Lord, terror is rising on every side. We see it. It is evil. There is nothing good about it. We know this is not You from You are all good. We feel the hate and rage. We see the lack of any attempt at self-control. We sense the supernatural evil power which is behind this. It seethes, threatens and murders. It seems as if there is no stopping it.
We are appalled at the excuses made and given which seem to condone the destruction, murders and attacks as acceptable. Lord God, there is no respect for one another in this! There is no respect from these terrorists for others who may be of a different opinion and they must be stopped.
Mutual respect is the way to peace! Yet, that is part of the deception. Those who are perpetrating the violence have no desire for peace; they seek to overrun, dominate and kill all those who do not embrace their way and will not be satisfied until this is accomplished.
Lord, it is the way of their faith. But it is not ours. Lord, we must stand up to this evil behavior and attitudes or be overrun ourselves, but we need Your help.
Lord, people are not inherently evil for you made us in Your image, but when we do that which is wrong in Your sight and when we go about living in a way which does not represent You, it gives the supernatural adversary right of access to place his supernatural evil power on these wrong efforts with horrific effect.
Lord God, You are our only hope and help. We are not supernatural. We cannot stand against that which is powered by supernatural evil. But You are Almighty. You are Victor. You are Conqueror. Your Way is Supreme and Your Way is Truth. Anything like this violence and terror which exalts itself against Your way is deception, but You can defeat it!
Lord God, You love every single person. Jesus, You came and died for the sins (those things we do, think and say which are not Your way) for all of us – those who know and acknowledge you as Savior and Lord and those who do not. You promise as Master Shepherd to care for Your sheep (that’s us!) and lead us through bad and good times, using us for eternal good purposes until we are home forever with the Father, AND You also promise to go after every single lost lamb. Lord God, when You ascended into heaven, You sent Your Spirit so that by Your power at work through the submitted hearts and lives of Your followers, You could be revealed to the world! Your desire is all to know and embrace Your way, so that we can live in Your love and peace!
And so Lord, we come boldly before Your heavenly throne of grace. We join Jesus who is interceding at Your right hand for Your purposes and pray:
Lord God, protect every person at risk from this violence. Lord God, protect our troops, their families, those working in embassies, consulates and living abroad. Lord, protect those of us at home. Protect our neighbors in other countries. Protect our boundaries. Lord, protect Israel.
Lord God, prevent the evil which is planned from being actualized. Send angels to cause bombs not to explode, IEDs from not being tripped and demonstrations to fail. Cause massive rainstorms – even flooding – to grip the Middle East which put out wrong fires and keep people off the streets. Meet these people who hate (but whom You love) in their dreams and the private spaces of their minds and rain down Your increased presence in a way that one by one lights a fire within their hearts for You (for You created them to crave what is good, not this evil).
Lord God, reveal the enemy’s strategies in advance and give our leaders at every level great wisdom to know how to respond defensively as well as offensively when required. Give our leaders clarity regarding what is truth and what is deception. Reveal to the hearts of leaders what true “good” is and stop them from declaring that which is evil as good. Shut the mouths of leaders who by their words and deeds would lead the people into confusion. Raise up as mouthpieces those who know You best and know how to stand firm against this evil as You have taught us, but also how to love and not hate while standing firm and not backing down. Give us Your strategy to stand against this invalid excuse to do harm and to stand for Your justice, righteousness and the dignity and right to life for every individual. Give our leaders, troops and people ears to hear Your plan and courage to do the right thing. Lord God, open the eyes of those who have not wanted to see to the risks from those whose religion encourages them to kill and seek dominion over all who do not share their faith. You are God of love, not God of hate and You created us with free will to choose, not the requirement to be conquered, coerced of killed. Help all to see the beauty and perfection of Your Way!
Come with an increase of Your Holy Spirit and reveal how You would have us live. Lord God, those of us who know You should have lives which look markedly different than others around us because of our understanding of You and Your transforming power at work within us. But for many, though we have adopted You as Savior, we have not bowed to You as Lord. We continue to live in fear of death, which You conquered. We continue to make our constant daily focus how to survive in this world, never embracing Your promise that You will enable to survive in this world, therefore we can focus on getting to know You for the next. Help us to understand and embrace, all we have to do is believe we can hear from You, begin to seek to hear Your voice and follow where You lead, trust in Your plan which leads not to death but all the way through eternity, rely on Your power to fulfill it and rest in it, so that Your peace and joy are resident in us, flowing through to others in all circumstances.
Lord, if only the people following these religions of hate and murder knew You, they would hate and murder no more! And so, we need You to protect us, we need You to guide us, we need You to transform us (and thus our lives) more into Your likeness and we need You to make Yourself manifest to those who do not know You yet, so the reason for killing stops.
Lord, please also know that we repent of any and all ways we have offended You in the past by not seeking You, Your way, plan and strategy as our answer. Sometimes in our humanness, we have wrongly thought our own ideas were better than Yours. This was wrong. We had no right to decide that which You have said we should not do was now all right because we live in a different generation. So Lord, please forgive us for deposing You from Your place of power and authority over us and ignoring You because we thought we knew better. Once again in Your grace You have shown us, we have no real power. We acknowledge again our entire hope and trust are in You.
Lord God, we know that in every request we have brought before you, nothing is too hard for You. All these things and more You can do – and we remember how You delight to answer our prayers better than we can even imagine. Therefore, in unity, praying and worshipping You together, representing the many varied parts of Your Body and knowing only You hold the keys to all that we seek, we look to You; we wait for You; we trust in You. Thank You for hearing us and already working to answer. Thank You for what we can see; thank You for what we cannot see. You are our all in all and everything. You are our singular hope.
written Friday, September 14, 2012 by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2012