- Israel locked in a no holds barred heart breaking conflict withb,
- Russia and Ukraine blaming each other for shooting down of a passenger plane and blowing up 280 people innocently sitting down watching movies, listening to music, snoozing.
- Syria blowing it self to bits.
- Iraq terrorising its own inhabitant, forcing Christians to flee homes and country in unprecedented numbers,
- Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman forced to give birth in Sudan prison fears that her daughter’s possible disability is directly related to the fact that she gave birth with her legs shackled together.
- In Pakistan four Christians are on death row on fabricated charges of blaspheming the name of Mohamed.
- And in ‘the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman today’, the D R Congo, day after day hundreds of women and girls are systematically raped as a weapon of terror.
Indeed ‘Great is the darkness that covers our world at this time, but often we don’t realise that God is looking for ordinary people like us to ‘stand in the gap’ and pray. We forget we have been entrusted with mighty weapons for spiritual warfare for a reason and that the ‘Weapons of our warfare are mighty for the pulling down of strongholds’ (2 Corinthians 10v4).
If ever we should be using them its now, because through praying in ‘agreement’ with one or two others in the name of Jesus we can influence and change world affairs. What might happen if we all started praying down these two laws (strongholds) so clearly at work in the world systems today :
- The law of Revenge – ‘if you hurt me I’ll hurt you, and hurt you even more’. Seen at work in Gaza
- The law of Retribution – in Moses time revenge was replaced with ‘an eye for an eye’. But as Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jnr put it so well, ‘an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind’. Which is fast becoming a possibility, as the world gives up on diplomacy, instead sanctions and punishment are the talk.
But the people who walked in darkness and have seen a great light (us Christians), are called to instead release the law of Love into people’s hearts – promoting a third way. You don’t have to get even, you can choose to forgive. As miraculously demonstrated by Nelson Mandella. And it’s powerful.
- Why not open your home during August for one evening as a Prayer House for Peace, and invite friends and neighbours to join you
- Put your Peace Dove from Christmas up again and when people ask what that’s for, tell them and invite them to join you.( Ask me for one if you haven’t got one).
- Light a candle for each world situation, as you pray for it.
- When you gather together keep it simple, keep it short, no fancy words, perhaps using the chorus of the hymn ‘Great is the darkness’, to pray/sing after bringing each situation before God
‘Come Lord Jesus, Come Lord Jesus, pour out your spirit we pray’
- Please Pray for Steve Bridge, John and Ann Hooper from nearby Kirby, out in Jerusalem as part of the Garden tomb ministry, to be much used by God at this time.
- Read the amazing story of a Palestinian doctor, Izzeldin Abuelaish, who lost his wife, three daughters and niece when their bedroom in the family home in Gaza was ripped apart by Israeli shells. His book ‘I shall not hate’ tells how he ends up treating patients on both sides of the conflict, as he passionately campaigns for reconciliation. It will turn your view of Muslims upside down.
Let me know how you are praying for the people still walking in the darkness and need to see the great light of Jesus, so I can pray along with you. We don’t want to let our spiritual weapons go rusty! And try and get your church to pray for the nations this Sunday. ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for the nations’.