As I have been watching and reading news reports about the Paris attacks, the San Bernardino attack, and the Syrian refugee crisis, I suddenly realized that I had not been praying for God to bring His resolution to these issues. It dawned on me that I was buying into human engineered solutions to these problems. Most of the solutions to terrorism and the refugee crisis that I have heard from presidential candidates, political pundits, intelligence or military experts, radio talk show hosts, or television news anchors do not arise from the foundation of a biblical or Kingdom of God perspective. I was beginning to buy into the solutions based upon worldly wisdom. The same worldly wisdom that gave rise to many of the problems we are faced with today. So God convicted me that I had not been praying for His intervention into these complex situations.
Below are four requests the Lord has laid upon my heart. I would ask you to join with me in praying for these requests.
1.Pray for the salvation of the terrorist. “The Lord is not… wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) One of our foundational beliefs is the belief that God wants all people to be saved. This includes the evilest of people. This would include all who are a part of jihad. God does not want them to destroy their life in a false cause. He wants them to know Him and the true eternal life that comes through Jesus. The real problem with terrorism is a heart problem that only the love of Christ being shed abroad in their hearts will solve. Pray for them to be saved. Pray for the men and women who are currently working in Muslim countries to share the Gospel for their protection and that God will make them fruitful. There are many Muslims converting to Christ.
2. Pray for our leaders. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) We need to pray for the leaders of all countries that God would move them to make decisions that would lead to the ability of all people to lead peaceful, quiet, godly dignified lives. This includes the leaders we do not agree with politically or theologically. The leaders Paul was urging his people to pray for were not conservative christian capitalist. Most of them would have been pagan godless corrupt pawns of the pagan Roman empire. There is ample evidence all throughout scripture that God moved even godless leaders to make decisions that accomplished His purposes.
3. Pray that terror plots will be thwarted. “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54:17) Pray that God will be merciful to us and protect the innocent from terror attacks. Pray for the men and women who are working hard to prevent terrorist attacks that God will guide them and lead them to discover terror plots before they can be carried out.
4. Pray that the refugees would find a safe and secure place to live. “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:34) All throughout the Old Testament God expresses concern for the “stranger” or the foreigner. Israel was to always treat them well and care for them. God continually reminded them that they were strangers in Egypt. Even God’s own Son was a refugee fleeing the deadly violent actions of a brutal dictator. I believe God’s heart aches as people are fleeing their homes because if they stayed where they are they would be persecuted and possibly executed for their faith. I believe He wants all these people to live peaceful, quiet, godly dignified lives in the same manner that we do. They simply want a safe place for their children as we do. Pray that God will lead them to such safe places. Pray that God will work in the hearts of His people around the world not to close our hearts and homes to them out of fear, but to be prepared to do what we can to help provide that safe and secure place.
I have thought recently of what could happen if instead of the church joining the chorus of solutions based upon human wisdom and fear and the blustery violent rhetoric of those who do not know the love of Christ, we would band together and pray, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is Heaven.” And, then while we are praying we would let Him use us to bring His kingdom to earth by living according to His kingdom principles. The church in active pursuit of seeking to expand the kingdom of God on earth is the strongest force upon the face of the earth. Do you think maybe the Lord of Hosts might have a real solution to these problems and the church of Jesus Christ might be the instrument through which He brings forth His solution?
May God hear our prayers and mobilize us to action.