“Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me.”
(Luke 21:10-13, NIV)
According to the Global Terrorism Index Report and this article, there has been a fivefold increase in terrorism since 9/11, with 82% of all deaths occurring in 5 countries– Nigeria being one of them. As we read of increasing violence worldwide caused by terrorism, it becomes more and more clear that the scripture quoted above is coming true in the country of Nigeria.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the statistics, but these are thousands of precious lives, being ruthlessly staked out and barbarically slaughtered– the stories are horrific. Not only have thousands been killed, but thousands more have fled their homes for fear of persecution. During this Christmas season, the persecuted church in Nigeria is celebrating Christmas homeless and struggling in Maiduguri, yet are remaining joyful during their trials all the same. Read their story here.
In such a world, where persecution is only growing more rampant, what can we do? Aside from sending our financial support and providing material relief through monetary donations for our brothers and sisters during this time, the persecuted church needs one thing now more than ever: prayer. And as we read of these atrocities happening to countless innocent people worldwide, our hearts reach out in prayer, yet we find it hard to know what to pray for.
That is the purpose of this blog: to observe and document the prayer needs of the Chibok community, and for Nigeria as a whole. From reading scriptures such as Luke 21 and Matthew 24:6, it is clear that things will only get more and more violent in these areas. Peace and relief from the persecution and violence will only become more needed. It is only in Christ– who is called the “Prince of Peace” Himself, that this peace can be found.
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
Yet, in the wake of needing the true Prince of Peace, many churches in Nigeria have left correct doctrine in pursuit of deceiving congregations for their support and money. These false churches– which I will not list here–were prophesied in 2 Timothy 4:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
(2 Timothy 4:3-4, NIV)
The true Christ is not necessarily about monetary prosperity– He is about true, spiritual prosperity, which is only found in accepting Him as one’s personal Lord and Savior (John 10:10). Yet, there are countless souls who still haven’t truly met Him. Instead, they have been (sometimes, willingly) deceived by men who want nothing more than power and prestige. In the midst of this great need for the Prince of Peace Himself, we pray.
During this Christmas time, we pray for the peace of Chibok, as well as that of Nigeria as a whole.
Please pray that our brothers and sisters displaced in Nigeria during this Christmas time would be provided with the necessities to survive, such as food and water; pray that they’d also be full of joy, amidst the pain and struggle of their situation.
Pray for the church of Nigeria, that churches in Nigeria would continue to preach correct doctrine, and that those who preach false doctrine would be found out as the scam artists they are.
Pray that they’d be absolutely covered in prayers of safety and protection. Please pray that the Lord would strengthen them in their inner beings, and that He’d protect them from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3), who is now unfortunately found as much inside the church as he is outside.
If there is any way you can provide for their necessities outside of prayer, I encourage you to do so; the link to find these organizations is here. This is not an exhaustive list, and will be added to as time progresses. This Christmas time, the people of Nigeria need to know that they are not forgotten. Stand with them in solidarity, won’t you?