A Call for God’s People to Pray
We are living in dark times. The horrific evil of ISIS greedily seeks the ultimate aim of the enemy himself - to steal, kill, and destroy. The gunfire and explosions in France, the innocent lives lost, the vicious plotting to gain more ground in our world, have sought to instill fear deep in our hearts. Their cruel schemes over the months have been paraded across headlines. The kidnapping and killing of countless Christians and any who will not follow their ways. 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded on a beach. Persecuted men, women, and children at the hands of horrific evil. Journalists and aid workers, imprisoned, killed, people caged and burned alive, the vicious tales never stop. Their social media antics seem to only attempt to one up themselves for the next big ploy. It’s never enough. For you can never satisfy evil. It always lurks and thirsts for more.
But in the midst of dark days, God is at work. He is stirring up His people. He is awakening the church. We are rising strong. We know the truth. We know we can't waste time, secluded in false realms of our own safety. We know we can't ignore what's happening, trying to focus only on wishful desires for carefree, happy times or hopes of bright futures for our children. We know we can't wish away chilling images, pretending that persecution of believers and the killing of innocent lives doesn’t exist, not here, not now.
It’s real. It’s raw. It’s happening. And it will not remain within confined borders many miles and an ocean away. What affects our brothers and sisters in Christ, all around this world, affects us too. It will infiltrate all lands if we are unaware, it’s already begun. May we stand together and pray for their protection, pray for God’s miraculous intervening, pray for release from captors, and release for the prisoners. May we pray for blind eyes to be opened, for many to see the power of our Lord as never before.
There is a danger in our multi-media, constantly wired to the latest headlines, and high tech world of today. It is to become desensitized to the constant news around us. Another kidnapping. Another beheading. Another killing. Another bomb. It can seek to become like daily, routine news. May God shake us up from this madness and stir our hearts towards action. May He lead us to pray for His Spirit to intervene on behalf of all people, for those who know His Truth, and for those who still walk in darkness yet need to be set free.
ISIS has named their enemy. It is the People of the Cross. Yet we, the People of the Cross, know one thing that ISIS may not know. We know this truth, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
They do not war against us. They war against an Almighty God.
We know that there is a deeper spiritual battle engaged in this conflict between rebel forces and the quest for dominance. We know that demonic, dark influence has taken control and wreak their havoc though weak-willed, disillusioned men. We know that God is greater. We know that no matter how big the enemy appears, God is bigger still. And He will not lose. Not now, not ever.
That same power that broke prison chains, that raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, that same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work still today.
He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.
Maybe for many of us, we hardly know how to pray or even where to start. We just know we have a deep ache in our souls that cries out for God’s mercy, for His judgment. For these times when it’s difficult to know what to pray, we can trust these words as a place to begin, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
We are never left to fend for ourselves, wrestling in worry, consumed with fear, or tempted towards hate. He reminds us He is with us. He reminds us He will help us. He reminds us He has not lost control, but has a plan, and that His purposes will prevail.
Where to begin – 3 Things to Pray in this Critical Time - All Around the World:
1. Pray that the Gospel will be spread and for many to be saved – You can scatter people, you can scatter ideas, but you cannot undermine the plans of God. God will not be silenced. Every time we hear stories from the Bible and through history of Christians being persecuted for their faith and scattered to different regions, there is a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. Truth is shared, His power is revealed. May God open blind eyes and bring the knowledge of Himself to every place. Pray for those who are blinded by rebel causes. Pray for those who have darkened minds. Pray for the Truth to set men free. Pray that God will speak to men in dreams and visions, that they will be chased by His power and great love, and not able to turn away from the reality of His presence any longer.
2. Pray for the miraculous intervention of His Spirit – Pray that God will cover with incredible grace and boldness those who are currently being held at the hands of evil. Pray for miracles of release. Pray for angelic intervention. Pray for protection over believers. Let’s stand together remembering that nothing is impossible for Him. Pray especially for young children, women, the elderly, the injured, who desperately need the protection and covering of our loving God. Pray that He will change the hearts of captors, that He will grant favor and covering over His people, that He will set a guard among those who stand directly in terror’s way.
3. Pray for a spiritual awakening in the Western world – Pray that this is the time God will bring Christians to their feet, to stand for Him and pray boldly, to believe Him for miracles and to pray for His purposes to unfold. Pray for courage for believers. Pray for the unity among the church. Pray that we together can focus on the important and let go of those things that are trivial and insignificant. Pray for strengthening of the body of Christ. Pray for strong voices to speak truth and stable knees that would not bend or buckle under the weight of approval from men. Pray that as Christians we would not shrink back in fear, that we would not be numbed by media desensitization, that we would not buy into the lie to return these evils with hatred, but that God would fill us with awareness and urgency, courage and boldness to pray, to stand in Truth and love, and to make a difference in this world…
“for such a time as this…” Esther 4:14.
"and he will be the stability of your times..." Is. 33:6
We thank you for your great power. We praise you for your Truth. We’re grateful that you have set us free from the clutching grasp of sin and death.
Would you be with your people, extending your grace, comforting all who grieve, granting your freedom, giving your protection, and empowering with your strength. We ask that you would cause an awakening of your presence as never seen before. We ask that your Name be proclaimed, that all plans to silence the Name of Jesus would be thwarted and crushed.
We pray that many would come to know you as Lord and Savior, we pray that many would see your Light, we pray that that you would open blind eyes and release those still imprisoned.
We pray that you would unify your people for the glory of your Name, that all who call themselves Christians would rise up, believing your great Truth.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
In Jesus’ Name,
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, and mom to three amazing kids. Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://www.freshdayahead.com and Twitter.