When the president comes to visit, towns and villages are cleaned up, gardens tended to, houses painted, markets removed to make things look cleaner and more modern. Local residents complained that the effort to present a façade that isn’t the real life of working communities doesn’t endear the president and other officials to the community. While they struggle to make ends meet, the president is presented with an impression that the country is doing better than it is. Pray for honesty and reality to break through in this tightly controlled nation. Pray that the Son of God will shine His light into the darkness (The Bible, John 12:46).
Qatar will be attracting over a million sports fans for the World Cup football. The conservative Muslim nation may show little tolerance for the booze-fueled hooliganism. Qatar has sought to portray itself as welcoming to foreigners but traditional Muslim values remain strong in the hereditarily ruled emirate. Qatar’s judicial system, based on an interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, has drawn Western criticism for its tendency to favor prosecutors and police. The autocratic country says it will loosen up for the unprecedented influx of tourists. But fans should be mindful of Qatar’s laws and cultural customs, policies for alcohol, drugs, sexuality and dress code. Pray that this global event will open doors for mass evangelism. Pray for the players and spectators to give their hearts to Jesus during this Christmas season (The Bible, Isaiah 12:2).