These past few days have been heartbreaking and nothing short of devastating as the stories on the news unfold. More hate crimes. More racism. More needless killing. More terrorism.
And God’s people cry out, “How long, Lord? How long?”
In the midst of our cries for justice and for His return, have we paused for even a moment to consider Jesus’ very own words in His greatest, longest, and most well-know sermon He ever gave on the mount?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45a (NIV)
Nothing is ever the same in God’s economy, is it? Our nature and our society would shout, “Revenge!” Jesus would speak, “Grace!”
But what an unthinkable thing to do, right? To pray for ISIS—these cold, seemingly heartless, driven by the darkest kind of evil, bent on destroying God’s people kind of people? Pray for them?
Yes. That is exactly what Jesus told us to do.
Not to condone what they have done. Not to minimize their horrific deeds. Not to justify their behavior.
Pray for them.
They need Jesus just as much as you and I. They need God’s grace just as much and we do each and every day.
And God desires for their hearts to turn to Him.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
Notice that word everyone? There is no one too far for the reaches of God’s grace. No one.
So we must pray. We must join forces, link arms, bend our knees, and cry out to the God of mercy to soften every hard heart.
There is an incredible missionary sending agency called Frontiers USA who is spear-heading this movement to engage the body of Christ in prayer for ISIS. No small task, but a powerful one if we would but humble ourselves and pray, and seek God’s face, and to turn from our own wicked ways…and God could heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
So this is my invitation to you to put your faith into action, to no longer only be a hearer of the Word but a doer of the Word. To follow in the footsteps of Jesus. To do what He did. To go where He went. To love how He loved. To pray as He prayed.
Frontiers USA has set up a digital 30-day prayer guide to last throughout the month of Ramadan, equipping every participant with daily, compelling content to guide you in your prayer time. You can sign up for email notifications or hop onto their website daily to tune in to each day’s post. Either way, the call is to prayer and to pray for ISIS. We must believe that God is bigger than this evil, because He is, and His grace is able to soften even the hardest heart.
Will you join me?