Prayer for Day 5 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls

This week, the Bring Back Our Girls movement is having their GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION to commemorate the third anniversary of the Chibok Schoolgirls’ kidnapping, which happened on April 14th, 2014.

To commemorate the week of this tragedy, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY is posting a prayer post for each day of the week, as well as writing about what the Bring Back Our Girls’ movement, and the world, is doing.

Today, the Bring Back Our Girls’ movement engaged with the public, and handed out fliers of their Citizen’s Solutions to Stop Terrorism and ABC of their Demands to the Federal Government (both of which can be found here on their website). Hadiza Bala Usman, The Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, urged the military today to rescue the rest of the Chibok girls by or on April 14th, 2017, the third anniversary of their kidnapping, much to the support of the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima (source).

To look at what they’re doing tomorrow, feel free to go to their website, and scroll down to the bottom of the page, where the “Activity Sheet for Third Year Commemoration” is posted!

To honor the Chibok girls, let us pray.

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all that we have, both materially, and spiritually, in You. 
We would have nothing without You,
Lord King Jesus!
Dear Jesus,

We pray for the Chibok girls, both those in captivity, and those who have been freed.
Dear Lord Jesus,
We pray that these beautiful young women would come to know You, the One who Loves them as no one else. 
Wherever these girls are, and however these girls are, please give them the knowledge of You, knowing that in You they are truly safe.
King Jesus,
be it from the media, from strangers, or from Boko Haram, 
we pray that the Chibok girls would be given rest, and that You would keep them safe. 
Please uphold them until it is time for them to be found and freed, which we pray is very, very soon.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Prayer for Day 3 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls

This week, Bring Back Our Girls is having a Global Week of Action, where they are commemorating the third anniversary of the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping, which happened on April 14th, 2017. They are demanding during this week that there would be #NoExcuses, and that the Chibok Girls would be found, freed, and brought back home.

As apart of this Global Week of Action, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY has decided to pray each day for the Chibok girls; ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY also wanted to highlight the different events going on in Nigeria and around the world for these girls.

Today, the Bring Back Our Girls movement will be marching (as they will be every day), and also had a Workshop on Missing Person’s Register at 10 AM in Yar-Adua Center in Nigeria. To see more of what is planned for this week, feel free to visit the Bring Back Our Girls’ website!

In light of all of this, let’s pray.

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being present with us, wherever we are,  however we are, and whenever we are. You are “Emmanuel”: “God With Us.” Thank You for this amazing privilege!

Dear Jesus,
We pray over the Chibok school girls; we thank You, that they are all alive (source), and that You are still working in their lives. 
Dear Jesus, 
We pray in Your Name that these Chibok school girls would be filled with Your Joy, Hope, and Peace, as they come to know You– and that this Joy, Hope and Peace would not be able to be stolen from them.
Please protect these things in Your Name, Lord Jesus, 
and please, give their families, loved ones, and all who care about them this same Peace, Hope, and Joy, as they look to You to save and deliver the Chibok girls.
We trust You, Lord Jesus.
We ask in Your Name, along with the Bring Back Our Girls’ protesters, that they would be brought soon, and alive.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Thank You for your prayers– May Jesus bless you! 🙂

Prayer for Day 3 of GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION: #3YearsTooLong #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls #BringBackOurGirls

This week is the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION, created by the Bring Back Our Girls movement to commemorate the kidnapping of 276 Chibok schoolgirls, three years ago, as of April 14th, 2014.

Today is Day 3 of the Week of Action, and Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry will pray each day of the Global Week of Action, for the Global Week of Action and for the Chibok Girls.

Please pray with us:

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for bring the God who gives life, and who restores.
While we know that this horrific tragedy was not of your doing, but the doing of sinful mankind,
we know that You can and will use even this event to bring beauty from ashes.

Dear Jesus,
This is what we pray for today: that You would protect each Chibok schoolgirl that continues to be missing and held captive by Boko Haram. Please protect every captive, according to Your Goodness, Grace, and Mercy. 

Please give those participating in events as apart of the Bring Back Our Girls’ Global Week of Action Strength, and please let them come to see and know You, as apart of this week’s events.
As we commemorate this horrible occurrence, we look for Your Hope and Deliverance, Lord Jesus, for NOTHING is impossible with You!

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen.”

Thank you for your prayers! To be involved in the daily events occurring in honor of the Global Week of Action, please click here.
Be blessed!

Prayer During Global Week of Action: #3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackHisGirls #BringBackOurGirls

Yesterday, April 7th, 2017, marked Day 1 of BringBackOurGirls’ Global Week of Action, with the theme: “#3YearsTooLong: #NoMoreExcuses #BringBackOurGirls” (Source).

If you would like to participate in any way in this Week of Global Action, please visit the Bring Back Our Girls website, by clicking here. While the writers Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry cannot be there, in Nigeria, to walk with, pray with, and participate in the weeks’ events, it has pledged to pray each day of the week this week– and to share with others the sad fact that it has been 3 years since the Chibok schoolgirls have been kidnapped.

Because yesterday was the first day of the Global Week of Action, there will be two prayers, today. Please join in prayer:

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all that You have done in our lives. Thank You for being the great “I AM,” the Creator of all things, Sovereign over every event in our lives.
Today, 
Lord Jesus,
We mourn the fact that it has been 3 years since the Chibok school girls have been kidnapped, while 195 remain missing.
It is our Prayer, Lord Jesus, that You would instill Hope, even now, in the hearts of the Chibok Girls, their parents, loved ones, and the rest of the world, looking on this sad, sad anniversary.

We pray that broken, crushed Spirits would realize how near You are (Psalm 34:18), and that they would seek You out, and find You as their Lord, Savior, and God of all Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 

We pray all of this in Your Name, Lord Jesus.
Amen.”



“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for also being the God that is faithful to provide. 
You provided Yourself, for the problem of sin, so that now we can live and be with You! 
Your Word says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?
We cling to Your Word now, and ask in Jesus’ Name that You would provide for the release/rescue of the Chibok Schoolgirls, Soon, according to Your Will and Timing, Dear Jesus. 
As these young girls still sit in captivity, please provide for them, for their daily needs: food, water, and shelter, but so much more, dear Jesus, we pray You would bring them to You. 

Please fill these girls with the Peace, Joy, Love, and Comfort that Your Presence brings, even in captivity. 
We know nothing is impossible for You, Jesus, and so we ask this in Your Name.
Amen.”

 

Thank you for your continued prayers. Please share this with everyone you know!
Jesus bless you.

Fighters for Freedom

Nigeria has been hurting, as of late. On Wednesday, January 25th, Boko Haram militants overtook a military camp in the program “Operation Lafiya Dole,” the counter-insurgency effort created by the Nigerian army. Three soldiers were killed, while arms and ammunition were stolen.

As all of this took place, a new interview came out, from Thomson Reuters, interviewing the mother of a Boko Haram soldier. The interview was both insightful and heartbreaking, as the mother of this Boko Haram member shared her story. The woman, named Falta, is the mother of a BH member named Mamman Nur. As the mastermind of the U.N. Headquarters bombing in Abuja, which took place in 2011, Mamman is reportedly responsible for the death of at least 23 people.

In the interview, Falta, who calls herself “an old woman,” reports that she was forced to live in the Sambisa Forest with Mamman, his three wives, and his children, claiming that she had no one else to take care of her (source). She also stated that while she continually  “tried to talk her son out of joining Boko Haram,” he became more and more involved (source). Taken back out of the enclave by the Nigerian military after a 2015 raid of the Sambisa Forest, Falta is still reportedly in a government safe house, not having any other caretaker.

This interview is difficult to read, because it sheds light on the fact that these murderous, cowardly, evil militants have families who love and care for them. But that is not the only reason. Falta’s remarks describing her stay in the Sambisa Forest, a place known for its Boko Haram hideout– and therefore, it’s symbolic darkness and oppression– were disturbing. In the interview, Falta said that “life in Sambisa was quite comfortable” (source). Complete with their own house, in which Falta had her own room, the enclave also had its own supply vans to deliver food and clothing to those within it, as well as its own doctor, nurses and hospital “to tend to the ill” (source). Surrounded by her grandchildren, Falta described a life that seemed to be pretty luxurious for living in a terrorist camp.

For all of its comfort, the fact that it is still an evil place is what makes her entire testimony disturbing. And yet, this apparent dark oasis in Northeastern Nigeria is not only captivating in that many of its captives have actual physical bondage on; but in that, over time, many captives who stay there run the risk of getting comfortable, and making it their “new normal.” This can be seen in the case of over 100 Chibok schoolgirls, whom reportedly “do not want to go back” (source). If this horrific report is true, these Chibok school girls have been both psychologically and spiritually brainwashed into staying captive to their “husbands.”

In reality, while many are not bound by physical chains or physical, evil people, they lie spiritually imprisoned. The worst part of all? They do not see their chains for the horrendous evil that they are. Heartbreakingly, people stay enslaved all of their lives: to lies, to addictions, and ultimately, to the bondage of sin and death.
Even the Apostle Paul spoke about this carnal trap in Romans 7.

I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” 

(Genesis 7:22-24, NLT)

In probably one of the most relatable, down to earth passages of Scripture, the Apostle Paul becomes honest about his struggle with sin. But while so much of the world likes their bondage, He, knowing the true freedom found in Christ, sees and knows the sin in his life for what it is: slavery (Romans 7:23).


But, for the Believer, there is incredible Hope. While the believer still struggles with sin, they are completely set free from the old law, and from the eternal condemnation humanity’s sin creates.
Meanwhile, the world, because it is blinded to the Gospel of Christ, has no choice but to continue on living within their chains (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, and it’s bondage-creating nature; but not until they choose to know and accept Christ are their eyes opened. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16, NLT).

Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry wrote in this article about how Jesus, through the Gospel, literally frees people spiritually. The chains of the Believer are gone; they have been set free (Romans 6:18), and are now able to know God, and obey His commands– not because they have to, but out of a genuine heart of praise.

There are many who have even this freedom in Christ, spiritually– the freedom to be victorious over the sin in their lives, by obeying and submitting to Him– and yet, they use their freedom to find new chains to wear: pleasing people instead of Christ, and spending their lives living in the same prison cells of sin, addiction, anger, unforgiveness, and lust. There are those on the other hand, who also wear new chains– chains of unbelief when it comes to Grace; legalism; and self-condemnation. Many people deal with both types of bondage. Both of these “groups” of people have the chance to leave this bondage, but either won’t, out of rebellion and pride– or don’t even understand how bound they really are.
This is not what Christ wants for anyone, and that definitely includes Believers. Instead, Christ calls His Children to be “Freedom Fighters,” men, women, and children who walk in the glorious freedom from both sin and legalism. Christ desires His Followers to walk in the Light (1 John 1:7). This cannot be done if Christ Followers refuse to step into the Light of Christ, either because of sin, or dead religion.

Like William Wilberforce, the famed abilitionist from the 1700-1800s, Believers must become painfully aware of bondage and oppression; but, to do this, they first must see their own chains, and let Christ set them free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1, NIV)

There are hundreds of captives in the Sambisa Forest, who have gotten comfortable, or scared, and do not want to live outside– even if it means they never see their loved ones, or breathe the air of freedom, ever again. Just like so many in the Sambisa Forest, many do not see their need for freedom– or are simply afraid to give Christ, the One who will free them, control. 

But, it is for freedom that Christ has set Believers free. So, whether it would be fighting Boko Haram, or fighting any other type of spiritual bondage, may Believers give Christ the control– and let Him make them more and more into the Fighters for Freedom He has called them to be. 🔹 


Do you know Jesus?

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”
(Romans 8:1, NIV) 

Dead religion– the rituals, rules, and the mentality that one must “earn their way to heaven” by doing “good deeds” is a sad, broken way of life.

In the Old Testament, every rule, and every ritual, pointed to The Messiah– they were shadows of the real thing, to put it one way (Colossians 2:17).

How silly would it be, if a person kept loving someone’s shadow when the actual person is standing in front of them? Yet, this is how many treat Jesus.

The Truth is, those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are not under the “law of Sin and Death ” anymore… They are under the law of the Spirit, completely free from condemnation to have a personal relationship with the God who gave it all to have them (Romans 8:1-2; Romans 5:8).

The time is up for shadows. Meet the “real thing,” the God who sets us free, here.


Please pray with me… 

“Dear Father God, 

Thank You for the Nigerian military, and all that You have done through them to defeat Boko Haram. We know it is not without sacrifice. Please hold the family members of the soldiers killed in the line of duty. 

Father God,

Thank You for showing us all what is happening in Northern Nigeria, and how there are many people who, for some reason or another, are wanting to stay in captivity. 

Father God, 

We pray, in the Mighty Name of Jesus, that You would open the eyes of the blind and unbelieving, who are staying imprisoned without even knowing about it. Please open their eyes to their condition, and bring them to know You. 

Father God, 

We pray for the Believers in these camps, who also do not want to leave. In the Name of Jesus, please open their eyes to the freedom that awaits them. Please open up the way for them, so that they can become free, soon, too. 

Father God, 

We pray in general for those Believers who may be physically free, but are still in some sort of bondage. Show us all where You want to free us; and may we submit to You, and Your will in our lives. 

Please free the captives, and continue to lead us to You. 

In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Thank you for your continued prayers!

“PRAYER FOR THE CHIBOK GIRL OF THE WEEK”: A new prayer resource

Almost a month ago,  Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry was led by Jesus to create a new feature, focused on praying for each individual Chibok schoolgirl.

Because of this, Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry has created a new prayer page, called “Prayer for the Chibok Girl of the Week.” Each week, a new Chibok school girl from this image will be featured. Their name and picture will be posted, as well as a short biography about them. If they are free or not will be noted, along with a short prayer for the young woman. It is Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry’s prayer that all of the girls will be freed. Therefore, Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry is committed to loving, supporting, and praying for each Chibok schoolgirl, while helping readers to do so, as well.

After the Chibok Girl to Pray for of the Week has been featured, they will then be featured in the page, “PRAYER OF SURRENDER/RELEASE” (found in the drop-down menu under “PRAYER FOR THE CHIBOK GIRL OF THE WEEK”). This page will feature the Chibok girl again, and will include a separate prayer, releasing and surrendering the Chibok Girl into Jesus’ Hands. While this does mean that they will no longer be especially featured in this way, it does not at all mean that we have stopped, or should stop, praying for them as an individual. Jesus told His followers, in the Parable of the Persistent Widow, to never stop praying until they see results: And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8). Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry encourages readers to continue to pray for each one of these girls, as they are led!

It is the hope and prayer that this new feature will encourage you, as a reader, to pray for the Chibok girls: as a whole, but also as an individual. May Jesus bring each one of these girls to Himself– and therefore, to complete freedom.

Click here to read this week’s Prayer for the Chibok Girl of the Week!

Set Free at Christmas Time!

This Christmas,
Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry would like to highlight both the joyous successes that Christ has given, as well as to remember the people still struggling in Northern Nigeria.

President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo take a picture with the 21 freed Chibok girls.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo take a formal picture with the 21 Chibok girls freed on October 13th, 2016. The 21 girls are Mary Usman Bulama, Jummai John, Blessing Abana, Lugwa Sanda, Comfort Habila, Maryam Basheer, Comfort Amos, Glory Mainta, Saratu Emannuel, Deborah Ja’afaru, Rahab Ibrahim, Helen Musa, Maryamu Lawan, Rebecca Ibrahim, Asabe Goni, Deborah Andrawus, Agnes Gapani, Saratu Markus, Glory Dama, Pindah Nuhu, and Rebecca Mallam.

Over three years ago, the town of Maiduguri had a strict curfew, causing markets and businesses to be abandoned, and citizens hidden in their homes, for fear of attacks from Boko Haram. Cities were being relentlessly attacked.

Two years ago, 219 young women, ages 16-18, were held captive, away from their parents, family, and loved ones. Tears over the inaction of the Nigerian government in the situation dampened the Christmas spirit. Suicide bombers were the tragic norm.

But while some of these things are still being worked out, there has been incredible change. In an article written by Thomson Reuters, Northern Nigerians in the city of Maiduguri are celebrating Christmas, again– the night air now filled with the hustle and bustle of outdoor markets, until the late night curfew of 10 pm.

More than this, Christian congregations have more than just re-commenced fellowshipping: they have taken to the streets, celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ in the “predominantly muslim city” (source). In a city where Christians used to cower in fear under the oppression of Boko Haram, Christ has brought freedom and victory– to the point of His People being able to sing out His Praises, without fear. Continue reading

To #NeverForget: Remembering The Displaced

A little child, probably around 3 years of age, drinks from a tin cup, held up by their mother. On their head, a plastic IV nodule is attached, so that nurses can transfer fluids into their frail, young body.

In a region that normally holds 60,000 people, approximately 140,000 Nigerian refugees have flooded in, fighting and running from Boko Haram. Without much space to hold them, many refugees stand in lines for aid and food, while others, not unlike the child described in the paragraph above, lie motionless, starving to death in makeshift medical camps.

Spiritual Starvation

In a shocking, heartbreaking news article made by The Guardian Nigeria, it has been reported that nearly 2.6 million Nigerians have been displaced– driven from their homes– since the insurgency began (source).

There is news that is even more disturbing: Although severely under-reported, there have been more refugees in the past nine months in Monguno than have been detained in all of Europe (source). What does this mean? It means that thousands– quite possibly millions– of people have been forgotten– left behind, out of sight, out of mind, for months, with aid only coming to help most recently.

But while shocking statistics abound on the amount of displaced people in Northern Nigeria without a home or food this season, they all come down to this: There is a massive amount of people, who, for one reason or another, have largely gone unheard in their suffering. These people are starving for food; but so much more, for love, and for feeling like– and actually knowing– that they matter.

To Fill

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
(1 John 4:9-10, KJV)

During this time of the season, at least in the United States, there is MUCH to do: family to see, food to eat, celebrations to be had, houses to clean and decorate– it is easy for one to lose sight of the world around them, with so much hustling and bustling.

With Thanksgiving just ended, many have reflected upon the gifts they are thankful for. And, as Christmas is starting to be in the air (at least, on the radios, and in stores), one starts to think about the reason for the season, the reason why Christ-followers all around the world truly celebrate: Jesus Christ’s birth. While this too can easily be forgotten amidst the presents, tinsel, and Black Friday Christmas deals, the story of Christ coming to earth is the ultimate narrative– a narrative that this world is, whether they know it or not, dying to hear.

The message of John 4– and the message of the nativity– is simple: God gave. While the Christian will usually think of Christ coming to earth when thinking of the birth of Christ, it is a beautiful thing to ponder the fact that He was sent: that God the Father gave his only begotten son, and what a sacrifice this truly was. As one thinks of Christ, who “was there in the beginning” (as evidenced by John 1:1-3), and saw the whole world formed, fallen, and in chaos and despair, it is a marvel that He would come to that dark, disgusting, painful world, to die.

 

To Give

But why did God give Jesus to the world? Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, being filled with the Holy Spirit, exclaimed something beautiful about Jesus (who was in Mary’s womb at the time):

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
(Luke 1:68-79, KJV)

God not only saw the darkness– He saw the people “that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79). God the Father gave Jesus Christ to this world, because God Loved, and God saw.

God the Father saw those sitting in the darkness; and as He saw them, He heard them.And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob,” Exodus 2:24 proclaims; and, just as God heard the cries of the Israelites, suffering from their captivity to the Egyptians, He heard the cries of mankind, suffering under the weight of sin and death. God saw; God heard; and so, full of Perfect Love, God sent. 

 

To Listen & Act

When thinking of the vast goodness of God– that He would give God the Son, Jesus Christ, to this world, to save them from their sins– it fills the hearts of those who Love Him, with complete and utter Joy. What kind of Love the Father has lavished! Under the wonderful weight of realizing all God the Father has given us, one Truth becomes apparent: Because Jesus heard mankind’s cry for help, it becomes the hearts of those who have accepted Him to hear the cries of those who are still crying out. 

However one acts, in reaction to their cries, may differ based on how Christ leads them to act; but one thing is for certain: to hear the cries of those in distress, and not act, is to ignore.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV). God so loved the world– and acted. Let us do the same.


Do you know Jesus?

In John 3, Jesus is talking to a man named Nicodemus: a person who, though he was a Pharisee, and “a leader of the People,” could not understand Jesus’ Words. Trying to help Nicodemus understand, Jesus used a story from the Old Testament that would make sense to Him. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, KJV). (Read the story Christ is talking about in Numbers 21.)

The snake bite of death in the lives of mankind– caused by our own sin– just like the Israelites, was cured by Christ, who was “lifted up” on the cross, at Calvary. Today, Christ’s call is the same. “…for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26, KJV).

Are you in need of healing? Physical, emotional, and mental brokenness is only proof of the fact that sin and death are prevalent in this world, and of the true spiritual healing all of humanity needs, by coming to Christ. Read of the God who can heal you– and what He has already done to heal you, spiritually– here.



Please pray with me…

“Dear Father God,
You are good! No matter what the situation is like, we cannot thank You enough for sending Your only Son, so that we can know that even in the darkest of times, that You are good to us– and You never change. We thank You that we can say You are good.

Father God,
We see so much darkness, around us. On the news, and in our very own lives, there is SO MUCH pain.
Father God, I thank You for knowing that pain, in sending Jesus to this broken world, to die for our sin.

Father God,
Right now, as we have seen the extreme starvation and need for medical intervention in these people’s lives, we pray for the starvation going on at all levels: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I pray for these people, and I pray that You would fill them up. Please help Your People to stand against this darkness, and to “fill” others spiritually, as they share Your Good News. As men and women become desperate for survival, I pray that You would please bring them to Your Throne, so that they can realize that You alone fulfill their every need, and heal their every disease.

Father God,
I pray that Your People, no mater who they are, would seek You in how to best assist these victims of Boko Haram violence.
Please fill them, Your People, in Northern Nigeria, with ALL they need to share Your Gospel, whether that would be to Boko Haram Members, or to the internally displaced peoples around them. Please, Father God, bring even the disgusting members of Boko Haram to Yourself, and help us to pray for them, as well.

Father God,
May Your Word go forth in power– and may a revival happen, in these IDP Camps.

Father God,
We pray for continued relief– and that You would show us how to take action, in love, for these people, however You lead us. 
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.”

If you believe Christ is leading you to give to those currently aiding displaced peoples, this post, dedicated to reputable Christian (and a few non-Christian) nonprofits currently on the ground in crisis areas, is a great place to start looking and praying about giving to. (Most of them do not know they are on this list. They are nonprofits I truly prayed over, investigated, and wrote about, with the belief that they are reputable. No sense of sponsorship has gone on for their place in this post, whatsoever.) It is just a friendly resource I was led to make available to those interested in giving!

 

Thank you for your prayers and support, as well as for reading this post.
Jesus bless you!!! 🙂

Not Against Flesh and Blood: Praying for Boko Haram Members

On the evening of Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, bomb blasts went off in the Golori area, near Mamanti, in Maiduguri, Nigeria. These bombs were attached to two men: members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Whether by force or choice, these people were killed instantly by the blast, killing two others with them, and injuring six (source).

While Maiduguri, and Northeastern Nigeria, for that matter, has seen a definite decrease in suicide bombings as of late, the fact that they are still going on– even if they only come to injure one other person– shows that the deceptive ideology of Boko Haram, and, heartbreakingly, of muslims everywhere, is far from being extinguished.

These men, women, and children either make the choice, or are coerced into such self-and-mass destruction. They are usually viewed by non-Boko Haram (BH) members as evil, contemptible, and worthy of their fate. While these people have torn apart the lives of countless innocent people around them, and are extremely evil, it is very important for discerning Believers to also see their true state. These sad, cowardly, disgusting individuals, at their core, are being pitifully– and fatally– deceived by the enemy, by the world, and by themselves. The amount of spiritual deception, darkness, and desperation these people are under is cause for immense, fervent prayer.

Judgment & Mercy

The statement made above is not to be said lightly, without remembering the absolute chaos and murder they have committed. “Don’t these people deserve what they have been ‘dishing out’?” many would ask. Yes, they completely do; that is the Just answer. But, when seen from Christ’s point of view, it becomes clearly evident that while these people need firm judgment, Christ actually longs to give them Mercy.

“‘Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord GOD. ‘Therefore, repent and live‘” (Ezekiel 18:31-32, NASB). In the midst of fair and upright judgment against the Israelites, God’s cry for their repentance is clear: while they deserved the wrath coming upon them, Christ’s heart for them was to be saved by turning away from their evil ways, and turning towards Him. These profoundly urgent words are the very Words of God, and show His very heart for mankind, even today.

Praying for Boko Haram Members

How are Believers even to begin praying for enemies like Boko Haram, when they have done so much damage, and continue, almost hellbound, in their ways? It is vital that one recognizes the spiritual warfare going on, spurring BH members on in their violence. Ephesians 6 is very clear about the warfare happening for every soul: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV).

With this in mind, the best fighting is truly done on our knees, in prayer for BH members. Here are some key prayer points to consider, when praying for Boko Haram members. Whether some are common sense or are points you may have not considered yet, it is always good to be reminded of such things.

  1. For the terrorists of Boko Haram to become saved. While this point may seem redundant, it is all too important to leave out.Again, this is not written lightly, or without realizing the complete and utter horror these men have caused. The members of Boko Haram definitely deserve God’s complete wrath, including going to hell.
    But, biblically speaking– and this is said with the utmost care– we are all deserving of God’s wrath, no matter how “good” or “bad” one is. Ephesians 2:1-5 addresses this hard-to-swallow truth.As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
    (Ephesians 2:1-5, NIV)At one time, all Believers– even the most zealous, “good,” law-abiding Believers– deserved the wrath of God, including going to hell. No matter how “good” one is in their own eyes, they need Christ as their Lord and Savior; there is no other way. At the core, the members of BH have never experienced the Love of God, His Forgiveness, or the Freedom He brings. Despite their evil, without being saved, these people– these souls– have no chance at a future spent with the One, True, God of the Universe, who Loves them perfectly and dearly.

    Which brings up a second important aspect of praying for BH Members:

  2. For the BH terrorists (and truly, terrorists all over the world) to realize how much Jesus, the One, True, Living God, LOVES them. 1 John 4:10 declares God’s Love for people, perfectly:

    “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
    (1 John 4:10, NIV)

    It’s incredibly important to realize that Christ was pursuing us, His people, long before His people ever started desiring and accepting, much less pursuing, Him. This throws the concept of works-based religion, including Islam, out of the window. Religion tells the adherent to “do,” so that God might accept them as “Holy” or “Righteous” enough; but, “For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8, NIV). When Christ died, He did everything needed for Believers to come to God, being completely saved by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8). There is nothing one must do– or cannot do, for that matter– to gain this salvation. All they must do is accept the gift of what Jesus did on the cross.Experiencing, and realizing, the Love, Grace, and Goodness of God, and accepting Him as Lord and Savior, is the only thing that can truly transform people, even BH members.

  3. For Christians in and around Northern Nigeria to stand for Christ, and to be a light in the darkness.

    For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 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? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!‘”
    (Romans 10:12-15, NIV)

    Christ has called us “the light of the world,” “a town on a hill,” and a “light” that must be put on a stand (Matthew 5:14-16). In such spiritual darkness as the kind that has been fueling Boko Haram, Christians have the One, True, Living God living within them, and can fight back against the darkness through prayer, outreach, and bringing people to Christ. Without being overly focused on spiritual warfare, whenever one tries to be a light in the darkness, there is inevitably “pushback.” The terror, complete desolation, and isolation so many Christian Nigerians are facing (especially those who are refugees) are leaving them vulnerable to any attack, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Now, more than ever, those who are Christ’s “soldiers” must put on their spiritual armor, and gather together against the enemy.This is no more true than for those who are closest to BH members: BH captives. Just as Christ, through Paul, brought a guard to Himself while Paul was in prison (Acts 16:22-35), encamped in captivity, with BH members as their guards, Christian Nigerians may be given opportunities by Christ to show their faith in Christ. They are able to testify of Jesus’ Power, Love, Grace, and Mercy– things that some BH members may have never heard of before. Even in suffering, our brothers and sisters can be a bright light, empowered by the Holy Spirit to clash with the darkness around them.

  4. In all, for the Holy Spirit to move these people to come to know Jesus.

    Passages like Revelation 19, John 14, and John 16 clearly describe who the Holy Spirit is, and what He does. “…Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus‘” (Revelation 19:10, NIV). John 14 describes the Holy Spirit as the God who “teaches everything and helps [us] to remember everything that Jesus said,” while John 16 says He will convict the world of sin, and lead Believers into all Truth, telling them what He has heard (from the Father, as read in John 16:8, 13). He will tell us what is yet to come; and, most importantly, will “glorify me [Jesus] because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you” (John 16:14).
    Knowing the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives, it becomes clear that without being empowered by Jesus, we can do nothing of eternal significance (John 15). This is completely true when sharing the Gospel. Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6, NIV). While Believers may plant the seed in a BH member’s heart, only the Holy Spirit can lead that person to a Saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would be stirring in their hearts and minds, as we speak!

 

Conclusion

There are countless things that need to be prayed for, when it comes to Boko Haram, including its destruction. But, as we look at the individual, darkened souls that make up Boko Haram, their need for Salvation and Transformation becomes clear. Whatever it takes– be it their physical surrender, or even their deaths– may these men, women, and children come to realize their need for Christ, and accept His gift of Salvation, readily.



Do you know Jesus?

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.‘”
(John 8:12, NIV)

It goes without question, that this entire world is incredibly dark. Whether or not terrorists are ravaging the world you live in, there is always a spiritual battle going on, for the souls of those who don’t know Christ (Ephesians 6:12).

For centuries, men had been living in darkness, trying to follow the rules and regulations set forth by God, through Moses, perfectly. Through all of our trying, we only become all the more cold in the process, as seen by the Pharisees (Matthew 23). But these rules and regulations were not evil in and of themselves; rather, they were a shadow of the One to come, who would fulfill them all. In the end, the Law shed light on the fact that mankind needed One to do what they could not: obey the law perfectly, and save them from the sin they had committed.

Think about the properties and power of sunlight. Jesus, being God Himself, claimed to be “the Light of the world”– and promised that those who followed Him would not only have light to shine on their life path, but the light to feed, save, guide, heal, and warm them.

Jesus, the Light of the World, has come on the scene. Learn more about, and accept the Only Light of the World, here.


Please be praying with me…

Dear Father God,
We praise You, and we thank You, for who You are.
Thank You for coming down from heaven, into our dark world, and for considering us of so much value that You would die for our sins.

Father God,
We pray over the men, women, and children both held captive by, and actively in, Boko Haram. Even now, Father God, we pray that Your Gospel and Your Salvation would come to the souls of those in Boko Haram. Your Love is Stronger than even the worst hate or sin; Father, we pray that they would accept Your Salvation, and would become free to love You, and love others.

Father God,
We know they don’t deserve it– none of us truly do. But, King Jesus, we pray that You would let these people experience how much You Love them. Through their hardened, darkened hearts and minds, please shine the Light of Your Love, and transform them as only You can do. We pray that they would accept Your Forgiveness, and would be humbled to accept Your Gospel.

Father,
We also pray for our brothers and sisters in Northern Nigeria. We cannot fathom the hurt, the pain, and the terror they must feel. But Father God, we surround them, and come around them, and ask that You would strengthen Your people. Please be their Strength, their Refuge, and their Comfort. Please help them to stand, Oh Father God, together, against the enemy, and please give them opportunities to show even the horrible members of Boko Haram Your Love, in whatever form You will. Please give them the Boldness to do so. Thank You, Father God.

Father God,
Please pour Your Spirit out afresh on Your People in this country, and on all of Your People, all around the world. Please stir the hearts of those in Boko Haram, and show them their deep-seated need to know, and be saved, by You.
Holy Spirit, please help all of us to plant the seeds of Your Gospel– and trust that ultimately, YOU will make them to grow, not us.

Father God,
Please continue to hold, and help, those who have been so wounded by Boko Haram. As refugees, victims, and captives, please bring them spiritual freedom, in You, and show them that You alone are all they need.

We thank You for all of this, Father God!

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen.

Resource: Christian Non-profit Organizations working directly in Nigeria/the Boko Haram Crisis (UPDATE: additional secular organizations added)

As a follow up to the last post, this quick post is to help equip you, as readers, in practically living out what was written, and encouraged in this post.

A lot of the time, money– or another physical contribution– is one of the most valuable things we can give, especially in a fight that includes poverty, and extreme physical need. But, it is sometimes difficult to choose a target for a donation, that is reputable, financially accountable, and actively working in the region one feels led to give to.

After much prayer, and searching, I have found a couple of non-profits that are working directly in Nigeria, and/or especially pertaining to the Boko Haram insurgency, all for Jesus’ glory. Praying that this blesses you as you choose where to give, Here it is:

**I HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED BY ANY ORGANIZATION FOR PUBLICITY OR RECOMMENDATIONS, AND THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED BY ANY NONPROFIT. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST; I HAVE SEARCHED FOR, READ THROUGH, AND CHOSEN THESE NONPROFITS BECAUSE OF THEIR MISSION, FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY, AND ABILITY TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY BOKO HARAM. It’s my mere opinion; but I pray it really blesses you! Please let me know if you know of any reputable nonprofits to add to this list. 

  • CHRISTIAN AID MISSION

Founded in 1970 by a man named Dr. Robert Finley, Christian Aid Mission focuses on supporting missionaries, ministries, and churches that are already in places where there are few, and/or persecuted, Christians– especially in nations where foreign missionaries are unwelcome, or cannot legally enter. Their own website says, “Christian Aid Mission seeks to establish a witness for Christ in every nation by assisting indigenous ministries that share the gospel with unreached people groups.” While Charity Navigator cannot rate them due to not being required “ to file the full IRS Form 990,” they claim to have extensive ethical and financial accountability (learn more here). They are working to both help Christian ministries in Nigeria flourish, as well as to help those suffering because of Boko Haram. Support native African missionaries, and the persecuted African Church through Christian Aid Mission, here.

  • CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES

Since the early 2000’s, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has aided numerous farmers, local non-profits, and catholic churches in the Niger and Nigeria region. More recently, CRS has increased its aid to those displaced by Boko Haram in the region, especially in Diffa, Niger (source).

Working with Niger’s local non-profits like Demi-E, CRS has provided clean drinking water, as well as access to food through food vouchers, to hundreds of displaced peoples in the region of Niger and Chad.

Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Bishops’ international aid and development agency, aims to “to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching” by helping aid in disaster relief, as well as encouraging and supplying third-world communities with the resources to “achieve their full potential.”

Catholic Relief Services have come under fire in recent months, being accused of going against traditional catholic teachings, such as prohibiting the use of birth control, and collaborating with secular charities and non-profits to achieve the giving of aid, globally. Catholic Relief Services have replied to these accusations, in this webpage— and affirm that while they do work with “secular” organizations to give aid, they do not participate in projects or causes with secular organizations that go against catholic values (source).

While many core doctrines of Catholicism focus on earning one’s salvation, by good works (which is completely unbiblical: Ephesians 2:5), there are many Catholic Christians, who have been saved, by faith, through grace, and have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9). Catholic Relief Services supports, and supplies, millions of Christian Catholics (and people, in general), with the resources to give in a reputable, and financially responsible way, to those in this disaster who need it most. Learn more about what CRS is doing in Nigeria, here, and how you can donate to the cause, here.

  • SIM USA

SIM USA has been working all over the world, spreading the Gospel, and helping to educate those within Nigeria. They are passionate about letting Jesus be known, everywhere. They are also working to evangelize unreached people groups, “developing SIM teams in strategic centres in the core north, working with Evangelical Mission Society personnel, focusing on evangelism, discipleship, general and theological education, community health, development, and literacy” (source). Learn more about them, here.

  • CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN IN NIGERIA (NYE)

Church of the Brethren in Nigeria works directly with Church of the Brethren in various parts of the United States. The Church of the Brethren is very involved in the Boko Haram insurgency and in the kidnapping of the Chibok girls. Learn about how you can help them to help brothers and sisters in Nigeria, here.

  • *RECOMMENDED: GLEANING FOR THE WORLD

Gleaning for the world is a faith-based nonprofit, helping all kinds of people, regardless their backgrounds. They are helping within the US, in Syria and Iraq, and have worked on the ground in displacement camps in Nigeria, to do as their motto says: “alleviating suffering by efficiently distributing humanitarian aid.” They have provided food supplements and vitamins to displaced people who would otherwise have to go without in their bland, nutrition-less basic diets. They are also providing medical first aid to those hurt in fleeing Boko Haram. Because of their financial transparency, and high percentile of how much money actually goes toward their program, I recommend this nonprofit. I have NOT been asked to promote any one certain nonprofit, here; I am literally just recommending them completely of my own, unpaid volition.
Learn more about how you can help, here.

  • VOICE OF THE MARTYRS

Voice of the Martyrs says that they are “committed to providing widows and children of martyred Christians” through the support and encouragement of connecting them with churches, vocational training to widows (and quite possibly older orphans), and through discipling widows and orphans. They also help those “Front-line workers” who are working to share the Gospel in such hostile regions like Northern Nigeria. You can find a direct link to donate to VOM’s Nigerian Widow and Orphan offer here.

  • CITIZENGO

CitizenGO has been known for their commitment to life, family, and freedom. They have fought for pro-life initiatives all over the world, against the indoctrination of children and gender identity, and have especially fought against religious persecution in Nigeria and the release of Leah Sharibu, a young woman who has been captured by Boko Haram. You can give to them here.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WORKING DIRECTLY WITH/IN NIGERIA

 While these organizations are not Christian, they are reputable charities currently helping those displaced by Boko Haram.

  • ALIMA (THE ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL ACTION)

The Alliance for International Medical Action is a highly productive nonprofit, founded in 2009, with its headquarters in Senegal. Dedicated to eradicating treatable diseases within Africa, ALIMA has created 10 research projects in progressive medicine, partnering with other nonprofits and those on the ground in crisis areas to provide cutting-edge medical relief, primarily for malnourished and otherwise ill individuals (source).

ALIMA has worked in IDP camps in Northern Nigeria, specifically helping those who are malnourished. To read more about ALIMA, and help out their nonprofit, click here.

  • THE CARTER CENTER

The Carter Center, in its own words, “in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” The Carter Center has been involved with various Nigerian medical and political phenomena and events since the early 1990’s, and even annihilated Lymphatic Filariasis (a disforming, mosquito-created illness) in Nasarawa and Plateau, Nigeria in 2017. The Carter Center has supported the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health in other ways, as well. Learn more about their effect in Nigeria here.

  • THE FISTULA FOUNDATION

The Fistula Foundation aims at surgically healing women who have gone through traumatic childbirth, and have become incontinent through it. Women who give birth in third world countries can have many complications in childbirth, often resulting in the loss of their child. More than this, a woman can develop obstetric fistula, a condition where the vagina tears down to the anus. As a result, these women are left incontinent, and are at times rejected by their husbands and communities because of the incontinency.

The Fistula Foundation funds the best organizations known for fistula operations. Learn more about them, and how you can donate, here.

  • SAVE THE CHILDREN

Save the Children is focused on helping children to grow up healthy and strong in communities where these resources are lacking. They are working in Nigeria (or, at least, were working hard there in 2017), fighting back against hunger. On their website, it says, “Save the Children in Nigeria is distributing food to vulnerable families, reaching nearly 16,500 people. Our teams have established therapeutic feeding centers and outreach centers that provide food for infants and young children suffering from malnutrition.” They have 3 out of 4 stars on Charity Navigator. Learn more about Save the Children, here.

  • INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS

The International Committee of the Red Cross is well-known for giving aid, but caught my attention after seeing that they now have a “Nigeria and Lake Chad Crisis Appeal,” an area that helps reassure donors that these monies will more directly be applied to everything happening within Northern Nigeria and Lake Chad. Read more about this fund, here.

  • CARE

CARE exists to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. They started working in Nigeria in 2017, though it is unclear on if they are still working there. They were working to remove gaps in food security and helping women from gender-based violence, among other things. You can find them here.

  • INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

This charity provides “vital support and humanitarian aid” to those in Nigeria, and has a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator. They are helping to provide food in the famine happening in Yemen, Nigeria, and surrounding countries. You can find them here.

Again, let me know if you know of any other nonprofits I could add. Thank you, for reading and praying! Praise Jesus for you! 🙂

“Dear Father God,
I praise you, Father, for the community of people, here, who both read, and pray, over the requests written, here.

As these men and women are led, by Your Holy Spirit, to give for the cause of those caught up in the Boko Haram insurgency, specifically those in IDP Camps, the Church there, and those otherwise affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, I pray that You would bless their hearts with remembering all that You have done, for them.

Dear Father God, Thank You for giving all, Father God, so that we might have a Personal, Saving, relationship with You! I pray that, in view of Your Kindness, You would search our hearts, and show us anything keeping us from a closer, richer, more beautiful relationship with You (Romans 2).

Bless them, today, Father God.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen!”