Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Here is a call to pray

My husband and I have been challenged and convicted this year to pray for the world.  We have a spiral calendar on our kitchen counter to remind us of the countries of the world.  These are not just remote locations with often unfamiliar names, but people who are precious in His sight.  Prayer reveals the faces.

Our other reminder to pray arrives every morning on our driveway. I am learning to pray through the newspaper.

We are spending this week helping out my husband's parents. Last evening in the midst of a North Carolina ice storm, the national television news interrupted the local reporting of treacherous roads.  Across the screen appeared a line of orange-clad men and their hooded executioners on a beach in Libya, moments before these men were beheaded -- as it was reported-- "simply because they were Christians."

Last night I could not shake that image from my thoughts. I could not sleep for that pervading picture of darkness.

Pray for My people, I felt God urging me.

"Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."  Revelation 14.12

May the words of the Psalms cover God's people -- wherever they are -- with a very real refuge, a shield, and His strength. Persecution of God's people is nothing new. Neither is His deliverance.  The Bible is filled with cries for God's mercy and incredible stories of His redeeming impossible situations.  Pray for them.

Christ also calls us to pray radically and aggressively  for the oppressors that their hearts would be turned to the God of grace and mercy.  Jesus died for each one of them too.  He knows their names.

Jesus said, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..."  Matthew 5.44

Pray for them.  

Even in what seems so impossible, no one stands too far from the grace of God.  I am reminded how God turned the heart of Saint Paul -- he who at one point was "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord..." Acts 9. 1

Someone prayed not against Paul, but for him.

Let God help you to see the world differently
and use the news to change your heart
and the focus of your prayers.

"What can I do against such darkness?"
Pray every which way you can.

Here is a call
      not to dismay,
but to pray without ceasing.

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