ISIS continues to slaughter, enslave or exile thousands of Christians. Last night’s “60 Minutes” broadcast featured interviews with some Christians from Mosul, Iraq, who can trace their local churches back almost 2000 years. Now, all signs of Christian faith there are being destroyed by ISIS thugs. It is horrifying and heart-wrenching.
This morning, as I was reading Psalm 69, I began to pray its phrases back to the Lord on behalf of my brothers and sisters in that region. David, who was no stranger to violent opposition, used the imagery of flood waters as a metaphor. Here is a brief sample:
“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me…” (Psalm 69:1-4a)
Would you please also pray? I find it helpful to use psalms as prayers, especially when I am so stunned by events, as I am by these, that it is hard to find the words. We are invited to join in the conflict through prayer. The plight of the Middle Eastern Christians is severe but I am certain their suffering is being used by God. He is not surprised and will not be defeated by evil. Even in persecution and death, these faithful ones bear witness to God’s salvation and grace.
Pray for them as David prayed:
“May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the Lord Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.” (Psalm 69:6)