This is urgent news from Samaritans Purse. (Received 3/6/2015)
Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from [the leader of] Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated its staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”
Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region. May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible. Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.
As I read this request yesterday I couldn’t help but to think about how disengaged I have been about how I have barely even prayed about the killing and those who are in the path of destruction that ISIS is leaving behind. As I prayed I became convicted that not only should I be praying for those who are in danger, but I also need to pray for those who are surrounded by demons that are causing such harm and fear to individuals. As Christians we are told that we will be persecuted if we want to live a godly life in Jesus (2 Tim. 3:12). That is not to say that we should just accept it as fate and not pray for those who are persecuted, but it does say that we should expect to be persecuted, just as Jesus was persecuted. We are called to live a different life; a life in which we are to turn the other cheek when stricken (Mt. 5:39) and to bless those who persecute us (Mt 5:44) for even evil doers love those who love them, but the righteous will pray for those who are persecuting them.
I admit that it is difficult to pray for the people that are involved in such heinous acts, but this is what we are called to do. In fact Romans 12:14 goes a step further in saying that we are to bless and not curse those who persecute us. Steve Bell, the director of Interserve said this, “We see it as ‘more Christian’ to be the Good Samaritan and pick up the pieces rather than praying for the people who attacked in the first place. Traditionally and historically, we’re not equipped as the Church – we don’t know what to do about the bad guys.”
It may be true that we do not know what to do about the bad guys and may even fear, but God knows what to do and is waiting for our hearts to be turned. He longs to see all people to come to him and the reality is that those who are not for God are surrounded by demons sent by Satan to cause fear and destruction. Our response needs to start in prayer. Beneath the covering of the enemy displayed through ISIS lies a human being who was created by God for a purpose, just like you were. What if you were driven by the dark forces of hell to commit such acts? Would you want Christians to immediately search for justice rather than to pray for your very soul? We have an obligation to pray and fast for all who are involved, not only for those who are being persecuted, but for the persecutors themselves.
Tomorrow is Sunday March 8th, at the time this is written, and I will be in prayer and fasting and I invite you to call others to join us as we stand in the gap for those who are being persecuted, but also for those who are plagued by the enemy that they would see the light. You have a choice to make. Will you just talk and complain about what ISIS is doing or will you join in with what others are already doing to bless all those involved and to actually make a difference? Will you step outside of your comfort zone and engage in the battle? Jesus made a choice to fight for your soul so that you can fight for the souls of others.
The choice is yours as to how you will respond…