Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Praying for Bosnia and Herzegovina: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - March 13 (Day 73)

Today's prayer emphasis takes us right into the heart of the Balkans. If you want to understand the motivations, challenges, and impacts of balkanization, you need look no further than Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you're my age, Bosnia wasn't on any map you studied in school. You may remember the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia - a country that no longer exists. Sarajevo is now the capital of Bosnia, a nation that is so divided that international powers remain in place trying to foster some sort of workable solution in the midst of significant ethnic differences.

Spiritual balkanization is pervasive in Bosnia Herzegovina as well: ethno-religious hostility largely keeps individuals locked within the faith tradition of their births. Yet there is hope even here: Jesus died to bring peace between all ethnic divisions - to tear down walls not only between Jew and Gentile, but between divisive balkanizations of all stripes.The picture of every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group joined together in praise to God is the very opposite of balkanization!

A few years back I heard a short poem that I has stuck with me because of its profound assurance of hope. I believe the author was Thomas Merton, though I could not confirm that and my memory has failed on that point:

I hear a sovereign talking in my arteries
Reversing with His promises all the things that now go on with fire and thunder
His truth is greater than disaster
His peace imposes silence on the evidence against us.

The hope is there, as point 4 highlights; evangelicals are having some success at bridging the fault lines. The hope of the Gospel, the hope of unity in Christ, the hope of worshipping around His throne as one body, unity in diversity, is the promise that will reverse the fire and thunder of balkanization.

Today, please read pages 157-159, and then watch the video below. This video along with any other ways God leads you to pray for Bosnia will be our prayer for today.


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