The Battle for France

by | Feb 28, 2001 | Blogs, The Strang Report


I believe one of the most encour-aging spiritual developments in recent decades has been the emphasis on intercessory prayer. Ministries such as the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., have mobilized hundreds of thousands of believers to pray for unreached people groups around the world. And it has made a difference.


This month concerted intercessory prayer is taking place for a country that desperately needs revival. This is a prophetic call for believers in the United States to join others around the world in prayer for France–where today evangelical believers number less than 1 percent of the population.


I’m told this will be the largest prayer initiative for France in the nation’s history. More than 1,000 French churches and prayer groups from various denominations will join with believers from more than 30 nations for 40 days of prayer and fasting.


From March 7 through Easter Sunday, April 15, they will be asking God to bring change to France. I believe that by joining them, we can make a significant difference in this nation.


France is one of the world’s most unreached countries. Of its 36,664 communities, 34,500 have no resident evangelical witness. Christian friends have told me that the country’s image of prosperity, harmony and happiness is contradicted by a reality where 1 in 4 people live alone, 10 percent take antidepressants, 4 million are alcoholics, and 40,000 young people attempt suicide each year.


Yet France has a great Christian heritage. Birthed in book of Acts-style signs and wonders, the church in France was one of the strongest in the world during the early Christian era. Some of Christianity’s most prominent leaders–including early church father Irenaeus, Martin of Tours and John Calvin–were from France.


France’s history, though, is also marked by ruthless persecution of believers. The Huguenots, as the French Protestants were called, were almost martyred out of existence. This is of particular interest to me since my ancestors, the Strang family, were Huguenots who fled persecution in 1688 by coming to New York for religious freedom.


Today France prides itself on being a secular state. It is against the law to teach about Jesus and the Christian faith in schools. Those who try to evangelize others are viewed as belonging to a brainwashing cult.


However, God is raising up people with a heart for France. One example is Paul van der Hagen, who is working to plant a church this year in Paris under the leadership of Vincent Esterman, a Frenchman raised in Australia who went back to France to reach his own people with the gospel. Vincent has a vision to mobilize French expatriates who will reach France for Christ. He can be contacted through the special Web site mentioned below.


Believers in France are asking us to pray with them: (1) for those who have never heard the gospel, that there would be significant conversions among all ages; (2) for the strengthening of the French churches, that every member may become fully equipped for works of service; (3) for unity among believers, who often are deeply divided; (4) for a healing of historic wounds and the removal of spiritual hindrances in the nation; (5) that the powers of darkness at work in France would be bound in Jesus’ name; (6) that a living, vibrant church would be raised up in every community; and (7) that this nation would be transformed. For more detailed information logon to www.france2001.org.


My goal is for 1 percent of our 220,000 subscribers to join me in prayer. We have created a Web page, www.charismamag.com/prayforfrance, which gives information and a bulletin board to post what you feel God is saying as you pray. It’s also a way for those of you who want to support the French church financially to get information on giving through Christian Life Missions, our nonprofit partner.


Many of us are believing God for a spiritual breakthrough. Together, we can make a difference for Him.


Stephen Strang is the founding editor and publisher of Charisma. You can e-mail him at steve.strang@strang.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. It was spectacular to watch him play basketball. He’d make “impossible” shots with only three seconds left on the clock and win the game, It happened … for years! What you might not know is that he...

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance...
How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

Pin It on Pinterest