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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.
Denied official recognition as a minority in the 1950s, included in a list of undetermined minorities in the 1980s, the Xi are a small, though unique people group. Though there are less than 1,800 Xi in the heart of China, they are entirely different from all their neighbors in terms of history, language, and customs. The Xi believe their origins to be in the Gansu or Shaanxi Province. Today, the most closely related people is the Ga Mong. Both were considered a part of the Miao nationality, but were recently reclassified as Xi for political reasons.
Until recently, the Xi women would regularly wear beautiful traditional clothing, though it is now reserved for special occasions. The Xi are open to intermarriage with the Ge, Miao, or Han. When they marry within their own people, they must marry those from other villages.
Though the Xi were presented with the gospel by a group of Chinese Christians in 1998, they were unwilling to accept the message brought to them. Unable to recognize a difference between the Christian missionaries and those of an indigenous cult, they were not willing to receive the gospel message. They retained their animistic ways.
Pray that the Xi people would encounter the true power and love of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Pray that their eyes would be opened, that they would be able to see truly, and that they would receive freedom from spiritual bondage.
Prov 1:5, NIV
let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…
Pray for spiritual discernment for the Xi people as they try to distinguish between the truth of the gospel and the lies of local cults.
(This story illustrated aspects of this people group’s culture.)
The young man entered the room, staring fiercely at his restrained wife. Sweating profusely, the young woman moaned and twitched as she pulled her wrist, which was tied by a string to the bedpost. Behind the young man followed an older man, a shaman, decorated extravagantly and also wearing a fierce expression. The shaman would determine if this woman’s spirit needed to be called back into her body.
Hundreds of years ago, a Da Hei Neisu man with a captive would have been a typical slave owner. Commonly called Da Hei Yi (Big Black Yi) by the Chinese, they call themselves Neisu or Nasu, meaning “black people.” On the top social tier of the various Yi peoples, the Da Hei Neisu were society’s landlords and slave owners, but have since changed their ways.
About 8,500 Da Hei Neisu people live in southern China, mainly in Yunnan Province. Their language is Wusa Nasu. They are a polytheistic (meaning they worship many gods), animistic people who know nothing of Jesus and everything about the occult. They are considered completely unreached with the gospel.
Pray that the powerful influence of the occult will be replaced with the life-giving power of Jesus Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move in the lives of Chinese believers to motivate them to share the gospel with the Da Hei Neisu. Pray for a vibrant church to emerge among the Da Hei Neisu.
Rom 6:11, NKJV
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Pray for the Da Hei Neisu people to become dead to sin, and alive to Christ.
(This story is intended to illustrate certain things about this people group.)
The oozing organs of the sheep he just sacrificed lay before the shaman. Studying the bloody mess, the shaman wondered what he might say to benefit his people. He was supposed to tell the future by studying the organs. If only the gods could use words to tell him, he thought!
Today we focus on the social tier that falls below yesterday’s group. They are called the Xiao Hei Neisu people. They identify themselves as part of the Neisu cluster, just like yesterday’s group. Each of these groups are part of the arbitrary Yi peoples whom we prayed for a year ago in the GPD.
Around 9,600 of the Xiao Hei Neisu people live in southern China. We know very little about these specific groups, but we do know that they practice shamanism, so they put their faith in dangerous spirits instead of the Lord.
We know that a few Xiao Hei Neisu people put their faith in Jesus in 1998 after Chinese believers brought them the gospel. Yet only a little more than one in 1,000 have embraced Christ since then. However, an audio recording was produced for them in 1998 and still remains the best tool for reaching the pre-literate Xiao Hei Neisu people.
Pray that Chinese believers will bring them these gospel recordings and begin the process of leading them to the One who gives life to the full.
1 Cor 5:7, NKJV
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Pray for the Xiao Hei Neisu people to accept Christ as their final sacrifice.
(This fictional account is intended to explain the beliefs of this people group).
“She is very sick,” the mother said, looking down at her young daughter with an expression of grave concern. She touched the girl’s damp forehead again with her hand, then wiped it with a wet cloth. “She’s burning up. We have done something to displease the gods. They are angry with us.”
“I will call the shaman,” the father said somberly. “She will drive away this evil.”
Before he could leave the room, the oldest son suggested, “Why don’t we get the man who came from the city.”
The father and mother both looked at him with a combination of curiosity and disapproval.
“He says that we can pray to someone named Jesus and this Jesus will answer us.” The mother turned away, shaking her head, and began to dab at her daughter’s forehead with the cloth.
The father glared at his son for a moment before saying, “I’ll get the shaman.”
According to research, there are no followers of Christ among the Aling people of China. They have stubbornly resisted the gospel. The Bible is not available in their language, and despite calls to action among ministry agencies, few missionaries have even tried to preach the Good News to them. Imagine how this must grieve God’s heart!
Pray for laborers to be sent into this waiting harvest field, both missionaries and Bible translators. Pray for the hearts of the Aling to be softened and prepared for the message of salvation in Christ.
2 Cor 3:14, NKJV
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.
Pray for the spiritual blindness of the Aling people will be removed when they hear the name of Jesus.
(This fictional account is intended to explain the beliefs of this people group.)
“My turn!” the twin girls chimed in unison. Their father shook his head. “It is your brother’s turn.” “It’s not fair,” one of the twins complained, bottom lip thrust out. Ignoring this, the father lit a long match and handed it to his son. The boy accepted it with wide eyes and clumsily began trying to light the candle on the small altar.
The Wopu people are careful to regularly sacrifice to their ancestors. They believe that deceased family members have the power to protect them and the ability to bring good fortune. They also believe in a kitchen god that lives in the fire pit which is located in the center of every home. This spirit must be kept happy with various gifts and sacrifices in order to ensure success for the home and family.
While these beliefs might seem strange to some Westerners, the Wopu people do not know a different way. Animism and ancestor worship has been part of their way of life for centuries. The Bible is not available in the Wusa Nasu language. The Wopu do not have an audio Bible or the JESUS Film.
Ask the Lord to break down any barriers keeping the Wopu people from receiving Christ. Pray for His Kingdom to be established among them.
Ps. 40:4, NKJV
Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Pray for the Wopu people to put their complete trust in the Lord.
“This is American Idol Chinese style,” thought the visitor from America, as he watched the young men and women sing. Each contestant took turns singing a song. All of the competitors were members of the Xingping Lalu people group. The two winners were declared the most eligible for marriage.
The Xingping Lalu people have lived in China’s Yunnan Province for as long as anyone can remember. Singing is this people group’s favorite activity. From centuries past traditional songs have been handed down from one generation to the next. And the winner will make the best husband… so they think.
This people group worships many gods and spirits. The Xingping Lalu live in fear of ghosts. The neighboring Hongjjn Tai people group has taken the message of salvation to this people group and have won 150 to become part of the bride of Christ. But 99 percent of the Xingping Lalu have yet to accept Christ as lord.
Pray that the Bible will be translated into the Xingping Lalu language. Ask God to lead a mission agency to target the Xingping Lalu for outreach. Pray that the 150 Xingping Lalu followers of Jesus Christ will mature spiritually, and take his ways to their families and neighbors. Pray that they will disciple their people in the ways of Jesus Christ.
Eph 1:3, NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,…
Pray that the Xingping people will soon accept the blessings in Christ, and forsake all other possible “suitors.”
(This article is intended to describe the lifestyle of this people group).
The visitor from El Salvador watched the Longjia men surround a bull in a wooden enclosure. When the bull chased one man, another would jab it with a spear. This looked very different from what he’d seen in Latin America. The bull fight ended with the bull being killed. Then a priest entered the enclosure and chanted a prayer over the body of the dead bull. This priest represented the traditional animistic beliefs of the Longjia people.
The Longjia people group lives in China’s Guizhou and Yunnan Provinces. They worship nature spirits. Each year this people group kills a sacred bull to appease these spirits. The Longjia believe that the killing of the sacred bull will insure adequate rain and good harvests. There are no known followers of Jesus Christ among this people group, despite the fact that many of their neighbors have many followers of Jesus Christ among them.
Ask God to raise up faithful workers who will take the message of salvation to the Longjia. The neighboring Han, Miao, and Bouyei people groups have been reached for the Lord. Ask God to lead the churches within these people groups to reach out to their Longjia neighbors and help them establish a church planting movement of their own.
Rom 8:2, NKJV
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Pray that the Longjia people will soon seek and find freedom from blood sacrifices that have been paid for by Christ.