Friday, February 27, 2015

How to pray when the odds are stacked against us?

Commenting on yesterday's post, Nick writes,

" I personally would be interested in some discussion on how we might usefully pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nigeria. I find this quite a challenge."

So would I!

Yesterday we learned that c. 200 Assyrian Christians have been captured by ISIS. At best they might be used as some kind of bargaining chips; at worst ... well, it does not bear thinking about, especially the women and children.

Whatever the world makes of ISIS or Boko Haram, we Christians have a special concern for the violence being perpetrated by these murderous groups against fellow believers. In some cases the church is effectively being eradicated from regions, despite a previous history going back to the days of the apostles or their immediate successors.

How then should we pray?


Father Ron Smith said...

Apart from our prayers; do we think that we should be involved is trying to actually protect these people, by joining those engaged in military opposition?

Here we have the age-old problem of the injunction of Jesus to pray for our'their persecutors - as well as those who are being persecuted!

As for the possible eradication of the Church in various places; if we are NOT involved in action against the perpetrators of dereliction; how can we positively prevent such devastation? And, are we meant to? And what might that say about God's own plan for the survival of the Church?

All very vexing questions - not only for christians, but for all people of faith and of none.

Jean said...

Usually I go for praying what is on my heart that day, but also in the case of the persecuted church, picking an issue, person, or specific situation to pray for continually helps me from being so overwhelmed by the enormity of everything, acknowledging we are part of a body and not the only ones praying. In this case I would also pray for both the persecuted and those doing the persecuting, for if those doing the persecuted are swayed then all benefit.

For we do not war against flesh and blood but the powers and principalities of this world; And the weapons of our warfare are not carnal in nature but have the power to demolish strongholds that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.

Ah yes Ron the Military involvement aspect is another box of worms altogether.


MichaelA said...

We should pray for their deliverance, and we should also pray for our governments that they should intervene where possible to restrain the evildoers.