PHOTO BY The Resurgence
Back in November 2010, I published a post introducing what I referred to as the 8 Global Giants. The 8 Global Giants was my response to observing in scripture how Jesus met desperate needs in the lives of people during his earthly ministry. Desperate sickness, brutal death, incurable diseases, and demonic violence – these were all Giant needs in the lives of people, and he met these needs.
Being that the work of a disciple is to parallel the ministry of Jesus, I began asking: What are the most desperate needs in the world today? And how can I allow Him to meet these needs through me? The full list of needs that resulted can be seen here, but one world-wide issue that I had to include on this list was the demonic violence of Radical Islamic Terrorism. These brutally violent, aggressive killers are wreaking havoc all over the globe. People are being killed, tortured, and intimidated by these murderous bullies.
They remind me of the demon-possessed men that Jesus dealt with on the shores of the sea of Galilee during his earthly ministry, “When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.” (Matthew 8:28) “…no one could bind him…No one was strong enough to subdue him.” (Mark 5:3-4)
Radical Islamic terrorists are similarly very violent, hard to bind up, and fighting hard to not be subdued. If I am interested in having compassion on people in need and really caring about the welfare of people in the world today, I must be interested in this demonic violence being stopped. In reflection on how it can be stopped, I have arrived at two primary ways that I believe we need to pray:
SINCERELY PRAYING FOR THESE MEN TO ACCEPT JESUS
Jesus’ offer of forgiveness, eternal life, and reconciliation with God is open to all. These men, like all men, need Jesus Christ. They need the one true God in their lives. Living our lives separate from God results in things like pride, lust, theft, drunkenness, addiction, purposelessness, etc. For these men it has also resulted in giving themselves over to murdering those who don’t agree with them. Sin is the root problem in the world, and the only way to break its hold on our lives is through faith in Jesus Christ.
PRAYING FOR GOVERNMENTS TO BRING THESE CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE
The Bible often admonishes individual believers to pray for enemies, turn the other cheek, and leave vengeance for the Lord to carry out. It’s instruction for governments is a little bit different. The Bible states that one of the purposes of government is to be used as an instrument by God to bring his wrath on evil doers (Romans 13). God does not ignore evil. He punishes all evil (either through suffering in this life, suffering after this life, or through the cross of Jesus). He tells believers to leave vengeance to Him, and one of the ways he enacts vengeance is through the ‘sword’ of human Governments (Romans 13:4).
Christians, it is going to be through the combination of these types of prayers that this problem can be cast out. We cannot just pray for these men to accept Jesus and let the killing continue. We also cannot just pray for our governments to enact justice and think that this alone will solve the root of the problem. It will take both.
All this to be said, the news back in May of Osama bin Laden being stopped by our government’s armed forces was in part an answered prayer for me. I was not praying for him to be killed, but I have been praying for sometime that this man would accept Jesus AND be stopped. For the sake of the man Osama bin Laden, I hope that he did not slip into eternity rejecting Jesus. For the sake of the millions of people he brutalized through terror and murder, I am thankful that he was stopped.