“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth,” (Psalm 96:9).
SUNDAYS • New church plants by 2024
In 2017, OMF Cambodia began to pray about a vision to start six new church plants in neglected areas by the year 2024. Currently, three are in the process of sowing seeds of the gospel and beginning to gather those who are interested in Jesus. There are also a couple of teams in the discernment stage looking for opportunities to start a potential church plant. Pray that the Lord will send workers to the harvest field who have a passion for the unreached and are willing to join these teams.
MONDAYS • Mental health
Between 1975 and 1978, the Khmer Rouge decimated nearly three million Cambodians. The peoples of Cambodia are still bearing the scars of this trauma. OMF workers long to see skilled counselors sent out to serve in this area. Pray that God will equip and resource the local church in understanding and caring for the mentally ill in Cambodia.
TUESDAYS • Outreach among urban professionals
The growing professional classes in Phnom Penh are an influential unreached group in Cambodia. Pray for those working on plans to multiply impact among them, for new workers with appropriate skills, and for the local church to see the workplace as a mission field.
WEDNESDAYS • Trained and equipped teams
Over the last several years, the OMF Cambodia team has said goodbye to many experienced workers who have had to return to their sending countries. While grieving that loss, the workers are also grateful how God is providing new, passionate, and talented team members. Pray for the equipping and training of these new workers.
THURSDAYS • Neglected peoples
A staggering 99.9% of Cham people in Cambodia have yet to respond to the gospel of Jesus (joshuaproject.net). Currently, there are only a handful of workers across all mission agencies seeking to reach the Cham. There are also a significant number of unreached Vietnamese and Chinese living in Cambodia. Pray for the Lord to send workers to these harvest fields.
FRIDAYS • Training and empowering
Pray for the effective training and ongoing mentoring of Cambodian church leaders. Field research has revealed that only 33% of church leaders have read the whole Bible, and 10% of leaders do not even have their own Bible.
SATURDAYS • Launching into missions
OMF workers long to see the local church mobilized into cross-cultural missions within Cambodia and across its borders. Pray for the Holy Spirit to provide a vision for the Khmer believers to send out local missionaries and for church-planters to realize this vision.
Peeling Back the Layers of Cambodian Religion
Cambodian Buddhism has layers. Former missionary to Cambodia, Nathan Martin, remembers chatting with a Cambodian pastor named Saeha about sharing the gospel in Cambodia. Saeha said, “Sharing the gospel with Cambodians can be difficult. You have to share the gospel with a Buddhist, with a Hindu, with someone who follows Chinese religion, and someone who worships the spirits. All four religions need to be addressed.” Let’s take a minute to peel back each layer and ask God to open Cambodian hearts to the good news of Jesus Christ.
The top layer is Theravada Buddhism. Cambodians typically do not go deeply into Buddhism. They do believe in reincarnation and Karma. All Cambodians repeat the proverb, “Do good, get good. Do bad, get bad.” “Good” is usually understood as merit gained from offerings made to the temple and monks. Pray for God to open hearts to understand free, unearned grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ. We change the proverb to “get good (grace through Jesus), do good.”
Hundreds of years before Cambodia was Buddhist, they were also Hindu. This influence has not gone away. Prominently placed at an intersection near Cambodia’s parliament is a giant statue of the Hindu god Ganesh, presumably for good luck. Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, has also been worshipped in Cambodia’s past. Pray for Cambodians to see there is only one true Lord of Heaven and Earth and that Jesus is the incarnation of the one and only Creator God.
China has long played a role in Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, almost every house has a shrine to ancestors who need to be cared for through offerings. The obstacle is that to become a Christian seems like abandoning one’s deceased relatives. Who will continue the incense and offerings? Pray that God would shine the light of truth on what it means to honor and care for one’s relatives, and for the sure hope of the gospel to overcome this powerful barrier to the gospel.
Animism (spirit worship)
Karma does not give much hope for the day-to-day, and so Cambodians look to the spirit world. Kru Khmer (literally “Cambodian teacher”) serve as witch doctors and are openly sought to deal with the problems and fears of everyday life. Spiritual warfare for new believers is common. Removing all the charms, strings of protection, idol shelves, etc. is likely the most significant step of faith for someone interested in Jesus. The Naga is a serpent spirit figure prominent in Cambodia. The Naga is a symbol of empowerment and protection. Pictured here is the Naga behind Buddha as he obtains enlightenment. Pray that God would equip believers to face spiritual warfare and stand strong in the Lord.
Pray that Jesus would be embraced and Cambodians would find peace in Jesus’ name. The OMF Prayer App features 30 days of prayer for Cambodia available on the iOS App Store or the Google Play store.
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