Sometimes, we need the people around us to help us. This couldn’t be more true in the fight between Niger and Boko Haram. Continue reading
What I am about to say could offend some people, but it is the truth. Continue reading
Hey guys. Tonight’s post is going to be a little bit random in nature, but it’s been on my heart and mind lately. Continue reading
In the past two blog posts, “The Noble Soldier” and “The Army with the Afterlife in Mind,” I have been discussing the concept of how the military here on earth– especially the militaries fighting ISIS and radical islamic terrorism– are very much like “The Lord’s Army,” all Christ Followers who are seeking to glorify Christ and fight evil, darkness, sin, and oppression by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But through writing these posts, one thing came to the forefront of my mind: with what does the Christian soldier fight with, in the battle against darkness? I felt it important to 1) address the reality and importance of the enemy’s schemes in our lives, and 2) express what the Bible says about how we fight back.
The Christian Life: A Battleground
Many Christians today, especially in the West, see their discipleship to Christ as something they do on Sundays, or whenever they meet for church. Because Christianity can be, as of now, openly practiced in the United States of America, many Christians do not take their walk with Christ seriously. They see their walks in this life as more of a playground, instead of a battleground. (This is not, of course, stating that to have fun and enjoy life is sinful, or unwise– everything has been given to us by Jesus for our enjoyment, 1 Timothy 6:17).
But, nothing could be further from the truth. Without using scare tactics to freak out Christians about the enemy, the truth is that there is an enemy of our souls.
Here is what the Bible says about the enemy of our souls, satan.
Knowing Our Enemy
It is important to note that not everything bad that happens in our lives is directly from satan’s scheming; much of the time, it is also our sin and it’s consequences, or the result of living in a broken world, one riddled by sin (1 Peter 4:15; Romans 8:19-23).
But, every good soldier must have a good understanding of the enemy they are fighting. The Bible says:
- He (satan) fell from his place in heaven because of pride, wanting to be God (Isaiah 14:12-15).
- He can come deceitfully, under the guise even of an “angel of light”
- “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
- He comes to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10)
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
- He tempts humanity, even Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)
- He incites humanity.
- “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21)
- He is “The Accuser of the Brethren,” accusing us night and day, bringing false guilt and condemnation. (Revelation 12:7-10)
- He prowls around, like a lion (not as a lion), looking to see whom He can deceive and destroy.
- “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Think about that last point. satan prowls around– not as the Lion (as in the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ), but like a lion, a false and cowardly imitation of Christ. Cowardly as he is, satan prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
The definition of “devour” is “to consume destructively.” This definition provides a wake-up call for Believers: You have an enemy that, though he cannot touch your salvation, wants to destroy your life, your testimony to Christ, and your walk with Christ.
With such a formidable enemy ready to attack us, what can the Christian do to defend themselves, as well as to attack the enemy?
Ephesians 6 is full of scripture about spiritual warfare, but James 4:7 uncovers one powerful way a Christian can cause satan to literally run away.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
(James 4:7, NIV)
It’s simple, yet it involves us humbling ourselves before Christ, and doing His Will (therefore rejecting the devil). When we do this, the enemy has no other choice than to flee from us!
Fighting The Enemy
It is in this humble submission to our Loving Jesus that Ephesians 6 encourages us to stand firm and strong against the enemy.
Ephesians 6 starts out this way: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise— ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth‘” (Ephesians 6:1-3). What is the common thread here? Submission! In submitting to those who are higher up and/or leading you, your relationship and spiritual life flourishes.
Diving into Ephesians 6:10, submitting to Christ and to those He has placed over your life, Paul discusses the many different ways a Believer can stay strong against the enemy’s attacks, discussed below (I am using this Bible Study guide as my main resource for this portion of the Blogpost.):
- The belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14)
- The belt of truth keeps one’s sword-carrier and the rest of their armor intact (source). Without Truth, the rest of a person’s spiritual armor is in grave danger of falling off!
- Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one gets to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). Without Jesus as the Truth, everything else in a person’s life is in danger.
- The breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14)
- The breastplate protected one’s abdomen and vital organs. Without righteousness, the enemy can go straight for the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. — causing catastrophic damage in the spiritual life of a person.
- 1 Corinthians 1:30 states, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” Jesus Christ is, for the Believer, Righteousness. Without Him, we have no life, and are subject to death, much like a person who has wounded his vital organs.
- “Feet Fitted with the Readiness that Comes from the Gospel of Peace” (Ephesians 6:15)
- The feet are some of the most delicate parts of the body, especially when it comes to their undersides/the sole of the foot. In the middle of the battle, one needs shoes that provide protection from debris, and allow the fighter to focus on the battle at hand.
- When we are focused on Jesus, and on sharing His Gospel with those around us, we are given a firm foundation, ready to fight and protected from the many distractions of life.
- The Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16)
- The Shield of Faith is not just something one puts on; one needs to wield their shield of faith, especially as the enemy shoots his fiery darts of discouragement, doubt, fear, and temptation. Believing Jesus’ promises can help us “curve” these fiery darts!
- Psalm 3:3 proclaims that Jesus is our Shield: “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.“ It has been said that it does not matter how much faith you have, as much as it matters where you put that faith in. Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1). Trusting in Jesus as our Shield and Promise-Keeper keeps us safe from satan’s attacks.
- The Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17)
- The helmet can mean life or death for those in the middle of warfare, as the brain is the most vital organ of the body. When one keeps Jesus’ sacrifice at the forefront of their minds, it protects their minds from distractions and discouragements (source).
- Jesus is our Savior, the One who has saved us! Keeping our eyes and thoughts on Jesus protects us from the evil one.
- The Sword of the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)
- The Sword of the Word of God, held by the belt of Truth, is the way to fight back against the enemy of our souls.
- Think about it: the more we know the Word of God, the more we know the promises of God; the more we are focused on Jesus and spreading His Gospel; and the more we are rooted in the Truth, that Jesus is our Righteousness! Learning how to yield the Sword of God is crucial to our spiritual health. More than this, Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1).
- The Cloak of Zeal (Isaiah 59:17)
- While not mentioned in Ephesians 6, the cloak of zeal is mentioned in Isaiah 59:17, which says, “He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.” Our zeal and passion for Jesus can keep us from even the worst of outside conditions, just as cloak protected one against the outside elements. Like a coat, today, zeal keeps a soldier performing at their peak.
- Our zeal must be based on right knowledge; many people have zeal today, but it is based in something evil or sinful. It was Jesus’ zeal to obey the Father and be the propitiation for our sins that saved us; when we base our zeal on Jesus and sharing His Gospel, no one can put that flame out!
Make no joke; our enemy is a formidable one. But, with submitting to Christ; putting on Jesus as our Righteousness and Truth; resting in His Salvation and Gospel; and growing in Faith in Him and zeal for Him, nothing the enemy does can keep us from walking in Christ’s victory.
As important to our spiritual walk as the clothes a soldier wears on a daily basis, I pray that we would put on our spiritual armor. May we walk close to Jesus, our Commander, in the midst of this fight. For, unlike an earthly commander, Jesus is with us– always.
Do you know Jesus?
Are you wounded, today?
Has the fight of life you are in seemingly decimated you?
Even when we are too weak to stand, Jesus is right there, ready and waiting to lift us up, and strengthen us, just as David said in Psalm 3: “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:3).
In these times, we can call to Jesus for Refuge, and rest under His Loving Care (1 Peter 5:7). Because Jesus is not just our military Commander, barking out orders; He is our Loving Father, deeply interested in every detail of our lives (Psalm 37:23).
Learn about this Powerful, Loving, God– Jesus Christ– and just how much He Loves you, here.
Please pray for…
- The Chibok girls; as of today, there are 113 of them still in captivity. Please pray for a breakthrough in their hearts, minds and lives!
- Those who are on the physical front lines, including soldiers, aid workers, and members of vigilante groups, especially in Nigeria. Please pray that they would all come to know Jesus, and would fight under His ultimate Lead and Protection.
- Those who are on the spiritual front lines, including missionaries, clergymen, and every Christian involved in the daily fight against evil (which is all of us, in some form or fashion!). Please pray for protection, wisdom, guidance, discernment, and boldness as they fight the good fight of faith.
- The members of Boko Haram, deeply influenced by evil and falsehood. Please pray that Jesus would bring even these men to trust in Him, and would turn their lives around for His Glory, just like Saul (also known as Paul) (Acts 9).
- For the continued protection and sustaining of those who are caught in this evil crossfire.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Hello all! As many of you know, today is National Day of Prayer in the United States of America. It is a beautiful day where the people of America– especially Christians– gather in many different places to pray for the government, for the President, and for the many different prayer needs facing America today.
While the Chibok girls are not in America– and, apart from the few Chibok girls who have come to American boarding schools, there seems to be little to nothing that they have to do with America, the Chibok schoolgirls– and all of Nigeria, for that matter– are a huge point of prayer that I, Annalee, pray many Believers would pray over.
To highlight each aspect of prayer needed, I have decided to compile a few blog articles previously written on ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY here, so that readers can read (or re-read) these articles and agree on the prayer requests each article is focused on.
It is no secret that much of Nigeria is corrupt. Not only is Boko Haram waging war against Nigerians; there is corruptness in the oil industry, and Fulani herdsmen are also antagonizing many people in Northern Nigeria. This article sheds light on the Nigerian government; it’s corruptness, and it’s need for Jesus, the ultimate Doctor, to take away and change the corruption and sin so prevalent, not only in their society, but also in their own individual lives.
“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for creating Nigeria as a nation, and for each person apart of their government. Please, bring those who are corrupt and do not know You to repent of their corruption; may they come and know You, Lord Jesus, so that they might truly Live.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Pain and Suffering
Millions of people, all over the world, are currently in painful, sorrowful conditions. Millions of those people currently live in Nigeria, where Northern Nigeria, because of the insurgency and corruption, is having one of the most acute cases of famine people have ever seen. This article speaks about the famine, as well as the pain and suffering had in the Nigerian military, extensively, encouraging us to put our Hope in Christ alone during such overwhelming times.
Although this famine is both vast and horrific, the mainstream media has largely failed to report any of it. Because of this, aid is not coming in as quickly as it could be. Please pray, with ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, that this pain and suffering found in Northern Nigeria specifically would receive the attention and aid it so desperately needs– and that these people would be given Jesus’ Bread of Life and Living Water.
“Dear Lord King Jesus,
We cannot understand why there is so much pain and suffering in this world. But Lord Jesus, our Hope is in You.
We pray over those in Northern Nigeria, that You would grant them the aid needed– from wherever– to live another day, and to live through this insurgency.
You are near to the Broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18); please, let these people draw near to You, and let them receive Your comfort, Love, and ultimately, Salvation.
We long for the day when suffering is no more. Come soon, Lord Jesus!
In Your Name we Pray,
The Chibok Girls
While this whole blog is dedicated, in large part, to the Chibok schoolgirls and their freedom, there are a few articles that come to mind for the Chibok girls specifically: “Freedom Fighters,” “Free To Dance: The Importance of Sharing the Gospel,” and “21 CHIBOK GIRLS FREE!!!”.
These three articles were chosen, because of their hopeful nature, and vast scope. “Fighters for Freedom” speaks about how the Chibok girls run the risk of accepting that they live in captivity under Boko Haram, making it their new normal; “Free to Dance: The Importance of Sharing the Gospel” is about how we, as Believers, have THE power tool to set people free, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically: The Gospel. “21 CHIBOK GIRLS FREE!!!” celebrates the freedom of the 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed from negotiations between The International Red Cross, the Swiss Government, and Boko Haram. Please pray for Hope and the desire to leave captivity would stay firmly in the girls’ hearts; that they would be freed, spiritually and physically, by the Gospel, and would be free from Boko Haram very, very soon.
“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Gospel, which sets us free from the bondage of sin, and of religion.
Thank You for Loving us so much, that You came to be the ultimate Sacrifice, so that we may experience Life and Life abundantly.
Thank You that Your Scars have healed us.
I pray, in Your Name,
for each and every one of the 195 Chibok schoolgirls left. Please, Lord Jesus,
bring each one of them to know You personally, as Lord and Savior, and please keep them from being brainwashed into believing that this is the “new normal” for them. Please rescue and free them soon, dear Lord Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
The Nigerian Military
Last, but definitely not least, the Nigerian military is an aspect of prayer for Northern Nigeria that tends to get overlooked. While the deaths of civilians may seem more shocking, the fact that the Nigerian military is still losing lives to Boko Haram is something to stop, and grieve over.
While not very many posts on ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY are about the Nigerian military, “The Nigerian Military: Rest & Strength in Jesus Christ” is one that sheds light on the fact that without Christ, one can only fight something in their own strength– leaving them wearied, tired, and broken. While their circumstances have gotten better, please pray that these Nigerian troops (and the civilian task forces as well) come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and that they would be empowered: not to only fight this physical fight against Boko Haram, but to also fight the spiritual one, the roots of Boko Haram, which are demonic forces.
“Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being Sovereign, having power over even demonic forces, which are no doubt behind Boko Haram.
Dear Lord Jesus,
We call to You, and we pray that the soldiers and civilians currently fighting Boko Haram would come to know You personally, as their Lord and Savior. As King David once wrote, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (2 Samuel 22:30). May this be the heartcry of every soldier and fighter, fighting against Boko Haram. May they fight in Your Strength, not their own.
We thank You for this, Lord Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Today, on National Prayer Day, I ask that you would take some time– even if its only a bit of time– to pray for, and over, these four things. As you press into Christ, may He bless you and keep You in Himself, and may You find Joy, Strength, and Power in His Presence. 🔹
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
(Romans 8:26, NIV)
Do you ever feel like you don’t have the words to say, or that you cannot pray “eloquently enough”? The Apostle Paul himself said, “We [including himself] do not know how to pray.” But, as one pastor pointed out from this verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit does!
He will help you, as you pray today for the different things that come to mind and heart. May you enjoy this time of seeking our Savior through prayer: open dialogue with the King! ❤
Please like this post and/or comment on it to share that you will be praying for these things– today, and/or in the future! 🙂
““Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
(Luke 15:9-10, NIV)
Jesus has a passion for every single person (John 3:16). He desires that all of them come to know Him as their Lord and Savior (2 Peter 3:9). Christ’s deep Love is for each and every individual person, no matter who they are, what they have been through, or what they have done.
Over two years ago, 276 young women were kidnapped, in the dead of night, by Boko Haram. Though it sparked a worldwide campaign, called #BringBackOurGirls, it has not been until recent months that 24 young women were freed/escaped Boko Haram captivity. This is one of the amazing, precious young women, dearly loved by Jesus, to be freed.
But, while there is rejoicing over her physical release, there is even greater rejoicing, in heaven, over those who have been spiritually freed.
Please pray for Maryam, that she would know Christ, and would be completely and totally freed, by knowing Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Christ does not just care about numbers; in fact, Christ does not look at the outer shell, at all. He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He Loves You, personally, and passionately.
To learn more about the God who Loves YOU personally, please click here.
It has been announced, with great, amazing, unspeakable joy, that one more Chibok schoolgirl has been freed!
Maryam Ali Maiyanga has been found, and freed, by the Nigerian government, on Saturday, November 5th, 2016!
Troops found Maryam, and her 10 month-old son, Ali, as they were screened after escaping Boko Haram’s stronghold in the Sambisa Forest, in Pulka, Borno State with help from the Nigerian military. Though the Chibok girls were the most high-profile case of Boko Haram’s kidnappings, Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds– maybe even thousands– of men, women, and children from their homes, keeping them under lock and guard for years. Many, seemingly including Maryam, are either already muslim, or have converted to Islam in Boko Haram captivity– which may be out of fear, or brainwashing.
Maryam’s 10-month-old son, Ali, was claimed to have been fathered by a Boko Haram commander, whom she was either “married off” to, or coerced into having sex with. The child looks well, and will no doubt receive medical care, along with Maryam, from the Nigerian government.
Some of facts may seem horrific… but, while the trauma caused by these events remains, Maryam is physically free, and that is a cause for celebration.
While this is an amazing, joyous event, “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10, NIV). If there is rejoicing over this young woman’s physical freedom, think of the rejoicing over her spiritual freedom, as she comes to Christ!
Jesus has freed many, both physically and spiritually, from the clutches of Boko Haram, and islam. Jesus is in the business of redemption, and restoration!!! Praise Him!!!
There is still much to be done. This young girl, along with countless others, still has much healing to experience. But, let’s praise Jesus for all He has done, is doing, and will do, in the hearts of captives, refugees, Boko Haram members, and the Nigerian military.
Please pray that Maryam would come to know Jesus, and receive true healing!
Please join me in prayer:
I praise You, that each and every person on this Earth, right now, matters deeply to you– not to mention those who have passed away, and those who you know are still to be born (Psalm 116:15; 139).
Jesus, we thank You for Your amazing, amazing Love. Thank You for looking at all of us, and declaring us worthy to die for, so that we might be with you, forever.
Dear Jesus, You know Maryam Ali Maiyanga . You saw her, being formed in her mother’s womb, before she was even born. You foresaw every day of her life.
You knew she would be kidnapped, taken, from her family, her loved ones, and her home, to experience the immense bondage perpetrated by Boko Haram.
But Jesus, we know that You are bigger than even the most wicked, deplorable evil. We know that Your Love, shown to us in Yourself on the cross, can break into even the hardest, evil, darkest heart– or the most wounded, broken, confused of hearts– and bring them to truly know You.
Dear Jesus, I pray in Your Name that You would release Maryam from any and all bondage that she is left in. Dear Jesus, please show Maryam that true freedom is found in YOU– and that she only needs to accept Your free gift of Salvation to experience true healing, breakthrough, and a personal relationship with You, God Himself.
Jesus, we pray over the army commander that fathered Maryam’s child. If he is still alive, and wherever he is, please break through his heart, and show him what truly pleasing you looks like: loving you, and loving others. I pray for new, eternal life even for this man, and for all members of Boko Haram.
Jesus, I also pray over Maryam’s son, Ali.
Dear Jesus, I pray that, though this little boy was born under horrific circumstances, You would restore and redeem his life, to bring you glory and praise. Please bring this young, little guy to you, and show him, and everyone around, that he is not only identified by his past or even this tragic state of affairs– or even by the fact that his father’s blood flows through his veins– but that his identity lies in and by YOU, and the fact that we are all COMPLETELY new creations in You, with Your blood flowing through our spiritual veins, when we accept You into our lives and hearts, as Lord and Savior.
Please, dear Jesus, show Yourself in this situation to Maryam, and to everyone, around her. I thank You for this, Father God.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Please continue praying for Maryam, her family, and her story. Please also pray for the Nigerian military, and for their continued success!