This last week many celebrated the birth of the Prophet Mohamed. Ask the Lord God to break the seals of darkness and that instead of praise to man, there would be recitations of praise about God’s faithfulness and His attributes. May those who know God, retell their testimonies of how God has been faithful. Pray that the Nyamwezi will know that the Lord is faithful in demonstrating His perfect love, and it is without limits, immeasurable. May those who doubt find affirmation through the Spirit and knowing God’s perfect love in their lives. Ask God to breakthrough in lives which are shackled, trying to earn their salvation, and instead may those lives be liberated by salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for church leaders with marriage struggles throughout this region where the church is under attack not only from without, but also from within the households of Gospel servants. Ask God to heal and restore broken relationships, for good counsel and support to resolve issues. Pray that couples serving in ministry among the Nyamwezi would come to see and appreciate why God put them together, and that they would both know that God wants to use them and their marriage to be a light in their community.
I sat for hours in a grass thatched hut with a family grieving without hope and no assurance of God’s presence. Such a stark contrast to knowing Jesus is with us through and in every trial. There was no singing of hymns nor acknowledgement of God. The God of angel armies was not welcomed in this home. The sister-in-law of the mother who grieved the death of her 3 year old son was pleading the spirits to let her take on the debt of the curse that was on her brother. Pray that this household will accept God’s message of hope and that they would desire to live in right relationship with the Living God. The message of Christ is so simple and clear that the debt has already been paid, yet most in this village have chosen not to accept this truth. The mother was overcome with hopelessness and fear. Pray she would turn to God and know He wants to give her peace and bless her with purpose. Pray for whole families and villages to turn to Christ.
Pray for people’s yes to be a heart and life changing yes. Many say yes to Jesus the first time they hear the Gospel message. But it may be that they haven’t received Christ in their lives as it is acceptable culturally to lie to gain a relationship. Are they saying yes to Jesus or are they saying yes to relationship with the Gospel bearer? At the end of the day, we find many are not willing to go deeper beyond friendly tolerance of living side by side with God’s people. Pray that the seeds planted and Gospel given will work in their hearts and they will evermore grow dissatisfied with religious practice and crave instead a personal relationship with the risen Lord.
Several families have gathered to begin a church plant in their village, meeting under a mango tree. They have been taught by a teacher who volunteers his Sundays to lead this congregation. Pray for these families as they grow in faith and reach out to their community. One of the villagers has given land to build a church, praise God! On designated church work days the families have gathered together to build the walls of their new church. The foundation stones are first hand dug from up on the hill, rolled down, lifted and piled up, and then placed around for the perimeter of the foundation. Pray that as they build the church on a firm foundation, that their lives likewise will be unified in Christ, built and lived out upon His firm foundation. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
Pray for a Nyamwezi evangelist who has been instrumental in beginning new churches. Because of his enthusiasm for the Gospel and obedience to the Word, he has been invited to pastoral training. He has already completed two years of basic Bible training. Now he has gone for several weeks of intense study with 52 others also accepting the call to study to be a pastor. Pray for confirmation if this is the right next path of service for each and for their families, for growing in spiritual formation, and learning practical ministry skills. May their faith in God grow strong and may there be godly discernment in determining at the end of the pastor’s course who among these these men are indeed qualified to lead churches.
“Give to the LORD, you families of the nations, give to the LORD glory and power.” (Psalm 96:7) Praise God for heads of households who have confessed Christ as Lord. Culturally, for the head of the house to say this confession implies that all in the household will now follow Jesus. We rejoice in the decision to turn to Christ as a group, but they need follow up with teaching each to confess and grow in Christ. Pray that these “families of the peoples” will grow together in walking with Jesus. When it comes to worshipping on Sundays, some households may send their kids to church, or only one adult from the household shows up for service, not bringing anyone else with them. There are usually circumstances that keep the others at home, so pray that those who come to church will retell what message was given and bring others with them next week. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in each of their lives to grow spiritually and serve the Lord together as one: “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Pray more households would be free from that which hinders them from being able to worship together. May the children rejoice as in Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
Pray for twelve Bible school students, as they return home to their village ministry sites among the Nyamwezi. Each has studied evangelism and discipleship activities. Pray they would put into practice what they have learned, that the Lord would use them to lead others to Christ. Pray that new groups would be formed to discover and learn God’s Word together. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Praise God for new church plants that are growing! One church hosted a Vacation Bible School with 57 local children attending, another church plant has grown to 23 adults attending plus children, another church plant is praising God for four local leaders who have stepped up to oversee church affairs. And these new churches are reaching out to neighboring areas, beginning Bible studies groups and more churches. Pray that these village churches will stand strong, evangelize in their surrounding areas, and the Holy Spirit will lead men and women yet unsaved to repentance and salvation.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 1 Peter 2:3
Pray for a second mobile medical outreach happening June 19th, a joint effort with medically trained local believers and missionaries. Pray that this service to the community’s poor, sick, and those hurting would honor God and be a faithful witness of the love of Christ. May those being screened and cared for know that as they are physically cared them, God is also concerned for their spiritual state. May the community know as we offer care for all, so too, Christ welcomes all to come to Him in prayer concerning their physical and spiritual state. Pray that believers will invite unbelievers into relationship with Christ. Pray that local believers will be encouraged through the outreach.
Praise God for several small new churches taking root within the Nyamwezi region! Pray that as these believers gather together that they will take seriously reaching out to their neighbors who are living without Christ. Pray for open hearts, open doors, and conversations which invite relationship with Christ the Savior.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). Pray for ready hearts to receive the Gospel message of hope and peace as it is preached to unbelievers during the funeral and wake of a fellow co-worker in Christ. In front of the whole village, God’s grace is clearly explained to many who don’t know Jesus personally. On these occasions, not grieving with the same bitter despair as others do, local Christians have opportunity to explain to all gathered their eternal hope and assurance of salvation in Christ. Pray for spiritual hunger for souls to be ready to place their faith in Christ now. May a new movement begin even through this hard loss!
Ask the Lord of the Harvest for soft ground where seeds have been planted among the Nyamwezi. Pray over areas where there have been distributions of audio Bibles and written Bibles among villages surrounding Tabora. Pray for listening groups and those reading Scripture would be profoundly moved by the truth encountered. Pray that the seed will go in and weeds will easily come out. Ask the Lord for eternal fruit that will be thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. Pray for reaching the goal of 10,000 Bibles distributed among the Nyamwezi.
Pray for several new churches in outlying villages to grow and be strong in the Word. Pray that the believers would love for one another. Pray they may bring comfort to those who need consoling in their villages. Pray for those soul-searching, especially youth, to turn to Christ and find encouragement from being united in fellowship in these local churches.
This year we celebrate Pasaka (Easter) 2021 in Tanzania amidst 21 official Days of Mourning in memory of the late presiding president. Pray for peace through the transition time for the leaders in the country. Pray for both church and government leaders that their eyes would be on Christ. Pray for churches as they gather for Easter, that there will be a clear Gospel message of celebration concerning the hope shared in the resurrection of Christ. Ask the Lord to bring his Kingdom. Pray the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God will be fully recognized. Pray for deliverance from the evil accuser who will be thrown down. (Rev. 12:10)
On March 17, 2021 the president died while in office. Pray for comfort and peace in the midst of 21 days of official mourning. Pray for the government and officials to be guided by God in the transition. Pray for the health of the country. Pray for the new head of the country as she carries forth her responsibilities in leading. Pray the government will continue to support peaceful freedom of religion, so that the Gospel may be proclaimed unhindered to all parts of Tanzania.
There is a new resurgence of prayer and focus on putting God first in the country. Pray that many more will be drawn to dig deeper into what it means to be a follower of Christ. Pray that from this renewal in drawing closer to God that more will understand and accept salvation. Pray for a renewed interest in Bible study and for small groups studying God’s Written Word to multiply and expand neighborhood to neighborhood. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
Praise God for a new church plant led by a recent Nyamwezi Bible student graduate! Pray for ten believers who were baptized in this church to be effective witnesses of the Gospel to their neighbors, most of whom do not know the Lord. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help them to grow in their faith, not standing out for their own sake, but so that those who live around them will be drawn to follow Christ. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Please pray for a new believer who has left his former ways and is embracing time to learn about Jesus. His home family rejected his new beliefs and was beating him. He has taken shelter offered among other believers as he desires to set a new course for his life in Christ. Please pray for him, and his persecutors to know Christ too! May God give him strength through the difficulties and pray for the Spirit of God to touch his life. Pray for a solid foundation in the Word of God and for the teacher discipling him.
Pray for Bible school students who meet for classes two weeks out of every month. Pray that they will be able to consistently carve out this time to dig deeper into Scriptures, study Biblical foundations and be equipped for service. Pray for their needs and for the staff teaching. Pray that they will have clarity in their calling in bringing God’s message to others. Pray for their assigned work on Sundays in the city and also to be effective witnesses when they return to their ministry sites the other two weeks of the month. Pray they will be able to form Christ-centered churches as they bear witness to Christ among the households where they serve.
Praise God for recent demonstrations of Christ’s character revealed to Muslims who were in need of physical healing and spiritual release from demons. One man was healed from chest infirmities and oppression by demons. Local healers could do nothing. Another woman now walks after her legs were paralyzed and burned like fire for three months. God is using these acts to draw people to Himself in areas with new church growth, confirming the message that Christ “came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Praising God for His extraordinary power in these events to set people free. Pray these new believers and others in their households will grow in their faith and join in fellowship praising Almighty God with other believers.
Saved or unsaved, God loves the whole world. Pray that the Nyamwezi would not be blind to God’s love for them nor cold to the actions of God. Lord, open the hearts of individuals and their whole households to receiving You. Please deliver them from the domain of darkness and set them free. “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 11:19
Pray that the Nyamwezi would leave the lie believing sacrificial practices unify the living to ancestors. May they instead be “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus,” (2 Tim. 3:15) and be unified in fellowship with Christ, joining in worshipping God with other believers this Christmas season and throughout the New Year. Lord, solidify your church. Lord, draw more Nyamwezi to yourself, may they be wise for salvation.
Pray for two sisters in Christ who returned to following traditional beliefs about the death of a twin and the necessity to avert impending danger of more evil if certain rituals were not performed. Pray that they would let their faith in Christ grow bigger than their fears and that they would arm themselves with the Word hidden in their heart knowing “the Lord is on my side; I will not fear.” (Ps. 118:6) Heavenly Father, deliver all those who through fear of death subject themselves to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Three new villages for outreach have been identified by the church. These are areas where local practitioners in the occult, veiled in Islam, have deterred past religious endeavors and also resisted government medical clinics. Pray that these gatekeepers of the community would hear anew God’s message to them and accept the preaching of the Gospel. Pray that those held by the enemy would no longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing their minds. (Romans 12:2) Lord, we ask for profound change of hearts and salvation among the leaders and villagers. Amen.
Praise God for a Nyamwezi evangelist’s enthusiasm and initiative to reach out to four unreached villages. In one such village, ten believers were baptized in August, Praise God!! They have joined together to build a place of worship where they are meeting regularly. Pray for continued efforts to reach and teach in this village, for God’s lovingkindness and truth to be evident, and that men repent of their evil ways. Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
Jesus spoke to religious leaders in Matthew 21:28-32 about a son who said to his father he would work in the vineyard but did not. Another son said he would not work, but later repented and went. There are many similarities in this context among Nyamwezi who say they believe but there is no evidence of this belief. Others wait and repent a long time after an invitation is given. Please pray none would be fearful and would quickly embrace the cost to follow Jesus. Pray that God would lavish Himself upon those who turn their lives in immediate obedience to the Living Word. The Lord God is a good Father who is patient even with deferred obedience, but pray for an outpouring of the Spirit and many would trust Christ without delay. Even if their “yes to Jesus” makes no sense to their neighbors, pray new believers would show inexplicable joy, transformation, and new life in Christ.
Pray for eyes open to the hope and assurance of eternal life only found in Christ Jesus. A recent illness led to the early death of a village leader, yet his clear profession of faith in Christ in the months before his death has left the village talking about his conversion and its meaning in respect to burial. Pray for wisdom as people contemplate customs in light of being a follower of Jesus. Pray that others who knew this man would also choose to give their lives to Christ and receive the gift of eternal life.
Some Nyamwezi believe and have joined in fellowship. Others have heard the Gospel, believed, but have not left their traditions. Pray that more Nyamwezi would respond, submit, and obey the Word of God. “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” Psalm 95:7-8
May many Nyamwezi receive the gospel from the Christians living among them.
Lord we ask that your spirit be at work in believers, drawing them closer to you and calling them to live lives that more fully reflect who you are. We ask that you would give them boldness and courage to speak your words of truth when opportunities arise with their neighbours and friends. Father we ask for our muslim brothers and sisters that they would increasingly find that their religion does not meet their needs, that it is an endless striving for what they cannot achieve leaving them disappointed and disheartened. Lord in this soil we ask that your seed be planted, take root, and flourish!
We ask the Lord for wisdom for our Pastor as he shepherds our little flock and as he interacts with non believers in the community. We ask for words of life fitted to the hearer that are given at the right time as he and other church members interact with those in the community. We ask the Lord to consolidate the faith of our community of believers giving them roots that run deep and will keep them through the storms of life. We ask for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in their lives to be made visible to those around that the presence and power of the Lord would be undeniable. We ask for breaking of the chains that keep non believers from the Lord.
We ask that the Lord would protect our little group of believers, that He would fill them with His Spirit, growing their confidence and trust in Him. That their faith lived out would be visible and attractive to those around who don’t believe and trust in Him. We ask Lord that there would be an increasing distrust in and dissatisfaction with the old beliefs that the locals have traditionally held to. We ask that the Lord break down the barriers that have held people captive, that they may be able to hear and accept the truth of His Word.
When we left Tabora there were fears of looming disaster from locusts, too much rain (and now the corona virus). Praise the Lord our little community of believers wanted to share a meal for Easter but didn’t think they had the finances to pull it off. Well, they stepped out in faith and the God of the impossible met them and they were able to enjoy celebrating Easter with a shared meal. We ask that this boldness in stepping out will be the beginning of bigger and bigger steps of faith and trust in the Lord that our believing community will take, and that the Muslim neighbours will be witnesses to God at work in and through them, and as a result will be drawn to the one true God.
Pray that the Nyamwezi will hear the gospel from other believers, evangelists, and pastors who are filled with compassion for their lost condition and who believe that it is possible for them to leave Islam and follow Christ. Pray for a great movement to Christ among the Nyamwezi people.
Could I ask for prayer for those that we have trained in the TCT programme (Truth Centred Transformation) as facilitators as they work with our little group of believers. Pray that God would grow them in their heart for Him and their understanding that they have been blessed to be a blessing. Pray that our community of believers would also begin to really grasp this at a deep level and begin to live it out. We would love to see their lives transformed by this truth and see it outworking in their own lives as well as in their interactions with others in the community.
Pray that the miracle of Christmas & the birth of Jesus would pierce the hearts of unbelievers, that they would recognise this event as life-changing & that it would prompt them to seek him for themselves. Pray the open proclamation of the Christmas message would cause unbelievers to re-evaluate their lives in light of it. Pray the joy of believers in this season would prompt an openness in non believers to new faith possibilities.
Please pray that God would cause our Nyamwezi friends to be increasingly dissatisfied with their current faith and search for the truth in Jesus Christ.
The Nyamwezi fear the church and the changes it will bring to the community. Pray for this fear to be removed.
Pray that Christian leaders ministering among the Nyamwezi will have the clarity of Amos 3:8: The lion has roared—
who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
who can but prophesy?
Pray that they will be faithful stewards of the gospel, speak out against evil, and not fear the message God has given them to proclaim. Pray that those who hear the Word of God would recognize God at work in their lives, respond radically, and open their mouths to declare their testimony to others.