Briefings for Intercessors

Part One

Praying for people in need of the Lord’s help and deliverance

December 2023














Deliver people in trouble: A heart cry from Gaza

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

A friend forwarded me this message not very long after the war began. I shudder to think what suffering might have befallen Hannah and her friends since. As she says, ‘Please don’t forget us. Please pray for us.’

My name is Hannah. I graduated master’s graduate from the Bible College in Bethlehem. I do not want to share much personal information to protect my safety and the safety of my family. I am a displaced person in the Latin Church in Gaza, and everyday new families join us. We are approximately 570 people, and in a neighbouring church there are more than 300. We are located in the northern half of the Gaza strip.

I want to share with you that our hearts are broken and we are full of fear and sadness. We are peaceful Christians and reject violence from both sides. Love, as Christ taught us, is the effective weapon for peace.

There are many people we love who have died. Our family members have died. My cousins and her children died. My best friend died. My daughter’s best friend died. In the midst of sadness, pain, and heartbreak we look at the face of Jesus Christ.

I would like to share with you the humanitarian situation here. It is catastrophic on the psychological, physical, and spiritual levels. There is very little food, and soon we will not be able to find food or water which will cause us to starve. As a mother of two children, I am afraid for the future. My children’s psychological state is very bad, especially with the lack of food. My heart is bleeding and wounded. I don’t expect to be able to recover.

There are many people whose voices aren’t heard, and we don’t know if there is media reporting any of this. We are not numbers. Each of us has a dream. But I’m afraid that our dreams will end and the nightmare never will. We see death everywhere. We smell death everywhere. The people of Jesus are heartbroken and waiting for healing and peace. We want to live. I cry while I write this because my people, people who have nothing to do with politics or violence, are burned, broken, and heartbroken. All I can think to do is write and hope that people will listen. Please don’t forget us. Please pray for us.

Deliver people in trouble: Intense cold

For decades every winter, I used to have a burden to pray for the Soviet Union during the cold months. What a blessing it is in these chilly days to get up and to have layers of clothing to be able to pull on, not to mention rugs, hot water bottles and, for many of us, blasts of central heating as well.

I am sure that we are all acutely conscious that this is not so for the people of Gaza, the vast majority of whom have been unable to bring any warm clothes with them from the North.

Day thirty-nine of the war on Gaza
This morning, after a harsh night of sounds of explosions and flying shrapnel
The sky rained a lot of rain and winds
We realized that we were facing a harsh winter without warm clothes or warm housing
Children suffer from colds. There are some medicines here, but they are not enough
The little food that exists has no nutritional value to help the body’s immunity
Crying everywhere, panic and fear among the displaced people in the church
We have pain that cannot be accommodated by the earth
Tears are falling under the winter. We cannot differentiate between tears and rain
Do not forget us in your prayers. We have nothing to do but write and pray

Likewise, the people of Russia and Ukraine will be suffering in the aftermath of the 90 mile an hour hurricane that wiped out communications in many places, and the accompanying extreme cold. All the reports indicate that Russian troops are very poorly equipped in every respect, not least to withstand cold conditions.

We lift them all to You, Lord, in their great distress.

Deliver people in trouble: Those left with nothing at all

Many people across the world, especially in Africa and Gaza, are living displaced and terrified, facing the most appalling prospect of either starving to death, being bombed to death or falling prey to the increasing risk of infection.

Father, in Your name we ask for emergency aid now for those in great need of help and succour. We hear stories of some of all the terrible suffering that people are undergoing, but You see so much more. Send Your help now in Jesus’s name, we pray.

Deliver people in trouble: Those in prison

Hear my cry,
for I am very low.
Rescue me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison
so I can thank you.
The godly will crowd around me,
for you are good to me. (Ps. 142:6-7)

There are many kinds of prison. Uppermost in our minds lately are the hostages in Gaza. This is a sober assessment of the state of some of those who have been released.

This is incredibly sad even for those who are out, and terrible for those still being held, and for their families. With every day that passes, their prospects of surviving would appear to be diminishing. One of the Thai hostages released by Hamas commented that some of her captors had treated her well, whilst others had been extremely cruel, making them eat tissue paper and refusing to let them lie down.

We pray too for the people of Gaza, who are being increasingly herded into an ever smaller and under-resourced area.

Lord God, be at work to raise up those who will protect and rescue victims of oppression even in places of captivity and great cruelty.

We pray too for Christians who, just as Richard Wurmbrand was, are being held captive because they have put their faith in Jesus. Amongst them are more than twenty believers who were arrested in a Middle Eastern country on Monday. Some of these are already in prison; others have been despatched to a gruelling internal exile.

Pray especially for these newly arrested brothers and sisters. From all that we have heard of the country in question, the first few days and weeks are often the worst of all: the sense of dislocation and displacement; the blindfolds and endless interrogations (often accompanied by torture) the threats; the smells; the crowding, the loss of home and family and safety . . .

Distance is no object to You, Lord Jesus, and our prayers can cross continents in a fraction of a second. By Your mighty presence and power, be with each one in prison for their faith.

There are others who find themselves in prison, or removed from their place of work and livelihood, as the result of false allegations.

Lord, have mercy! Let the cries of the oppressed come before You, and send help from Heaven. Uphold those in captivity by Your righteous right hand; those in prison or in internal exile; those arrested, their families and friends and communities. Deliver them from the evil one and keep them from harm.

Father, have mercy! Sustain them and help them to strengthen what remains. Build Your kingdom regardless of the walls. Inspire and encourage Your people to walk with their eyes fixed on Jesus.