How to Kill a Giant

 

Guillaime_Courtois_-_David_and_Goliath_-_Google_Art_Project

It seems to be now or never. On July 21st, Tukur Buratai, the chief of Nigeria’s Army Staff, commanded the Nigerian military to do all that it can to defeat the leader of Boko Haram, Abubukar Shekau, in forty days. According to the article, Buratai said that “The Boko Haram leader must be captured dead or alive within 40 days,” and that Major Attahiru, a general in the Nigerian military, was commanded to “employ every weapon available in his arsenal to smoke out Shekau wherever he is hiding in Nigeria” (source).

Such huge news comes in wake of the Nigerian police arresting five Boko Haram gunmen on the outskirts of the city of Kano, Nigeria. A gunfight broke out between the Nigerian soldiers and Boko Haram members, one of which was a 20-year-old from Niger. Home-made explosives were also thrown, and the islamic gunmen injured 3 policemen. The islamic gunmen have been put in jail.

Amidst all of the violence, a voice of Hope was found in one internally displaced people’s camp. Africa News reported that Nigerian musician Innocent Idibia, known as 2Face Idibia or 2Baba, visited an internally displaced people’s camp, to meet the refugees and support their cause. 2Baba stated his mission well: “I’m trying to raise more awareness so that many people will come to donate many things and to make life easier for them. I’m going to tell Nigerians that their brothers and sisters are suffering and they need to help.”

2Baba has donated donated to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, through his “2Face Foundation” recently, and has also created a song called “Hold My Hand,” advocating for refugees (which can be heard, here).

In reality, Nigeria seems to have gone farther than it ever has before in defeating Boko Haram, breaking down physical strongholds and maintaining order and safety within Nigerian communities. Praise Jesus! In this fight to stop Boko Haram, Nigeria is facing one of it’s biggest “giants” yet: Abubakar Shekau, and the ideology that fuels him.

Killing the Giants

In a sermon heard recently, the story found in 1 Samuel 17, David and Goliath, was discussed. In the biblical account, the Philistines are coming against Israel, and tout their biggest soldier, Goliath, to fill Israel with fear.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels… Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.'”
(1 Samuel 17:4-5, 8-9, NIV)

Goliath was “six cubits and a span”– about 9 feet tall! As the Israelites looked up at this giant in their midst, and heard his taunting and challenge to them, one cannot imagine the absolute terror they felt (1 Samuel 17:11).

All of us have “Goliaths” in our lives; all of us, at one point or another, will need to face them. Everyone knows that David killed Goliath “with a sling and a stone” (1 Samuel 17:50). Where did David get such power and confidence?

Confidence in Christ

David’s war-cry toward Goliath tells it all.

David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.'”
(1 Samuel 17:45-47, NIV)

Listen to the above passage, friends. David was not fighting by Himself, or of His own accord; Christ was preparing David for this day. David knew that Goliath had gone against his God, and David had experienced victory over the predators that were out to get his sheep before (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

But Christ did not only prepare David for this day; He was with David as David faced Goliath. David did not put faith in man’s ability to defeat a giant so tall; it was through his victory over lions and bears that David realized true victory comes from the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47). From start to finish, it was not David who killed Goliath by Himself, but Yahweh, Jesus, who worked in and through David to bring Himself glory. It was closely walking with God that brought David victory over the giant that faced him, and knowing that it was God who would deliver Goliath into his hands.

Clinging to Christ, believing in who God said He is, David ran out to meet Goliath– and the rest is history.  The lesson? As we delight ourselves in the Lord, we can run out to meet any “giant” coming against us with full confidence that Christ will do what He said He would do: give us the victory.

As the Nigerian military comes against Boko Haram, and most prominently, Abubukar Shekau, may they come to, and rely upon, Christ for the victory. After all, it is found in Him alone.



Do you know Jesus?

“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
(Jeremiah 17:8, NIV)

David lived a loooong time before Jesus Christ ever came to earth; in fact, Jesus is the “Son of David,” coming approximately 26 generations after David came (Matthew 1). But Jesus was no ordinary man.

Although he was the Son of Man, Jesus was God Incarnate: God in human flesh. And, like David saved the Israelites, saved all those who believe on Him by killing the “ultimate giant”: the law of sin and death.

Jesus was brave; He created the Only Way to have a personal relationship with God, saving those who believe on Him from eternal separation from the Father. Those who trust in Him are like those spoken about in Jeremiah 17:8. Meet this God-in-Human-Flesh, the one who gave all of humanity salvation, here.


Please pray with me…

“Dear King Jesus,
Thank You for all that You have done, 
and all that You are doing to do. We thank You for the capture of 5 islamic terrorists, and we pray that, as they lie in jail, Father God, that You would help them to come to know You personally, as their Lord and Savior. 
Dear Jesus, 
Thank You for the military men and women who have stomped out Boko Haram– thank You for giving them the victory over Boko Haram. We pray now over the Nigerian police and military, dear Jesus; please protect them, and bring them to know You as their Lord and Savior, so that they may rely on You and trust in You in battle.

Dear Jesus,
We lift up those in Nigerian IDP camps, and those currently helping them. Dear Jesus, please bring an end to Boko Haram, and provide these internally displaced peoples with the food, water, schooling, healthcare, and safety that they need to survive, grow, and flourish. Please continue to show Your People how we can love, support, and pray for those in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria. 

Dear Jesus,
as violence seems to reign supreme in Northern Nigeria, please show Northern Nigeria that, in fact, YOU reign. We all need You, Jesus.

Dear Jesus,
We lastly thank You for each Chibok girl, and every other person who has been abducted by Boko Haram. Please free them soon, Lord Jesus!
Keep us praying for these men, women, and children, dear Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEWS: 14 MORE WOMEN ABDUCTED

Though it happened on June 30th, 2017, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY has just heard the news that 14 women have been abducted in Borno State, while on the way to taking the late Police Sergeant Rahila Antakirya to Lassa in Northern Nigeria for burial. (Source and Video of the women is in this article.)

Please be praying with me, tonight, and in the coming days, for these 14 women.

“Dear Father God,
While we were not aware of this atrocity at the time it happened, we thank You that You were. Jesus, You have seen every abduction, and every oppressed individual that Boko Haram has taken hostage. We now pray that You would please set these women free; please crush Boko Haram, so that those who have been doing this in the name of allah see their wrong, turn to You, and live.

Please, Lord Jesus,
Hear their cry. Hear our cry. And please free these women, soon.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Please pray not only for the Chibok girls, but for all those who have been abducted! Thank you!!!

Being Honest with God

Today, to be honest, I am hurting. I am in pain. I am angry. I am grieved.

“Indifference is no reaction at all.” Today, that quote stood out at church. Studying the story of Jonah, Jonah 1:1 says, “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.'” What was Jonah’s response? Anger.

“But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
(Jonah 1:3, NIV)

Jonah had a reason for his anger. The people of Nineveh were evil– the embodiment of evil, in fact– so much so that “it’s wickedness has come up before [God]” (Jonah 1:1). Jonah’s anger turned into something toxic, as the Pastor commented today (read Chapters 3-4 to see his anger take a turn for the worst). But it brought up the concept of being “real” with God. Of coming to Him with everything– even when “everything” includes screaming at him, and/or crying out in pain.

Honesty with Christ

There are still 113 Chibok girls who are not free. While news reports could be wrong, many say that some of these 113 Chibok girls have said they do not want to come home. This hurts. To know that 113 young women may be so brainwashed, that freedom for

14639822_574546066089764_9189681808964260463_n

Rejoice Sanki, one of the 113 Chibok girls who need to be freed.

them looks worse than their bondage, breaks my heart. I pray that it isn’t true… that what keeps these young women from freedom and healing is not their own will.

But it could be true. And it is okay to come to Christ with this pain, anger, frustration, and longing for these remaining Chibok girls to become free.

In fact, in the Psalms, King David regularly cried out to Christ.

 

 

“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. 10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. 11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. 13 For I hear many whispering, ‘Terror on every side!’ They conspire against me and plot to take my life.”
(Psalm 31:9-13, NIV)

Not too many have felt what King David felt. Theologians and Bible Readers alike speculate that this Psalm was written as David was narrowly escaping assassination attempts by Israel’s king at the time, King Saul (source). “In distress,” King David was overcome by sorrow and grief, and did not hold back in crying out to Christ about his situation. But he did not stay there.

From Pain to Praise

While crying out to Jesus about his struggles and anguish, King David drew close to Christ; and, it was in this honest encounter recorded in Psalm 31, that King David’s heart, mind, and perspective were transformed by the Lord. This can be seen in verse 14, as King David’s tone changes.

But I trust in you, LordI say, ‘You are my God.’ …Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. 22 In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’
Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. 23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
(Psalm 31:14, 21-24)

It is obvious that as King David ran to Christ for help, he found it. While we do not know if his circumstances really changed for the better, this is the Hope for all people who put their trust in Jesus; He will never let them be put to shame for seeking Him.

There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV). And, when it comes down to the honest truth, even when that joy doesn’t come, the Comfort and Joy of coming to Christ in the pain is our Strength.

113 Chibok girls still remain in bondage. This horrific Truth is cause for much pain, but approaching Christ in this pain makes all the difference. In our pain, may He hear our prayers, and may these precious young women come home soon.

This post is dedicated to the 113 young Chibok girls who are still not freed, as well as those in Mosul, which is modern-day Nineveh.



Do you know Jesus?

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
(Psalm 34:18, NIV)

Some people may see Jesus as some distant, feeling-less deity– yet, as one Pastor has said, He is anything but.

He can be grieved. Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” (Matthew 23:37, NIV)

He wept. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35, NIV)

He sings with Joy. “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)

He cares deeply for every detail of the Believer’s life.The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23, NIV)

Jesus is not some distant deity, or a made-up man. He is real, alive, and He deeply loves you. Learn more about who Jesus is, and why He came to earth, here.


Please pray…

For the remaining 113 Chibok girls who are still in bondage. Please pray that what has been said about the remaining girls is not true.

Please pray that if the news reports are true, that Jesus would reach and save these young women. 

Please pray for those in Mosul, Iraq. Iraqi soldiers are trying to push out ISIS. Please pray that they would have Christ’s favor, and that members of ISIS would be defeated– so that they can come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Please pray for Annalee, the writer of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY. Pray that I would continue to be effective in this ministry, by the power of the Holy Spirit– and that I would be faithful in my service to the Lord, even when it hurts. Thank you.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

Lament, and Hope (Reblog: Permission to Feel)

It has been 3+ years since 276 young girls have been free. On the eve of July 4th, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY wanted to remember and lament the bondage of the Chibok girls. 

But, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY also wanted to offer this thought: it is okay to lament the three years that have been stolen from the 163 young Chibok girls freed, and the 3+ years and counting that 113 Chibok girls still are experiencing of bondage. 

But there is Hope in Jesus. In Joel 2:25-27, Jesus promises to restore.

This is the Hope for the Chibok girls.

Maryam Ali, and her son, both found by the Nigerian Military on November 6th, 2016.

That He will repay, and is repaying, what the enemy has stolen. As we pray for the Chibok girls this week, may we keep this Hope in mind. ❤ 
Read the post from BeautyBeyondBones that inspired this post: https://beautybeyondbones.com/2017/07/03/permission-to-feel/.

Happy Fourth of July, All. 

Taking a Short Break

To all the followers of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, 

I, the steward of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, will be taking a short break from this blog to focus on why I write and steward this blog… and to pray for the Chibok girls, and for Northern Nigeria. 

Until then, I will continue to update the “Chibok Girl to Pray for of the Week.” Thank you for understanding. 

In Christ, 

Annalee

Prayer Request: House on the Rock Church Burned Down

Imagine: Your home church, the place where you have spent and “done” life with one another in Christ, goes up in flames. The rafters come down. The sanctuary is no longer there.

This very thing is happened today in Southern Nigeria, in the capitol of Abuja, to House on the Rock Church. It is leaving behind a displaced body of Christ– still intact, but without a place to worship. The source of the fire is not yet known (source).

This place burning down is not the end of the Church– because in reality, according to scripture, the Church is a body of Believers, not just a building.

“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
17 Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.”
(Matthew 16:15-20, NIV)

The people, like a family, make up the Church. But like a family without a home, this body of Believers and their servant-leader, pastor Paul Adefarasin, are without their meeting place.

Our God, Jesus Christ, is a God who hears prayer. Will you pray with me, over this pastor, and the congregation?

“Dear Lord Jesus,
You are God alone, and You are Sovereign over all that is happening right now. Thank You for who You are. 
Dear  Jesus,
We pray over our brothers and sisters within House on the Rock Church. As their Church Building burns down, and as Pastor Adefarasin does not know what to do, we pray that You would be with this grieving church family. Please continue to keep the Church, as a body of Believers, together… and please grant them a new place to meet and be with each other.

Hold their hurting hearts, Jesus. 
In Your Name we pray,
Amen.”