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OCMC News - 168 Hours of Prayer
by Nathan Hoppe (Posted 9/23/2010)

168 hours of prayer

During the period of the communist dictatorship in Albania, faithful Christians developed the practice of unceasing prayer. They would each take responsibility to pray for certain hours each day, in order to maintain a constant prayer vigil for a designated number of days, usually 40. This practice has continued in Albania after the fall of communism, particularly at times of challenge and crisis in the life of the Church. After our year of home assignment in the United States, we returned to Albania more convinced than ever, that we could only be effective in our work here for the kingdom, through the power of prayer.

This week, we are embarking on ministry to children for the new academic year. In the first weeks of October, we will kick off the university student ministry. We decided together with the staff of the Children's Office and the university ministry to begin this endeavor, with a vigil of unceasing prayer for the first week. We divided the hours of the day up among our staff, and then asked others in the church here in Albania and from the United States to join us by taking an hour of prayer each day. In this way, we are carrying out a vigil of continuous prayer for 168 hours. We are very grateful to those of you who have joined with us as we pray, and we ask you to continue to hold up the work with children and university students here in Albania before our Lord.

We would like to continue throughout this academic year with a strong emphasis of prayer. Perhaps we will not be able to cover all of the 24 hours each day; but we would like to cover as many as possible. If 168 people would pray for one hour each week, we could maintain a continuous vigil. Please, let us know if you are willing to commit to praying for Albania for one hour each day or each week in the coming months. If you are willing to do this, we can send you lists of names and additional prayer requests. We look forward to seeing what God will do through his Holy Spirit by the power of your prayers. As the apostle Paul said we know that, "He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)

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God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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