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.
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.
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,
Today, this Father’s Day, please be praying for the remaining 113 Chibok girls, and their fathers and paternal caretakers– who have to go one more year without feeling the embrace of their daughters.
They have done it again.
Again, Boko Haram has pillaged, stolen, and de-stabilized.
On Wednesday, June 7th, Boko Haram razed parts of Maiduguri, killing “at least 14 people,” according to VOA News’ news article. In the attack, gunned Boko Haram members and suicide bombers attacked the innocent men and women of Maiduguri. It is the first attack made by Boko Haram in 18 months, almost 6 months after President Buhari claimed that the group is “technically defeated.”
Abubukar Shekau, the leader of a faction of Boko Haram, had shocking words for those watching the video Boko Haram published not long after.
“We are hale and hearty, contrary to claims that we have been killed… God has enriched us with the arms and ammunition on display, and we shall deploy such weapons we seized against you… There is no dialogue between us, only fire for fire.”
(source, VOA News)
These people believe that God has given them victory. And they have killed again.
As if this violence were not enough, a horrific mass shooting on republican representatives was had yesterday, on June 14th, 2017. The shooting, happening in Alexandria, Virginia, has left Congressman Steve Scalise in critical condition.
The violence in Northeast Nigeria causes one to ask… who is God to those who believe these things? Who is God to a muslim?
To muslims, God is almighty, but far off. While one can know His Will, they cannot ever truly know Him, Himself (source). This fact, in and of itself, is a thing to be deeply pitied for those who believe in “allah.” But when one thinks about it, everyone who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ does not know God, and cannot ever know God apart from Christ.
Jesus is the One who taught that to hate someone in one’s heart is to kill them; and, sadly, the horrific shooting had in Virginia has displayed just how angry and violent a person can be. People’s need to know Christ is, now more than ever, a very heavy, relevant, real subject.
Every person reading this, including even those publishing it, knows at least one person who does not know Christ. While the islamic religion is a very false, sad one in that it keeps people from knowing God personally, the idea that many people– not just those with hijabs on– are being kept from knowing God by faulty religion, sin, and/or simply their own unbelief is cause for much sorrow, too.
The only real solution to this violence has always been, and will always be, Jesus Christ. People NEED to know Him. And for people to know Him, He must be shared by those who already know Him.
It was the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who wrote in Romans, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them” (Romans 10:14)? We are the Light of the world; a city on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16).
When a person shares Christ, they are sharing the ONLY way to Peace with God the Father, through Christ: the only way to true Peace.
Amidst the violence happening, in both Northeast Nigeria, America (and the rest of the world, for that matter), who is Christ putting on your heart to reach out to with the Gospel? Let the Holy Spirit do His Work in and through you, and reach out to that person, today. After all, no one knows when it may be too late.
Do you know Jesus?
2,000 years ago, Jesus stepped on the scene of a very lost and broken people.
Crippled by the law, and lost, without a hope in the world as the Apostle Paul says (Ephesians 2:12), mankind needed a Savior from the mess they had gotten themselves into.
Jesus was, still is, and will forever be, that Savior. Read more about Him, and meet Him today. Click here.
Please pray with me…
“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for the ability to know You. Thank You that You did it all, so that we might live, and know You personally.
Dear Jesus, we pray that you would fortify Northern Nigeria, and keep it from harm– both physically and spiritually. We ask that You would please bring Your Good News to those in Norther Nigeria who have never heard it, and are in bondage to false religion, sin, and unbelief.
Please fortify the soldiers in Northern Nigeria as well; they can only truly win life’s battles with You, dear Jesus. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). We pray this over the soldiers in Nigeria, and all over the world, Father God.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Please defeat the members of Boko Haram– not so that they would die in their sin, but so that they would be humbled and come to know You, the One, True Living God.
Dear Jesus, we also pray over America. Father God, America, Nigeria, and the entire world needs to come back to You. Please forgive us for our sin and turning away from You; we now ask that You would give us another chance, and that there would be mass revival! Send us out, Father God. Help us to be Loving and Brave as we share You with our neighbors.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Thank you for your prayers!!! Please continue to pray for the Chibok girls, that they would be found, as there are 113 young women left in captivity.
One pastor once said that to truly give Jesus’ way, it takes spiritual discernment to know what the real underlying need is. So it is with what is happening in this season of Ramadan, currently being heavily observed in the unstable region of Northern Nigeria. This article, by the Premium Times, says that the Yobe State government has been giving out food to muslims observing Ramadan, a time of fasting, where one does not eat the whole entire day, but is able to eat after the sun goes down (source).
In a statement made by Ali Abubukar, the chair of the state’s committee on Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Boko Haram victims, Abubukar said that “The supply will bring succour and alleviate the dire need of the people, which is food” (source). While Abubukar is correct in that physical hunger is a real, dire need for those in Northern Nigeria, the truth is, those celebrating Ramadan have an even deeper, more dire, spiritual hunger: a hunger for the Truth– the Truth that is only found in Jesus Christ.
During the time of Ramadan (about a month), many muslims will fast from food and will fight against their own sins, such as swearing and lying. They do this to spend more time in intense prayer, commanded to attend five different prayer times per day. Many times, the Qur’an is read before their meal time in the evening. This time is meant to spur on more religious devotion for muslims, and while it may do just that, Ramadan (or anyone’s own works), apart from Christ, does not get anyone closer to the real, Living God.
In fact, it takes them farther away from Him– or from finding Him, rather.
Obedience, Not Sacrifice
This idea– of giving sacrifice, i.e., doing religious works instead of obeying Christ, the Living God, is found in the story of Samuel 15. In the story, King Samuel was commanded by God to kill ALL of the Amalekites, including women and children, as well as every animal belonging to them.
While this seems like a horrible, heartless order, it can be understood when one realizes how evil the Amalekites actually were. Since the time the Israelites had become a people group, liberated from Egypt, the Amalekites– known by many as “The Plunderers”– attacked those Israelites that were “lagging behind,” which were most likely the women and children (source). They attacked the Israelites many times, mercilessly causing much pain and anguish for many people. With this in mind, Christ commanding that the Amalekites be annihilated was for good reason.
But, sadly, King Saul did not completely obey Christ concerning some of His most important instructions– and disobeyed Christ completely, in Samuel 13:5-14, when he burnt sacrifices Samuel was meant to burn. In Samuel 15, Saul did not annihilate all of the Amalekites; instead, he only killed “everything that was despised and weak” (1 Samuel 15:9).
This major sin not only caused more years of pain for Israel, but it cost King Saul his kingdom. Full of pride, King Saul tried to justify his sin; but in the end, he knew he was wrong, and almost flippantly asked Samuel to forgive his sin, so that he could go back and worship the LORD (1 Samuel 15:25). But by then, it was too late. His kingdom was ripped away from him, all because he chose to disobey, justifying it with sacrifice.
Relationship, Not Regulation
But Ramadan is all about obedience, one might say. Sure, it is, but one of the main things that can be learned from this passage in Samuel 15 is that God is not some dead or distant Deity that can be appeased with some sacrifice. He is a relational God, a God who is indeed Living– and wants His children to obey Him. It was Jesus Himself who said,
“If you love me, keep my commands.”
(John 14:15, NIV)
The fact that Christ wants us to obey Him, as one obeys a Loving Father, shows His Followers that they are not just following a dead religion– one only of sacrifice and works– but are following a very Real and Living God; one of Love, desiring a Personal Relationship with all people, as evidenced by what John described Jesus doing in John 1:10-13).
Faith, Not Works
This is not to say that Christians fasting and praying are a bad practice– in fact, they are wonderful for drawing near to Christ (Matthew 6). But let one thing be clear: People are not saved by obedience to Christ; they are saved by Grace, through Faith, not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). All one must do to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for their sin, receiving His gift of salvation, and entering into the personal relationship that He offers. This God is real: unfathomably more real than any god that demands mere obedience and a set of works-based self-righteousness to approach them with for salvation, or even a chance at salvation.
This Ramadan, one thing is true: God does not want mere obedience, or a set of rules and standards to be met, as is found in islam. He wants a real, personal relationship with those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. As believers in this amazing God, let us pray that those practicing Ramadan in Northern Nigeria, and all other religions, would find Christ, and that He would “succour and alleviate the dire need of the people,” which is truly the need of Him.
If you are a muslim– or are any sort of religion/belief system, but have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, the Only One who can save you from your sins– come to Him today. Let Him set you free, as you draw close to Him: not by your own works, but by His Work for you, on the cross.
It is Jesus whom we truly hunger and thirst after, even if we do not realize it. Let’s come to Him, as we are, today. 🔹
Do you know Jesus?
“Who is this Jesus?” one might ask. Some see Him as a revered Prophet; some see Him as a fool, the butt of all their jokes. But I encourage you, whether you know personally or not, to ask yourself that question.
Jesus asked His Disciples this question about Himself.
“‘But what about you?’ he (Jesus) asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
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. 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'”
(Matthew 16:15-18, NIV, “(Jesus)” mine)
Please pray for…
– Those currently practicing islam. Pray that even now, especially in the wake of the various islamic terrorist attacks happening all over the world, that muslims would come to know Jesus Christ.
– That Ramadan would be a time where many muslims become saved. It is a time of heightened spiritual awareness; please pray that Jesus would call to these people during Ramadan, and that they would come to Him. ❤
– That Christians would not be afraid of loving and telling others about the Gospel, worldwide, but especially in places with many muslims, such as Northern Nigeria and the Middle East.
– That those experiencing hunger and thirst in Northern Nigeria would be fed– and would come to know Jesus, the Bread of Life, in the process.
– There are still 113 Chibok girls left to be freed, as Ramadan has started. Please pray for these young women, that they would be de-brainwashed or de-radicalized, and would be freed physically– but also in every sense of the word.
Thank you so much for your prayers. To all Americans, have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 🙂
On May 21st, 2017, it was a joy to learn that one day earlier, the 82 Chibok schoolgirls who were freed from Boko Haram captivity were able to see their parents in a reunion, according to the Premium Times newspaper. Some news articles said that the 21 Chibok girls released in October of 2017 were also able to come to the reunion, which happened in Abuja.
To commemorate this joyous occasion, Annalee Hoover, the writer and steward of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, has written a poem about the occasion, called “Spin and Sway.” Enjoy! (Click on the image to enlarge it or download it, if you cannot read it in the post. Photo used courtesy of unsplash.com.)
She spins, and sways
To the music. Covered in brightly covered clothing,
She sings at the top of her lungs,
Lungs that have breathed air from horrific places
And yet, are now breathing this air.
The night she was taken,
Now not remembered–
At least, not in this moment.
She runs into his arms,
Knowing that his arms do not mean
Threat or consuming darkness,
A word she has not truly known
In a long while–
When surrounded by men & women
With crocodile smiles, flashing guns and ammunition
While proclaiming “peace.” Peace
As long as she did what they pleased.
That was no peace at all.
But now, she is standing tall
Moving to the rhythm of the song
And praising Christ above, Christ within
For being with her all the time.
There once was a time of darkness,
When all she could muster in a prayer was
There was a time where
Those all around
Called her “lost,”
Called her situation “hopeless,”
Called the image of her “desolate.”
Forgotten. Boxed in
By men who did not know her name
Nor cared about the sin and shame they inflicted upon her.
They wronged her.
Because the truth of the matter was,
Those people thought her to be expendable.
Of an object dressed like a human being.
They did not see that her blood indeed ran red
Or that her tears were just as salty as theirs.
No, she was to be used for their purposes
–Unbelievable. Yet true.
What happened is not forgotten.
From the Almighty, there will
Like incense rising (psalm 141:2), I have a prayer,
And it is this:
That those who do evil in the dark
Would be found out by the light.
That their hands, blood-red,
Would not be so caustically washed,
But that their sins
Would draw them to the pit–
A place of real repentance.
My prayer is this:
That every single girl
That every single boy
Included and not included
In this mess labeled “the chibok kidnapping”
Would be able to exchange black clothing and hijabs
For colorful clothing, too.
This is my prayer:
That each of the 113 young women
Still waiting to run
Into the arms of their loved ones
Chasing their haunting memories
Into the night wilderness
Where they belong.
Some are still not home.
But let’s not give up hope.
Because she is not
Her first name is not
Her nickname not “Lost.”
No. As evidenced by the jewelry on her necklace—a cross—
She has been rescued,
So, Lord Jesus,
Please walk with her every step of this way.
Every step of her swaying,
Every step of her dancing.
And every step
That seems too hard to take.
May her smile be like the moon,
Reflecting light from the S(o)n,
And may every step
She takes in your presence
(That is, EVERY step she takes),
Lead her straight to Your heart–
A true reason for
And dancing, indeed.
Do you know Jesus?
“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
(Psalm 145:9, NIV)
It is no secret that God is good. Whether you believe in Him or not, the fact that You are in existence right now, breathing in air that You did not create, confirms the fact of God’s goodness.
But what about Jesus? Who is He, and what makes Him so good? John 3:16 spells out Jesus’ Love for us, beautifully. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus was that one and only Son– not just given by the Father to the world, but “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!“
Because of this, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11, NIV).
This Jesus was the perfect man; not only is He the perfect man, but He is God the Son: God in Human Flesh! Jesus willingly came to die for the sins of the world, so that everyone who takes in what He did would be saved.
Want to know more about Jesus? Meet Him by clicking here, on our “Do You Know Jesus” page.
Please pray for…
– Those who are not yet saved. Please pray for those in your life, and all around the world, who do not yet know Jesus! May He use you, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, and every other means He chooses to bring people’s hearts to Himself!
– Those who are freed! Please pray that Jesus would continue to heal these “Chibok girls,” now “Chibok young women,” who have been freed, and are undergoing counseling for their traumatic experiences.
– For the Chibok girls not yet free. Please pray that Jesus would open up the doors for them to become free, soon.
– The Nigerian military. Apparently, a coup may be starting within the Nigerian military against the government. They are in desperate need of supplies, training, and morale. Please pray that these men and women would come to know Christ, and would trust in Him as they continue to suffer– and that the suffering would stop, soon.
Thank you for your prayers!!! Let’s continue to celebrate the freed Chibok girls, and pray for those who are not yet free!