Bishop John Guernsey of the ACNA Mid-Atlantic Diocese has written a Lenten letter calling for sacrificial prayer for persecuted believers around the world. In a startling twist however, he is ALSO urging believers to pray for the terrorists who persecute them, and he has linked to a very helpful resource to help us pray, as well as providing some suggested ways of praying.
This Lenten season is a time of renewal of our spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading and studying Scripture, fasting, sacrificial giving of our money and our time for the sake of others.
Especially during this season, would you commit to making prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters a central part of your devotions? Would you pray more earnestly for their witness and for their deliverance? Would you pray for God to turn even these acts of evil for his Kingdom purposes?
And would you pray for the terrorists themselves to repent and turn to Christ? Did you know there’s even a website where you can find profiles of terrorists so you can adopt one and commit to pray for him to repent and come to Christ. It’s Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer.
The site offers insightful suggestions as to how to pray for a terrorist. I’m praying for Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, to repent and turn to Christ. So I’m using the Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer guide to intercede for him, praying…
- for irresistible pursuit by God’s Spirit: “Holy Spirit, relentlessly pursue Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to the depths of his hideout, that he may not escape your grace.”
- for powerful demonstrations of God’s grace: “Lord, expose Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to the precious testimony of Jesus’ followers.”
- for vulnerability: “Dear God, strip from Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi all his defenses that he may turn to Jesus for hope and salvation.”
- for conviction of sin and sense of shame: “Jesus, confront and overwhelm Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi with his shameful deeds and sinful nature till he becomes desperate for righteousness from you.”
- for God’s honor: “God, may the redemption of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi clearly display your character and glory.”
- against spiritual blindness and bondage: “Lord, release Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi from Satan’s grip and open him to sense and know your grace in Jesus.”
Our God is mighty to save. Let’s cry out to him this Lent (and beyond!) for justice for his precious children.
Update: Just after I posted this, I recalled that I had seen a link earlier this week to a post at Desiring God about praying for our enemies. I went and dug it up. It’s a very challenging article by John Piper: Pray for those who abuse you. It’s worth prayerful reading, and it makes a powerful double punch when combined with Bp. Guernsey’s letter.