Tag Archive: Prayer

PRAYER FOR AFGHANISTAN

Picture a young M*slim woman, physically, emotionally and mentally abused by the husband she was forced to marry at age fourteen. Desperate, near death on occasion, losing several children in the womb. Then Jesus helped her escape. The Jesus she saw in a vision at fourteen when he told her he loved her – this girl who felt unattractive, unloved, unwanted. She didn’t understand then. But later, she gave herself fully to Jesus as she learned who this Man was who appeared to her in her teens.

Satan tempts her at times with the fear of the past, the scars she’s borne. But she fights him with the full armor of God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” 

Ephesians 6:10-13

The elements of that armor?

  • The Belt of Truth
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Readiness to share the gospel of peace
  • The Shield of faith, with which to extinguish the evil one’s attacks
  • The Helmet of Salvation
  • The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and
  • Praying at all times in the Spirit for all the saints.
smiling woman wearing hijab
Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy on Pexels.com
This is a representative photo and is not the woman I write about

This young woman has fought against evil and is finding freedom from the memories, the scars of her past, and I praise God for her life and her testimony.

And now we see desperate people trying to flee Afghanistan in the wake of our withdrawal of troops and the takeover by the Taliban. Oh, how we need to pray for these people, beloved by God who gave His Son that ALL might know Him. I can’t even imagine the terror they feel as they rush the airport, cling to airplanes from which they fall to their deaths, as they try desperately to flee a horrible regime.

I know many of us are praying for the Christians who will be sought out and persecuted, likely killed. Franklin Graham has called for today, Sunday 8/22, to be a Day of Prayer for Afghanistan, especially for Christians and those who have worked with America. I am copying here a prayer by Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of Billy Graham) for the people of Afghanistan.

“…I cannot shake the very heavy burden I feel to pray for Afghanistan. The following is a summary of how I am praying as I pour out my heart before God. Please join me if you feel led:

Creator of the Universe. Ruler of All. Lord of the Nations. Are You not the Judge of all the earth? If my heart is broken…shattered…over what’s taking place in Afghanistan, what must Your great heart feel? So I come to You and plead Your mercy for Your people who are now hiding in basements, caves, any hole they can find, knowing that demonic forces will not stop until Your people are found and slaughtered. So I pray for Your people…followers of Jesus…to be supernaturally protected and delivered. Send Your angel armies to surround Your people, as You did for Elisha (2 Kings 6). Blind the enemy so they cannot locate Your people in hiding. Didn’t You teach us Yourself that when we pray, we are to pray that we would be delivered from evil? (Matthew 6) So. Deliver Your people. By any means. Please. But if You do not, and if You allow Your people to be slaughtered, then I pray that You would give dying grace to each and every one of them. Men. Women. Children. Fill them with Your supernatural peace. Give them a vision of Heaven opened for them, as You did for Stephen in Acts 7. Open their eyes to see You, Lord Jesus, standing at the right hand of the Father, waiting to welcome them Home and give them a martyr’s crown.

And then I pray…yes I do… for the fullness of Your wrath to fall on the evil perpetrators, whether they are in Kabul or Tehran or Washington, DC. Holy God. Avenge Your people. I know You hear this prayer. Now I wait to see how You will answer. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Surely it’s time for You to be glorified in all the earth. For the sake of Your great name, Amen”

Anne Graham Lotz

Please join me in this prayer. May God keep His sovereign hand on His precious people.

Deliver Us From Evil

Don and I were a part of Menlo Church before moving to the Pacific Coast. I requested, and received, permission from Pastor John Ortberg to reprint his letter to the Menlo family following the recent mass murders that have horrified us all. And on Thursday another angry man stabbed and killed four people, wounding two others. Ortberg speaks clearly to the evil that is present in our world, and to our response as Christ followers.

Dear Menlo Family,

One of the lines in the world’s most famous prayer says simply: “Deliver us from evil.” Evil is always present in our world. Sometimes it’s possible for some of us to forget; and then evil surfaces and we remember and shudder.

And this past week has been one of those times. We saw it here in the Bay Area touching our brothers and sisters in Gilroy. We saw it in El Paso. We saw it in Dayton, where a shooter’s victims included his own sister.

Deliver us from evil.

It is important for us to name evil. Evil is love’s opposite; it is the will-to-harm. It is what happen when hate—like the spirit of white supremacy that surfaced again in El Paso—darkens the human heart and blasphemes the image of God in human beings.

As followers of Jesus, we stand with the victims, and their families, the minority groups being targeted, and all who suffer as a result of this hatred and violence. We call on and ask God for our political leaders to be given wisdom and courage to act for justice and shalom. We seek to help however we can—as a church we’ve been in touch with the leaders of our sister church in Gilroy to give them support and rest.

And we pray. Authentic prayer is never irrelevant. It is not an alternative to action; it is a form and source of it. We ask God to make us, in our small corners of the earth, agents of his peace and love. We are reminded once again of how deeply and desperately our broken world needs God.
 
We remember, too, that deliverance from evil is not the only phrase. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus’ plan is for God’s will to be done—in Gilroy and El Paso and Dayton—and starting in the hearts and lives of those who follow him.   

We are to be—are privileged to be—agents of a kingdom far greater and more resilient than any human being can design. We do this as we pray and love and worship and learn and serve and care. We are Kingdom bringers.

I join with all of you in praying.

John Ortberg

Copyright © 2019 Menlo Church, All rights reserved.

And for suggestions on how to pray for survivors, read this excellent article by a shooting survivor, from Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/august-web-only/dayton-el-paso-mass-shooting-thoughts-prayers.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=23469312&utm_content=665313077&utm_campaign=email

May we join our hearts and hands in praying for, and providing what support we can, to those who have experienced these traumatic shootings.