Saturday, January 14, 2012

A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Jan. 14 (Day 14)

Today we are praying for Africa's "hot spots" ... those areas that will tend to pop up and raise global awareness of issues in Africa, and not necessarily for positive reasons. Please read "Africa's Hot Spots" on pages 34-35 then return here for our prayer time.

Reviewing these regional "hot spots" is a reminder to me that behind every news story is a God who is working all things together for His kingdom purposes. It's also a reminder that behind every story there are real people who are affected by the news in personal ways. Almost invariably, this principle is true: There is more going on beneath the surface than we will ever imagine.

Have you ever watched the 60's show Hogan's Heroes? The basic premise of the show focuses on a handful of prisoners of war in a German POW camp. These Allies from England, France, the U.S., and occasionally Russia volunteered for an unusual assignment when they were captured: Rather than escaping at the first opportunity (the norm for POW's), they committed to not escape and instead use whatever means available to help other prisoners escape and undermine the German war effort. Hogan's Heroes built an elaborate underground structure - tunnels containing storage areas, radio rooms, fake printing presses, even food. In every show, the enemy Nazis walk on top of these tunnels daily, usually without suspecting a thing.

Similarly, what God is up to in the world is beyond anything we can fathom. He is orchestrating the movement of nations and people, the minute details of life and the big picture of the world, for His glory to open doors for the Gospel to all people. Habakkuk never could have imagined the kingdom purpose God had for Babylon surrounding Israel - but God was definitely at work. Habakkuk 1:5; 2:14 "Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days - you would not believe if you were told....For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." As Paul noted to the Romans (Romans 11:33) "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!". When the enemy prowls about like a roaring lion, He has absolutely no idea what God has planned just under the surface of what's going on. 

As we pray today for Africa's hot spots, let's ask God to give us eyes to look beyond the surface and catch a glimpse of what's going on in the spiritual realm as part of His big plan to draw Africans to Himself. When you are finished, take time to watch the video and sing (aloud if at all possible) the Kituba words (a Congo language) to Pass Me Not (they will be on the screen). In this way today we will identify to a small degree with the African church. And if you're like me, you won't be able to stop singing at that point. :-)

My prayer for today: Oh Lord my heart is full today with the words of David: Greatness, power, glory, majesty, and splendor belong to You, for everything in heaven on earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, Lord - You are exalted above all, and You are ruler of all. Your hands are strong and powerful enough to exalt and give strength to everyone. Yet I confess, Lord, that at times I have hesitated to pray big prayers, thinking that maybe there were bigger things on Your mind, or that You were prioritizing somewhere else. I've treated Your ability to give strength and exalt Your people like a limited commodity. Oh Lord, forgive me and help my unbelief! Today, God, I lift up Africa to You. I thank You that You are supreme over all these issues, and I pray Lord that You will intervene. Raise up laborers who have a heart for these corners of the world. Don't pass them by, Lord. For Central Africa, raise up godly leaders at every level who are commited to justice, integrity, and peace. Bring healing for those who have faced the loss and devastation of war. Lord, restore the years the locusts have eaten, raise them up and make them stand in Your presence blameless and with great joy. For East Africa, specifically Somalia and Kenya, I pray for the intervention of Jesus who is our peace, who alone can bring peace between groups who have been bound by ethnic conflict. Bring a truly lasting solution to the injustice of the plundering of Somalia's fish stocks and raise up Somalians who can help their people find ways out of the deep poverty while they have such resources at their disposal. For Sudan and the new country of South Sudan, we pray for peace. We pray against jihad and against genocide and against every other form of hatred that leads to murder. We know the source is satan himself, who was a murderer from the beginning. Lord, Nigeria and the Sahel remind us that Africa is a religiously divided continent. Guide Christians to respond in a spirit of love and peace, rather than fear and violence. I pray for those who love peace to prevail through wisdom, discipline,a nd graciousness. I pray Christians will never stop sharing the good news of Jesus with their Muslim friends. Finally, Lord, I lift up Southern Africa to You. The terrible crippling effect of AIDS; uncertainty about government stability; and abuses by governments all threaten people whom You love and whom You died for.Minister to them today, in Jesus' name, amen.♦

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