As I snuggle beneath clean flannel sheets and a soft comforter to keep me warm, my mind is troubled by thoughts of Christians in Syria and Iraq who know nothing of this comfort. I think of innocent children who sleep in the open air with empty tummies and no warm clothes – my mind fails to fully grasp the incredible plight of these innocent human beings. I say a prayer for these brothers and sisters and ask God to watch over them, but at the same time I feel a sense of hopelessness and sadness despite knowing that God hears my prayers. So how are we supposed to respond to the crisis of the many Christian people who have been forced out of Mosul and other areas so cruelly affected by ISIS, the extremist jihadist group? I do think it is incumbent upon us to pray. Ephesians 6: 18 calls upon us to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. So how are we to pray?
1. Pray that they would experience the hope God gives: Ephesians I: 8. Let us pray that our fellow Christians will know His hope in their hearts despite their suffering.
2. Pray that God would strengthen and sustain them: Ephesians 3:16. In the midst of their suffering we should ask God to strengthen them through their ordeal.
3. Pray that they would share their faith: Ephesians 6: 19-20 Our friends have the opportunity to share their faith with people who do not know Jesus and we should pray that they will not be intimidated, but share the gospel with boldness.
4. Pray that they would know God’s love and peace through their suffering: Ephesians 3: 17. We should pray that these suffering people would feel and sense God’s love through this time.
We go to our warm beds at night and wake up to a glorious sunrise and the promise of a new day. We fill our bellies with good food before we face the challenges of our day. Instead of grumbling about what we do not have let us focus on those who really have nothing but their faith. In selfless love for our fellow Christians let us pray that God will sustain them through this dark hour. We cannot close our eyes to the needs of the Church.
So as you begin your day, please pause, and pray for those persecuted believers who are suffering at this moment. And then thank God for the privilege you have of serving him in freedom.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,