Sadly, all too familiar headlines: Sunday’s British newspapers reported the latest terror attack in London.
Let’s address the 800-pound gorilla in the room. As we are asking you to bow your heads (and hearts) to pray for those observing Ramadan, you are distractedly looking at the news.
Breaking news, usually tragic, continues to strike closer and closer to home. It is terrorism.
A brother in Christ in the United Kingdom responding to Day 9 of Project Prayer: Ramadan 2017 (“Lord, please help me get one more”), coming only hours after the latest terror attack in London, emailed: “I am getting seriously angry about these terrorist attacks. UK is under siege. US, France, Belgium, Maldives, all taking hits. Yet, we are here praying during Ramadan. I know the project and aspects you are doing here is genuine and Godly!”
This brother said he recognized “that hate in me is greater than love. So my thinking is how many other brothers and sisters are like me? We need to be praying for each other, praying that the Holy Spirit within us helps us to act [in ways] that display the living God in us. Acts 1 v 8.”
So, before we continue with days of prayer for the people and places where God has Climbing For Christ working, let’s focus on you. Wherever you are right now (and members in 50-some countries are receiving this email) we want to lift you and each other.
“…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” – Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)
I encourage you to not be dissuaded by what is happening in the world today. Remember the instructions given to us by Jesus: “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, NIV).
Love is what Jesus is all about. Love is why God sent Him into this world to defeat death for us. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus” (1 John 4:16-17, NIV).
We are like Jesus!
This is a critical call on our lives. We are to treat others, even our enemies, as Jesus would treat them. And how did He treat them? As He was crucified on a cross, as He was hanging in anguish with the sin of the world heaped upon Him, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34, NIV).
Those terrorists who are bringing death closer and closer to many of us do not know what they are doing – even if they claim otherwise. They are lost.
The evil one would have us forget to love, to be filled with hate, and – perhaps even worse – be filled with fear. We fear terrorists. We fear Muslims. We fear GO-ing to Muslims and fear them coming to us.
Fear is the real enemy.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
“If we believe that Jesus is the hope for our planet today,” one believer wrote in WorldChristian.com’s 32nd annual 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, “we believe he can change the hearts of even terrorists.”
ALL things are possible for God and with God. This is the good news in a world increasingly full of bad news.
Let us pray: