Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day Seventeen: Praying For A Whole Country

When my husband read the terrible news of the attacks, my first panicky question was to know if our friends were safe. Thankfully, an email assured us they were okay, Khristin had been relaxing in a restaurant in Paris with some of her friends at the time of the wicked murders/suicides. She and Dave and their little girl, Blythe moved to France a few years ago and so we were concerned for them. Khristin exited the restaurant and couldn't find a taxi anywhere. She was left to hike four kilometres, arriving at home by 1 a.m. Pray for Paris? Yes! But how do you pray for a whole city or nation when you sometimes can't figure out how to pray for yourself? You realize God uses small numbers and seemingly insignificant people to do amazing things.

Imagine a huge enemy army "as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore" (Judges 7:12) ready to attack. Your own army boasts thirty-two thousand, but God, through a series of tests brings it down to three hundred men. What's more, He wants the battle to be accomplished by breaking clay pitchers and blowing trumpets to confuse the enemy. He does it just as He promised and Gideon, the captain, becomes a hero in the Bible because he listened to the Lord and trusted His ways. Jesus taught twelve simple men who, without power or money or much education, spread the gospel across the whole world.

So how do you pray for a nation? First of all, you believe that your God is the King of the universe and cares about what is happening on earth. Next, you believe that your prayers are being heard by Him, even though you are seemingly inconsequential. Then, you understand that throughout history, God used sinful and often overlooked people to do His work. Think of "inadequate" Gladys Aylward, who led one hundred children to safety over the mountains in China during the Japanese attacks. Wounded and exhausted, she survived on prayer. Think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Corrie Ten Boom. There are countless others. If they can sacrifice to help their suffering brothers and sisters and be remembered by the world, we can make a difference through prayer. Why? Because the One who empowered them to rescue the persecuted, hears your cry to save France and your own country. Let's keep praying for the world and for peace. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Thank You, Lord for keeping Dave, Khristin and Blythe safe!

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