Briefings for Intercessors

Part Two

Storm signals are up: Keep your eyes skinned

December 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember Admiral Boom, the Banks family’s colourful neighbour in Mary Poppins, as he stood on the roof his house beside his canon bawling out: ‘A word of advice: Storm signals are up. Heavy weather brewing!’

It comes as no surprise to hear similar such warnings being sounded from the mouths of many prophets today. In Job 38: 22-23 we learn that the Lord has store houses of snow and hail that He keeps in reserve for times of trouble and war. How much more does He have reserves of angels available for help in times of emergency. Whichever way we look now we see such help required – not least from the dangers posed by the resurgence of extreme and authoritarian forces that are once again sweeping across the world.

Amongst the topics included in this edition of our Briefings for Intercessors that you may like to explore and take up in prayer you will find:

Storm signals are up: praying for vital preparations behind the scenes

Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash

I watched one of Michael Portillo’s informative railway journeys the other evening, in which he visited a very large house a few miles from Felixstowe, where, in the utmost secrecy, from 1936 onwards, truly essential radar experiments were carried out. In due time these would lead to the saving of thousands and thousands of lives in Britain.

It reinforced to me yet again the importance of praying for people to be thinking strategically ahead of time – and for things that either are happening out of sight today, or which ought to be happening in readiness for the heavy weather that lies ahead.

Praying for Britain in particular
Concerning our own country there is no mistaking the things that are uppermost in the news. It happens to be the Covid Inquiry at the moment, and the Rwanda policy, which understandably arouse intense feelings and strong reactions. Both issues in their different ways have served to highlight the critical instability of our present government.

It can only be right to pray for the Prime Minister of our country, and for the Lord to overrule the policies that are proposed as to whether they will be enacted or not – and if so how. Despite its present (and undoubtedly short-lived) majority, the whole issue has rekindled the sort of battles in the Conservative Party that we became accustomed to witnessing with regard to Brexit. The issue will face a tough challenge to pass in the House of Commons early in 2024. Let’s lift these and other far-reaching matters to the Lord.

The women praying for Britain
Reflecting on these and many other matters, I am reminded of a prophecy suggesting that Britain will come to the brink of ruin, but be saved by praying women. A great company of deeply prayerful women have gone to be with the Lord; may the Lord fulfil His word to us as nation in the teeth of the coming storm, not least by raising up fresh battalions of intercessors.

Father, we ask Your forgiveness for both our short-termist outlook and our sheer complacency with regards to almost everything on which the security of our nation actually depends.

We pray for leaders who are prepared to think outside the box, and for men and women of vision who will see what needs to be done, and find favour with those who can turn bright ideas into strategic realities.

Father, whatever that looks like we pray for these genuinely vital steps to be taken, and for forward momentum in terms of first developing and then deploying that which will undergird our life as a nation, and effectively deter that which threatens it most directly.

You have saved us many times in the past, Lord, sometimes by the skin of our teeth, but we cannot presume that You will do so again, given how far we are as a nation from seeking You wholeheartedly.

We pray for a great ingathering and harvest of souls – and for a deepening of hearts amongst those who love You. In Your mercy, stretch out your hand to afford as much protection as is possible in the forthcoming shakings that will inevitably not pass us by forever. In Jesus’s name we pray.

Amen.

Western defence preparations
Unlike the Defence Minister who made the astonishingly naïve claim a decade or so ago that Britain has no enemies, and that an Army is therefore hardly necessary, the defence of the realm is surely pivotal at every level. With Putin newly energized as a result of having put the Russian economy on a complete war footing, he is now feeling emboldened to have made a direct threat for the first time against a NATO country: Latvia. And that is not to mention encouraging one of his chief propagandists to declare that Berlin will soon be burning, because of its extensive support for Ukraine.

As a NATO country, Latvia ought to be able to rely on the protection afforded by Article 5: that if one NATO nation comes under attack, then all members will consider it an attack on themselves. But can we really imagine America throwing itself in wholeheartedly to defend little Latvia? Poland would, as would the other Baltic States, and very probably Denmark too – and quite possibly the UK too – though in truth we have little enough with which to do so.

But with an American election in the offing, and the potential for a President who does not share Joe Biden’s long-held pro-European stance, there is much to pray for in respect of the future leanings of the western powers.

Western financial preparations
Western financial systems have taken many knocks in recent years, and their ability to withstand many more cannot be taken for granted. Again and again, the banks on either side of the Atlantic have shown themselves to be far from shockproof in the face of major upheavals let alone, in the case of British banks, generous in their willingness to support the very people who bailed them out at their time of greatest need.

At this time when the National Debt on both sides of the Atlantic is rising steeply, I remember a director of one of London’s main banks telling me years ago that the whole banking system is based on a tissue of lies. It is not a comforting thought. America’s national debt has soared to an unsustainable $34 trillion, which equates to $659 billion in interest payments alone annually. To say the least, this is not an issue that is being satisfactorily addressed.

+{Write a prayer concerning defence and finance in the West.}+

Storm signals are up: praying for Europe (1) The terrorist threat

Israeli military leaders have come under fire for ignoring the clear signals that Hamas were preparing for an attack. There are equally clear signals concerning a terrorist threat to Europe. A friend sent this sombre and passionate warning from the son of the Hamas founder who is now a committed Christian. He believes that the hostage crisis was engineered to release high level terrorists, and that failure to defeat Hamas will result in sleeper cells waking all over Europe.

Storm signals are up: praying for Europe: (2) The threat from the far-right

Recent elections in the Netherlands saw the traditionally hardline Geert Wilders win the lion’s share of the vote. While it is by no means certain that he will be able to form a government, the members of the other political parties having said that they are not prepared to work with him, it remains a clear sign of the rising and ominous lurch to the far right that Europe is undergoing.

See for example this important article from Politico which predates the right-wing surge in the recent election in the Netherlands, and which warns of the return of Fascist forces right across Europe.

You will remember that France’s Marie le Pen began her campaign with a picture of her and Putin together. The far right AfD party in Germany is Russian-leaning, as well as being anti-immigratory. For many years we have warned that it is not a strong Germany Europe that has to fear, but rather what happens when it feels threatened, as it most certainly does now. This is where shades of the past could easily re-emerge, despite all the warnings of history.

Another key nation and benchmark to pray for in this respect is Austria, where the far-right Freedom party is making sweeping inroads, and has the potential to lead to another European country having a far-right government.

It is really important to be aware of this trend in Europe, and to seek the Lord as to how He would have us pray into it.

Pray for the Netherlands in particular
The Netherlands is the birthplace of two wonderful saints of God, both of whom partnered with Him in the work of deliverance. I am, of course, thinking of Brother Andrew, who we have referred to in our latest Mashal, and Corrie Ten Boom who, together with family, did so much (and so courageously) to rescue Jews from the hands of pursuing Nazis.

The Netherlands is now in the grip of an increasingly partisan nationalism, including a huge rise in antisemitic episodes which people fear may have set in motion a grave and lasting change of heart in Holland towards the Jewish community.

Father, we ask you to overrule now behind the scenes concerning the shape of the future governmental line-up in the Netherlands – and all that will come from that – but also in the whole shape of the right-wing challenge that is now emerging in one country after another. Save us from entering in on policies that will lead to Europe once again becoming a cauldron of hatred that can only lead to blood spilling.

The effect the move to the right is having on the war in Ukraine
One of Geert Wilders’ political aims is to put the Netherlands first, and that includes discontinuing military aid to Ukraine.

The new coalition government that has come to power in Slovakia has reneged on its intention to despatch major arms consignments to Ukraine, thereby weaking that country once again in its fight for survival against its very much larger neighbour.

Ukraine is already suffering acutely from the effects of growing western hesitation. By some reckoning, aid is down a desperately serious 90% from just twelve months ago now that aid – and news coverage too for that matter – has been diverted instead to Israel.

In America, Republicans in Congress are currently putting pressure on the Democrats by twinning any willingness to give aid to Ukraine with their intention to deal with immigration problems on the Mexican border – policies that the Democrats are most unwilling to assent to. (While we don’t want to lose our primary focus here, if you are not up to speed with the problems on the Mexican border this article from the non-partisan Brookings Institute provides a clear summary).

The Allies won the First World War largely because of greater numbers and armaments coming in from America. Now that Russia has fully mobilised its economy to provide the military with arms, as well as massively increasing its defence spending, in addition to all its careful defence preparation, there is simply no way that Ukraine can keep up. Even though Russia has lost by far the greater majority of the original combat troops who invaded Ukraine, and its troops are exhausted, sheer weight of numbers is currently looking likely to force Ukraine back onto the defensive, despite the success of a number of surprise attacks – which not only make for good headlines but do make a real difference in terms of what Russia can achieve, albeit without fundamentally changing the overall picture.

Ukraine faces mental anguish and extreme challenge and the terrible reality that Putin was right to expect the West would tire of the sacrifice involved in supporting Ukraine’s fight for its very survival.

The reality is that it just does not have (and has not been given) the resources to win a war against a strengthening Russian force – and no way, of course, to make up for being outnumbered by more than three to one. Putin is now looking to mobilise a further 175,000 people to strengthen his armed forces, even though the move is sure to prove unpopular at home.

The parallels with the 1930s, with its misguided attempts to appease Hitler, and the failure to rearm at the speed that as actually necessary, feel stark, in terms of the dangers involved in not standing up to the Russian bully. As we have already seen, Russia is effectively threatening to trigger Article 5 and bring the whole of NATO into full-scale war with Russia.

Women at war: Murder, Migration and the Missing

Yet again, Alex Crawford, Sky News Special Correspondent, has brought to the world a report of rare significance, in her coverage from Mexico. A staggering 50,000 women have lost their lives there, and a further 24,000 have disappeared in the last 18 months. Pray for such reporting to continue to challenge vested interests – and pray, pray, pray for the courageous people – often women – who are seeking to stand up to gross injustice and to fight for safety and integrity. This is a really vicious and colossal battle.  Watch here.

See also this report by Alex and Stuart Ramsay on life inside Venezuela.

These utterly worthwhile programs tend to be shown in the middle of the night on Sky News. They so deserve to be noised about in the mainstream.

Deliver people in trouble: Addictions

Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the One I praise. (Jer. 17:4)

We have been celebrating the tremendous resilience and grace given to Richard Wurmbrand. Even having had certain chemicals introduced into his food during his time in prison, the Lord restored his mind after this systematic doping. Praise God! Praise Him too that so many in the drug dens of Hong Kong were likewise been delivered from the power of drugs through the ministry of Jackie Pullinger and her team.

But in the US and Mexico today, addiction to Fentanyl has become a colossal problem. This opioid, which is 50 times more addictive than heroin, and 100 times more powerful than morphine, is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50.

Deliver many from drug dependency and addiction, Lord God. Deliver those who are in bondage to addictive substances. Rescue drug dealers who cause little ones to stumble. Close down drug routes. Deliver many from the power of Fentanyl, and rescue many form the clutches of these pimps and gangs.

Many find the song I speak Jesus a powerful aid to prayer for such matters.

Argentina: home of revival but in the throes of being utterly shaken

Further afield, we cannot but be concerned by the election of an extreme right-wing President in Argentina, Javier Milei, generally referred to by the nickname ‘Mad,’ who has often been likened to both Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, and is ‘famed for his expletive tirades against rivals, China and the pope,’ as well as his promise to make Argentina great again.

We are providing here some links to brief articles that will help us to understand the history of the nation, as well as something of its economic plight, but on no account should we underestimate the spiritual aspect, both for the awesome revival that has been going on ever since the Falkland’s War and, unfortunately, for the great rise of witchcraft in the nation too. See this article in the Standard for a helpful summary and introduction. Let’s put Argentina onto our spiritual map if it not there already.

The Guardian warns that the beliefs and behaviour of the new president are extraordinary, whilst Reuters sets out the shock tactics he intends to apply to the Argentinian economy. Bearing in mind how hard many have found it in our own country with inflation running briefly at just over 10%, it is not hard to imagine how difficult it will be for Argentinians already facing a going rate of inflation of well over 140% and climbing steeply. Argentina is by far the largest debtor to the IMF, despite being one of the world’s leading exporters of grain, and having large reserves of shale oil and gas, as well as large deposits of metal lithium for electric batteries.

See these articles for where Javier Milei stands, and what he stands for.

Father, we pray that this man’s appointment will not inflict yet greater suffering on its people already wrestling with economic hardships and runaway inflation. Let nothing forestall the great work of revival that You have been sending for so many years to this country: let it rather grow apace in both numbers, purity and depth.

Storm signals are up: pray for Africa

Let’s not forget the bloodletting that is still continuing in Sudan, nor the purge in Somalia that seeks to blot entirely every last Christian who currently remains there. And then there is Nigeria, where more people were martyred for their faith last year than in the rest of the world put together.

Pray for the one million people at least displaced by the extreme flooding in the Horn of Africa.