This week’s prayer focus is on the nation and peoples of Myanmar (Burma). Our denomination has ties with a sister denomination, Westminster Presbyterian Church-Myanmar. Many in our churches support Mustard Seed Children’s Home and Hosanna Bible College in Yangon, and pastors from WPC Australia have taught in Chin State and at Hosanna.
The Church faces many challenges in Myanmar. Pray about these issues:Pray for the growth of the Church! Myanmar is roughly 80% Buddhist, 8% Christian, and 7% Muslim. Approximately 46,000,000 remain unreached with the Gospel, which is 84% of the population! Freedom of religion is restricted, and any group the government considers a threat, including Christians, is harassed, persecuted, and often imprisoned. Buddhism, though no longer considered the state religion, is actively promoted by the military regime. Although the military has attempted to remove Christianity from the nation, the Church continues to grow. Foreign missionaries have been prohibited from working in the nation, but this has not stopped indigenous believers from sharing their faith. It is even estimated that thousands of Buddhist monks have become followers of Jesus!
- Pray for peace and justice to reign in an impoverished land whose ethnically diverse peoples have suffered greatly.
- Pray for effective evangelism that would penetrate the hearts of a staunchly Buddhist majority.
- Pray for those believers who face tremendous harassment and persecution for their Christian faith.
Theological education is of vital importance; this is reflected by the rapid multiplication of training institutes in the last 20 years. Many are very small, with scant resources or materials and poorly trained instructors. Women account for nearly 50% of the students. The threat of prosperity gospel teaching and influence has been adversely affecting the churches. Pray specifically for:
- Training and mission mobilising in short, intensive courses. These are proving effective for bivocational workers and lay Christians.
- The right balance of biblical truth, evangelism training and strong missiological preparation for interacting with and ministering to the Buddhist worldview, which is so different from Christianity. One methodology developed by a former Buddhist monk is seeing remarkable response.
- The retention of leaders. Far too many attend seminary in order to learn English, seen as a ticket out of the country. Others study abroad but don’t return to the challenging life of ministering in Myanmar. Praise God for the establishment of degree programmes which enable aspiring ministry leaders to get equipped and remain in Myanmar.