“God has given us prayer as our means of invoking His Kingdom to triumph over injustice. It is a gift, a weapon, and an invitation from God to bring about change in the earth.” —Benjamin Nolot
I read this quote the other day from Benjamin Nolot at Exodus Cry and it really touched my heart. In EFN we are all working to bring change in the earth but God’s intention is that that work should originate from His heart as we encounter Him in prayer. Just stop for a moment and think what it means that the creator of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords is inviting you to take hold of a gift, holding out the weapon that He has ordained to bring change. In the business and the overwhelming onslaught of so much pain and suffering let us pause to pray and respond to His invitation. I can guarantee we will be stronger and have more hope if we do.
Romans 15:13 Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you believe, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Working with the rest of the Body of Christ
The world of exploitation of human beings, of entrapment, abuse and slavery is so evil, and so complicated. EFN partners are doing amazing things but we need the prayers and involvement of the wider Church. Please pray for more churches and intercessor movements to join the spiritual battle in prayer. Pray that more local churches would engage in prevention of exploitation, awareness raising, advocacy and welcoming and supporting survivors. Pray that Freedom Sunday would bring fruit.
COUNTRY IN FOCUS: BULGARIA
Bulgaria is Europe’s 16th-largest country with a population of 7.4 Million people. It is bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and the Black Sea and more than a third of the population in Bulgaria, are at risk of poverty and social exclusion and at least one in three children live in poverty.
Currently, Bulgaria is one of the highest source countries in Europe for woman and children. To a lesser extent it is a transit and destination country as well and it is one of the highest source countries for traffickers. Bulgarian women and children are subjected to forced prostitution within the country, particularly in resort areas and border towns, as well as around Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkan areas.
Ethnic Roma women and children account for a large percentage of Bulgarian trafficking victims.
Sadly, although the Government of Bulgaria is making significant efforts to do so, it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Unfortunately, despite the measures taken, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period; and therefore, Bulgaria has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List in the 2015 Trafficking in Persons report. There are very few ‘safe/transitional houses’ in Bulgaria for trafficked victims and specialized care is limited to a handful of girls, with the bulk of those rescued being grouped together with victims of domestic violence and prostituted girls.
- Pray for those Bulgarians living with poverty and unemployment and the pressure that this places on family and community. Many desperate Bulgarians are forced to take risks looking for employment abroad as unemployment within Bulgaria is at such a high level. This desperation opens them up for easy exploitation and abuse.
- Pray for President Boyko Borissov and his family whose 14-year-old son recently passed away. Pray that the reality of the fragility of life would help to unite this beautiful country and galvanize them to up their efforts to comply with standards necessary for the elimination of trafficking and that those efforts would help to move Bulgaria off the Tier 2 Watch list.
- Pray against the toxic spill that communism has left in its wake and pray for a ground swelling of the evangelical churches to become more active and involved within their communities.
- Pray for the victims of trafficking, that they would find the help and support they need – and also prayer for Godly wisdom and insight for those NGO’s working on the ground – for each individual ministry for their work/ministry and long-term sustainability of projects, for unity and support of each other.
YOUR OWN NATION
Take time to also pray for your own nation, try to gather together with others and share what is on your heart for your nation and your ministries/churches and hear what God is saying to you. Do let us know any answers to prayer so we can rejoice together. Maybe you could be our country in focus in future months. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your praise reports and if you would like to be a future country in focus.