PRAYER ALERT May 2020
The first stage of easing of the Covid-19 ‘lockdown begins today, leading to three other 3 stages of a gradual relaxation of the lockdown. The main elements stage one are below.
The public, retail and construction sectors are going back to work, with some exceptions.
The public will also be allowed to leave the house three times, after first securing permission.
I.D. and the 8998 sms request (or Form B for the over 65), with amendments, are still required including the 8 options…which includes swimming.
Social distancing must be maintained (2 metres each way between you and other people, i.e. an 8 square metre box.
Although masks are only compulsory for certain workers, it is recommended that everyone uses them in areas where people would be in close proximity, such as shops, public transport, etc.
The curfew will also start an hour later, at 10 pm.
Movement from one district to the other is prohibited except in order to visit a person who is vulnerable and/or cannot care for themselves.
For church services, only a maximum of ten people will be allowed in church premises practicing social distancing.
Judging by recent photos over the weekend, where people had already abandoned social distancing, the temptation to throw caution to the winds is very real. The government is very concerned.
Please come before the Lord on behalf of our nation – both north and south, giving thanks for the government’s early implementation of advice from the World Health Organisation, and praying for HIS restraint upon people, HIS conviction upon them, to maintain appropriate precautions. Ask God to help people recognise the temptation for what it is, and to overcome.
1 Corinthians 10v13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Pray also for grace to communicate clear instructions to the Muslim community concerning restrictions during Ramadan (1 Cor. 14:8), and that other religious or social groups also honour the restrictions.
Pray that the health and economic ministers work together and listen to each other (Prov. 18:13).
Ask God to show the people of Cyprus how to be responsible whether there are governmental restrictions or not, by considering others, and to ‘love your neighbour’ (Lev. 19:18).
Pray for the police and other official groups to know how to effectively guide the citizens and to deal with the common people with as much understanding, patience and mercy as possible (Rom. 13:3-5).
Intercede for families under stress, with elderly parents, children, abusive relationships, economic pressures.
Lord, through Your Spirit, reveal Yourself as the only Comforter (John 14:16).
Come unto Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28
Thank you for your prayers. The IFC Team
1. Teachers’ action
There is still an impasse in the high school teachers’ rift with the Education Ministry over new staffing arrangements. Legal action leading to the EU court is being taken by the teachers against the government. Members of all three teachers’ trade unions (OELMED, POED and OLTEK) have authorised their leadership to take measures, not excluding strike action. Thankfully, at the start of term, teachers commenced their work as normal. God is hearing the concern of people in this matter.
Give thanks for the progress and PRAY to God for His solution to this impasse, and that it will overcome the various obstacles still in place. Use the word of God and His promises in prayer: Matthew 9v29: According to our faith. Matthew 21v21-22 & Mark 11v22-25: If we have faith and do not doubt, the obstacle will be removed.
2. Turkey is planning to establish a sovereign naval base in the north of Cyprus.
IFC received a report about this from a ‘watchman’ of a recent ‘In Cyprus’ online report from a Turkish Daily, ‘Yeni Safak’ 28.8.18 (link above).
A further report from a ‘DEBKA Review’ source put it this way: (a port in north Cyprus would) ‘enable Turkey to deliver arms and military equipment for the Palestinian terrorists away from Israeli monitors.’ We take these seriously for prayer. Let’s not be asleep and unaware. Turkey is seeking to get an even stronger military foothold in the north of Cyprus. Mr Erdogan’s agenda in Turkey and for North Cyprus includes a more extreme Islamatisation and forced removal of opposition. We suspect his plans for Cyprus extend beyond the north, Cyprus being part of the original Islamic Caliphate. Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May says that the British bases remain as a bulwark against Turkeys’ interests. We see the establishing of such a naval base by Turkey as a real danger.
PRAY using the promises and word of God below as we apply them to God’s people in Cyprus.
2 Chronicles 20v15: The battle is the Lord’s. 1 Timothy 6v2: Our true fight is the fight of faith.
Deuteronomy 33v26-29: As with Israel, we can overcome our enemy….but in the spirit realm.
Isaiah 54v14-17: No weapon forged against us will prevail, as we believe God!
Casinos & Gambling: We know of the major inroads being made in Cyprus by companies investing in casinos. An integrated casino resort, ‘City of Dreams Mediterranean’, is being built at Limassol, with satellite casinos in Paphos, Larnaca, Famagusta and Nicosia.
A recent study by University of Cyprus and IMR Cyprus for the national betting authority has revealed that 6% of the population are ‘pathological gamblers’ and that most gambling begins through family example, particularly that of fathers. The study means there are now tools for action for the regulation of games of chance. If the Church prays with a united front over this matter of gambling in our nation, and for regulation, even now “…nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1v37). Also, Psalm 133v1 & 3: ‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! ….For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.’
The Abortion Bill, decriminalising abortion in the Republic of Cyprus is due for vote in the House on March 30th. Such action has been but the beginning of a ‘slippery slope’ in other nations over this moral matter. Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10v10). Also, Psalm 106v38: ‘They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.’
Please pray and encourage prayer into these very topical matters for Cyprus. Thank you. The IFC Team
Turkish warship threatens Gas find in Cyprus EEZ waters.
Report: The Saipem 12000 rig was stopped on Friday by Turkish military ships and told not to continue “because there would be military activities in the destination area,” an ENI spokesman told The Associated Press. “The vessel has prudently executed the orders and will remain in position pending a development of the situation.” There are various reports out on the internet on this matter. For example the one summarised below:
yesterday (11 February) insisted Turkey had breached “international law” after
Ankara’s warships blocked an Italian drilling ship on course to explore for gas
in the island’s politically sensitive waters. Italy’s
energy giant ENI told the Cyprus News Agency its vessel was ordered to stop by
Turkish ships Friday as it sailed to begin explorations in block 3 of Cyprus’s
exclusive economic zone. Turkey
and the Greek-Cypriot-majority republic have sparred over resources in the
eastern Mediterranean, with Ankara pushing the claim of the unrecognised
statelet it backs on the north of the divided island.
Cyprus prepares to start offshore drilling for gas in its economic zone, Turkey
announced it was readying “countermeasures” and Greece replied it was “ready to
defend its sovereign rights”, in a clear sign of growing tensions between the
two NATO members.
Please pray and encourage prayer on this. Isaiah 54v17a; Isaiah 59v19; Philippians 1v19; 2 Chronicles 12v7; Proverbs 21v1-3 & v20.
Thank you. Intercessors for Cyprus team.