Please join us in daily prayer for Brazil throughout the FIFA World Cup June 12 - July 13. Check here each day for prayer requests for the people of Brazil, World Cup outreach and other ministries involving Brazilian Baptists, IMB missionaries and U.S. volunteers.
July 13 — Pray for Brazilian Baptists and other evangelical volunteers who are sharing the Gospel with Argentine, German and other international soccer fans gathered to attend the final World Cup match featuring Argentina vs. Germany today in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium. Ask God to prepare the hearts of fans who need do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray that volunteers will be able to communicate well cross-culturally and that all lost people they meet will be open to Gospel message.
July 12 — Thank the Lord for the work of 1,800 Brazilian Baptist volunteers who have served in World Cup-related ministries during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil June 12 – July 13. About 300 of those volunteers have ministered in Rio de Janeiro, some of them working directly with 11 Southern Baptist students and two student ministry leaders who spent two weeks in Rio doing World Cup-related outreach. Pray for Brazilian Baptists as they follow up with the many contacts may during this project. Pray that people who accepted Christ through this outreach will grow into strong disciples of Jesus Christ. Pray that those who are still seeking will come to know Him as their Savior.
July 11 — Thank God for the ministry of student volunteers from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who served alongside IMB missionaries and Brazilian Baptists in World Cup outreach in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. The student prayerwalked in areas where urban indigenous people live, played friendly soccer games with Brazilians as an outreach, shared the Gospel with soccer fans before World Cup matches near Brasilia’s stadium and worked with a social project called Casa das Nações (House of the Nations). House of the Nations provides housing for indigenous people and offers their special needs children physical therapy, elementary education and instruction in Portuguese, Brazil’s main language.
Pray that Gospel seeds planted through the William Carey team’s ministry will bear fruit long after the World Cup ends July 13. Pray that God will use the students’ experiences in Brazil to call some of them to long-term missions service.
NEIGHBORS IN PRAYER
Residents of a community in Rio de Janeiro pray with Brazilian Baptists and Southern Baptist student volunteers during a World Cup-related outreach project in June.
July 10 — IMB missionaries Chris and Melody Julian request prayer for a Brazilian young man named Diego, who recently accepted Christ through the outreach of two Hands On volunteers who worked with the Julians this past semester. Thank the Lord for the ministry of these two Hands On students and three others who recently completed their service with the Julians in San Leopoldo, a south Brazilian town settled by German immigrants 200 years ago. Praise the Lord for Diego’s salvation. Pray that he will become a strong disciple of Jesus Christ. Pray also that God will use him to lead many others to follow the Savior.
July 9 — Brazil is a spiritually open country, one that’s probably more spiritist than Catholic in its underlying worldview, according to Operation World. Many Brazilians follow Afro-Brazilian cults such as Candomblé, Macumba and Umbanda, which are derived from African animism and witchcraft. But a “high spiritism” called “Kardecism” is more popular among white Brazilians. About 10 million Brazilians are involved in some form of spiritism, and many of them practice Catholicism and spiritism together, Operation World reports.
Pray that all spiritual falsehoods will be exposed among Brazilians. Pray that Jesus Christ will be exalted as Lord in Brazil and that all Brazilians in spiritual bondage be delivered through Christ.
July 8 — Pray for a Brazilian Baptist worker who is a successful businessman in the largest population country in Asia. He is opening many new doors of business to help national workers there. He also is being used to open doors for visas for new Brazilian Baptist workers in the country. Pray that he will keep the Lord first in his life and that he will be a good partner to many mission agencies.
POWER OF PRAYER
Brazilian Baptist missionary Marcelo Gomes* (left), Virginia Tech University student Jordan O’Donnell and IMB missionary Ramona Reese pray with a woman living on the streets of Rio de Janeiro’s notorious “Crack-land” neighborhood, a haven for addicts, drug dealers and prostitutes.
July 7 — Pray for a Brazilian Baptist worker who is in the process of going to Italy to work with refugees from North Africa. Many of these are desperate people who are looking for peace. Pray that they will find true peace through salvation in Jesus Christ. Pray for this worker as she prepares for this assignment.
July 6 — IMB missionaries John and Monica Hatton request prayer for two of their ministries in Rio de Janeiro.
Through local Brazilian Baptist churches, Monica is initiating a ministry called Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based program that helps people overcome hurts, hang-ups and habits by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process. The program was launched 20 years ago by Saddleback Church in California, and today more than 20,000 churches worldwide offer this ministry.
Pray for Monica’s work in implementing Celebrate Recovery at Itacuruçá Baptist Church in Rio’s Tijuca district. Praise the Lord that the church’s pastor and members are ready for this vital ministry to begin in their congregation. Ask God to strengthen the leadership and call out facilitators who can be trained and used to move this ministry forward.
Pray also for John’s teaching of a Bible storying class at Rio’s First Baptist Church of Barra da Tijuca. The class is designed to help believers learn to tell Bible stories as their own, to use them to deepen their understanding of Scripture and to follow God’s will in their lives. Pray that John’s students will learn to use Bible stories in witnessing to friends, neighbors and colleagues.
SEEKING GOD’S HELP
Argentine Baptist volunteers pray for God’s help before they head out to share the Gospel with soccer fans before a World Cup match at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium. They, Brazilian Baptists and Southern Baptist students did outreach near the stadium on game days during part of the World Cup.
July 5 — The Quilombolas of Brazil are descendants of escaped African slaves. Living in communities called “quilombos,” most Quilombolas for generations have been isolated from general Brazilian society and from the spiritual truth of the Gospel. Many Quilombolas practice various forms of voodoo, and less than 2 percent of the Quilombola people are evangelical Christians.
Thank the Lord for that evangelical work has been started in several Quilombola communities in North Brazil. Thank Him also for two U.S. volunteer teams that shared the Gospel in several quilombos during the month of June. Pray for mission teams and local Brazilian Baptist leaders who are following up with contacts the volunteers made. Pray that many Quilombolas will accept Christ as their Savior and become strong disciples, boldly sharing their faith with others.
July 4 — In the World Cup quarter-finals, today France faces Germany in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium, and Brazil plays Colombia in Fortaleza’s Castelão Stadium. Pray for Brazilian Baptists and other Christian volunteers who will share the Gospel with soccer fans in a variety of ways in these two cities today. Pray that these believers will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leadership as they interact with Brazilians and international visitors gathered for these matches. Pray that each volunteer will boldly proclaim the Gospel in ways the fans can understand. Ask the Lord to stir the hearts of all who will hear the message. Pray that many people who don’t know the Savior will find Him today.
July 3 — Pray for two IMB missionary families in Brazil leaving soon for their first stateside assignment. Praise the Lord for them and their first term of missionary service. Ask the Lord to help them rest in Him and to give them His message to share with churches back home in the U.S. After stateside assignment, one of these families will move to a new city in a new region in Brazil. Pray for that transition. Pray especially for the children in both of these families. Pray they will have many hours with extended family in the U.S. and good experiences that will provide positive memories for them when they return to the mission field.
July 2 — What is happening among the people groups in the city of São Paulo can only be a God thing! God has provided many opportunities for an IMB missionary team to work among a certain people group in São Paulo, one of the world’s largest cities. The team has met several people from this group, including leaders in their communities. Team members also have been invited to several special community events for the people group and have been welcomed into people’s homes. Praise the Lord for all He has done to prepare the way for these missionaries to work among these people. Ask the Lord to lead the way and guide the team as they go forward.
July 1 — Pray for Brazilian Baptists who will follow up with contacts made during World Cup outreach that started June 12 in Salvador, one of the 12 Brazilian cities to host World Cup matches. Pray also for Brazilian Baptists and other Christian volunteers who will be sharing the Gospel with soccer fans before today’s match between the U.S.A. and Belgium. Pray that volunteers will be granted access to restricted areas near Salvador’s stadium so they can reach more people with their message of Christ’s love. Pray, too, for God’s strength and guidance for Miguel, a Brazilian Baptist who has been coordinating this outreach effort.
Lee Dymond (center, blue shirt), campus minister at Auburn University at Montgomery (Alabama), and Brazilian Baptists pray over a man in Rio’s notorious “crack-land” neighborhood.
June 30 — Pray for missionaries who are working among urban unreached people groups in Manaus — the largest city in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest — and in other towns in the Amazon. Pray that these missionaries will be led by the Holy Spirit and will remain healthy so they can continue sharing the love of Jesus with unreached groups.
June 29 — Pray for Brazilian Baptists who will be following up with Brazilians who made decisions for Christ during World Cup-related outreach involving Southern Baptist students. Pray that local Brazilian Baptist churches will warmly welcome these new believers and provide strong discipleship training for them. Pray that churches involved in World Cup outreach will continue to seek out lost people in their communities long after the soccer tournament has ended.
June 28 — The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is the most watch sporting event in the world. The month-long competition involves 64 soccer matches contested by 736 players on 32 teams in 12 cities in Brazil. Pray for the athletes and coaches who are involved in the matches. Pray for their safety on the field and in travel to and from the host cities. Pray especially that Christian athletes on these teams will have key opportunities to share their faith during travel and other time spent with teammates, coaches and other soccer personnel during the World Cup. Ask the Lord to create a deep longing for Him among World Cup players, coaches and referees who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Pray that God will give all believers involved in the World Cup the right words at the right time as they interact with lost colleagues.
June 27 — Pray for Southern Baptist student volunteers and their ministry leaders who will leave Rio de Janeiro today after their two-week outreach project during the World Cup. Thank the Lord for their hard work and effective ministry. Pray for travel safety and good health as they head home. Pray that God will use these volunteers’ experiences for His purposes in each of their lives. Pray they will remain bold witnesses for Jesus Christ.
A Brazilian girl joins in a group prayer during a World Cup outreach event sponsored by Rio’s First Baptist Church of Heliópolis on June 23. The outdoor event included children’s games, patriotic activities, prayer and a viewing, on large television screens, of Brazil’s World Cup match against Cameroon.
June 26 — Pray that the hearts of Brazilians and international visitors will be prepared to hear and receive the truth of the Gospel, and that when truth is shared, there will be an unmistakable recognition that the message is from the one true God. Pray that hearts will be surrendered and lives will be changed through the proclamation of God’s Word.
June 25 — Ecuador and France compete today in a World Cup match at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium. Pray for a team of Southern Baptist university students and Brazilian Baptists who will share the Gospel with soccer fans near the stadium. Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts of people the team will encounter. Pray that these Baptist volunteers will boldly share their faith. Pray that people who need the Lord will find new life in Him through the team’s outreach.
June 24 — Porto Alegre. Pray that local believers and churches will prepare themselves to disciple new believers. Please pray that this harvest will spark a wave of revival and Gospel proclamation that will liberate Porto Alegre from long held spiritual strongholds.
June 23 — Chile competes against the Netherlands today in São Paulo, one of the 12 Brazilian cities to host matches during the FIFA World Cup. São Paulo is one of the world’s largest cities, and it’s the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere with a population of about 23 million.
Pray for Brazilian Baptists and other evangelical workers sharing the Gospel with soccer fans who have come to São Paulo to attend World Cup matches. Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts of international visitors and help them see their need for Jesus Christ.
São Paulo is a center of commerce, finance, arts, entertainment and fashion. The city also is home to some 1 million university students. São Paulo’s population includes many ethnic groups such as Italians, Arabs, Japanese, Germans, French, Greeks, Chinese, Bolivians, Koreans and Jews.
Pray for Brazilian Baptists and IMB missionaries who are reaching out to some of these groups and trying to start churches among them. Pray that God will be glorified through their efforts and that many São Paulo residents will accept Christ as their Savior.
Be sure to check out the ”photo of the day” from AmericasStories’ coverage of Baptist student ministry during the 2014 World Cup. Click here.
June 22 — The U.S.A. plays Portugal today in a World Cup match in Manaus, the largest city in the heart of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Pray for Brazilian Baptists and other evangelical workers who are reaching out to international fans coming to Manaus to watch the World Cup competition.
Pray, too, for the spiritual salvation of people from many unevangelized, unreached people groups (UUPGs) who live across the Brazilian Amazon. They need the Gospel just as much as visiting soccer fans and local Brazilians.
Pray also for the thousands of urban residents from unreached people groups in the Amazon now living in Manaus. They struggle to fit in among the broader Brazilian culture and do not attend any Brazilian church. Pray they will be able to hear the Gospel clearly, accept Christ as their Savior and grow in their faith in churches of believers from their people group.
June 21 — Pray for Brazilian Baptist home missionaries and volunteers who are involved in evangelism projects in Porto Alegre, one of the 12 Brazilian cities to host World Cup matches. Tomorrow Korea will play Algeria at the city’s Beira-Rio soccer stadium.
Pray especially for Brazilian Baptists’ outreach in the area around the stadium and in another neighborhood called “Menino Deus.” Pray for safety, spiritual discernment and boldness for these workers who are sharing Christ. Ask God to prepare the hearts of lost people to hear and receive the truth of the Gospel. Pray that lives will be changed through the proclamation of God’s Word.
June 20 — Italy plays Costa Rica today in World Cup competition in the Brazilian city of Recife. Located in northeastern Brazil, Recife is the country’s fifth largest metropolitan area with a population of 4 million. The city is hosting five World Cup games, including a match between the U.S.A. and Germany on June 26.
Recife is an overcrowded city with heavy, congested traffic. Pray for travel safety for locals and visitors, especially on game days. Pray for Recife’s taxi and bus drivers who will work long hours and deal with many international tourists during the World Cup.
PRAYING IN THE RAIN
Holding an umbrella decorated with images of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, IMB missionary kid Gloria Reese (left) translates for student volunteers Nick Smirniotopoulos (right) and Alison Myers (second from left) as they pray for a Brazilian woman during outreach visitation in a Rio favela (slum).
Pray also for World Cup-related outreach efforts by Brazilian Baptists in this area. Pray that all who travel Recife’s streets will come to understand that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Pray that many locals and visitors will accept Him as their Savior.
June 19 — Today Colombia and Côte d’Ivoire compete in a World Cup match in the city of Brasilia. Pray for a team of students from William Carey University in Mississippi who are sharing the Gospel with international and Brazilian fans in Brasilia. Pray that people who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior will find new life in Him.
Pray also for a group of Southern Baptist students who are prayerwalking today in Porto Alegre, one of the 12 host cities for World Cup matches. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct their prayers and lead them to people who need a touch from God.
June 18 — Pray for Southern Baptist students as they share Christ with fans gathered outside Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium before today’s World Cup match between Chile and Spain.
Pray that these students will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leadership as they witness to people from all over the world. Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts of these soccer fans before they interact with the students and their Brazilian Baptist co-workers. Pray that many people will accept Christ through the World Cup outreach.
June 17 — Brazil will play Mexico today in the city of Fortaleza. When Brazil competes in a World Cup match, the whole country comes to a standstill. Stores close, gas station attendants can’t be pulled away from the TV to fill up tanks and the usual bustling roadways are nearly abandoned. When the Brazilian team scores, the whole country explodes with cheers and fireworks. But when Brazil is defeated, the nation experiences an eerie silence.
Southern Baptist students (in yellow shirts) pray with a mother and daughter outside of Rio's Maracanã stadium before a World Cup match on June 15.
Pray that Brazilians will see that real victory comes through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. Pray that Christians in Brazil will mourn for people who do not know salvation in Christ. Pray that Brazilian believers will have a boldness — like their soccer team has on the field — to reach their country for Christ.
June 16 — Today the U.S.A. plays Ghana in a World Cup match in the Brazilian city of Natal, home to beautiful beaches, sand dunes and the largest cashew tree in the world. “Natal” is the Portuguese word for “Christmas.” Pray that the 1 million residents of Natal will hear and respond to the story of Jesus Christ and understand the true meaning of Christmas. Natal is hosting four matches during the FIFA World Cup. Pray for the thousands of visitors who will pass through the city during June.
June 15 — Pray for U.S. student volunteers and Brazilian Baptists sharing Christ on the streets of Rio de Janeiro today as fans gather for a match featuring Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Rio’s Maracanã stadium.
Pray also for a team of Southern Baptist students who are conducting World Cup outreach in the city of Brasilia, where Switzerland competes against Ecuador today.
Pray for the volunteers’ safety and for their effective witness among soccer fans from all over the world. Pray that many people will come to saving faith in Christ through this outreach.
June 14 — Today a team of Southern Baptist student volunteers are receiving training in World Cup outreach and ministry in Rio de Janeiro. Ask the Lord to equip them for the challenges they will face as they share Christ with Brazilians and international visitors during this world-famous socccer tournament in Brazil.
Pray that lost people who hear the Gospel during the outreach will accept Christ as their Savior. Pray that Brazilian Baptist churches will embrace the challenge of discipling new converts.
June 13 — Soccer is a passion for the people of Brazil, the only country that has won the FIFA World Cup five times. As Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup, pray that Brazil’s soccer players, leaders and fans will become as passionate about Christ as they are about soccer.
Pray also for God’s direction for Brazilian churches and for teams of Southern Baptist students who are working alongside them during World Cup outreach June 12 – 27. Pray, too, that FIFA will loosen its restrictions on evangelism during the tournament.
June 12 — Pray for student volunteers who have arrived from the United States to work alongside Brazilian Baptists in sharing the Gospel during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are coming to Brazil to see their team play in this world-famous sporting event. Pray that God will open doors of opportunity for student volunteers, Brazilian Baptist partners and IMB missionaries.