International Day of the Girl: Freedom

Today, October 11th, 2017, is International Day of the Girl.

The “goal” or major concept for this year’s International Day of the Girl? Freedom.

The YouTube channel “Global Goals” put up a video called “Freedom- International Day of the Girl,” including beautiful young girls dancing to a power-anthem by Beyonce.

The video says, “Girls around the world are fighting for their freedom everyday.” It then challenges watchers to share it on social media, and then answer the question, “What does #Freedomforgirls mean for you?”

#Freedomforgirls means that one day, when Jesus comes back to this earth, all forms of oppression and violence– every single reason for a tear, a sigh, a yearning–
will end. Girls who put their trust in Jesus (and boys too) will be free of whatever burdened their hearts, before.

#Freedomforgirls means what I spoke about recently. That there are 113 young adult women still waiting to be freed from the bondage of Boko Haram. There are countless others in bondage outside of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, too.

And #Freedomforgirls means that, one day, in Jesus’ timing, these girls WILL be freed from the islamic oppression of Boko Haram.

“I break chains all by myself,” Beyonce declares. While I can appreciate her passion, I would have to disagree.

Because we are not the ones who ultimately break our chains. Jesus is.

And so, today, on International Day of the Girl, I ask that we all pray and share the news of the 113 young women still in bondage… because they are not ultimately OUR girls; they are HIS.

The BringBackOurGirls movement will resume their protests and marches from the Unity Fountain to the State House in the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria, starting tomorrow, October 12th, 2017, to demand that:
1) Demand the release of the 113 Chibok Girls
2) Comfort the parents of the 113 girls
3) Provide the public with information concerning the state of the 113 Chibok girls
4) Invite the families of those kidnapped in the “Borno-Adamawa road kidnap,” and the “soldiers- NNPC-University of Maiduguri lecturers” for a meeting to learn what happened to their loved ones
and 5) to set up structured systems of reporting on each case, the management of IDPs, and Justice for those in the counter-insurgency war.

Please pray with me that their demands to the government would be favored!


Dear Lord Jesus,
This world has become (and honestly, always has been) very dog-eat-dog. Violence and intimidation are praised; confidence in oneself is exalted above having confidence in You.

Dear Jesus,
We are flowers quickly fading; but we pray, in Your Name, that You would be our confidence. We pray that You would be the One to set little girls, young women, and even those who are elderly and taken advantage of, Freedom and Justice. 

Jesus,
Thank You for perfectly Loving, Protecting, and Supporting those whom You made in the beginning, “Women.” Many shirts today, in stores, declare that “The future is Female.” But this is just not true. Jesus, in Your Name, please turn these precious men and women to You… because the future is full of YOUR reign, and YOUR Kingdom.
Dear Jesus,
Please free the Chibok girls. Please free those who are still stuck in oppression. Please strengthen, enliven and support the women who trust in You.

Dear Jesus,
As members of the BringBackOurGirls campaign march and rally around the State House of Nigeria, we pray that You would see their desires and demands to the government, and that You would soften the hearts of the government, so that their desires can be met.

We thank You for this, Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Amen.”


Learn about the man who came to die for the sins of all mankind– the only One who can break our chains– here.

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POEM POST: “Spin and Sway”

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.)


spin and sway copyright picture.jpg

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,
But safety.

Safety.
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,
Of cruelty,
When all she could muster in a prayer was
“help me.”
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.
An example
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
Be justice.

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.
Made Free.

This is my prayer:

That each of the 113 young women
Still waiting to run
Into the arms of their loved ones
Would, soon,

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
“Desolate” anymore.
Her first name is not
“Hopeless,”
Her nickname not “Lost.”
No. As evidenced by the jewelry on her necklace—a cross—
She has been rescued,
Freed,
Redeemed!

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
Singing,
Swaying,
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!

82 MORE CHIBOK GIRLS FREED!!!

I thought I would never type the words.
But I was wrong.

On May 6th, 2017,
82 more of the Kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls were freed from Boko Haram captivity, in negotiations for Boko Haram soldiers!!!

They were freed in negotiations between Boko Haram, the Government of Switzerland, and the International Red Cross.

Can we just sit in the wonder of those words for a moment?
Too often, my heart jumps to the bad news, or to the things that still must be done.

But we called. JESUS ANSWERED. He has heard every prayer written upon this blog… whether written with a heart full of faith, or one just hanging onto faith by a thread and full of sorrow.

Whether written because, dare I say it, “it’s been the routine way of how I write blogposts,” or if it was really, sincerely meant– written with tears.

As a pastor once said, “It is not the prayer itself, but in whose Hands it is in.” These prayers that so many people have prayed were put into God the Father’s Hands… and He has the authority to speak a word, and bring these captive, oppressed young women into the light of freedom. Do you believe this?

Isn’t that what He has done, for all of us, at one point or another?
Maybe you find yourself in that place of captivity, bondage and oppression, today.

Friend, if there is one thing we can all learn during the celebration of these 82 young women’s freedom, it’s that Jesus wants us to be truly free.

And only He has the authority to do such a thing in a person’s life. Sure, the President of Nigeria, the government of Switzerland and the International Red Cross can do their work in physically freeing these 82 young women, but what about being truly free?
Free from believing lies. Free from the shame, the fear, the anxiety.

There was a dry season in my life toward this blog where I, to horribly admit it, didn’t fully trust or believe that the Chibok girls were going to be freed.
Time went by. Nothing seemed to be happening. And thinking that one day, news Headlines would say what they say today… this underlying belief was hard to hold onto, in certain moments.

I thought truly thought I would never type these words. BUT I HAVE!
May that be an encouragement and a testimony to you:
That you, like these Chibok schoolgirls, can be freed by turning to Jesus Himself.
That, when it seems hopeless, Christ is still moving.
That HE ALONE has the authority to calm the wind and waves… and HE ALONE has the authority to set  you truly free.

As we celebrate these 82 beautiful Chibok girls, let’s be reminded that Jesus Christ is mighty to save, and that HE ALONE gets the glory! 🔹

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Used Courtesy of BeautyBeyondBones.com


Do you know Jesus?

There’s no other way to put it.
Only Jesus Christ can truly set a person free. No amount of trying really hard, meditation, medication, romantic love, drugs, partying, food, lack of food, or self-control in and of itself can save a person from themselves, setting them truly free.

He is not here to throw stones at you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17, ESV).

Jesus has paid ALL that you owe– if only You would accept Him and what He has done for You on the cross. Learn more about Jesus, and meet Him, here.



Let us pray for…

  • The 163 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls that are now FREE. 
  • The Nigerian military, as they continue to participate in these negotiations and rescues of the Chibok girls.
  • The Nigerian government; that President Buhari would come to know Jesus, and give HIM all the Glory for what has gone on.
  • That Boko Haram would be crushed, so that it’s members can come to know the Truth found only in Jesus Christ. Members were traded for the Chibok girls, so please pray that they do not do any worse damage.
  • That the remaining 113 Chibok schoolgirls would be FOUND, soon!

Jesus hears our prayers, friends! Let’s continue to lift up the Chibok girls, and those involved in this insurgency, to Him! ❤

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!

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!