presents. Thank You, Lord, as we celebrate the birth of Your Son, coming into this world as a human being to show what God is like! (It is also the Jewish season of Chanukah, Dec 22nd-30th, celebrating the miraculous provision of oil for lights, all heralding our Epiphany season.)
^ EDITORIAL: Mark 6v31: ‘Come …..and rest awhile.’
Retreats: I took a ‘retreat’ for a couple of days in the hills in order to ‘advance’ in the kingdom. I stayed at Katafiyio Retreat Centre, Kapedes, near Agia Varvara ( email@example.com Tel 22671220 for personal or guided retreats). It was a study retreat but I took time to walk in the area. During that time, the Lord seemed to place certain phrases in my heart and mind. One was, I LOVE VARIETY. I thought about that, and recognised how God has placed such variety in creation, in humanity, in spiritual gifting, etc. The second was, THE HIGHER YOU GO, THE MORE YOU SEE.
I had climbed a steep track and made it to the top of the hill, where a small bench had been placed. I had a great viewpoint of the Nicosia plain and surrounding mountains and hills. The phrase, I realised, applied to more than just the physical. The third was, THE JOURNEY IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE DESTINATION. I leave that with you to figure out. But now to another area of higher – and deeper - purposes in God:
United prayer. As we stand together, hearing from Him and discerning together, He will show us what to pray for and how, when, where, so we can be in agreement, and declare His word into the situation. He can reveal to us how He wishes to deal with an individual or a situation, or even a national matter. God is bringing forth a ‘holy highway’ of connected churches working and praying together in genuine relationship and warmth, linking arms against the enemy strategies, striking the ground again and again until the work is done and enemy power is broken (2 Kings 13v18-19). Will you, pastor, leader, elder, church member, church attender, humble yourself to God’s leading in prayer? The future of Cyprus is in our hands as well as His. God wants His people to pray a national identity for the Cypriot people. God wants Cyprus to fulfil His purpose for which it was created. He is looking for a righteous remnant to pray and act as He leads, preparing the way for Cyprus’ role as a safe haven, for reconciliation between the north and south, for young people mobilised for God, for the Orthodox Church to be touched by God, for the church mobilised to reach out to our communities both practically and spiritually.
^ THE CHURCH: Matthew 16:18. ‘I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’
Here are specific requests for prayer or news of what God is doing in Cyprus, in Cypriots, and in the lives of His people in the area.
1. Specific Churches and Ministries: Revelation 1v11: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches…”
a) Joint N / S prayer meeting: The best chance for the north and south of Cyprus is through God’s people praying together. The next north / south joint prayer meeting is on December 10th at 10am. For venue, email firstname.lastname@example.org Pray God’s blessing (Psalm 133).
b) Israel Conference: with Karen Davis (Messianic worship leader & wife of the deceased Carmel Assembly leader David Davis. ACOJC church, Limassol. December 6th-8th Full details: https://www.facebook.com/events/388300588533071 Pray for revelation there (Revelation 1v1).
c) IFC Day of Prayer: Intercessors for Cyprus, 4th January 2020, 9.30am-4pm in the Larnaca area. Email to register (email@example.com). Pray.
d) Messianic Bible Study: ‘Shadows of the Messiah’ using materials produced by First Fruits of Zion, a Messianic organization that seeks to deepen our understanding of Scripture by providing information about the Jewish perspective. This year's study will focus on the promise of, and allusions to, the Messiah found throughout the first five books of the Old Testament and connecting them to their fulfillment in the life and work of Jesus. We will be meeting in Aradippou/Larnaca on Thursday nights from 7-9 pm. (Course started end of November). Please contact us if you have any questions or want to join us. (Jack and Debbie Holford). Jack: 99665750. Debbie: 99665971. firstname.lastname@example.org. Pray God’s hand on this (2 Chron 30v12).
e) Room of Hope: This NGO Day Center in Nicosia offers victims of sexual trafficking hope, help, coping tools, sheltered employment, skills and a restoration of dignity, Contact is: RoH director, H Saukkola email@example.com Pray for this ministry to women (Job 30v15; Proverbs 31v25).
f) Outreaches: at this season will be many. Pray for the ones you know of. Sunday December 22nd 7pm will be a Carols outreach at the small pier & fort area, Larnaca beach. Could you come and join the carol singers or those sharing with people or giving out tracts? Pray for this (2 Sam 22v50).
2. The Revelation of St. John is rarely associated with Christmas. It contains, however, an extraordinary apocalyptic vision of the birth of Jesus (Rev. 12). In this vision a woman “clothed with the sun” is seen about to give birth to a child. This child was to rule all nations (clearly a picture of Jesus). A Dragon awaits the birth to devour the child but the child is caught up to God and to His throne. The Dragon, enraged, made war, therefore, on those who followed the child and kept his commandments. This takes Matthew’s perspective to a deeper level, depicting the spiritual forces underlying the actions of Herod. The symbolism of the vision is lurid and seemingly grotesque, but the application is clear. The Christ was born to redeem the nations, indeed to redeem along with the nations the whole of creation, over which he would rule. Satan’s rule in this world was to be broken by Him.
The attempt to devour Him failed. The child was swept up to heaven and will return to rule. What an extraordinary HOPE this is. It is the Christian hope of a new and redeemed world in which Christ rules in love and righteousness, and in which those who believe will live in the light of the presence of God. This is not a hope which might happen, but a hope that is sure and will happen. Herod failed, Christ won; the Jewish priests failed, Christ rose again; gross darkness covers the earth, but the Light of Christ will come in all its fullness. Thus even the darker side of the Christmas story is really pointing to a much greater light and hope. If our Christian hope is smaller than total redemption of the world as we know it then it is falling short of the glory to be revealed. Pray for the light of revelation concerning Jesus to penetrate hearts and minds. (John 1v5 & v14).
Revival & Transformation: I have just read Ezekiel chapter37, which is God’s promise to Israel…which is currently in preparation for fulfilment (see Ezekiel 36). However, on the back of the promises to God’s covenant people Israel, there is an implied promise to God’s people the Church, also the chosen of God. We desire renewed life in the Church in Cyprus, the coming together of God’s people & the Spirit breathing upon us. Pray (Ezek 37).
ITI: The Christian Boaters Association (CBA) is very big in America, but extends to many other nations and continents. They will form part of the ‘ships of Tarshish’ (Isaiah 60v9) as will some in Cyprus which will assist in the great project to come on the heart of God (Jeremiah 32v41). Pray blessing.
^ THE GOVERNMENT & THOSE IN AUTHORITY: 1 Timothy 2v1-4: 1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
^ This month: Finance Minister Harris Georgiades is leaving his post by the year’s end. Pray for the right successor and a good hand-over period.
Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides has presented the 2020 budget and Strategic Plan 2020-2022 which focuses on the island’s immigration policy, reforms and – above all – boosting development. Pray for adjustments where needed in the will of God and effective implementation.
Defence Minister of Cyprus is Savvas Angelides. Foreign Minister is Nikos Christodoulides. Pray for them.
Migrants: The government of Cyprus has benefited from €95.17 m of EU support since 2015 to manage migration and borders. The number of refugees is increasing, and migrants will reach 3.5 percent of the population soon. Pray into this as led (Matt 11v19).
Hackers: In late November, all state websites crashed for a while. Pray for secure state internet services and protection from hackers (1 Jn 3v12). .
Evictions: Procedures to evict tenants who fail to pay their rent will be accelerated under proposed amendments to the tenants’ protection law, but reservations are already being voiced about how to protect those in need. Pray for justice both ways.
Estia: Applications are moving very slowly and the process is complex. Pray change. Sick leave: There are abuses by government employees...pray.
^ Peace Process: Following the Berlin gathering, the negotiating process with a view to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem continues. Meanwhile, Turkey has failed to cooperate in solving the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus. Continue to pray (Heb 10v36).
^The North: Climate change legislation is being demanded by sources both in the north and the south. The first Turkish Cypriot doctor has joined the GESY scheme. Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides has said that the Interior and Foreign Ministries are planning measures to boost controls along the Green Line. Describing the 300 km Green Line as “a black hole,” Petrides described the issue of illegal migration as “a developing crisis for Cyprus,” noting that most of the irregular immigrants in Cyprus pass through the occupied areas to the government-controlled areas of the island. Pray as led.
^ Gas: Energean Oil & Gas has made an application to import and supply natural gas to Cyprus starting in 2021. Gas supply would be through a pipeline from the Karish block offshore Israel, to Vassiliko, Cyprus. Pray for our own Cyprus gas to be discovered and released! (Psalm 67v6).
^ Health: Two Greek doctors helping at Paphos hospital walked out after ‘unacceptable behaviour’ including bullying by colleagues. Not good…pray.
^ NATIONAL ISSUES: Psalm 33:12. ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.’
Police: from the anti-trafficking unit raided two illegal massage parlours in Nicosia and Limassol as part of an operation against human trafficking.
Anti-drugs police made four arrests after finding one kilo of cocaine in a rural area. Special police units: Lawless and offensive acts will soon be dealt with by special police units patrolling tourist areas during the peak season. Assaults on police: recently on the streets by a group of youths, and on another occasion one was hit by a car, another two by a drunk out-of-control woman. Give thanks for the police, who restrain evil in society, and pray for continued effectiveness. Also, for their safety as they carry out their duties. Romans 13v1-5 outlines the role of the police.
Trade: Cyprus’ trade deficit was €3,273.0 million in January-August 2019 compared to €2,591.3 million in the corresponding months of 2018. This is a continuing trend and is serious unless properly addressed. Pray for the right people to understand the issue and deal with it (see Psalm 24v1-6).
Recycling: There has been a protest against the planned recycling plant in the Stavrovouni area. Pray about sites and process (Nehemiah 12v31).
Rain: After a good rainfall in October, with dams 79% full, November was a relatively dry month. Continue to pray for rain for the land (Joel 2v23).
Electricity: Cyprus household electricity prices in the first half of 2019 jumped an annual 16.4% (Eurostat). Pray this is restricted! (2 Peter 2v3a).
Housing: The Cyprus Land Development Corporation (CLDC) is drafting a low-rent housing plan similar to that of Vienna’s where 45% of people live in affordable places provided by similar state entities. Amen. Pray this progresses to actual low cost housing (2 Samuel 7v10).
Prisons: 75% of Cyprus’ prison population are enrolled in educational programmes. However, Cyprus Central Prison overcrowding is a cause for concern. House Human Rights Committee members discovered that there are prevailing overcrowding conditions at the Central Prison. The number of inmates today far exceeds its capacity. There are about 200 inmates over and above capacity. Pray over the prison. (Hebrews 13v3; Matt 25v36).
Tourism: The blow to the island’s tourism industry by Thomas Cook’s collapse is huge. Pray to God for His ways of restoring our tourism (Ps 18v30).
NB. Israeli travel agents are to come to Cyprus in a bid to reach agreement with counterparts on joint theme tourism packages. Amen.
Employment: 14% of employees in Cyprus only had a temporary employment contract in the 2nd quarter of 2019 (Eurostat). Pray for permanence.
Migrants: As of Spring 2019, Cyprus had been receiving about 1500 applications per million inhabitants each month, more than twice as many as Malta (close to 700) and about three times as many as Greece (over 450). Pray for opportunity for migrants, but sifting out of undesirables (Judg 7v4).
(122 irregular migrants, the majority of them from Syria were brought in at Protaras recently.)
^ MORAL & SOCIAL ISSUES: Deut 10v4: The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed.
Larnaka Run: The running event for all will take place on Sunday 8th December, 10am Finikoudes area. Choose the 10km, 6km, 1km, 500m or 100m runs! You must register for the 10km or 6 km runs: https://worldsmarathons.com/ Amen! Have fun.
Corruption: Cyprus has had the highest increase in corruption levels within the EU over the last five year period. Pray for exposure (Deut 13v13).
Bullying: A 16-year-old from Troullous died in April, believed to have been a victim of bullying. Investigations continue. Pray (1 Sam 17v23-24).
Child abuse: A total of 368 cases of suspected child abuse were referred to the ‘House of the Child’ by police and social services since January 2018. That is three hundred and sixty eight children enduring all sorts of pain and suffering, internal and external. Pray about this (Jer 38v19b NKJV).
The Disabled: In 2018, about 34% of Cyprus’ population with a disability was at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Concern over disabled parking area abuse has resulted in the government saying that those caught parking illegally in these reserved spots in private parking areas will be reported by police and will face penalties of up to one year in prison and/or a fine of €1285. Pray this be enforced and for the disabled (John 5v3, Heb 12v13).
Migrants: Outdated EU rules mean that economic migrants can abuse the system and there have been mass arrivals in Cyprus from African countries. Cyprus is the first country to bring EASO to the island (European Asylum Support Office), noting that by the end of the year there will be 80 officers assigned to assess applications and reduce the backlog. Other EU countries should share the burden. Plans are also underway for a second reception centre while Pournara is expanding. The Ministry of Labour is also operating centres for unaccompanied minors. Integration is preferred, rather than formation of migration communities. Pray for those in authority to administer justice and compassion but also for wisdom and discernment (Prov 3v21).
^ CITIES & MUNICIPALITIES: PRAY for your city: Jeremiah 29v7: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Psalm 55:11.’Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.’ Also: Isaiah 1v26, Prov 11v10-11; Is 62v6-7; Ps 122v6-9. Consider these verses and pray for your city. Town, village, municipality as led by the Lord.
Limassol: L.Sewerage Board will carry out €35 m in anti-flooding projects over the next three years. Amen. Nicosia: Engomi residents in the Nicosia discotheque area want action to curb noise caused by clubs. Pray. Larnaca mayor is investigating a local explosives firm. Pray he is effective (Gen 49v5).
^ CARING AND COMPASSION: (by the Church and others): Matthew 5v7: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’
1. Refugees, asylum seekers & migrant workers...,aliens & strangers: Exodus 22v21: "Do not ill-treat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens.”
Remember the Oasis Refugee Project. O.A.S.I.S. Prayer Requests: ü Research and networking for community resources and employment. ü Kurdish families in response to the current events in N. Syria. ü Homes and jobs for our beneficiaries. ü Open hearts and minds to the Good News!
ü Encouragement and provision for asylum seekers as they wait for decisions on their status. ü Fundraising efforts for program and operational expenses.
2. The poor and needy, widows and orphans, foreigners, unemployed, exploited, etc: Ps 68:5. ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.’
Remember the Mercy Centre in Nicosia, the Limassol group, and the Matthew 25 project in Paphos, ministering to the needy in spirit soul and body. Pray for their effectiveness and for those who serve through them and receive through them. Also remember Cyprus Samaritans, etc.
The Disabled: The state is apathetic towards the rights of the disabled and many able people park in their designated parking slots. A special needs student was physically abused by classmates recently. Pray for compassion, care and hope to be ministered and for miracles (Heb 12v3; Jn 5v3-8).
^ INTERNATIONAL ISSUES: Mark 11v17: "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?’ “(Also Revelation 14v6.)
Israel: Following the Israeli raid which took out the Islamic terror chief, hundreds of rocket reprisals from Gaza meant that schools in southern Israel were closed, most people were in bomb shelters and much of the nation slowed down almost to a halt. Iran supplies Islamic Jihad in Gaza with training, expertise, and money. Israel is warning of major action against Gaza. Pray Psalm 40v17, considering the needs of the people of Gaza and of Israel.
Lebanon: has slipped deeper into political crisis after the withdrawal of a top candidate for prime minister narrowed the chances of creating a government needed to enact urgent reforms. Many mission agencies are based in Lebanon. Pray for God’s hand on the nation (Deuteronomy 11v24).
Brexit: The December 12th UK election: The choice is between Boris Johnson for Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn renegotiating the deal before another referendum. Pray for the government and PM of God’s appointing, parties in right balance. Raise up new faces to bring freshness and vision (Prov 19:20).
Malta Migrants: Rioting migrants in a Malta holding centre demanded freedom. EU human rights slammed living conditions as “horrible” for thousands of asylum seekers in overcrowded Greek camps, including waits spanning hours for food and toilets and a lack of access to medicine). Pray (Rom 13v1&3a).
Greece: Moria, Greece, has been described as the worst refugee camp on earth. Consider the above entry & verses, and pray as led.
Turkey: has started the repatriation of captured Islamic State militants. Pray that God restrains the militants using your prayer (2 Thessalonians 2v7).
The persecuted Church: (Open Doors World Watch List 2017, no.5) Pakistan: Church buildings are bombed or burned down, radical Muslims monitor Christian gatherings, blasphemy laws against Christians are stringent. Christians work in low paid occupations, some females are abducted. However, brave and bold pastors continue to teach the word of God, the Gospel, and receive training and support through ministries. Pray God’s strengthening.
Bless you all. Yassas, αντίο and shalom. The IFC team
In 2013, IFC (intercessors for Cyprus) was given leave to develop its ministry under the authority of the Evangelical Alliance, Cyprus. IFC has an office and a prayer home. We believe in using the home for a place of prayer and in inviting others to join us. (The Hebrew word for ‘house’ is also used for ‘home’, so the rising movement of Prayer Houses could also be applied to homes). We would like to see many homes in Cyprus opening up for public as well as private prayer once a week if not more. We hold public prayer meetings three mornings a week. Tuesdays: (9-11am) ITI prayer for Cyprus a safe haven for refugees. Wednesdays: (9-12am) we meet to pray for Israel. Fridays: (9-12am) prayer for Cyprus, including the latest news and using the IFC monthly Cyprus Prayer Update, and being led of the Spirit. If you would like to join us - as a visitor or more permanently- then email the above to arrange.
IFC News sources and links for Intercessors. First, from the Bible and from Holy Spirit! Then from intercessors, churches and ministries. Also, the Internet: CYBC Media: http://www.cybc-media.com Cyprus Today: http://www.cyprus-mail.com/ Cyprus Daily News:http://www.cyprusdailynews.info/news/index.php/category/cyprus-local-news-2/ From TV, radio & newspapers, local government, local people & shopkeepers, etc. Regular sources: Cyprus Daily; Issachar UK; Jerusalem Post; Open Doors; IFI; Vision for Israel; Internet.
Do you want to pray for Israel more regularly? Try Intercessors for Israel: http://www.ifi.org.il/prayer/points
INTERCESSORS FOR CYPRUS Previous three PRAYER UPDATES:
See 'Recent Updates English' page.
INTERCESSORS FOR CYPRUS Previous three PRAYER UPDATES:
See 'Recent Updates English' page.