THERE ARE STILL 113 GIRLS NOT FREE.

Years ago, when this blog was first made, I had been praying for months– as well as making prayer bracelets– for the 276 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped on the night of April 14th-15th, 2014, to whom this blog is dedicated to. At the time, I was heartbroken; Jesus had done a supernatural work in my heart, life, and mind, one I had never before experienced. Sure, I had felt heartbreak over the events in the news, but I could only do so much. I would watch, pray, and move on with life.

This time was different, though. Upon first hearing of the Chibok school girl kidnapping, it unfortunately went in one ear, and right out the other. It was not until a friend from Nigeria, on an online bible study community, asked for prayer and fasting for the girls, that I re-visited the news, and wanted to learn more. You can read the full story on how this blog was created, here.

In prayer and fasting for the Chibok girls, Jesus gave me a passage from Isaiah, concerning the Chibok school girls. It reads:

Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the Lord’s own mouth. The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. Never again will you be called ‘The Forsaken City’ or ‘The Desolate Land.’ Your new name will be ‘The City of God’s Delight’ and ‘The Bride of God,’ for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his bride. Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LordGive the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: ‘I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the Lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.'”
(Isaiah 62:1-9, NLT, emphasis mine)

That was three and a half years ago. And though it was such a long time ago, Christ brought it to the forefront of my heart and mind, Friday night, at a Church group.

In praise, worship, and community, Jesus once again drew me to this passage, with one simple, yet poignant, thought: “I have not forgotten them. Have you?”

Over time, I have become calloused and legalistic with this blog. (You can read about that, here.) But the truth is, I can sense Jesus doing a new work in me! Am I still susceptible to it becoming a “have-to”? Yes. But, more and more, I know that Jesus is calling me– and perhaps you guys, too– to a renewed fervency in praying for the Chibok girls.

After all, there are 113 still in captivity. Think about that.

113 families who have not seen their daughters in 3 1/2 years.
113 young women who have been held captive, in bondage, not able to go home or be free, for 3 1/2 years.
113 young women still exposed to abuse, rape, mistreatment, and most likely starvation.

There are still 113 young women. Who matter to Jesus Christ– who are calling out, be it physically, or spiritually, for freedom.
As in the words of Isaiah 62:1, I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.” Because of this, I am going to spend the next week or two praying fervently for the 113 Chibok girls who are still in captivity. I invite you, whomever you may be, to do the same.

Please share this prayer request with others! Be it a reblog, or a share to social media, the more people praying for these 113 Chibok girls, the better!

As always, thank you for your love, support, for following/reading this blog, and of course, for your PRAYERS!

Jesus is still working! Let us pray, and storm the throne room on these precious girls’ behalf. ❤

 

 

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Honestly

“I love the way that your heart breaks/ over every injustice and deadly fate/ praying it all will be new/ and living like it all depends on you.”
— “Again” by Flyleaf

Friends,
As difficult as it is to say, I must be honest: I have lacked zeal, passion, and care for the 113 Chibok girls– not to mention the countless other kidnapping victims– still in captivity. I have gone through the motions; I have let routine get in the way of Loving others.

I write this with tears in my eyes. I went back to the start; the start of this blog, and the start of every prayer prayed for the Chibok girls, Nigeria, and it’s people at large.

What did I find? I found Nehemiah 1:1-11.

A prayer to God the Father, from a broken and wrecked individual, for the broken and wrecked, beloved people in his life. A humble prayer, coming from a man whose very heart of hearts had been broken. A man who saw the injustice, and decided, with Jesus as His Guide, to do something about it.

This blog was birthed in August of 2014, for this very reason: broken and wrecked for the 276 Chibok schoolgirls who had been kidnapped, and their community, Jesus put a fire in my heart to do something about it: Let others know, and encourage others to pray.

Over time, though, what started out as a passionate love for these young women, and their situation, became a polished religious activity I did “so that Jesus would be pleased with me.”

I fell into bondage. I lost all the Joy and Life that writing this blog originally gave me.
This has happened a couple  many times since the blog was started. The legalism and bondage got so bad, that now my family is weary of me writing on this blog, at all. They don’t want to see me in fear and legalism again.

I may continue to struggle with this.
And if it all gets to be too much, I will need to take a break, turn around,
and return back to my first Love: Jesus.

But friends, it is really in my heart to keep pressing on, to keep praying for each one of these 276 young women, their families, and everyone affected.

So, please pray. Please pray for me, that I would “not become weary in doing good,” and not turn this into a game of a works-based relationship with God.

Because there is still much to be done. And breakthrough for these people– those victimized and crushed by Boko Haram– is right around the corner.
There are still 113 young Chibok women who have not tasted freedom, yet.
And there are 163 young Chibok women still reeling from their loss.
There is much to pray for, and much to be done, in this nation. In this city.

And out of a Love that could only come from Jesus Himself, I will press on, in compassionate action, for these young women. Will you join me? ❤
_______________________

“Dear Lord Jesus,
Forgive me for turning this beautiful, amazing thing that You have done in and through me into a dead, stale pile of ‘good works.’
I know that NONE of my own ‘goodness’ can save me from the sinner I am.
Jesus,
I pray, with all of my heart, that this would not be about me. Not about perfection, or striving, or numbers and times and bad religiosity. Remove this pharisee-like heart for the Chibok schoolgirls, and replace it with a burning passion to see their freedom.

Dear Jesus,
As long as this blog stays centered upon You, please bless it. Bless those who pray and wrestle in prayer with me. Give us hearts that break for what breaks Yours!
Let us not stop until each one of these captive, beautiful human beings are saved.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”



Do you know Jesus?

No, really. Do you know Jesus? personally?
You may smirk at this question. You may mock it. But it will be the most important question you ever answer.
Learn more about who Jesus is, here.

Prayer for Church Shooting in Tennessee

On Sunday, a migrant walked into Burnett Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, and shot 8 people. One of them, a woman named Melanie Smith, was killed in this barbaric event.

Without politicizing it, will you pray with me for each person who has been affected by Church shootings, like this one?

“Dear Lord Jesus,
We know these are the end times. We know that violence was prophesied to be apart of these end times (Matthew 24:12). But knowing this does not take away the hurt, Lord Jesus.

Dear Jesus,
We pray in Your Name over every single person affected by this church shooting, and church shootings such as these. Please bring these people to know You, if they do not already. 

Father,
We beg of You to redeem even this event, and use it for Your Glory. Comfort our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Amen.”

Please pray for Lugwa Sanda.

*WARNING: TRIGGERS CONCERNING SUICIDE*

According to this article, a freed Chibok schoolgirl, Lugwa Sanda, has tried to commit suicide. She drank “a copious quantity of Jik, a concentrated liquid stain remover,” in protest to going to a school chosen by the Nigerian government for them to go to, owned by the former vice president, Atiku Abubukar.

Many of the young girls do not want to go to this school, because of the school’s location. It is located in Adamawa state, which has been the target of recent Boko Haram attacks. These young women are rightly afraid of being near Boko Haram again, and fear that they could be re-kidnapped.

This is obviously a huge trigger for these young women, who are still battling PTSD, among a plethora of mental, emotional, and spiritual health issues that have been inflicted upon them by their kidnapping on April 14th, 2014. Please pray with me, that these young women would find true healing in Jesus Christ– and especially for Lugwa Sanda, as she is in the hospital being treated for her suicide attempt as this post is being written.

“Dear Jesus,
We cannot imagine the amount of pain and fear that these young women are currently going through, but You can.
We pray, in Your Name, that You would hold Lugwa Sanda tight, right now. You are near to the brokenhearted and those whose spirits are crushed, Lord Jesus (Psalm 34:18); please be near to Lugwa Sanda, today, and show her Yourself.

Dear Jesus,
We pray that You would continue to heal and restore these young girls. We thank You for this.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Amen.”

Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying for dear Lugwa. ❤



Do you know Jesus?

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
(Psalm 34:18, NIV)

Perhaps, because of whatever is going on in your life, you are crushed.
Your heart is broken. Your life is in shambles.
You may just want to… end it all.

But I am asking you this, friend: Please do not give up. Please.

I don’t want to feed you cliches, even Christian ones. “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning” may honestly fill you with disdain. I don’t know.

What I do know is this: There will be pain in this life. But there is a God, who promises to be with you throughout all of it– and that He has already overcome all of the pain, trial and sorrow one could ever experience (John 16:33).

He Loves you. You are Loved. “He saves those who are crushed in spirit.” There is Hope to be found in a relationship with Jesus.

Learn more about, and meet Jesus, here.

**If you are feeling low, and need some prayer or just someone to talk to, please feel free to contact Annalee of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, here. YOU ARE LOVED!!!**


 

Documenting the Stories of Kidnappees outside the Chibok Girls’ Kidnapping

Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Nigerian, Chadian, and other West African people have been kidnapped by Boko Haram. This is not surprising news– though it is heart-wrenching.

163 of the Chibok girls have been freed, and hundreds of other people who have been kidnapped have also been released (Praise Jesus!). But, there is a big difference in how the Chibok girls have been treated, versus how others who have been kidnapped have been treated.

It seems impossible to be able to give these “other” people the same care and treatment as the Chibok girls, due to the sheer lack of mental health counselors and doctors in Northern Nigeria. The fact that these people– these rape, trauma and abuse victims– are being thrown back out into the wild, crazy, and at times, heartless world without any attentiveness or care breaks my heart.

Many of these former kidnappees now face isolation, as their very own hometowns have marked them cursed; the children they have been forced into carrying from rape are called accursed, too.

These men, women, and children– who have all experienced the evil of Boko Haram in some form or another– need to be heard. Their stories must be told.

It is for this reason that ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY is expanding it’s main focus to include not only the Chibok girls, but all people who have been kidnapped, as well as those who are currently in captivity.

While their names may have not been documented, as the Chibok girls’ names have, the names of the countless people who have been driven into bondage are known by Christ. This Truth is seen profoundly in Isaiah 49.

See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.
(Isaiah 49:16, NIV)

This is the Hope for those who feel that, as a part of the masses, they, and their pain, do not matter. May I also venture to say that it is the Hope for us, too?

These people are not forgotten. You are not forgotten. If today, you feel nameless, know that if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, He has engraved you on the palms of His Hands. Your life– and  all of it’s brokenness– is always in His Mind.

And, just as Christ has brought back 163 Chibok girls– and countless others– from bondage, know that He is mighty to save you. He Loves you, and is working and moving on your behalf (Romans 8:28).

As ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY continues to try to document, support, and love those who have been ravaged by this insurgency, please pray for guidance in how to do so best. If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to do so well, PLEASE share!

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV). Now is a time of weeping– but it will not last forever. Until then, let us remember, love, and pray for those who have been ravaged.


Do you know Jesus?

Isaiah 49:16 speaks about us being engraved in the palms of the LORD. Nothing could prove this more than Jesus death on the cross.

As one nail was driven through each of Jesus’ Christ’s Hands, He was dying for the sins of the world. Learn more about the Savior who, in perfect Love, came to die for you and I– and why– here.



Please pray:

  • For the countless men, women, and children who have been held captive by Boko Haram.
  • For the “Chibok girls”– those 163 who have been freed, and those 113 who are still in captivity.
  • For those currently battling Boko Haram.
  • For those currently being displaced and attacked by Boko Haram.

 

Thank you for all of your prayers!

Finding Refuge: Why We Never Have to Be Afraid

On August 16th, 2017, an article came out that changed much of how people will view Boko Haram’s kidnapping of the Chibok school girls. It is now known that many of the Chibok school girls came together and helped document their time in captivity, together, in Koranic school books they were given by Boko Haram. In it, one humongous revelation was revealed: Boko Haram did not originally come to Chibok Secondary School to kidnap the Chibok girls, but they instead came to steal machine-making supplies (source). It was when they could not find these machine-making materials that they decided to kidnap the Chibok girls—making their kidnap, not a pre-meditated ploy created by a “brilliant” Boko Haram, but rather purely accidental (source).

During their three-year enslavement to Boko Haram, the Chibok girls had a “staunch belief that they would one day go home” (source). Apart from these revelations being proof that the Chibok girls never gave up Hope, it is also a shocking narrative about all of the horrific cruelty they went through. Those who did not convert to Islam were threatened with decapitation, while some of the girls were beaten.

There is one shocking story that sticks out. Naomi Adamu, one of the writers of the journals, claimed that one day, Boko Haram (BH) members brought out jerrycans, supposedly full of petrol, and told those who did not convert to Islam that they would be doused with the petrol and burned. When the girls became terrified, the BH members “cracked into laughter,” as the girls realized there was nothing but water in the jerrycans (source).

Even being faced with possible imminent death, decapitation threats, and murderous violence on a daily basis, it is awe-inspiring to see that so many of these Christian girls from Northern Nigeria did not flinch in their Hope, nor in their commitment to Jesus Christ. There is one thing to thoughtfully note about the story mentioned above: fear is truly a lie.

in the worst of timesThe Psalms speak about this concept of trusting the Lord, and not giving into fear, many times; one of those times is in Psalm 91.

 

 

 

 

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.”
(Psalm 91:4-13, NIV)

Whether one’s fears are legitimate and real, or irrational, Jesus doesn’t want us to be afraid of anything. But how can one, when faced with certain death, like the Chibok girls, come through the valley, fearless?

Psalm 91 gives great insight into this. At the beginning of the Psalm, the writer gives a declaration: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4). In a world where terror and turmoil are so prevalent, God—through the Psalmist—declares that, like a mother hen with her chicks, He longs to cover people with his feathers, and that it is underneath these feathers that people will find real refuge from the threats going on around them. Jesus, in the New Testament, said something similar: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37, NIV). The Truth is this: God, toward the Believer, is not a God of wrath or only of Mighty Power; He is a tender God, longing to lavish His Love upon and protect those who trust in Him alone. fear is a lie

The verses following right after verse 4 show us the outcome of coming to Christ, and trusting Him to be our Refuge. “You will not fear…it [pestilence] will not come near you” (Psalm 91:5-7, NIV). This is a second declaration: Because Christ, in His Tender, Loving-kindness is your Shield, you don’t ever have to be afraid of the things that are threatening to harm you. In trusting Jesus, all dread, worry, and fear is removed.

It is only this mighty, tender Love that Christ, God has for His People that removes all fear (1 John 4:18). As Jesus says in Matthew 23:37, this fear-crushing Love is always available to God’s People, but God will not force people to find refuge in Him. They must decide to do so for themselves.

There is a last declaration in Psalm 91: Those who do decide to run to Jesus for refuge from their fears WILL be victorious over whatever threatens them. As Romans 8:37 gallantly proclaims, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who the truth1loved us.” While, heartbreakingly, for so many, the threat of imminent death for the sake of Jesus does become a reality, it is even in these moments that Christ can make one fearless. Jesus does not guarantee that every circumstance will come out perfectly or without loss… but He does promise that fear does not need to be a part of the equation, and that Perfect Peace and even Joy are attainable by trusting in Him.

In the worst of times, Perfect Peace, Joy, and Comfort is ours to take in Christ. And while we live in this fallen world, there is a greater Hope: that Jesus Christ will one day do away with everything that causes us trauma and turmoil, treading “on the lion and the cobra” (Psalm 91:13).

It is each of these journal entries– documenting pain, loss, and at times, fear—that proves how one can overcome by clinging to Christ’s Love, and never giving up Hope in Him.

satan will come and attack using fear; but, like the Chibok girls who have been rescued, Believers will have the victory in Christ Jesus. As these girls continue to heal, and as some of the other Chibok girls are still not home yet, may Christ be their Refuge and Strength: the One that makes them, in His Love, more than conquerors. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, NIV).


Do you know Jesus?

You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
(Psalm 91:13, NIV)

While this verse speaks of eventual victory for the One who trusts in Christ Jesus, it also prophetically speaks of the time when the Messiah, Jesus Christ, defeats satan for good—and, how He has already defeated satan, by dying on the cross for our sins.

As the musician David Crowder sings, “The cross meant to kill is my victory.” Without Jesus Christ, there is no true victory over sin and death. Learn more about who Jesus is, what He did, and how He gave all those who believe in Him true victory, here.



Please pray with me…

“Dear Lord Jesus,
We thank You for what You did on the cross at Calvary. Thank You for dying on the cross for our sin, so that we can have the Victory, Perfect Peace, Comfort, Joy, and everything else we have in You. Dear Jesus, we pray that You would watch over the Chibok girls that are still in captivity; please bring them to You, and give them the Hope that they will one day be freed, too.

Dear Jesus, please help their family and friends, as they struggle with waiting for their Loved Ones to come out of captivity. Please show them Your Faithfulness. May we run to You for refuge Jesus, and not be afraid, even when everything around us tells us to be.

Dear Jesus, please help the Nigerian army, and the Joint Civilian Task Force, as they continue to fight Boko Haram; give them no fear, and help them to come to know You fully. Please help those in traumatic, terrorist situations to trust in You.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.”

Thank you for your prayers!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

NEWS: 14 MORE WOMEN ABDUCTED

Though it happened on June 30th, 2017, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY has just heard the news that 14 women have been abducted in Borno State, while on the way to taking the late Police Sergeant Rahila Antakirya to Lassa in Northern Nigeria for burial. (Source and Video of the women is in this article.)

Please be praying with me, tonight, and in the coming days, for these 14 women.

“Dear Father God,
While we were not aware of this atrocity at the time it happened, we thank You that You were. Jesus, You have seen every abduction, and every oppressed individual that Boko Haram has taken hostage. We now pray that You would please set these women free; please crush Boko Haram, so that those who have been doing this in the name of allah see their wrong, turn to You, and live.

Please, Lord Jesus,
Hear their cry. Hear our cry. And please free these women, soon.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.”

Please pray not only for the Chibok girls, but for all those who have been abducted! Thank you!!!