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.
In this issue of Breakthrough we focus our prayers on a country that is struggling with war.
When we are confronted with news of ongoing conflict, it is often easy to channel all of our focus on how it affects the people. Naturally, we feel angry and upset. But at times, this shifts our focus away from who God is and what he can do.
As we read about Yemen, a war-torn country, let us remember that God himself is Yahweh-Shalom (The Lord Our Peace) and he will bring peace to the Yemenis.
Country Focus: Yemen
Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. (Psalm 46:8-10 ESV)
Yemen is the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. It is also one of the poorest countries of the Arab world. Its population, as of 2017, is 28 million. Arabic is the official language and Islam is the predominant religion. Less than one percent of Yemenis follow other religions.
Modern-day Yemen only came into existence about three decades ago, when South and North Yemen joined. Prior to their merger, there was much fighting between them as they held different beliefs about how a country should be governed. Although the two countries agreed to join together in 1990, the disagreements and fighting did not stop.
Persistent fighting between the forces loyal to President Hadi and those of the Houthi rebel movement resulted in civil war breaking out in 2014. The rebels succeeded in seizing control of Sanaa, the capital city of Yemen.
Since March 2015, more than 7,600 Yemenis have been killed and 42,000 injured. In addition, 70 percent of the country’s population is in desperate need of aid.
The stronghold we will be praying against for Yemen is war.
Ever since the war began, Yemen has been in a state of widespread devastation as millions battle against diseases and famine. Almost a million Yemenis have fallen ill and more than 2,000 people have died from disease. Infrastructure has been destroyed, making access to healthcare and basic sanitation nearly impossible.
A recent news article reported that the war has cost the lives of hundreds of children. Apart from those who have been infected by the cholera epidemic, many have been subjected to bombings in schools and homes. More than 450,000 children under five face severe malnutrition; others have been recruited into fighting in the war!
Despite the harsh realities of the war, God is moving among the Yemenis. In the nine months of January to September 2017, 580 Yeminis have contacted our response team, with 20 requesting a follow-up meeting with someone in-country. In this same period, 34 Yeminis came to faith, and at least one Yemeni was baptised! We give glory to God for all the good reports we hear.
We know, however, that many Yemenis have yet to encounter God personally. Let us stand in the gap to intercede for them, asking God to make himself known, even in the midst of the instability and chaos of war conditions.
- Pray that the war in Yemen would cease and that peace would be restored across the land.
- Pray that President Hadi and those with influence on the Houthi side, including former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, would have wisdom to bring about a peaceful settlement.
- Pray for Yemenis to find peace and refuge in the person of Jesus, even during unstable war conditions.
- Pray for more humanitarian aid to reach Yemenis in need.
- Pray that Yemeni believers would be beacons of hope and comfort to non-believers, revealing Jesus to them.
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team