The following prayer points are in a secure format to protect missionaries in sensitive locations. This means that some names have been removed, so they are best read in conjunction with the CMS Prayer Diary which is available from your local branch.
Due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation around the world, some prayer points may become outdated. Nevertheless, use them to inspire your prayers, and feel free to contact the missionaries you support (by newsletter or directly) to hear their current needs.
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DECEMBER 2020 PRAYER POINTS
SPECIAL PRAYER FOCUS: CHRISTMAS
Father God, thank you for sending your Son into the world to save us. We pray that, despite current restrictions, your people can celebrate the gift of Jesus this Christmas. We ask for opportunities for CMS missionaries to share your love and for open hearts to receive the gospel. May they be courageous as they speak your truth in churches, workplaces and communities, and equip them with words of truth and light. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Tuesday 1 – Japan
Pray with Nathan & Maki Clapham for the various Christmas events, and for student groups to keep meeting. Pray with Steven & Sandra Parsons that churches in Japan will present the Christmas message in creative ways, so it will be culturally relevant, but also seamlessly accommodate COVID measures. Pray for opportunities for Matt & Jen Lim to share the true meaning of Christmas with their friends from preschool. Pray for Chenny Thie as she readjusts to living in Japan. Pray that she can reconnect with non-Christian friends in Tokyo and invite them to Christmas events. Give thanks with Roger & Noriko Dethlefs for the various Bible studies during the year, with past students and aspiring students from different parts of the world participating. Pray that God would keep Adam & Helane Ramsay in good health and well connected to him, so they can share the joy they have in Jesus.
Wednesday 2 – Japan & Taiwan
Pray that Dene & Rachel Hughes and their church will take up opportunities to speak openly about Jesus this Christmas with courage and creativity. Pray with Dave & Beck McIntyre that Japanese people would consider what Christmas is really about, and pray that God would use events at church to reach more people for Christ. Pray with Brad & Michelle Jackson for Christmas events happening throughout Japan, that many will come to understand the hope and joy found in Jesus. Pray with Kellie Nicholas for opportunities to share the good news of Christmas even though events are online or significantly limited. Pray with Sam & Shan-Shan Chrisp for believers in their local church to be bold in talking about the meaning of Christmas.
Thursday 3 – East Asia
Pray with E that groups of believers meeting in creative locations would boldly share with those around them. Pray for stamina for L & J as their children return to school in the cold and dark of winter. Pray for L preaching and training young preachers in their Advent series. Pray with D & L that Christians in East Asia will continue to stand firm and not be ashamed of the gospel in the midst of increasing pressure. Pray for energy for L as she plans for December outreach events. Give thanks also for her mother’s visit, and pray she would come to know the Lord. Pray for open doors and opportunities for D & T as they plan their return to East Asia in early 2021. Give thanks with S & K that God has provided a job, house, and church to transition into next year.
Friday 4 – Eurasia, Netherlands, Ireland & Austria
Give thanks with R for opportunities to discuss the Bible with friends and for God’s provision. Give thanks with David & Cathie Sandifer for good health in the midst of another COVID outbreak; pray for protection for the Tyndale community, and for a good wrap up to this term’s classes. Pray for Erin Topley (nee Moorcroft) as she steps back a little from ministry and for the safe arrival of her daughter in early January. Pray with Rachel Gibbs for all the ÖSM groups, that they would grow in love and unity, despite the second lockdown.
Saturday 5 – Spain & Malta
Join with Miriam Bradshaw to pray for immigrants in Spain without work and with little family, that they would remember or come to know God’s faithfulness. Give thanks with Mike & Tania Snowdon for their new church youth group and the three youth in it. Pray that Jim & Tanja French can witness to Jesus’ love this Christmas as a joyful and hope giving occasion despite the sadness in Spain. Give thanks that G & R were able to return to Australia (after many cancelled flights) and travel to Queensland to visit family members who are unwell. Praise God with Chris & Kristy Galea for the new partnerships formed through deputation and the encouragement of this time. Pray for them as they farewell friends and family in preparation for a January departure.
Sunday 6 – Germany & Italy
Pray with Mimy Gardner for gospel opportunities and sustained energy to cope with the continuous changes to Christmas events. Pray with Klaus & Jude Hickel for God’s voice to be heard in their all-age Christmas services (20 and 24 December) as they look at the real story of Christmas. Give thanks with Gillian Law for fellowship and encouragement from her local church. Pray for changes at church in the next year as their pastor will be retiring. Give thanks with Simon & Jessica Cowell for a great number of students involved in GBU Bible studies in Puglia and pray for ways to share the gospel while in partial or full lockdown leading up to Christmas. Give thanks for Naomi Brunacci’s three years in Italy sharing Jesus with students.
Monday 7 – France
Pray for Colin & Catherine Puffett that, despite COVID restrictions, they can build relationships and share their hope in Jesus. Pray for wisdom for Kelly Landrigan as she works out how to do Christmas celebrations with church and local friends, particularly in light of the second lockdown. Pray with Daniel & Kate Morris for France as it navigates the difficulties brought on by COVID and recent acts of terrorism. As people suffer through these uncertainties and difficulties, pray they would find freedom and healing in Christ. Pray with Josh & Susannah Apieczonek for student initiative, creativity and enthusiasm for Christmas evangelistic events.
Tuesday 8 – Development & Training
Pray for J’s Indonesian student church Christmas event (19 December), and for the international students unable to return to their families for the summer. Pray for J and S as they transition from SAH to deputation and for their branch as they finalise deputation details. Pray for K’s relocation to QLD and the start of connecting with supporters and churches. Pray for J and N as they say goodbye to Melbourne and relocate to Sydney. Give thanks for the progress of Mentac trainees in 2020 and pray for blessing from God on their future ministry plans.
Wednesday 9 – Nepal & Pakistan
Pray with D & E for KISC as they decide whether to open up in January. Praise God for a restful break. Pray that D & S will have many opportunities to share Christ this Christmas with those who don’t know him. Pray they will persevere with language learning for the sake of loving Pakistanis well.
Thursday 10 – Nepal
Give thanks with G & R for the way the Nepali church has served in practical ways and encouraged believers through the COVID crisis despite not being able to meet in person. Pray with S for Nepali believers, that God would work in and through them despite restrictions and limitations. Give thanks for B & L’s opportunities to share with link churches while on Home Assignment and pray they will encourage people to support ministry in Nepal. Pray for safe travel for L & T and their children, for safety from COVID, and a tolerable confinement in quarantine. Give thanks for K’s (& B’s) ministry with CMS and for God’s provision as they settle into Australia.
Friday 11 – South Asia
Pray for A during her first Christmas in South Asia, and ask for opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas with neighbours. Pray that other believers will have boldness and protection to do that as well. Pray with K that the South Asian family she is staying with will become faithful followers of Jesus. Thank God for the faith of B who has been slowly sharing her faith with her family. Pray for E and her housemate that they may have opportunities to debunk some myths and share about why this is a special time of year for them. Pray that M & K have opportunities to delve deeper into language and culture over the winter season, asking particularly for provision of a ‘homestay’.
Saturday 12 – UAE & Jordan
Pray that M & C are able to hold Christmas services despite COVID restrictions and that they will be an encouragement to everyone who joins in. Pray that M & O can find safe but inclusive ways to celebrate Jesus’ birth with church family. Pray with J & D for preparations for upcoming Christmas services whether live or online. Give thanks with W & C for time in Australia for Home Assignment, and Christmas Day with family for the first time in years. Give thanks with E for the relaunching of the Young Adults ministry. Pray young adults will disciple others and desire to be discipled. Pray for wisdom for K in how to do Christmas with Japanese in these restricted times. Give thanks that they are willing to continue meeting online.
Sunday 13 – Middle East
Pray for J and her team as they consider whether to move location (within the same country) next year. Pray for S & P and the work needed in their new house, and pray they will build good relationships in their new neighbourhood. Ask God to give L opportunities to highlight that Christmas is about Christ as she spends time with Muslim women and work colleagues.
Monday 14 – Middle East
Praise God that B has finally arrived in Australia and pray for mutual encouragement as she reconnects with people in WA and begins Home Assignment. Give thanks with M that reading in Arabic is getting easier. Pray for her friend M, thirsty for spiritual knowledge but not yet trusting in Christ alone. Pray for C that God would grant her intimacy in her personal relationship with him. Ask God with S & C for safety for churches as believers gather to celebrate Christmas and pray that gospel opportunities would bear fruit.
Tuesday 15 – North Australia
Pray that Tavis & Kate Beer will be filled with faith, patience, love, and endurance, so they can continue to be useful for God’s good purposes. Praise God with Ian & Jenny Wood for the way Nungalinya has been operational in the second half of 2020, and for the students who’ve come and studied. Give thanks with Wayne Oldfield & Mandy Jones for the growth at Nungalinya College in students, staff and courses over the last 10 years. Pray for the new courses in Family Wellbeing and Art starting in 2021. Pray that Derek & Rosemary Snibson will plan well for Home Assignment and that Christmas celebrations will be joyful and focused on Jesus. Pray that God will help Chris & Karen Webb to prepare well for their return to NSW for Home Assignment in late December.
Wednesday 16 – North Australia, PNG, Vanuatu & Solomon Islands
Ask God with Matt & Lisa Pearson for opportunities to share the Christmas story at school and in the community and that the audiobooks of the Kunwinjku Bible would be useful for strengthening the church. Pray with Matt & Kate Vinicombe that Christians on Groote would celebrate Jesus’ birth with joy and glorify God, and that it would be a time where the gospel is shared with those around them. Pray for patience and God’s guidance for Joel & Tiffanie Atwood whether in quarantine or awaiting flights backs to Vanuatu. Pray that Keith & Marion Birchley would trust the Lord and adjust to COVID life in Brisbane during Home Assignment. Pray with David Pettett for third year students finishing their studies and returning to ministry.
Thursday 17 – CMS Australia
Pray for CMS Australia in this time of curtailed travel. Pray especially for Geoff Dyson as he works hard to organise and book flights for missionaries in and out of Australia. Pray for patience and comfort for those missionaries who are unable to return for planned Home Assignment and those separated from families and friends at Christmas.
Friday 18 – South East Asia
Pray for wisdom and discernment for J as she seeks direction from God, and pray for ongoing relationship building with students. Pray for N to have good rest over the break, and for opportunities to speak of her gratitude to God for his indescribable gift. Praise God with K for the season of partnership development with churches and pray for refreshing time with family over the next few weeks. Pray with N & R for a sense of God’s peace to embrace their students sitting health specialist exams, while still managing a pandemic response. Pray with M & L for opportunities to invite people to special events and dinners.
Saturday 19 – Cambodia & South East Asia
Give thanks with Maggie Crewes as the new Stepping Stones project is established. Pray for the older teens attending vocational training to learn safe behaviours and life skills. Give thanks with Wim & Maaike Prins for semi-normal life at HOPE International School, where face-to-face learning has resumed. Pray that Fount of Wisdom would receive more funding so they can continue with their printing and translation. Pray for Craig & Samantha McCorkindale as they say goodbye to family and friends and prepare to return to Cambodia in early January. Pray with Bethany Vaughan as she transitions back to life in Australia. Pray for Dave & Leoni Painter and their local church, as they prepare for a Christmas outreach into their community. Pray for Tim & Olivia Mulherin as they continue to meet online with churches and individual supporters during their initial Home Assignment. Give thanks with Andrew & Liz Glover for the blessing of working with an international community, and the glimpse of ‘every tribe and nation’. Pray with N for five people she can ask to share stories from their lives with her, that she will build lasting relationships which will bear much fruit. Praise God with Maurice & Amanda Jacobson for the friends and prayer partners they have made on deputation and pray for churches to remain open. Give thanks with Matthew & Melissa Lindfield Seager for the opportunity to do church with some families in their home.
Sunday 20 – Indonesia
Pray with Andrew Buchanan & Abi Tandiseru that Jesus will be lifted high and draw many to himself through Christmas activities in Toraja. Give thanks with N & R for the birth of their son J. Pray with J & D for Christians across Indonesia as they find creative ways to celebrate Christmas during the pandemic. Pray with R that this Christmas season local Christians will be prepared to give an answer for the hope they have. Pray too for protection and safety as they celebrate the birth of Jesus. Pray with T & E that Christian students would grow in their faith. Praise God for Alan & Helen Wood’s time of rest, and pray for preparations for Summer School, Final Home Assignment and the completion of 40 years of ministry. Pray with Robin & Sarah Kinstead for Robin to finish up well at Pitt Town Anglican Community Church and for decisions about language learning for 2021.
Monday 21 – South East Asia
Give thanks with J & I for God’s amazing grace in sustaining them throughout a very challenging year and pray for more ministry opportunities to reach the nations with the good news in 2021. Pray for I to have wisdom and boldness in her conversations with friends. Give thanks with Martin & Jenny Foord for the completion of another semester. Pray for rest and refreshment for the students, staff and faculty during the break. Pray with Ian & Narelle Hadfield that the celebrations of Jesus’ birth in Laos and Singapore will be challenging and yet comforting in this year of COVID-19. Pray for Chris & Grace Adams as they finish editing and prepare for the publication of the Tetun version of The Beginner’s Bible, which they hope to print in early 2021. Pray that Christopher & Julie Dean are able to leave for Timor–Leste in early 2021, for good language progress, and mutually encouraging partner engagement in the meantime. Pray for the logistics of departing for Howard & Michelle Newby as they plan to return to the Philippines in January. Pray also that Katelyn, Joshua & Caleb can finish school well and have good goodbyes.
Tuesday 22 – Ethiopia, Kenya & North Africa
Pray that M would be filled with joy in her Father God and that her friends will see this joy and want to know the one who gives it. Give thanks with Shane & Naomi Rubie that they could share with and encourage their link churches about God’s work in Ethiopia. Pray for Norm & Janelle Gorrie to have contentment in God’s good plans and for the approval of work visas. Pray with Marty & Katrina Feltham for the millions of children in Kenya affected by the nationwide cancellation of schooling for most of 2020 and ask that schools will re-open in 2021.
Wednesday 23 – DR Congo & Uganda
Pray for wisdom for David & Prue Boyd and CMS federal leaders as they discuss how to manage the risk of COVID if they return to Congo in December or January. Pray with Graham & Wendy Toulmin for the north east corner of DR Congo with growing pockets of militia and rebel activity threatening strategic places like the MAF base. Pray for stability in the region. Pray with David & Jenny Juniper that January flights to DR Congo would be straightforward and reliable. Give thanks with Andrew & Margaret Newman for the strengthening they experienced from CMS RMD Elizabeth’s pastoral care and from Louise’s (SAH) language help.
Thursday 24 – Tanzania
Pray with Judith Calf that as Christians in Lweru celebrate Christmas, their gatherings as church and family will bring them joy. Pray with Mike & Katie Taylor for the annual pastors’ retreat, between Christmas and New Year, that God would be honoured, his word heard and believed and there would be genuine love and unity. Pray with Arthur & Tamie Davis for safe travel for students and associates to Mwanza for the TAFES Go Conference and that many would heed the call to world missions. Praise God with Glen & Dominique Turner that the school year at Mara Anglican Primary finished positively, and that God has enabled the school to keep running during a difficult year. Pray with Kevin & Karen Flanagan for the distribution, wide readership and adoption of the Tanzanian Anglican Church’s new book outlining its strategic plans for evangelism over the next five years.
Friday 25 – Namibia & South Africa
Pray with Daniel & Olivia Webster that Jesus would be glorified in Namibia this Christmas, and for road safety for the many who travel. Pray that Kylie Zietsch will be granted a visa and be able to return to Johannesburg in early 2021. Pray with Mike & Karen Roe for good rest for the whole of the GWC Bible college community after the challenges of online education. Pray with Nathan & Diane Lovell for the international GWC students staying in Cape Town rather than traveling home to families (due to the uncertainties of restrictions on international travel).
Saturday 26 – Chile
Praise God with Michael & Jo Charles that CEP got through the year! Give thanks the Holy Spirit taught and shaped staff and students in wonderful new ways that wouldn’t have been possible through the regular format. Praise God with Gary & Julie Haddon that believers can celebrate ‘Christ with us’ no matter what the circumstances, and pray for flights to Australia for Home Assignment. Pray with Frances Cook that after a year away from normal classes, CEP would be able to return in late February, with God’s protection. Pray for a restful break for Chris & Stef Overhall and for time to disconnect from devices in January.
Sunday 27 – Mexico, Bolivia, Peru & Uruguay
Give thanks with Nick & Kysha Davies for all who studied this year despite the pandemic and the great difficulties that have arisen from it. Give thanks with Adrian & Anita Lovell for God’s protection, strengthening and provision throughout this past year and pray for a restful break. Give thanks for Pedro & Joy Oliveira Woolmer’s progress in learning Spanish and understanding Uruguayan culture. Pray for the opportunity to rest and recharge over the summer break. Pray for Peter & Sarah Sholl to say good farewells as their final Home Assignment comes to an end.
Monday 28 – Argentina
Pray that Martin & Julie Field will have a relaxing holiday together with family (at home or in the hills, depending on COVID restrictions). Pray with Peter & Terry Blowes for the Summer Training School planned for early January, including two MOCLAM intensives and ministry training workshops. Pray for good attendance and that this training will provide a great foundation for the new year’s ministry. Pray for Amy Stephens to enjoy a refreshing holiday (God willing) and good rest over Christmas. Pray for students who are unable to return to their homes for Christmas due to COVID travel restrictions.
Tuesday 29 – CMS Partners
Pray for Co-Mission Partner S in his work with students in Nepal. Pray for the leadership development training courses he is running and for the students who are attending.
Wednesday 30 – CMS Branches
NSW & ACT: Pray that CMS Summer School will be a great encouragement for supporters who attend online and in person. Ask that God will be with Carl Matthei, David Williams, Mark, Glenn Davies and branch missionaries as they prepare to speak at the conference. QNNSW: Pray for the Summer MELT Youth Camp on 6–10 of January at Mt Tamborine. Pray for God to be working in young hearts as they hear about his work through missionaries and consider how their lives could interact with his work in the world. SANT: Pray that staff will have a restful break over Christmas and New Year. May they be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running for their Summer Conference. TAS: Pray for Maurice and Amanda Jacobson, on initial Home Assignment, as they engage churches, small groups and individuals. Pray for final preparations for the combined online summer conference with CMS VIC. VIC: Pray for Lars Vorlicek (SUTS Youth Camp Director), and Rachel Eastwood (Children & Family Engagement Coordinator) and their teams of volunteers as they plan a very different youth camp and children’s program for January. WA: Give thanks for the appointment of CMS-WA’s newest MiTs, Jason and Hannah, and for the birth of their baby last month. Give thanks for B’s safe arrival in WA.
Thursday 31 – Former Missionaries’ Fellowship
Praise God, with the Former Missionaries’ Fellowship, for the life and ministry of John Brook. John served as CMS General Secretary for SA Branch and he and his late wife Joan were CMS missionaries in Indonesia from 1970-74.