Wonder- Hillsong United

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Call to Prayer



Ps 32 :7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
This verse struck me on the day following the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian men….Everyone is in fear of these emissaries of Satan.  This war MUST be fought on our knees.  I pray 1) for the assassins that they may be moved by the faith and courage of their victims; that they may seek and find the Living God.  However we also need 2) that world leaders would unite and crush these “extremists” who are now at over 150,000 …the not so silent “minority.”

Psalm 143:3,4 For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is appalled within me.

This verse is so appropriate to describe the various tortures employed by the ISIS extremists.  Oh Lord, grant your children peace and endurance, and wisdom and persistent faith.  May the church rise from these ashes, stronger, and more holy than ever.  May the persecution refine and purify us.  And yes, it IS “us”---every Christian has been or will be a target unless strong measures are taken to defeat Islam. These are our brothers, our sisters who are being murdered, raped, burned to death, beaten, crammed in to boxes,enslaved and beheaded.  We share the deep grief of the families left behind.  Calm them Lord.  Comfort them and assure them that their loved ones have a special place in your kingdom. Strengthen and unite your people oh God.  Raise up intercessors to rally behind those who suffer.  Send your warring angels against ISIS…DEFEAT them by your mighty hand.  Grant those who are on the run…PEACE.  May they sleep in safety for you are holding their right hand. Keep watch over them by night.  Bring them to a place of safe shelter.  Let them know that the world is praying for them.

Today is Ash Wednesday.The readings in my devotions were all about sin and repentance.  It’s not a matter of impressing God by what we can give up….It’s not that we could in any way compare our ”journey” with the road to the cross.  But we can remember it.  We can remember the day when Evil thought it prevailed. It thought it silenced the King of Glory forever….We can remember and weep for his suffering.  We can bank on his suffering by confessing our most minute and most bothersome sins. We can be filled with gratitude for the good news of the gospel.  Good news that was displayed by the evacuated tomb.  Good news that was heralded by angels and dreaded by kings.
This news—this GOSPEL (meaning “good news”) still shines brightly today and it carries a message that it is in the deepest, darkest, most desperate hours that our Lord, took on Hell and WON.  In the places of suffering and death---the cross and the grave, came LIFE bursting forth.  Lord today this world needs resurrection life. Burst forth in the darkness.  Shine the light of the Gospel boldly into every dark place where evil is conceived.

My friends.  Following the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians and the burning to death of 45 others today, I am left in deep grief.  Deep sadness.  God has moved me to fast and pray.  Will you join me?  Pray that by whatever means the Lord should choose, that ISIS will be stopped in their tracks.  Pray that the church explodes with growth.  Pray that world leaders would act in unity and wisdom and with strength.  Most of all pray that no matter what happens that The Lord of Glory would be exalted.  Thank you for joining me in this prayer vigil.  This battle is one that will only be won on our knees.
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