Area: 274,200 sq km
A landlocked country of the Sahel. Prone to drought and famine.
Population: 16,286,706 Annual Growth: 3.45%
Official language: French, spoken by a minority of the population. Trade languages Moore (the Mossi language), Jula in south and west Languages: 70 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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The evangelical churches find themselves stretched by the growth of recent years. Failure to consolidate this growth has in some areas resulted in backsliding and losses to Islam. There are many needs:
a) The crisis of leadership, generated by the rapid multiplication of churches since the early 1990s. Pray for Bible schools run by the major churches and missions in local languages and in French (SIM, CMA, AoG, WEC and Pentecostals), and pray for independent faculties such as the Institut Biblique Supérieur, Institut Biblique du Sahel and Institut Logos. Pray for development of sustainable training programmes that suit the needs of churches and national believers.
b) Pray for church leaders at this vital time. Church growth has also created the great challenge of discipling many new believers. Pray for mature, godly wives for these pastors and evangelists who often struggle to find an appropriate helpmate. Pray for Christian leaders able to stand firm against idolatrous practices and against the pressures of living in a society that is predominantly Muslim, animist and tribally hierarchical.
c) Economic hardship is widespread in the Church, as in the rest of the nation. Pray that national believers may overcome a poverty and dependence mentality. Pray for sacrificial servant leadership, for microenterprise and international partnership projects and for corporate economic righteousness to be practiced by all Christians.
d) The growing AIDS crisis is being addressed by both government and Christian initiatives, but the challenge remains great. Estimates of the HIV rate range from 1.6% to over 10% of the adult population. Awareness, prevention and care are all being taken up by churches and missions.
The challenge of unity. In the past, denominationalism kept Christians divided, but there is definite progress in this area. Churches are increasingly cooperating with each other, as are mission organizations. This is occurring especially through pastors fraternal connections on the local level. But several schisms and splits out of the large AoG demonstrate that unity is still some way off. Pray that the Holy Spirit might convict the hearts of believers and build unity among them for the greater glory of God.
For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Burkina Faso.