Paris has been nicknamed the “city of lights” because it was one of the first cities to have gas lights in the streets, specifically 56,000 gas lights in the 1860s. However, in recent years Paris has been far from a “city of lights” from a gospel perspective. Tim Svoboda of YWAM’s City Ministries includes Paris in his list of the top five “Super Giant” cities where his research shows a stronghold of darkness (the others are Kolkata, Moscow, Pyongyang and Tokyo).
Recent events though—terrorist threats and attacks, the financial crisis and the refugee crisis—may be reason for a change, one that YWAM Paris leader Carrie Webb describes as “a definite shift in the spiritual atmosphere of Paris. What used to be an extremely hard ground has been cracked open and a plowing of the field has started.” Carrie also notes the role that prayer and past and present missionaries have played in cracking the ground.
Please join us this month in praying for breakthroughs in Paris.
To prepare to pray, read this account of YWAM’s Summer of Service in Paris to obtain an understanding of the shift in how people are responding to the gospel in Paris.
Also, picture Paris more clearly using these statistics (sources New York Times, Wikipedia, YWAM Archives, Operation World):
- Over 12 million people live in Paris and the surrounding area making it the largest city in Western Europe.
- Paris is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe. Approximately 20% of its population was born outside France and 41.3% of people under 20 have at least one immigrant parent.
- 100 migrants arrive daily as of November 2016 with 3,000 camped in tents in just one area of the city.
- Religious affiliation: high population of atheists and non-religious; 1.7 million Muslims, or 10 – 15% of population; 320,000 Jews, or just under 3% of population; declining Catholic population; 2% of population or less are Evangelicals.
Pray for Paris
Pray for migrant people:
- Pray for safety and provision for migrant people living in Paris.
- Pray for police and other workers to have wisdom and grace when working with displaced people.
- Pray for the hearts of Parisians to be open to welcoming migrant people. Pray that the government would have wisdom and generosity in caring for immigrants.
- Praise God for the growth of the church amongst the immigrants from Africa. Pray that the Africans can related the Gospel to the French.
Pray about terrorism:
- Pray for the families of the victims and those who were injured in the Paris bombings last year (November 2015) and the terrible trauma of the Nice lorry attack last summer. In Paris, the attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre. Another 368 people were injured, more than 80 seriously. Pray also for healing and for an awareness of eternal things for people traumatized in Paris as a whole.
- Pray for those who planned and executed the Paris attacks and for their families that God would reveal the truth to them.
Pray about the occult:
- Pray against the occult. According to Tim Svoboda of YWAM’s City Ministries, there are ten times more people in Paris earning a living via the occult than there are evangelical pastors and missionaries.
- Pray for continued Spirit-led unity among the small number of Christians in Paris so that darkness is defied.
- Pray that Parisians would see the light of Christ and that they would be repelled from the dark ways of the occult.
Pray for spiritual breakthroughs:
- Pray for spiritual strongholds to be broken. Pray that the people of France would turn their hearts toward God as things are being shaken and the question is being asked, “What do we really believe?”
- Pray for the new wave of spiritual movement toward Christ in Paris. Pray for heads of families, single people, the elderly, students, Muslims, Jews, and others.
- Pray for the church to “look” French.
- The number of evangelicals is growing. Pray for continued multiplication of churches and for safe places to worship in every one of the 20 arrondissements, or administrative districts in Paris.
- Pray for church denominations that are currently dead in Paris, but should they awaken have huge potential.
- Pray for the North African Muslims and for the missionaries that work amongst them. The ratio of missionaries to Muslims is very low.
- Pray for God to send missionary workers to France. Pray for effective training to prepare these workers for the spiritual climate and challenges in Paris.
- Pray for the relatively small number of Christians in Paris to show the love and empathy of Christ to this city in crisis situations, whether it be refugees, terror attacks, homelessness or people in everyday life situations.
Pray for YWAM Paris:
- Pray for affordable housing for students and staff.
- Pray for provision of a building to use as a hub that accommodates most of the housing, community areas, dining room and lecture rooms needed for staff and students.
- Pray for favor for YWAM Paris with visas.
- Pray for opportunities for YWAM to get more involved with refugees in Paris. Pray for new connections and strategic people who have solid information.
- Pray that God would open the door for YWAM to partner with more organizations and churches in Paris.
- Pray that YWAM’s capacity would expand for the needs and opportunities of Paris and that resources would become available for training and for reaching the poor and needy. Pray for God to send innovative people and ideas to respond to the numerous people groups, needs and opportunities Paris offers.
To learn more, visit the YWAM Paris website, follow them on Facebook or Instagram, or read the YWAM Paris blog. To send an outreach team to Paris or to arrange a prayer journey, email YWAM Paris.
Also, for more background on Paris, read responses to the Paris attacks last November from YWAM Paris and from the former leader of YWAM Europe, Jeff Fountain.
Don’t Miss The Invitation
In November The Invitation focused on Spheres of Society:
- YWAM Madison posted that they prayed for the spheres of society, specifically that they prayed for teachers in the sphere of Education.
- YWAM Kona students took time during class to go to their prayer room and prayed for Jesus to be made known all over the nations through all the spheres.
In July, we prayed about refugees. YWAM Hong Kong prayed for refugees using a large floor map.
January 12, 2017 Unity–Building Bridges
How to participate:
- Sign up for prayer updates. On ywam.org, find the “Stay Connected” box on the home page, put in your email address and click “Sign Up.”
- Join the conversation about how God is leading in these prayer times. Comment on the post on the second Thursday on YWAM’s Facebook page.
- Follow YWAM on Twitter; search for #praywithywam and tweet about your prayer time or post a picture.
- Download prayer updates in a specific language. Go to ywam.org/theinvitation. (Currently available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Indonesian, Korean or request other languages.)
- If you sense God giving you a word or a direction for YWAM’s prayer, please contact us.