Soe is the pastor of a small church in Myanmar. Here he shares how hard it is to pray for the military, but also how he is seeing God move in the lives of young people. At the bottom of the page are specific prayer points for each day this week. Soe’s name has been changed to protect his identity.
Believers in Myanmar gather to pray for their country
“When the military coup happened, it didn’t shock me and our community,” says Soe. “In fact, we have not fully experienced so-called ‘democracy’ in the past ten years because our area was dominated by insurgent groups.
However, college students and those who worked in the cities and abroad have returned home and reacted to the coup. It’s resulted in chaos, uncertainty and people being afraid of being killed, even amongst believers from our church.
“Following the street protests in February, it has become relatively quiet as many young people are preparing to join the People’s Defence Force. Resistance against the coup caused government employees, young people and ethnic insurgent groups to come together, to speak with one voice during rallies, protests and demonstrations against the coup. The People’s Defence Force has been formed from this.
"During the coup, I can see and experience God’s presence more" 'Soe'
“In my observation the current military rulers are the same as the previous junta leaders but stronger, and there is no change. The people have been cursing the military, even calling them ‘dogs’ which is an insult and a derogatory term. We are shouting; the people are angry, disappointed and confused. They even distance themselves from people and families that support the military.
“To be honest, as believers we struggle to pray for the military. It is difficult. We are praying for the military rule to end. We are praying for a new government. Until the military let go of their power, they will continue to fight with the people and the people will continue to fight with the military.
“During the coup, I can see and experience God’s presence more – in my life as well as my family’s life because we are sustained by Him physically and spiritually. Believers are hungry for the Word of God. They welcome me for home visits and prayers.
“Because we are in a remote area, the church has been able to meet but the believers are suffering; there is loss of employment and food is becoming scarce. In this situation it is not enough to only share God’s Word – people need physical nourishment as well.
“We see young people coming to Christ, and hungry to read the Bible and to learn. Now is an important time to disciple them because Christian youth are tempted to join the people’s forces [the People’s Defence Force]. In my family and in our church, we continually declare and claim the Word of God. We are comforted by Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing…” – Psalm 23:1). We also pray the Lord’s prayer.”
As you continue to pray for Myanmar, you may like to use the below daily prayer points to guide you…
Monday – the government
Several places have been bombed, injuring and intimidating civilians. The People’s Defence Force continues to be formed in different places, whilst elsewhere people have started to retaliate in response to the military’s crackdown. Pray for reconciliation between the military and opposition groups, and for the country to be governed by good leadership. Pray for the civil war to cease.
Tuesday – the church and tribal believers
Many believers who are now unemployed are unable to give tithes and offerings. Consequently, church workers have been made redundant as there is no money to pay their salaries. Ask the Lord to provide for all those who’ve lost their jobs. Tribal believers are involved in fighting the military – pray that this will not endanger Christians and ask the Lord to grant wisdom to pastors as they shepherd believers.
Wednesday – pastors and Christian workers
Many pastors are trying to cope with the crisis by not watching news from the military government approved media, to protect their mental health. Ask the Lord to nourish and revitalise the hearts and minds of all church leaders. There is an acute need for young people to be discipled – pray for opportunities for Christian leaders to come alongside young Christians.
Thursday – families
As unemployment rises, many families are struggling to get food and daily necessities. The schools are still closed, so parents must take more responsibility for educating their children. Pray that no Christian family will go hungry, and ask the Lord to encourage parents as they teach their children.
Friday – youth and children
Young Christians are joining the People’s Defence Force and some have even lost their lives. Meanwhile, the military continues to arrest young people, often at random, forcing them to flee their homes. This could affect the future of the church. Ask the Lord to minister His love and guidance into the lives of young Christians, and for future leaders of the church to be raised up during this time.
Saturday – the economy
Many believers are affected by a nationwide rise in unemployment. Desperate believers borrow money from others to buy food. Many struggle to pay for necessities. There is lack of cash in ATMs, and even in banks. Pray that job opportunities will open for believers and for stability to begin returning to the country’s economy. Pray that God will bless farmers with abundance so that they can show Christ’s love by sharing food with others.
Sunday – Covid-19
Myanmar is at risk of a third wave of Covid-19 infections. Vaccinations are available but people are reluctant to get them; they do not trust the military-led government. In general, the country does not have in place proper precautions, care or access to vaccines to prevent Covid-19 from spreading. Pray that the virus will not spread, and for healing, care and recovery for all those infected.
Lord Jesus, refresh the spirits of all Christians in Myanmar who are especially struggling today. Surround them with Your love and fill them with hope. Minister Your peace to young Christians and raise up future leaders of the church. Provide for the needs of every believer. Help Your children shine brightly, and use them to bring peace to the country. Amen.
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