We believe 
in the power of prayer to bring change

Countless times in our 40-year history, we have seen the impossible become possible when we pray. 

In faith, we pray to our almighty, all-powerful God, knowing that He is sovereign and has the power to deliver justice for the oppressed, to set the captives free, and to transform nations. 

As we pray, we approach the throne of God with confidence that he hears the prayers of the righteous; but in humility, recognising our dependence on Him to bring change. 

Prayer is powerful because of who is listening, not because of who is praying

Over 15,000 people across five continents joined CSW for a 24-hour wave of prayer for Leah Sharibu on her 18th birthday. Leah was abducted from her school in February 2018, and as the sole Christian in the group, she refused to convert in exchange for her freedom. She remains in captivity to this day. 

From South East Asia to the UK, to Nigeria, the USA and Mexico, we were united in the presence of God with one prayer: freedom for Leah and countless others like her. 

When we spoke to Leah’s mother, Rebecca, ahead of the event, we asked her what she would say to daughter. Her message was this: ‘If I could see her, I would tell her that I praise her decision [not to convert], and also let her know that we are still praying for her and, someday, she will be back home…I would encourage her to be patient. We are still praying for her; the world is still praying for her. Nothing is impossible for God. Someday she will be free.’  

In 1 John  5:14 we read, ‘And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.’ In faith, we unite in prayer with Rebecca, sharing that same confidence that nothing is impossible for God. 

While we are yet to celebrate Leah’s release, we continue to pray with confidence believing that freedom is not out of reach, and reliant on God to break through. 

Leah Sharibu 

The answers to our prayers aren’t always visible to us

We pray expecting God to do great things, whilst knowing that the answers to our prayers aren’t always visible. In fact, we may never know whether our prayers have been answered. But we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16), believing that as we pray in line with God’s will, everything is possible with Him (Matthew 19:26).  

Just before the pandemic, we spoke with Dabrina Bet-Tamraz about her family’s experience as Christians in Iran. At the time, her parents and brother had been charged with national security crimes for undertaking normal church activities. Growing up as a Christian in Iran, it was always obvious they were treated differently, and her parents (leaders of a growing church) were regularly taken in for interrogation by the authorities.  She told us, ‘My dad always told us we should tell our testimonies so that Christians outside Iran may stand firm in their faith. And your prayers, your advocacy, your support, they make it possible for Christians in Iran to keep standing strong in their faith. This is the body of Christ - this is what we do for each other.’

When we asked Dabrina what we could do to support Christians in Iran, her answer was clear: pray! ‘Pray, pray, and pray! Every prayer is heard - and God reveals to Christians in prison that you are praying for them.’ This same message came from other Iranian Christian we spoke to: God uses our prayers to encourage and strengthen others who are walking through the valley of deepest darkness. (Ps. 23:4 TPT).

Even though the answers to our prayer may not always be visible, we pray expectantly, knowing that every prayer has the potential to bring transformation in so many ways. 

Pastor Nadarkhani

Your prayers are an act of solidarity

Last year our supporters rose up in an incredible way to pray for and support church leaders in Cuba who were detained in the spontaneous wave of peaceful protests across the island. 

Police and state security responded to these peaceful protests with violence, and detained or forcibly disappeared over 800 people. Several church leaders were among those targeted, including  pastors Yéremi Blanco Ramírez and Yarian Sierra Madrigal, who were violently detained.

Pastor Yarian told us that God used your prayers to ‘make their adversity a spring of joy’, saying that the difficult times they had been through ‘…dimmed over the course of these months by the mercy God has shown us giving us new friends in different parts of the world.’ 

At a time when their families were facing immense pressure, including being evicted from their homes, God used your prayers to show them they were not alone, and that Christians in the UK and around the world were standing with them. At a time when the government sought to isolate them, and so many church leaders were targeted, your prayers were an act of solidarity.  

‘Today I received all these postcards that some brothers and sisters in the UK sent to cheer us up and let us know they are praying for us and our families. … God has wanted you to make our adversity a spring of joy.’ Pastor Yarian, Cuba 

Pastors Yarian and Yeremi

'And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.' 

There are so many ways that you can persist in prayer with us – and you don’t need to have lots of time to do it!

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#2 CSW manifesto

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs