Praying FIRST for Christians in Iraq

Displaced Iraqi Christians settle at St. Joseph Church in Irbil, northern Iraq, Aug. 7, 2014 / by Voice of America

Displaced Iraqi Christians settle at St. Joseph Church in Irbil, northern Iraq, Aug. 7, 2014 / by Voice of America

Over the years I’ve heard and said some eccentric prayers in the church. I heard a woman ask for prayer that she would buy the right horse trailer for her horse; she wanted the Cadillac of horse trailers. I heard a man confess that he’d prayed his daughter’s sketchy boyfriend out of her life (I sympathize). I’ve heard a woman say her car was making a funny noise and it needed prayer for healing (probably a GM). I’ve been in a small group where we prayed for a washing machine that was broken. We have a penchant in the modern church for focusing on our own first-world problems when it comes to prayer. We zero in on our needs and wants to the extent that we occasionally drift into eccentric prayers. Granted, we can pray for just about anything that doesn’t contradict the Bible. But there is something to be said for prioritizing our prayers.

This week the news broke about a community of thousands of Christians stranded on a mountain in Iraq. They face death at the hands of Islamic State (aka ISIS) barbarians surrounding the mountain. Knowing this, I just can’t bring myself to pray first for healing of the rash on my border collie’s rear leg (even though he and I are very close). I think God’s heart yearns for those of who are blessed with peace and freedom to at least pray for our brothers and sisters in harm’s way. There are Christian women, children, seniors, and infirmed on that mountain. They face evil that would like to kill them simply because they believe in the same Christ we freely worship in our hip churches on Sunday morning. It is essential to the health of our faith to set aside our needs and wants for a while in order to implore God to deliver them. We should also pray that our government responds to the crisis in the right way.

I’m not suggesting that you go to your nearest church cathedral, climb the steps on your bare knees, light a candle, and throw yourself prostate before the altar (especially if there is a wedding going on) where you remain for hours in fervent prayer for adherents to the faith on that mountain in Iraq. Just a simple “Lord, please guard your children in Iraq” is sufficient, especially if you offer this prayer BEFORE praying for your dog’s rash. The events in Iraq are a spiritual war as well as an actual war. We should be willing to shoot back via prayer. I’m just saying.

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Posted on August 11, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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