Friday, January 1, 2016: Psalm 83- A prayer for enemies.

Happy New Year

This turned out to be a very unusual New Year’s Day reading and meditation.

I found my thoughts rumbling over various terrorist events of 2015 as I read the words of this Psalm. Images of ISIS, Boko Haran and other terror groups’ evil outpourings filled my thoughts. I wanted to pray this prayer against them. Get them, Lord. Beat them up, Lord!

There was also a strong temptation to nationalize this prayer, praying against my country’s enemies, but I resisted that since the USA is not equivalent with God’s people like Israel was in OT times.

Setting aside nationalistic motivated prayers, I returned to those who seek to advance their god above the Lord God almighty and I prayed with the Psalmist his closing line: Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth (18).

I am reminded of the words of a missionary from Nigeria who has seen first hand the terror of Boko Haran. He said to the effect, “We must remember that our true enemy is not the Muslim extremist… that person is blinded by Satan, who is the real enemy.” 

Yes, these militants do violent things and inflict much pain, but just imagine the testimony if they truly converted to faith in Jesus.

So, Lord, I pray for the victims of terrorists, that Your comfort and love might be felt by them in the midst of their pain. And, Lord, I pray for these militant extremists that You let them know that You, the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth. Convert their hearts, sent someone to them with the message of Jesus.

Lord, I pray for this New Year, that You would break my heart with the things that break Your heart… lead me to a deep, more committed faith in You, Jesus. This is my prayer, prayed to and in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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