Friday, August 29, 2014

Suffering well: my prayer for the Christians in Mosul

I saw someone post something on facebook about seeing a really graphic ISIS video that they couldn't unsee, and I realized that I have been really lax on keeping up with that. Sometimes I find that we as a people in general are all gung-ho about a topic while it is en vogue, and then sorta forget and go about our lives. Because of that (and as per my reasons in the previous post) I set about looking for the video. I needed to mourn. I needed to have my heart burning with compassion that would move me to prayer. Along the way I came across an article that reminded me of a prayer I had recently regarding the torture and beheadings going on.

When all this was blowing up, my first instinct was to pray for protection for the Christians in Mosul, but for some reason I heard that still, small voice saying "No. That's not what I want you to pray for." I was like "Say whaaa?!" So I started trying to think of what I would want to be prayed for if I were in that situation. My first thought was for there to be no pain. Anyone who knows me knows that I am terrified of physical pain. (Ironic, I know.) In the reports, I've heard that the beheadings aren't just a quick chop. They are a slow saw. So I prayed "God, please let all pain be gone while they are being tortured". The second prayer is one that I really hope we can all pray as well, and that is that he would give the Christians in Mosul the ability to die well. When I say "die well" I mean this: That they would see the glory of the risen Lord while they are still here on this earth, while they are in the midst of being killed. When being taken and having God knows what done to them, my prayer is that the pain would be non-existent, and that their faces would light up with the radiance of Christ, that they would smile in his presence and experience an inexpressible joy as they see the hope of their salvation standing before them, beckoning them into eternity. I pray that they would go, knowing that they have finally arrived in the place of peace and rest. I pray that the soldiers who are perpetrating these acts would see this and be confused, maddened, enraged wondering why doing their worst is causing sighs of relief, singing, and smiling? I cannot think of anything that would put a larger pebble into the shoe of those who think they are acting on behalf of God.

One of the things I've been told on numerous occasions is that people see Christ in us most when we suffer well. So, knowing this, what else should we be praying for?!