“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one… Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Right now great trial, tragedy, and persecution are coming against believers (and other non-muslims) in Iraq at the hands of ISIS terrorists. Around the world many are reacting to the horrors that are circulating the web and social media through different ways. Some are covering their eyes and pretending that such atrocities aren’t happening. Some take an attitude of indifference because these acts of evil are taking place halfway across the world and don’t affect their lives in any personal way. Others are feeling appalled and try to sympathize with those who are being harmed, but don’t respond in any particular way because the situation seems so hopeless. Finally, there are a few who are responding from a place of deep human sentiment and are taking action through humanitarian aid, diplomacy, military strategy and so on… All of these responses I believe fall terribly short of providing a lasting solution in Iraq if they do not come primarily from the place of intercession and prayer that is found in partnership with Jesus.
As Christian believers now is the hour for us to fast and pray for the nation of Iraq and the middle east. I repeat NOW is the time to pray! The question is how do we pray? I will briefly address a few helpful ways for us to effectively pray from a place of true partnership with God rather than from a place of empty human sentiment.
- Pray in faith. You must actually believe that God hears your prayers and has a plan that He desires to bring to pass in partnership with His praying Church.
- Pray scripture. The word of God is our sword that we use to wage war against our advisory, the devil. Use it!
- Pray with fasting. Set aside specific time in your day where you stop business as usual to devote yourself to intercession. The Bible gives clear examples that fasting aids believers in prayer.
- Pray God centered positive prayers rather than devil/sin/wickedness centered prayers. Remember that where ever light enters the darkness flees in every direction. Praying in this manner “kills two birds with one stone” so to speak, darkness is removed and people are strengthened in God. Also, you will sustain longer times of prayer if you keep it God centered. Let’s face it, praying against the devil is exhausting, not because he is such a tough enemy, but because praying against things isn’t as edifying as praying for God.
- Pray specific, measurable prayers. Don’t get sucked into the endless blogosphere of what is happening in the world. However, when you use updated, accurate information of what is happening in the world, and how you should direct your faith, then you are able to measure how the Lord is responding to your prayers. Praying measurable prayers is encouraging and it is a good strategy.
I hope these prayer tips will prove helpful to you as you pray for God to break in the nation of Iraq. Now lets come before the Throne of our Father and find grace and mercy in time of need!