I don't typically share a lot on world events in the space, as there is so much darkness In the world that simply, (and personally) I prefer to keep it from my blog, social media, and Facebook page. But by the same token, I find it critical that we stay aware, study it, discuss it in our daily lives and pray. Pray fiercely.
My heart has been so compelled to write on this for months. And although I always have a very heavy heart in regards to what is happening around the world, I felt a tugging on my heart in particular last night. An aching in my soul for what is happening in the world around us. A reminder once again that this world is not my home.
Last week in church we listened to a missionary living in the Middle East that has seen first-hand religious persecution. He shared a video of himself and fellow worshipers, praising God jubilantly, as they could hear bombs going off in other local churches.
And my bones ached for these believers. Yet, I was also awe-inspired by their stead-fast faith. Would I in this "#blessed" (because I found a good parking spot) culture be able to live so, so boldly for my Savior?
Then again, yesterday our good friend and Pastor spoke on Acts 7 and the persecution of Stephen -- where his life was taken for his passion for Christ. Jake spoke so much Truth into our current culture of believers both here and abroad. He spoke on how those being persecuted overseas right now have such a remarkable faith that in the comfort our daily lives, is hard to even fathom. These believers are on fire for Him, in the face of danger. They are not only praying, "Lord, protect me," but they are also saying, "Lord, we pray for our persecutors. We pray that we stay bold for you!"
He dually noted the amount of people that "claim" to go to church on Sundays in America is the same number of those around the world that are in threat of persecution...daily. I mean, marinating in that Truth brought chills up and down my spine.
In that same thread, my father recently published his book last week on the Armenian Genocide of 1915 that commemorated it's 100th anniversary last week. Over shadowed by WW2, not many have heard of this horrific tragedy and the millions who lost their lives. The irony here is that these people were being persecuted 100 years ago for their faith, in virtually the same place it is happening in today. This horrific depravity is nothing new. It has been happening since the beginning, and God calls us to "deny ourselves and take up the cross," but do we really understand this and embrace it like these believers do?
And then last week, my own experience brought everything full circle. To spare you the details, my husband was out of town, my daughter and I were out walking downtown and I noticed (as others did as well) that it was quite possible we were being followed. I was on edge & I called a dear friend. Ultimately, we received a ride home, just to be sure. But it certainly hit home. How excruciating it would be to feel fear, (a life-threatening fear...1,000 fold stronger than this)...and everyday?
As inspired as his writing may be, this is not a promotion for my father's book or for my church. Nor be it a diatribe on my personal views against the darkness. It is purely a plea to you, my loved ones, to please be praying. And keep me accountable to pray as well.
Not only to praise Him that we live in Freedom, but for the innocent souls suffering, both abroad and in our backyards. Prayer...as simple as it may seem, is powerful and all too much over promised and under delivered. We say we will, but life gets "busy." But we are called. It is our duty.
Please pray. For the souls in Nepal that are suffering both emotionally and physically right now...perhaps even wondering where their next meal will come from.
Pray for the Christians persecuted who wonder if today will be their last.
And yet they Praise Him.
My voice, albeit, as small as it may be is not one I want to tremble in fear. I have been awarded the honor to adorn the armor of God and I had better use it.
I pray this voice of mine is one that is strong. One that speaks truth, love and hope. That the prayers that pour from my lips are grace-filled and plentiful. And that I don't let a day go by not fully living for Him.
Please pray with me?