We got a great praise report I’m excited to share with you. Then we got a bad report and an exhortation.
Two weeks ago, we saw the release of a pastor’s daughter by kidnappers looking for ransom. Many people across the United States prayed for this young lady. We thank God that she was returned unharmed.
A young man at JHOP knows a young woman we’ll call Diana. She, too, is a pastor’s daughter. She studies in El Paso, but goes to her dad’s church in Juarez on Sundays. And one Sunday, she was abducted by two men and a woman.
Soon Diana found herself face-down on a bed in parts unknown. As she lay there in fear, she heard God say, “Tell them about Me.”
She was so afraid. “I can’t. They kidnapped me. I’m scared.”
“Tell them about Me.”
And then she did. She told them about Jesus. About His love for them. The kidnappers grew confused. They weren’t quite sure what to do.
They began to ask her questions. She answered them as best as she could. The woman told Diana that she had been praying, wanting to know who God really is.
Diana was at peace even as she was held captive. The kidnappers were very kind to her, feeding her good meals, even making her pancakes in the morning. Diana was so at peace that she was more concerned for the worry of her family, so she prayed that God would comfort them.
On the fourth day, Diana rose and put on her shoes. The kidnappers asked her why. She replied that she knew she’d be leaving that day. She knew in her spirit.
The day became night and Diana was growing discouraged. But late that night, the kidnappers took her and left her on a deserted road.
Now she was scared again. She was vulnerable to being abducted — again. Then a van drove up and stopped. The driver asked if she needed help. She feared him at first, then saw that he had a kind heart. So she climbed in to his van. That man helped get back to El Paso and to her family.
Praise the God of Heaven and Earth.
‘Mourn with those who mourn’
Beti, the director of JHOP, informed us that a pastor’s wife was kidnapped. She was not returned alive. (I wish I had names, but was not given any… and when I do have them, I am careful until given OK by leadership. These are the times we live it, friends.)
Pray for comfort as he mourns. And mourn with the man as you plead to God for His church in Juarez and the rest of Mexico.
Satan is angry that we dare pray to our God for souls and for justice. Now Satan is attacking the church. This is persecution, people. This is what it looks like. The persecuted church is a stone’s throw away (for those of us on the border). We in the U.S. have been protected by God for so long. But the Enemy is chomping at his bit to get in here and hurt us.
Pray like Esther and Daniel
You find that you can easily classify the people in houses of prayer into two groups: worshipers and intercessors. I tend toward the former. God is building me up in the latter.
I find worship easy. All you have to do is think about all the things God has done to bring us near and the extravaganza beyond that and you fall in love. And we desire to live in that intimacy forever. And we will.
However, we are still in a world that is occupied and controlled by the Enemy. Remember that Satan is the god of the world. It’s his domain because Adam sold His birthright for a piece of forbidden fruit. (But, hallelujah, Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer bought us back at the cross and will return to claim the planet. See Revelation 5 and the book of Ruth).
Because of our intimacy with God (through Jesus) we have access to the throne room.
Esther had access to the throne room of Persia. And she feared offending the King despite the threat to her people. And Mordecai told her, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
And because the king loved Esther, he listened to her request and fulfilled it.
Daniel was a student of scripture. He knew that Jeremiah had foretold that the judgment of Israel would last 70 years. God had used Babylon to chastise Israel for various sins. The whole population of Israel was relocated to Babylon.
When Daniel saw that the 70 years had passed, he petitioned God to remember his promise. He didn’t just remind God that time was up. Daniel repented for the sins of the nation that had put them in captivity. No bad thing is said of Daniel is scripture, but he humbled himself to repent on behalf of the nation.
Rejoice at the victories. Mourn with the sorrowful. And pray to God with boldness, repentance and humility. God is waiting for his remnant to call upon Him.