Our Most Powerful Weapon Against ISIS
"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love." – Francis of Assisi
We’ve seen the chilling images on the news for decades—national flags going up in flames and trampled underfoot while bystanders raised clenched fists defiantly in the air, crowds pouring into the streets with shouts of rage, the despairing, blood-soaked faces of Middle Eastern men, women, and children ran across our screens every night on the 6 o’clock news.
And as the years passed, we began to turn our hearts away. The gruesome images became too much to grapple with . . . and we allowed ourselves to become numb.
But the cries of our brothers and sisters only grew louder—the mass exodus of Syrian families violently forced from their homes into overpopulated and disease-ridden refugee camps . . . hundreds of thousands of Iraqis pouring into neighboring countries, abused, homeless, and utterly destitute . . . the blatant and horrific slaughter of minority groups—public crucifixions and gruesome beheadings— a Christian Holocaust unfolding before our eyes.
This overwhelming evil quickly gaining power throughout the Middle East has forced itself into our reality. And out of our shock, helplessness, and desperation, we have been moved—almost unknowingly—to our greatest weapon against ISIS: Falling to our knees in prayer.
On September 21, the International Day of Peace, we are inviting you to join us in powerful intercession for the Middle East. In the words of American Evangelist D. L. Moody, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” Let’s begin a movement together in prayer that could change the course of history.
Here are five ways to pray for the Middle East on September 21—will you join us?
In Clarity: Ask God for guidance as you enter intercession. In such grave circumstances, it can be easy to pray out of hurt, bias, or simply a stream of emotions. Instead, let’s ask God to direct our hearts into His unconditional love and perfect perspective. The Spirit helps us in our weakness . . . for we do not know what to pray for as we ought . . . (Romans 8:26).
In Hope: Let’s pray out of hearts filled with hope. Just as the Apostle Paul was transformed through an encounter with Jesus, so can those who are a part of the Islamic State. Ultimately, the battle against evil will not be won by physical destruction, but through spiritual transformation. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
In Faith: Be bold. Ask for God to move in unimaginable ways . . . dream with Him about what true transformation, peace, and unity would look like in the Middle East. Ask for these things to come into fruition and believe that God is capable of bringing it to pass. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:13-14).
In Specifics: As you pray, focus on individuals and the details of their circumstances. Know their stories, familiarize yourself with the conditions of the refugee camps, and pray with these images, families, and specific names in mind. Genuine love sees faces, not the mass. The good Shepherd calls each sheep by name. – George Arthur Buttrick
In Surrender: Be willing to be moved to action. Ask God what part He has for you in bringing peace and restoration to our brothers and sisters who are suffering. How can your unique gifts be used to make a difference? Although we cannot overcome such great evil overnight, we can remain faithful in the face of it. For they gave according to their means . . . begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints . . . they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us (2 Corinthians 8: 3-5).
Our teams working throughout the Middle East are strategically positioned to sow the peace of the Gospel in places of desperate need . . . and you can join us in these efforts.
By providing immediate humanitarian relief to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, you can help shed light in the midst of unimaginable darkness.