Global Prayer Digest (Unreached Peoples)

The Global Prayer Digest is a daily devotional encouraging prayer for Unreached Peoples.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures (formerly the US Center for World Mission), this devotional is available as a daily subscription from the GPD website (see link above). 

Keith Carey, the editor-in-chief of the Global Prayer Digest, has graciously given me permission to post their daily devotions here in order to encourage more prayer for the Unreached Peoples.  Please join in the prayer for the gospel to go to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14).  If you find these devotions helpful, you can subscribe to their daily e-mail or to the printed publication - or just check them out here on Pray.Network!  Past monthly issues of the GPD are also available on their site.

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  • June 02: Banten People of Java, Indonesia

    Have you ever seen a beautiful fabric called batik?  The art of decorating cloth in this way, using wax and dye, has been practiced for centuries in Java, Indonesia. Batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. The word batik originates from the Javanese tik and means to dot. Some of the best batik on Java comes from the western part of the island, the land of the Banten people. They had their own kingdom until the coming of the Dutch in the 17th century.

    Today most Banten are involved in agriculture and trade. They grow rice, coffee, cloves, beans, vegetables, and bananas. The Banten have been Muslims since the 15th century. They still practice elements of folk religion including magic and the appeasing of evil spirits. The rich culture and hospitality of the Bantenese bring thousands of tourists a year to their region. The vast majority of the Banten are Muslims, but there is a very small group who believe in Christ.

    Pray that each Banten person will have the opportunity to hear about Isa or Jesus in a way he or she can understand. Pray that the believers among the Banten grow spiritually and are trained to share the good news. Pray God opens the spiritual eyes of Banten leaders so they can bring their villages and families to the Savior.


    Ps 27:8, NIV

    My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.

    Pray that the Banten will seek the face of the Lord.

  • June 01: Banjar People of Indonesia

    We are all familiar with the story from Genesis three where Satan in the form of a talking snake deceives Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. In the creation story of the Banjar people, the snake is the hero, not the villain!

    The Banjar live on the southern and eastern coast of the island of Borneo in the nation of Indonesia. They are known as “water people” because they live on the coast of the sea and along rivers. Their houses are often built on stilts along the sides of the rivers. The Banjar make their living by agriculture, fishing, trade, and transportation. They are generally not open to outsiders who come to visit or do business with them.

    Islam is a huge part of Banjar identity. They consider themselves among the most devout Muslims in Indonesia. They have been Muslims for 500 years. There are a very small number of believers among the Banjar.

    Pray that God leads linguists to translate the New Testament into the Banjar language. Pray that the tiny number of believers would find each other and be kept safe from Muslim persecution. Pray that the Banjar would turn towards the grace and forgiveness of God found in Christ and begin a disciple-making movement that will result in their families and communities being blessed.


    Ex 2:10, NIV

    When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

    Pray that as Pharaoh’s daughter saved the baby Moses, the Banjar might be saved from their sinful condition by our gracious God.

  • June Introduction

    Basic Facts About Indonesia

    • Eighty percent of the population of Indonesia is Fifteen percent are Christian.
    • There are 780 people groups spread across Indonesia’s 6,000 inhabited islands. 455
    • Some of the Muslims are strongly influenced by the pre-Islamic and Hindu religions. There are also Hindu, Buddhist, and tribal religions.

    Islam was first adopted by Indonesians in northern Sumatra Island (see days 6-13) in the 13th century, through the influence of traders. It became the country's dominant religion by the 16th century.

    Big Need And Big Opportunity

    • The rate of growth among evangelicals is twice as fast in the islands as the growth of Islam. Moderate Muslims are increasingly open to Christianity due to the harsh extremism of the Islamists.
    • There is a tremendous need for the word of God to get out to the islands of people who are separated from God. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:9, “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
    • The islands of Indonesia were created by volcanic activity (fire from below). The islands of Indonesia will be redeemed by fire from above through disciples responding to the movement of the Spirit by bringing the word to reach the unreached. Think big!

    Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with over 17,000 islands and approximately 249 million people. There are five main islands: Java, Sumatra, Borneo (which is shared with Malaysia), Sulawesi, and Papua (which is shared with Papua New Guinea). The capital, Jakarta, is the nation’s largest city and is located on Java. Jakarta is one of the largest cities in the world. Officially, Jakarta’s population is a little over 10 million, but when you add in the metro area and consider the many homeless people, the actual population is over 20 million. The country is very spread out. If you were to put a map of Indonesia on top of a map of the U.S., the top of Sumatra would be out beyond Washington State, and Papua would be out in the ocean beyond the North Carolina coast!


    Indonesia: Unity in Diversity

    Indonesia’s motto is “Unity in Diversity.” Indonesia is made up of many different people groups, over 770, to be exact! These people groups total 257,405,000, making Indonesia the fourth most populous country in the world. The Javanese and the Sundanese are the largest ethnic groups that live on Java and comprise much of the government. Although the national language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), most ethnic groups have their own language, many of which are very different from Indonesian. In fact, there are a total of 707 living languages in Indonesia. The only country that has more languages than Indonesia is Papua New Guinea. In school and public life, Indonesian is used; however, at home the native language of the people group is often spoken. If one is in a village, there is a good chance he will hear a local language instead of Indonesian.


    Indonesia: Then and Now

    Indonesia has only been an independent country since August 17, 1945. In 1602 Indonesia came under Dutch rule as part of the Dutch East India Company, and then became a nationalized colony of the Netherlands in 1800 as part of the Dutch East Indies. During World War II, Indonesia was taken over by Japan. Four million people died from famine and forced labor during the Japanese occupation. Two days after Japan surrendered, Indonesia declared its independence. The Netherlands tried to reestablish power, but the Indonesians resisted, going so far as to burn part of the city of Bandung to keep the Dutch from taking it. The conflict ended in December 1949, when the Dutch formally recognized Indonesia as an independent country. (Wikipedia)

    Indonesia is now a democratic republic. Recently, many have been encouraged by the political climate of Indonesia. The mayors of Bandung and Surabaya, two of the major cities in Indonesia, have taken a stance against corruption and are changing laws to make the cities cleaner and force civil servants to take their jobs more seriously. There have also been major changes in Jakarta. In 2012, Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, became the governor of Jakarta, along with Basuki Purnama (Ahok), as his lieutenant governor. They immediately began making changes in Jakarta, cleaning up the city and ridding it of corruption. Jokowi is a former furniture seller, and Ahok is a Chinese-Indonesian Christian, so the two were a unique pair to be in charge of Jakarta. Jokowi was so well-liked that when the presidential election came about, he received much support, so he ran for president, and won. This forced Ahok into the governor role, and he has continued the changes that Jokowi began in Jakarta. Jokowi is now making changes across the country. Although he had a difficult first year as president, things are beginning to turn around, and great strides are being made, especially in the economy.


    Indonesia: Beauty and Difficulty

    Today, many Europeans and Australians travel to Indonesia for leisure. Indonesia is a lush, tropical country with palm trees, white sandy beaches, and clear, turquoise water. The country has the most active volcanoes of any in the world. Indonesia has been working hard to improve its tourist industry. Recently, Indonesia has been putting more emphasis on tourism, and they are focusing on making areas other than Bali attractive to foreigners for vacation.

    In the midst of the beautiful beaches and palm trees, there is much poverty. Indonesians are among some of the poorest in the world. Furthermore, Indonesia has the largest number of people living near active volcanoes. As a result, the country has experienced many natural catastrophes, including the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004. Being one of the hardest hit areas, Banda Aceh has still not recovered from the tsunami. There have been other major natural disasters since then. One of the most significant is the eruption of Mt. Sinabung in North Sumatra. It erupted multiple times from September 2013 to February 2014. It erupted again in October 2014, and for the past year, it has erupted almost continuously (Wikipedia). As a result, over 10,000 people have been evacuated, and fields, homes, and churches are now covered in ash. Another volcano that has caused major problems in Indonesia is Lusi, a mud volcano in East Java. In 2006, a rice paddy broke open and began spewing mud. Since then, 40,000 people were displaced because the mud destroyed an entire village (The New York Times).

  • May 31: Yadav Community in India

    Did you know that not all Indians originated in India? The Mogul Dynasty was Mongolian from Central Asia. So, too, are today's people, the Hindu Yadavs, of north India, some 58 million strong. They may be the same as Chamars, who changed their name to Jadav to avoid the caste stigma associated with working with cow hides. Still they are associated with cattle, dairies, and day labor. However, there are some among them who are businessmen, teachers, physicians, engineers, and politicians. Although knowledgeable in their oral tradition, many need better education in order to improve their lives as job markets change. They are known as a people who make group decisions, especially concerning self-betterment.

    Today we are asked to pray for the construction of more flood-protected water stations with toilets for Yadav settlements, so they may have safe water during flooding season. We should also pray that as a group the Yadavs will decide to follow Jesus without turning back. To that end, pray that mission agencies will seek to evangelize them, that engineers and water experts will quietly witness to that end, and that the Holy Spirit will empower those efforts.


    Matt 9:38

    Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

    Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the untended harvest fields from all the people groups we prayed for this month.

  • May 30: Teli (oil pressers) of India

    Do you like mustard on your sausages? Do you know that sesame is an ancient word that has gone virtually unchanged for several thousand years? Indeed, both seeds have been used for thousands of years as a condiment or spice. Do you know that both seeds yield oil if sufficiently pressed?

    The Teli community used to commercially hand-press mustard and sesame seeds for their oils. Thanks to machinery, such livelihood is a thing of the past in most of India and the world. Indeed, mustard is now harvested by machine. Therefore, many of these 18 million Hindus now work in other fields such as management, civil service, businesses, hotels, metal working, or simply pulling carts and other manual labor. They pray to ancestors for protection and put their hopes in a good luck goddess. There are very few followers of Jesus among them.

    Pray that the oil of the Holy Spirit will start a Christ-ward movement among the 67 subgroups of Telis, so that their faith grows like a mustard seed; and that missionaries and evangelists will seek to disciple them. Pray for all Teli communities to have a spiritual hunger that will be met by encounters with Jesus Christ.


    Matt 17:20, NET

    He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Pray for workers to share this parable with the Teli people, and that they will respond in faith.

  • May 29: Shaikhs in Pakistan

    Also known in Pakistan as the Punjabi Shaikh, Shaikh is one of the largest ethnic groups in the world. The term "Shaikh" (also "Sheikh") derives from the honorific in the Arabic language. It commonly applies to the ruler of the tribe. The Arab people who conquered the Indus Valley in the 8th century settled there to become today's Shaikhs. Pakistan has a very significant population—12 million! Rather than maintaining allegiance to only one of Islam's major divisions, the Shaikh follow a mixture of both Sunni and Shi’ite traditions.

    Much ministry to the Shaikhs has focused on winning individuals away from their families and gathering them into churches. This has fueled fear of Christianity as an invading threat to their families, communities, and way of life. Instead, many Bible stories can be welcomed and discussed in families, so that households may receive God's blessing and healing. The Bible and various audio recordings are available in Punjabi, the main language of the Shaikhs in Pakistan.

    Pray for the few known believers to be effective at engaging their families and communities in discussing spiritual matters. Pray for a movement to Jesus to sweep through Shaikh families and communities that would permeate the group from within rather than from without.


    Matt 3:9

    “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”

    Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of Shaikh leaders in Pakistan, so that they will understand that the kingdom of God is given freely only to those who will humble themselves before the Lord.

  • May 28: Muslim Shaikhs of India

    In India alone, the Muslim Shaikhs outnumber the entire population of many nations of the world! The Shaikhs of India population was over 85 million in the latest Indian census. The word Shaikh refers to a political or spiritual leader of a community. The Muslim Shaikhs are descendants of the people who came to the Indian subcontinent after their homeland was conquered by Muslim armies in the eighth century.

    The one thing that unites the Muslim Shaikhs is their belief in Sunni Islam. Some Shaikhs are poor farmers who live in rural villages; other are very wealthy, educated business owners and professionals who live in cities. Whether they are rich or poor, they all need to hear the good news about Isa or Jesus, the Son of God and savior of the world. In India, they speak Urdu, a language that has many gospel materials including the JESUS Film.

    Pray for the JESUS Film to find its way into many Shaikh households. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work powerfully through those ministering to the Muslim Shaikh people. Pray for Shaikh families to be so powerfully drawn to Jesus and to the Bible that they form home Bible studies and discipleship groups. Pray for movements to Jesus to sweep through Shaikh families, permeating the entire people group and blessing them with Christ’s goodness and forgiveness.


    1 Tim 4:10, ESV

    We have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    Pray that the Shaikhs of India would have their spiritual eyes opened by the Holy Spirit so that they can see that forgiveness is found only in Isa or Jesus. 

  • May 27: Shaikhs in Bangladesh

    As you accumulate years on this Earth, do you look forward to being a “senior citizen” or “retiree?” Would you prefer being described as “respected” instead? And what about “old” as a term of respect? On the Indian subcontinent, the word shaikh means “venerable old man.” 137 million Shaikh people live in Bangladesh. They are Muslim.

    According to, a Shaikh follower of Christ was imprisoned for sharing scripture. While in prison, he was harassed for praying to Jesus. As time passed, the believer noticed strange sounds followed by passages from the Qur’an. He asked where these strange noises were coming from. He was informed that there were demons tormenting the prison; holy readings were being used to drown out the sounds of the demons. The believer committed to praying for the noises to be silenced in order to show fellow prisoners the power of Jesus. The strange noises left, and the believer was able to lead other Shaikh prisoners to faith in his Lord.

    Pray for boldness, wisdom, and protection among Shaikh believers as they share the gospel and bring the light of Christ to areas that are blanketed by darkness. Ask God to penetrate the deep spiritual darkness in which the Shaikh live. A Christian worker has reported that the problem is not the lack of harvest but of harvesters, so pray for workers.


    Matt 24:35, NIV

    Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

    Pray that the prestigious Shaikhs in Bangladesh will understand that the word of the Lord will never pass away, and that they cannot ignore it.

  • May 26: Muslim Rajputs in Pakistan

    Muslim Rajputs in Pakistan are experiencing an identity crisis! Rajput means, “Son of the king.” In 1947 when Pakistan gained their independence from England, Rajputs lost their given status as land barons and local “kings.” They became, by necessity, shop owners and public servants. Their palaces lie in decay today. Rajputs are a proud people, tribe and family oriented, despite their struggles to maintain their dignity and perceived identity as local kings and land barons. Some see their current circumstances as a long way down from royalty to commoner.

    However, Almighty God’s way down is the way up! All people must come to the end of themselves and their resources before they can see his love and provision for their eternal welfare. Until people are redefined by the savior Jesus Christ, they are defined by their histories, and their perceived limitations.

    Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness that oppose the spread of the gospel among Rajputs in Pakistan. Ask Almighty God to deliver Muslim Rajput families and communities in Pakistan from fear, pride, and confusion that hinder them from embracing his blessing. Pray that they will make Christ the centerpiece of their identity. Ask the Holy Spirit to help them to see that Jesus offers the perfect identity as a child of the King of kings!


    Matt 24:14

    And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    Pray that the Muslim Rajputs in Pakistan will seek the kingdom of God and find it. Pray that they will understand that they are invited to become part of his family.

  • May 25: Hindu Rajputs in India

    The last few centuries were a downward spiral for the Rajputs. They ruled the former Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat from the 7th to the 12th century. Their beautiful palaces still stand today. Later, Muslims invaded, and some Rajput subgroups converted to Islam. When the British took over, they recruited many Rajputs into their military. In 1970, India abolished their titles and property rights. They are still considered high caste Hindus, but they have lost much of their wealth and clout.

    The Joshua Project reports, “Rajputs worship Shiva (the destroyer), Surya (the sun god), and Durga (the mother goddess).” They also have patron gods for protection, and gurus for spiritual advice. It is estimated that only one in 5,000 Rajputs are followers of Christ. Their superiority-complex and isolation from other groups makes it hard for them to have opportunities to hear the gospel message. There are many Christian resources available in Hindi, the primary language of Rajputs. These include Bibles and Christian teaching in print, audio, and video.

    Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Rajputs to listen to the claims of Christ and make him the center of their lives. Pray that soon Rajput leaders will hear of Christ and teach others what he offers those who follow him. Pray for Rajput disciples who will make other disciples.


    Matt 28:19, 20

    All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.

    Pray that this will be the time when the Rajput “nations” will be reached, so they can enjoy the blessings of the only savior.

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