Breakthrough January 2017
Breakthrough is a monthly call to pray for the Arab world. In each edition we focus on a different country of the region, praying for ‘breakthrough’ over a particular stronghold.
Welcome, whether you are joining us for the first time or whether you’ve been with us since the beginning. This is our first edition of 2017 and the first time we have published directly on the website. This month, we pray for the people of Egypt. We follow our usual pattern of key Bible verse, country info, stronghold and prayer requests.
Before we begin our intercessions, let’s spend some time committing ourselves to another year (or month if that seems too much) of prayer for the Arab world. You might like to think of some expectations you have and write them down to reflect on later in the year.
Whatever your level of commitment and whatever your style of prayer, thank you from all of us at Arab World Media for your partnership. We’re looking forward to seeing what God does in the Arab world this year…
Country focus: Egypt
God once said, “Let the light shine out of the darkness!” This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NCV)
The Arab Republic of Egypt lies on the northeastern tip of the African continent, across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia. It is a large country with a population in excess of 90 million. The predominant religion is the Sunni branch of Islam, but there are minorities of Shia and Sufi Muslims. There are also a significant number of Christians, numbering perhaps 9 million.
Egypt is an ancient land, well known for its magnificent archaeology and antiquities. It is referenced hundreds of times in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. In the book of Isaiah God refers to Egypt as his people, calling them blessed (see Isaiah 19:25).
The stronghold we are challenging in Egypt is the influence of Islam, particularly in the field of education.
Al-Azhar University is a famous Islamic university in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. Founded in the tenth century, it is one of the world’s oldest universities. It exists to propagate Islam and has huge influence over Sunni Muslims in and beyond Egypt. Scholars from the university regularly issue fatwas (decrees) to individuals and groups.
Those who study at Al-Azhar are taught in a style that doesn’t allow questioning. In fact, those who do question can be considered infidels. In a culture where community and honour are central, it is difficult to break free of a religion that permeates every part of life. We need to pray that there would be a shift in thinking.
- Pray for those who are studying at Al-Azhar University. Pray that their minds would be drawn to different ways of thinking and understanding. Pray that they would not be afraid to question, even privately, the things they are being taught.
- Pray for others in Egypt, under the influence of Islamic teaching with no concept of an alternative view. Many Egyptian Muslims know very little about the teachings of Christianity. May there be more opportunities for them to know the truth and be set free.
- Egyptian nationals regularly get in contact with our response team. Praise God that there is interest, while asking that even more would get in touch. May the Holy Spirit draw many Egyptian men and women towards Christ through our online ministry and through other ministries in the region.
- Finally, pray for Christians in Egypt to be a light in the darkness of Islam. May the way they live their lives and the joy they know in Christ be reflected to their Muslim neighbours, friends and colleagues.
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team
Next month: Qatar