Friends & Readers, Continue reading
Hi guys. Yesterday, I watched a documentary called “Harem,” a documentary about how women in the Harem of the Sultan in Istanbul rose up into power and prestige. (You can watch the documentary here). These women did this through sex and having the Sultans fall in love with them. It was an interesting documentary, but many things caught my ear: Muslims during this time could only use Christian women as concubines (not free Muslim women), and there were many other policies used to oppress women of the Christian faith.
While some of these women were lucky and lived a live of luxury because of seducing the sultans, many of these concubines were locked in the Harem area: torn away from their families and made prisoners of war, used purely for sex by the sultan.
It sounded all too relevant, as the Chibok girls and SO many others have been ripped from their loved ones and made into slaves (hopefully not for sex). These women are chosen and given value based purely upon their looks and their creed… which breaks my heart, because these are real people.
Women with names, pasts, homes, loved ones.
Women forced to do many things purely out of being in bondage.
Unfortunately, this kind of subjugation and persecution is nothing new, as shown in the documentary. But there is hope for today. As long as the names of these precious, kidnapped young men and women are remembered, their value, humanity, and story will never be forgotten. This is incredibly important.
Please pray with me over those currently in the same predicament as those concubines were, so long ago. May they know their value by looking to the true King, King Jesus. May they never give up hope for freedom, and may they be freed soon, so that the healing can begin.
“Dear Lord Jesus,
You see each and every girl locked away all over the world. We pray specifically over those women held captive by Muslim terrorists like Boko Haram. Lord Jesus, may Your Daughters in captivity learn and know their value in You, and that they are not valued only for their bodies. Please bring down Boko Haram, bring those men to know You, and show them how to respect women. Please free these girls soon, and help them all to heal.
It is in Your Name we pray,
Do you know Jesus?
As said before, Jesus cares for each and every woman: locked away, and free but locked away due to sin. He thinks they are—that all people are—worth dying for. Learn more about how Jesus died for you and me, here.
“Listen to the moaning of the prisoners.
Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.
12 O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times
for the scorn they have hurled at you.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will thank you forever and ever,
praising your greatness from generation to generation.”
(Psalm 79:11-13, NLT)
Last night was pretty emotional for me because of a couple of things. But I wanted to share one thing out of that that I hope moves other people as well.
I was going through the Bible, just flipping through. I was thanking Jesus for all He has done: taking God’s wrath upon Himself; humbly becoming man; and going to the rugged, splintering cross for our sin, so marred that people could not recognize Him.
And then, I came to Psalm 79. Verses 11-13 in my NKJV Bible immediately brought the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu to mind. It was the prayer and cry of my heart for these girls: “Listen to their moaning, Jesus. Save them. They could be about to die.”
There are other verses like this one that can be prayed as well:
“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
(Psalm 68:6, NIV)
Just as Jesus came to “ransom captive Israel” (Isaiah 35:10; Jeremiah 31:11), He has come to set all people free, in the realest sense of the word (Luke 4:18). It is my “Christmas prayer” that Christ would “demonstrate His great power by saving those condemned to die” (Psalm 79:11). And I pray that you would consider saying this prayer, too, that:
- Jesus would hear the cries of those in captivity, especially the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu, but all people in general.
- That He would move in a powerful way to save those who cry out to Him.
- That He would “lead out the prisoners with singing” (Psalm 68:6)
- That He would bring those oppressing people to justice.
- That all people everywhere would know Jesus and praise Him for all He has done.
Praying out scripture is powerful. Please join me this Christmas in pleading with Christ to move in tangible, visible ways for these precious young women. May we cherish the gift of freedom, and most importantly, pray for the spiritual salvation and freedom of these women, and of all people.
Merry Christmas, friends—thank you for your faithful prayers and support.
Learn more about Jesus, why He came to earth and about all He has done, here.
In October of 2018, Boko Haram threatened to kill Leah Sharibu if their requests for money were not answered. Boko Haram has now relinquished that threat, claiming that they will make Leah “a slave for life” (source).
This news has come out after two humanitarian aides, Hauwa Leman and Saifura Ahmed, were killed by Boko Haram.
Leah has shown amazing dedication and loyalty to Jesus, with a boldness that is rare to see. Please pray with me, that she will be able to get out of Boko Haram’s captivity as soon as possible!
“Dear Lord Jesus,
NOTHING is impossible with You! We lift up dear Leah to You now, and thank You for keeping her alive and safe. We now pray for Leah’s freedom from Boko Haram, and for her testimony to bring You praise!
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Learn more about Leah here.
Having faith in Jesus is never wasted. Learn more about Jesus, and what He has done for us, here.
Almost four years ago, I was grieved like never before for the plight of 276 schoolgirls from Northern Nigeria.
In an online devotional, I came across women who were praying mightily and fervently for the release of these girls—and I have been praying ever since.
Over the past four years, much has changed. Nigeria has gotten a new president; the Nigerian government has fought Boko Haram with noticeable success. But, for 112 of the kidnapped Chibok girls, and their friends and families, little to nothing has changed. Continue reading
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!
Letter from the writer: “The Process of Healing” and this post were meant to be one post, but upon writing the post, I was led to create two separate, smaller posts with similarities, yet with two different themes. If they seem to read the same, that is why. 🙂
On May 13th, email messages came into the inbox of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY with shocking, yet unbelievably true, news: there are, indeed, at least four young women who do not want to leave Boko Haram captivity.
In this video, shared by Bring Back Our Girls and reported by SaharaTV, four of the reported Chibok schoolgirls, including one young woman named Maida Yakubu, explains that she does not want to leave Boko Haram captivity because “they [her parents] live in a town of unbelief,” and that she wants them to “accept Islam” (source). She says all of this while covered in a black hijab, holding a large gun.
There is chance that these are not Chibok schoolgirls; or that they are being made to say such things. But, if it is true, this news is crushing—especially for the parents of these young women, who have cried out to Christ for their safe release/return. To learn that their daughters do not even want to be free, and do not even want to see them, must be a shattering blow to their hearts.
BOUND AND BLIND
While these young girls did nothing sinful to be kidnapped and taken into captivity, this idea of young women refusing freedom and home reminds one of sin—and of the bonding, blinding effect it has on our lives, as it did in the life of Samson.
The biblical account of Samson can be found in the book of Judges. Samson was a man who had every bit of potential: He was born a Nazirite, which is a person who is dedicated to the LORD and does not cut their hair, drink wine or fermented drinks, nor do they touch anything unclean. Set apart to the LORD, Samson’s uncut hair made him a strong man—a man who frequently had the Spirit of the LORD fall upon him in power (Judges 13, 14:6).
Yet, for all of the potential Samson had, he wasted his life on sin—from getting even with those who wronged him by striking down thirty men (Judges 14:19-20), to lighting an entire community’s produce on fire in anger (Judges 15:3-5), Samson used the strength and potential Christ gave him in ways that were far from God-honoring.
One of the most volatile sins in his life, though, was his promiscuity and life-long sexual sin (Judges 16:1-3). In his infatuation with Delilah the Philistine (the Philistines were one of Israel’s greatest enemies), Samson told her the secret: that it was his hair that caused his strength (Judges 16:4-17). Delilah sold him out to the Philistines; they cut his hair, plucked out his eyes, and bound in chains (Judges 16:18-22).
Yet, Samson’s life was not a complete waste. As his hair grew back, he regained his strength; and, in the Philistine’s celebration of Dagon, their false god, Samson pushed over pillars supporting the building they were all in (Judges 16:29-30). “Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30b). Killing the Philistines’ leaders and many more, Israel won a victory over the Philistines. Still, this painful life shows that the enemy indeed means to kill, steal, and destroy through sin, which binds one—and usually blinds one to the fact that they are bound.
Again, these four young women have done NOTHING wrong to be in the captivity they are in at the moment. But the fact that they have been so brainwashed as to believe that they are in a good place, when they are obviously still bound, is a cause for deep sorrow, and earnest prayer. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Do you know Jesus?
“It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.”
(Isaiah 50:9, NIV)
The weight of sin is incredibly heavy—it produces death, physically and spiritually (Romans 6:23). And while no one can escape their physical death, there is a death, the second, spiritual death that one can escape.
But how? There is no way a person can live a totally sinless life. Instead, God Himself came down to Earth, to do exactly what nobody else could do: pay the wages of sin, for those who take on the free gift of eternity.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Take on God’s eternal gift—paid by Himself, Christ Jesus—today. Read more here.
Please pray for:
– These four Chibok schoolgirls; for Maida Yakubu, who spoke in the video.
– For the remaining Chibok schoolgirls, that they would all want to be free.
– For the Nigerian government, as they continue to collaborate with the International Red Cross, and the Swiss Government, to free the remaining girls.
– For the Nigerian military, who is suffering losses, according to this article.