Haunted Eyes: A Poem

Hey friends,
I wrote this poem after seeing a news headline about Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, declare that “no territory is controlled by Boko Haram.” Let’s pray for those still being held captive by their own strongholds.


Muhammadu,
you say
that your enemy has no stronghold,
is close to being defeated.

Have you looked into the eyes
of those affected
by such enemies?
They are haunted–

because there are
strongholds that are not physical.
While Boko Haram may or may not
have physical strongholds,
there are spiritual ones,
ones that make the bones shake
with fear.

Mr. Buhari,
you need to know
that Jesus is near.
Holy Spirit,
may Your presence
be found in utter darkness,
in places where it seems impossible
for You to come in.

Fill victim’s haunted eyes
with Joy again, Jesus.
Tear down these strongholds.
Set the captives free.

For we know it is something
only You can do.
Buhari can declare all he wants
about his victories;
we know they belong to You.

Declare victory and freedom, dear Jesus.
The beautiful part is, You already have;
on the cross, dying and humiliated,
You and You alone came back from the dead.

Breathe Your Life into this situation, Jesus.
May Buhari boast of You–
and may haunted eyes be full of hope again.

(c) Annalee Hoover 2019

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“By Our Love”: Loving Muslims Affected by the New Zealand Terror Attacks

Dear Friends and Readers who Follow Christ,

Today has been an incredibly traumatic, life-altering day for many, many muslims in New Zealand, and all over the world. If you have not heard, two terror attacks in New Zealand mosques have taken place, killing at least 49 people and wounding 20 more (you can stay up to date on the event here).

Friends, this is the perfect time to love and be there for these dear, precious people. Islam is a hateful religion; but we ultimately know that we do not fight the people who believe it as much as we fight the ideology itself. These are people, just like you and I, and they are in deep, deep grief.

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A candlelight vigil is held in Melbourne. Note the empty prayer rugs, signifying the loss of those in the attacks. Photo Credit: Max Walden

Whether it would be praying for them, or reaching out in support on their behalf and presenting the Gospel, let’s think of the ways we can love these people in the darkest hour of their lives. As we do so, and as we are given opportunities to share the Gospel, they will know we are Christians by our Love and genuine care for them– and it will glorify our Loving, Gracious, Truth-filled Savior. In doing so, they will know Jesus’ Love– and hopefully give their lives to Him.LOVE

Right now, these people need love. May the way we conduct ourselves honor and please Jesus, who Loves all and wants all to come to Him.

Amen?

Your Friend in Christ,

Annalee


***YOU CAN DONATE TO THESE PEOPLE BY LEGITIMATE CROWDFUNDING SITES, WHICH YOU CAN FIND HERE.***


Do you know Jesus?

Jesus once said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Jesus wants to comfort those in distress– and comfort those who are distressed by their sin, by being their Savior. Learn more about Jesus, and what His action on the cross meant for you, here.


Please pray for (find the prayer sheet here)…

  • Those who are in deep grief over these terror attacks.
  • The perpetrators– that justice would be done, and that they would be incredibly humbled and brought to Jesus.
  • The Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu.
  • Jesus to come back soon.

Thank you for your prayers. 

REMEMBERING THOSE IN THE 9/11 ATTACKS

Today, on such a painful, painful day, I wanted to say a prayer for the family members and loved ones of those 2,977 people who passed away 17 years ago. Would you agree with me in prayer?

“Dear Lord Jesus,
You know better than anyone the pain, anguish, and grief so many people are going through today. We praise You and thank You for each and every life of those involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack, and we thank You for those on Flight 93 who fought back against the terrorists.

We pray now that You would comfort those who are, once again, grieving those closest to them. Show them that You are near, Lord Jesus, and give them vision of You.

Hold these people, Lord Jesus, and draw them to Yourself. Give them the strength they need to continue living through this tragedy.

Please end this war, God. Come back, and bring the Peace that only You can.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,

Amen.”

A list of the names of all 2,997 people lost in 9/11 can be found here.


Do you know Jesus?

God, Jesus, is “the God of All Comfort,” holding the hearts of all the broken (Psalm 34:18); Jesus offers rest to the weary (Matthew 11:28). Learn more about Christ, and how He can heal and comfort you in your brokenness, here.

 

 

The Month of March: 31 Days of Prayer

 

month of march prayer.jpgAs I wrote in another post, I have been praying over how to continue to best serve and be faithful “in the little things” to Christ, especially on this blog. I came up with a list of things to start integrating; one of those things was to spend the entire month of March– every single day– writing a short blog post asking you guys as readers to pray for 4-5 Chibok girls I post about each day.

I am listing 4-5 of these young women daily, based upon this banner photo of 60 of the Chibok school girls, the list of 18 Chibok girls found/freed on October 13th, 2016, the list of 57 girls who were found/freed on May 6th, 2017, and Solomi Pogu, who was freed on January 4th, 2018 (136 young women in all). I will simply be listing the women in groups of 4-5, going down the list of the 136 women in all. Because there are 140 girls whose names have not been made public– and no one knows if they have been freed/found– I ask that you keep one or two of these young, unnamed, yet so loved women in your prayers, too.

Each week will have a theme:

Week One: Freedom & Courage
Week Two: Loved Ones
Week Three: Truth
Week Four (only consisting of 4 days): Healing
Week Five: Renewed Interest (in the Chibok girls’ situation)

If you like to journal your prayers but do not have paper/ a journal, you can print this prayer-journaling sheet, here.

Pray however you are led; this is merely a prayer resource for you! Feel free to share these posts, and to comment anything you want to add to them! I pray that these daily times of prayer would not only do much in the Chibok girls’ situation, but would bring you closer to Jesus and His heart 🙂

Happy Praying!

(PS: Honestly, March creeped up on me! Because of this, I am (obviously) starting this a day late– so the “month of prayer” will end April 2nd. Please forgive me for the slip up! Be blessed 🙂 )

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: 100 MORE GIRLS KIDNAPPED.

It has happened. Again.

It was reported by numerous news agencies that a huge number of young girls– approximately 100 of them– were kidnapped by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, on February 19th, 2018, from Government Girls Science Technical College in Yobe State. Most, if not all of the girls were from a place called Dapchi village.1

Honestly, I am angry. Because, once again, the Nigerian government said that they had rescued 48 of these young women. They didn’t.2 I am honesty fuming, and so, so disappointed, at so much.

I have to remind myself that, horrifically, this has been happening for a LONG, long time. To hundreds of men, women, and children.

But don’t you ever just get tired of this happening, again and again???
All I can do is ask God why. And, “When will this stop?” It’s really hard to not become jaded, right now.

But in this time of anger, heartbreak, and extreme discouragement, I am reminded that my Jesus cares. That, just like in John 11:33, when Lazarus dies, Jesus is “deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”

Let me give you some background. In John 11, Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, becomes deathly sick. Instead of running to Lazarus, or healing him with a word, Jesus waits. Four days. 

In this span of time, Lazarus dies– and there seems to be no Hope for the situation. He is dead. He is gone.

By this time, Jesus comes upon the scene. Mary and Martha are in the thick, dark blackness of grief; Martha runs to Jesus in honest anguish and disappointment.‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask’” (John 11:21).

Holding on to faith, Martha pours herself out to Jesus. “‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. …I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world’” (John 11:21, 27, NIV).

Mary, in her grief, does not turn from Jesus. Instead, she runs to Him.

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. ‘The Teacher is here,’ she said, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.”
(John 11:28-31, NIV)

In her grief and questioning why, Mary cries out to Him. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died,” she says, knowing that Jesus is the only One who can help her in her grief. And as Jesus looks around at the death and grief surrounding Him, the greek for verse 33 is very telling. According to Lysa TerKeurst, “Embrimaomai,” the word used to describe Jesus’ response, “refers to anger, outrage, and emotional indignation.”3

Jesus was not just moved to sad tears—though He was (John 11:34). He was moved to extreme emotional aggravation and anger. Not in a sinful sense; but in the sense that He hated what was going on.

I believe Jesus is filled with a similar anger and outrage, looking at the situation in Northern Nigeria—where countless people have been abducted, coerced, and brutalized under being “led by allah.” I believe that it breaks His heart, and makes Him sigh in sorrow.

In Exodus 5, when Moses initially asked Pharoah to let God’s people, the Israelites, go free, things got a lot worse before they got better. Pharoah refused, commanding the Israelites to work even harder. A lot of pain, anguish, and patience was needed before they were actually able to be free.

And so it seems with this. Things are getting worse before they get better. Mary and Martha couldn’t understand it at the time; but, just as Jesus waited four days—until Lazarus was already dead—so that He could show everyone His Glory, He has a purpose for allowing even an event so sick as this one to take place.

And even now, He is my Hope.

Everyone, please pray for these 100 kidnapped young women. May their story not be so tragic and evil as the Chibok girls’ abduction has been—and may their families never, ever lose the Hope that is only found in Jesus. Please, Jesus, bring these young women home soon.



Do you know Jesus?

At this point, Jesus Christ is the only One who can save. These girls, their families, and the world at large—there is no one who can save like He can.

Learn more about this God-in-Human-Flesh, the One who Loves you and wants to save and help even you, here.


Please pray for (print out a “Prayer Points” sheet here)…

  • These 100 young women. Already, two women were found dead. Please pray that the rest of these young women would be saved, and that this evil, pain, and suffering would STOP in Jesus’ Name.
  • The 112 Chibok girls who are still in Boko Haram captivity. That they would not lose Hope, and would desire to be free. May they come home so, so soon.
  • The families and loved ones of these girls, as well as everyone in Chibok, Nigeria, and Dapchi, Nigeria. Please pray over every person that this evil is affecting.
  • Pray that Jesus would bring about saving people, both now and eternally, even through this tragic event.

Please spread this news, as well as the story of the Chibok schoolgirls. These girls CANNOT be forgotten; MAY JESUS BRING THEM OUT OF BONDAGE, SOON!!!

1 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/02/22/boko-haram-kidnaps-more-nigerian-students/362197002/

2 https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Nigeria-100-Girls-Kidnapped-by-Boko-Haram-Still-Missing-20180222-0037.html

3 TerKeurst, Lysa. Finding I Am: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart. LifeWay Press, 2016.

 

ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY: Where It’s going from Here

Dear Friends & Readers,
After some prayer and some thought, I have come to the conclusion that I will continue to post blog posts, as Christ leads, concerning The Chibok Girls, Boko Haram, Northern Nigeria, West Africa, and anything else I feel Jesus putting on my heart to write. 

One thing that has stood out to me as I have prayed, thought, and reflected, is the conviction from the Holy Spirit that I have been neglecting my gift (encouragement) and this ministry. I have chalked it up to everything from busyness to a lack of passion for ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, but absolutely none of that justifies me neglecting a ministry Jesus has put in my life to steward.

While it is incredibly painful to think that most of, if not all of, the Chibok girls– now young women– want to stay under Boko Haram’s control, I don’t believe there is ever a time when we should give up ALL Hope and discontinue praying for someone– even people in their situation. The truth is, we don’t know what is really going on in their hearts and minds. Many things could factor into them not wanting “to come home”– from the health and safety of their children, to simply finding life in captivity somehow more desirable in a material, “living-supplies” sense than true freedom (which is heartbreaking– to get the perspective of these women, please read this.) With that in mind, I will continue to post and write, unless and until I sense Jesus leading ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, or me, in a different direction.

Please continue to pray for the remaining Chibok school girls; they need our prayers now, more than ever. Please pray that their eyes, hearts, and minds are opened to Jesus and that their hearts would desire freedom from Boko Haram. Please pray that I would continue to faithfully post important news events, insights & observations, and anything else the Spirit leads me to write. Thank you! ❤

With Love in Christ,
Annalee of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY

To learn more about the amazing, freeing, beautiful God I serve, and how you can know Him, click here.