The Islanders (Indian Ocean)
Pray for the Islanders hailing from the islands of the Indian Ocean, with sizeable communities also found in France and Madagascar. Nearly all Islanders are Muslims. Those who have chosen to follow J’sus tend to live isolated lives and many experience pressure and persecution from their families, villages and government.
2 Thess 3:1 “Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you.”
Pray that God would move in power and reveal himself to Islanders- young and old, male and female. Pray that He would draw families and communities to Himself that they might support each other on the journey. Pray that believers would be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and that they would be strong and courageous.
Location and background: Islanders live on a group of islands off the coast of Africa. They boast picture-postcard beaches, dramatic volcano peaks and an array of rare wildlife. Alongside these are found corrupt governance, political bickering, failing infrastructure, and a sputtering economy. Many seek a better life abroad, ending up living in high rise flats in dangerous neighbourhoods, working long hours to send back generous support to family members still on the islands.
History: The islands have a colourful history steeped in slavery and trade with the East African coast, Arabia and the Persian Gulf. More recently the Islands have suffered 20 coups or attempted coups since independence. Today it blends the warmth of its African location with the Arab traditions of its first settlers, alongside an increasingly strong Western influence.
Culture: Though people are increasingly moving to the capital and seeking opportunities overseas, an Islander’s identity is still firmly linked to their village. Islanders are proud of their religious and cultural heritage, and a strong marriage tradition featuring large, lavish weddings keeps home ties strong. Each island has its own dialect and though French is the language of education the local language is very much the language of the home and of the heart.
Religion: The Island National Anthem declares that they are one people, one blood and one religion, and with 99.9% of the population being Muslims it is not far from the truth. The Island’s spiritual roots intermingle the Islam of the early Arab traders and settlers with African spiritism. The combination plays out in a Muslim routine of life, while still seeking to live lives that appease the demons or “djinns” that harass them. Spirit possession and demonic affliction is common, especially amongst women.
Latest Prayer Updates:
In this last week of Ramadan, Islanders will be focusing on two main things – many will hit the streets for late night shopping hoping to find some Eid bargains. While others will be found praying and reading the Quran in the mosques all night long. Of particular importance in these last ten days is the Night of Power or Laylat al-Qadr. Thought to be the night of the first revelation of the Q to Mohammed, the Q states that the prayers on this night are worth more than prayers made during a 1000 months. This is the night when sins are forgiven and prayers are answered – some believing that there is a special window of time when God will answer any prayer, if only you can be praying at just the right time. No one is entirely sure when this night is, but it may be this Sunday 9th. Pray with us that many would hear God speaking to them on this night, and they would listen to his voice! “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
Pray for a gathering of believers on Thursday. They will break the fast together and spend time praying for the islands, especially for the upcoming night of prayer, that God would break through and draw people to Himself. Pray for good fellowship that would deepen relationships and lead to shared vision and passion for seeing the Kingdom grow. And join them in praying for God to break through and draw many to Himself.
VIDEO FEATURE: Walking in Shadow
A glimpse into the Muslim mindset of coastal Africa, and the church’s responsibility to pray, learn, and engage.