Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In the Face of Barbarities, Praying

Praying today for the 150 people--Christian men, women, and children abducted by Isis yesterday--that God will sustain, encourage, and provide for them and bring them to safety.

Praying also that the Holy Spirit will empower them, like the 21 martyred by Isis in Egypt last week, to endure in making the good confession for the God Who can save from sin, death, and themselves, any sinner who repents and believes in the crucified and risen Jesus, God in human flesh.

Through faithful, steadfast Christian witness, God can save and transform even the most murderous enemies of Christ and His Church. (Those conversant with the Bible will think of Saint Paul, who murderously terrorized Christians only to be changed for eternity by the grace of God in Christ!)

Praying also that the Church everywhere will be emboldened to spread the good news about Jesus so that, reconciled with God through Jesus, they will seek to understand and work with their neighbors, not hate or kill them. This is needed in every nation of the world, the United States as well as Syria, France as well as Iraq!

Praying also that God will guide the leaders of the world in punishing and bringing to justice those perpetrating these barbarities. The Bible is clear that God has instituted governments to hold in check those unwilling to voluntarily yield to the rule of God--and His call to love God and to love others--in this imperfect world. May God empower all governments to do their duty in destroying the forces of chaos, violence, and nihilism in our world.

And praying that God will undertake to do whatever He deems needed, knowing that my wisdom about all that needs to happen is minuscule, in these circumstances. Paul says in Romans 8:26-27 that God's "Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."

I don't know exactly what to pray for; but I know Who to pray to.

So, in my ignorance and faulty wisdom, I ask that God's kingdom come and that God's will be done on earth just as it is in heaven.

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