Don’t Turn the Page

I have friends in other nations.
I have friends in Israel who are constantly re-adjusting every moment of their lives because they have to stop and run to a bomb shelter.
I have friends in Ukraine who live right along the Crimea border, friends who are frustrated and frightened about the slow absorption of their nation into the hands of another.
I have friends in Russia who are having difficulty sorting out the news they hear in Russia and the news which comes from other parts of the world. They just want to trust truth, but it’s increasingly more difficult to see.
I have friends in Gaza who love the Lord and wish for peace. Everyone wants peace.
I have friends in Pakistan who are fearful of a military coup (or worse) brought on by yet another failed leader.

I have friends around the world who are, each day, finding themselves entrenched in battles ranging from war to disease that they do not understand and never induced. And I lay my head on my pillow each night, and worry if I’m going to wake in time to get my daily tasks complete. I get angry at things which don’t even matter and concern myself with vain pursuits. It’s all so benign in light of these worldly events. By contrast to most nations of the world, life in the U.S. is protected and sterile. While I appreciate all it takes to keep us protected, I also know that those attributes threaten to foster a sense of apathy to the world’s condition. But somehow, it hits home when we have friends in other nations who suffer. It’s one thing to hear the news, but an entirely different thing to consider how friends and people are coping.

I remember when we had a huge ice storm a few years back. It was around 4am when I woke to the power outage. Everything was eerily dark, and all you could hear was the sound of ice falling on ice. It finally became so intense that enormous tree limbs began falling on the large hillside and rolling down to the street, echoing like gunshots through our little valley. I laid there in bed and began to realize the severity of our condition. “Oh God,” I prayed. “Does anyone know?” I began to feel very small and very vulnerable. I began to realize how large and big this storm could be and how we could easily be a victim of its icy grip, not even a name in a paper but a number counted among the fellow victims. And numbers don’t reveal anything about the people who suffer. That is how people in other nations feel when they are in the middle of battles not their own. This was the resounding, final sentence in my morning prayer:

“And if they know, God, are they praying?”

You read the news, hear the news, consider the news. You know what goes on. It’s not given to us for the purpose of sensationalism or judgment, it’s not even given to us to ignore. We have a responsibility in this: We have the news so that we can pray. Yes, we can put our heads in the sand and pretend these things do not exist, but that doesn’t make them any less real to the people who battle or to those who lose their lives or loved ones in the battle.

Pray. Pray for those who feel lonely, vulnerable, weak and exposed. Pray that they might have strength of faith and steadfast trust. Pray that they have assurance of Christ. And if they don’t, pray that they might consider their eternal home and receive Christ so that there is peace in all circumstances. Truly, that is the only kind of peace we can hope to attain on this side of Heaven. Pray that they would not react in anger toward their enemies or to God. Pray that they would seek to understand and exercise penetrating forgiveness. Pray for the world through the headlines. Prayers are a way of dealing with the supernatural evil that encourages these worldly battles; they are your contribution to a situation you cannot control. Most of all, they matter. So when you read those difficult headlines, don’t turn the page. Instead, bow your head and pray.

Please reply with the name of the country or people you’ve been praying for. What battles are they fighting? What personal difficulties are people enduring? Do they know Christ? Because the work of prayer is important to prepare the way for the gospel, how can we pray along with you?


12 responses to “Don’t Turn the Page

  • Stacy Stevens

    Thank you so much for this well-written article calling us to pray! This is the second source this week that I have heard to remind me to pray when we hear all these things on the news. The first was at the Perspectives class that I am taking currently 🙂 How wonderful that you are working with this organization! We are loving the class and so excited that God is opening our eyes to the nations. What an encouragement you are to others in the body of Christ for His glory!!


    • Angela

      So happy you’re enjoying the class, Stacy. It certainly is quite an eye-opener. Even after all these years of working with Perspectives, I continue to be amazed by all the truths I learn. It never gets old.


  • Dawn Bulchandani


    Pray for angelic visitations for ISIS and the spirit of wisdom on national Iraqi leadership. Pray for supernatural safety for all Iraqis.


  • Rick Carter

    Thanks Angela. Praying for the orphans and widows in Nigeria who are battling fear of Boko Haram, Ebola and oppression. We have missionary friends there.


  • Roy

    Psalm 27:13-14 I remain confident of this:I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord;be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

    Psalm 28:4-7 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work;repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve. Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what his hands have done,he will tear them down and never build them up again. Praise be to the Lord,for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield;my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.My heart leaps for joy,and with my song I praise him.

    My prayer borrowed from the psalms for those suffering in Iraq from those terrorists there


  • Cathy Grollimund

    CAR we have dear friends ministering there.They frequently must leave and go to another neighboring country due to rebels raiding. Refugee camps have now become places of ministry. Thank you for urging me to be diligent in prayer. Cathy


  • jamesedwardsharp

    I’ve been praying for Chang Mai, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Nicaragua, and Iraq consistently. We’ve also been using the Joshua Project app which is a GREAT tool.
    Most of these countries experience a hostile or closed governmental stance toward the Gospel & especially the spread. We support 2 families in Chang Mai & 1 of them focuses on those neighboring countries. Nicaragua’s barriers are very similar to the US in the religion interrupts real life change. And a family who is raising a team in Iraq experiences great openness to Go d in northern Iraq. Their biggest threat right now is obviously Isis right now.
    There are many prayer needs and maybe as many causes for praise.
    I LOVED this blog!


    • Angela

      Amen. I’m glad you illuminate the causes for praise. While the atrocities are none other than wicked, we must remember that God will have His way, that we are still on Plan A. In the midst of the horror, let’s continue to look for opportunities to praise God, for His compassion, loving-kindness and might far exceed the evil. Praying with you, James!


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