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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. 2 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. 3 The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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 Lord. 7 Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 8 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. 9 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. ❤
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.
- 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.