Morning by Morning, March 18 - Standing as One Body against Persecution and Terror
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I call on Your name and listen for Your voice. ...
"If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now (we) are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Corinthians 12:26-27).
Lord, as I seek to quiet my spirit in the communion of prayer to start my day, my thoughts keep going to my friends and the people of Lahore, Pakistan, where You sent me to minister Your healing love and power a few years ago. Sunday morning, two suicide bombers tried to come into the morning services of two churches, one Catholic and one Protestant, and blew themselves up at the entrances among the worshippers in this heinous and cruel, cowardly act of terror. Then the Taliban of Pakistan promised more attacks to come.
Already, our Christian brothers and sisters in that land are heavily persecuted and driven to live in isolation in "Christian colonies." And now they feel unprotected and vulnerable to this shocking and violent hatred against them for their faith.
Father God, comfort them in their shock and trauma and grief. Guide them to release their anger to You and give them a voice to expose this cruelty and injustice. Give them courage to respond in the way of Christ and turn away from vengeance. Turn their rage into intercession and action in the power of Your Spirit. And turn our hearts to intercession and action to stand with them as one in the body of Christ.
Open our eyes to see this intensifying persecution throughout the world. Give us grace to not be overwhelmed, along with the power to overcome. Show us how to pray, how to respond, how to speak up, how to stand firm in the faith as one body throughout the nations of the earth.
As You said long ago, "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth.... You are the light of the world.... Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-16).
Give us grace in our generation to live that way in the midst of whatever persecution and terror we face. Let us mourn with each other and rejoice with each other, as one the Spirit and one in the Lord. As we acknowledge and release our grief and our anger to You, give us courage to follow You and allow You to empower us to respond and not react, to advance and not retreat, and to overcome with Spirit of Christ. "We do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:14). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My Friend, may you filled with the Spirit to stand firm in your faith in Christ and intercede with the heart of the Father for our brothers and sisters experiencing persecution and terror in the world, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!