Since the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February, believers have intensified their prayers and drawn immense strength from the Bible. This is highlighted in the stories of three women featured in our latest update. At the bottom are prayers to guide you during the week. All names have been changed for security reasons.
Believers in Myanmar are finding solace in prayer as unrest continues across the country
“Many citizens have died, while others are jailed, interrogated, beaten and starved,” shares Sister Ruth, an Open Doors local partner who helps run a women’s discipleship training in Myanmar. “Some are even drugged and physically exploited. It is very sad. What I have seen in horror movies is happening right in front of me in my country.”
“It seems that normality is a distant hope,” she continues. “But I still believe that God can do anything even when everything seems impossible, because all things are possible with Him.”
Sister Ruth has faithfully sought to persevere in prayer, but thoughts of what’s happening on the streets of her country have been difficult to escape. “Even though I prayed every day, it is still very difficult to focus,” she says. “I could not bear the thoughts of all these things happening in the country and all the innocent dying day after day. It’s so stressful.”
"It seems that normality is a distant hope" 'Sister Ruth'
But a recent chat with a Christian counsellor has brought welcome relief. “It was helpful,” she says. “I am able to sleep better and have begun to give all my burdens to God, all my heavy loads to Him, to trust Him and believe that He will place the best and suitable leaders for our country. Bible passages have become so meaningful to me. One passage that always keeps me alive and that I rely on is Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
Sister Hla Hla is pregnant. She heard of a tragic story that has left her fearful. “I feel that there is no security for pregnant women, because there is one case where a pregnant woman was shot and killed in broad daylight during the coup,” she shares.
“So far, God has protected me,” she continues. “During this coup, I cannot communicate with God properly because of our country’s situation. I feel confused and worried, but God is with me. He has comforted me.”
Like Sister Ruth, Sister Hla Hla has had opportunity to talk with a counsellor and is finding strength from the scriptures. “The Bible portion which I am holding on to is Psalm 91:1-16,” she shares. “Open Doors partners have helped and supported me through their prayers and giving me a chance to talk with a Christian counsellor.”
"I feel confused and worried, but God is with me. He has comforted me" 'Sister Hla Hla'
“When the coup began, our family started praying for the country every night during our family devotions,” shares Sister Lhing, whose family has been forced to leave their home because of insecurity in their village. “The churches were closed since last year because of Covid-19, but we continued our family worship time where we sing and praise God. Since the coup, we dare not sing out loud.”
“I have become more prayerful since the coup,” she continues. “After the coup, we pray every night. My heart goes out to the wives of the soldiers who are in the military camps. They do not know if their husbands will come back alive. If they don’t, they cannot ask questions. As a woman and mother, I feel pity and sympathy for them, so I pray more for them and for peace in our country.
“My sympathies go out to the mothers who lost their children in the protests, the mothers of more than 700 who have died. They say some mothers have lost their sanity due to grief. I pray for them to be comforted.”
As you continue to pray for Myanmar, you may like to use the below daily prayer points to guide you…
Monday – the government
Ethnic insurgency groups continue to fight with the military, whilst members of the National Unity Government – a coalition of people from ethnic groups, protestors and removed lawmakers – are training to take up arms (as the people’s defence force) against the military. It’s prompting fears of an escalation of the civil war. Please pray for peace and reconciliation between the military and opposition groups and protestors.
Tuesday – the church and tribal believers
Many tribal believers have been forced to leave their homes and flee as refugees to neighbouring countries. Many others are internally displaced inside the country. Please pray for the protection of tribal believers, and provision of all their needs.
Wednesday – pastors and Christian workers
Please pray for wisdom, strength and encouragement for all pastors and Christian workers, like Sister Ruth. Some pastors are struggling personally, particularly those who are older and still feel pain from when the country was previously under military rule.
Thursday – families
Many Christian parents are dependent on Sunday schools and schoolteachers to teach their children. But churches and schools are shut. Please ask the Lord to equip and encourage all parents as they take on these roles. Ask the Lord to keep stirring families, like Sister Lhing’s, to regularly pray together.
Friday – youth and children
Many youths in Myanmar are frustrated, angry and vengeful, with many training to fight as part of the new people’s defence force. Ask the Lord to minister His love and peace amongst young people, and that young Christians will draw near to Jesus.
Saturday – the economy
The country’s economy is taking a huge hit. Imports and exports have stalled, and many young people are unemployed and struggling to survive. There are concerns that the bank system may collapse. Please pray that the economy will begin to recover. Please also pray for God’s blessing on Christian farmers and businesspeople, so they can provide for their families and serve their local communities.
Sunday – Covid-19
Patient care has suffered greatly, and recent events have made it much harder to contain the pandemic. Meanwhile, those forced into neighbouring countries as refugees are highly at risk of infection. Please pray that the disease will stop spreading, for healing of those infected, and for the country to gain a better control of the virus.
Dear God, unite, strengthen and build Your church in Myanmar. Speak specifically to Christians to lift and guide them, and provide opportunities for believers to tell others about Jesus. Give them boldness and courage. Provide for all needs, and encourage, equip and empower all leaders. Amen.
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