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 to our September edition of Breakthrough in which we pray for the country of Libya and against the stronghold of people trafficking.

The stronghold we have chosen this month does not directly affect many Libyans. However, it is a symptom of the chaos and lawlessness that has poured through the country following 2011’s civil war.

As always, the prayer requests are suggestions. If you feel led to pray in another direction, go ahead. We’d love to know how the Holy Spirit has been prompting you, so feel welcome to leave a comment* below or to send us a private message. We look forward to hearing from you!

*Note: You can add a comment on Disqus anonymously without setting up an account.

Country focus: Libya

Key verse

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31 NIV)


Libya sits on the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Egypt, and is the fourth largest country in Africa. It has a population of around 6.5 million, 97 percent of whom are Muslim. The remaining three percent includes Christians but these are predominantly foreign workers.

Libya has a long and rich history, and was at one time home to a significant population of early church believers. For many centuries it was part of the Ottoman Empire. It was occupied by Italy for thirty years (1911-1943) and for a short time was administered by the UK and France, gaining full independence in 1951.

In 1969, a military coup led by Muammar Gaddafi took place, leading to the exile of King Idris I. Gaddafi ruled the country up until 2011 when a bloody civil war broke out between his supporters and various militia groups opposing him. Gaddafi was eventually captured and killed, marking a new beginning for Libya. Elections followed shortly and a new constitution was approved, but violence continued.

The situation in Libya today is complex. There are many divisions among tribal groups, and Libya is, in effect, being governed by two opposing authorities. Efforts to reach agreement on the way forward continue to be made.


The stronghold we’ll be praying against for Libya is people trafficking. Almost every day, men, women and children drown or are rescued from boats sinking in the Mediterranean Sea. These people pay large sums to make a perilous journey, most often setting out from the shores of Libya. Most are sub-Saharan Africans seeking a better life in Europe.

Libya’s human trafficking is controlled by its militia. It is a lucrative business. The smugglers do not care about the lives of migrants and the coastguard is often complicit. Young Libyans, lured by money, are also being recruited to help with the process of smuggling people out. If you want to learn more, this Al Jazeera article sheds some light on the complexities of the situation.

Prayer points

  • Pray that the stronghold of people trafficking would be broken in Libya. Pray that those with power and influence, inside, as well as outside of the country, would work tirelessly to stop it.
  • Pray that those directly involved in people trafficking would wake up to the harsh reality of what they are doing and cease doing it.
  • Ask God to work in people’s hearts, convicting them of their guilt, but also clearly showing them the way of redemption through Jesus. May obstacles to discovering Christ be removed from the lives of those whose hearts are truly open.
  • Pray for all those who have been affected by people trafficking – survivors as well as grieving relatives of those who have lost their life. Those who have survived the boats may be deeply affected by what they have seen. Those who have lost loved ones may have unanswered questions.
  • Finally, lift up those who are desperate to leave their homeland and contemplating the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. May they choose another path.

Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team

Next month: Syria