As a believer in Jesus Christ and a citizen of the United States of America, my life is beyond blessed by those two facts alone. If everything else in my life were going wrong, those two facets of my life mean there is hope, possibility and much blessing afforded to me based on those two truths. But in many other countries across the globe, being a believer can have very dire consequences indeed.
Over the weekend I received an email begging for prayer written by a well known Christian author, Phillip Yancey. Personally, several of Yancey’s books have been very valuable in my walk with Christ…but this email was by far the most impactful. Please read carefully the following accounts:
Urgent Prayer from friends of Yanceys
Praying People at Lookout Mountain Community Church
Message from: Rae Cronk
This is so sad…
A friend just got a text message from her brother asking her to shower him and his parish in prayer. He is part of a mission and ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families – even if it means their own deaths. He is very afraid, has no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called him for some reason to be his voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, he is begging prayers for his courage to live out his vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children, accept martyrdom if he is called to do so. She asked me to ask everyone we know to please pray for them. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance.
She was able to talk to her brother briefly by phone. She didn’t say it but I believe she believes it will be their last conversation. Pray for her too. She said he just kept asking her to help him know what to do and do it. She told him to tell the families we ARE praying for them and they are not alone or forgotten — no matter what. Her e-mail broke my heart. Please keep all in your prayers. Thanks.
This came this morning … just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts.
“We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”
Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region. May I plead with you not to ignore this e-mail. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible. Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastor and phone him/her to pray on Sunday during the service – making a special time of prayer for this. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.
Moms and Dads, if your not tearing up reading this then you must indeed pray and ask for a softer heart. Our brothers and sisters in the faith have suffered irreparable losses. We absolutely must kneel in prayer and stand in faith that our God hears and will act swiftly and strongly on their behalf. I look forward to Heaven when I get to see the results of our efforts in the spiritual realm making a huge wave of difference in their very real peril. I am asking each one of you to gather your family together tonight at bedtime, hug your children tightly and pray with them for the mourning, grieving parents and that ISIS would be stopped. The prayers of our children are so very powerful! My little Glory was just bawling as she cried out to her Heavenly Father on behalf of these precious Christians half a globe away…and I encouraged her that if she could see right now the effect of that prayer, she would be blown away by her Mighty God. Kneel with me and stand in faith…
Believe With Me that we can make a difference, even an ocean away, in the lives of our family in the faith.