The recent terror attacks in Brussels once again reiterated in our hearts and minds the danger of radical Islam to the Western world. It was a shock for many and raises questions about how a public place such as an airport; which is supposed to be the forefront of security measures, can succumb to these acts of violence. How can we live in peace when there are terror threats which can strike anywhere and at any time?
Once again the Belgians and the rest of the Western world are asking these questions, trying to make sense of it all.
Living with the threat of this kind of violence is a daily reality for many of our fellow Christians in Syria, Iraq and also in Nigeria where Boko Haram has taken hold. Perhaps the biggest question on everybody’s mind is; how can we stop this never ending cycle of violence?
Jesus said to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” This is Jesus essentially saying, violence begets violence. Jesus told us as Christians, to love our enemies and those who persecute us. He understood that the only way to break the cycle of violence is to overcome evil with good. There are many Christians who have been martyred following this principle but there are also many more Muslims who have turned to Christ and found peace because they saw examples of Christ’s love either from the Bible itself or from the fearless believers who shared and died for it.
In our February 2016 newsletter, there was a story about a Muslim coming to Christ because of the Islamic State’s violence towards Christians. “I was Muslim and now I’m seeing,” the man told Joseph, a local pastor. “From the date IS came to Mosul, I started reading the Koran. I wanted to tell the people, ‘IS is not true Islam.’ I read the Koran daily for four hours, five hours. I wanted to defend my religion, but I discovered IS is the true Islam.”
Pastor Joseph’s act of listening and being Christ-like paved way for the Muslim to come to know Jesus. He has seen large numbers of Muslim youth leave Islam after learning how the Koran inspired IS and its slaughter of Christians.
Christ is what will melt hardened hearts, end terrorism and ultimately bring peace for all.
As you think and ponder about the recent events in Belgium, you may wish to use these prayer points as a guide to help you and your church group pray.
- Please pray for all the victims and their families, that they may find solace and strength in God and friends.
- Pray for the government: for wisdom when they respond, not from panic and anxiety, so they will not take disproportionate measures.
- Pray for all emergency services and security services, for police and investigators, that they may expose even more roots of terror networks.
- Pray for God’s peace and protection over this country.
- Pray that the mind-set will be reversed that people will see that a society without a God-of-love derails and has no defence against an attack of such dark hate.
- Pray that God will change this evil for good, and that the difference between light and darkness will be clearer.
- Pray that the churches and Christians will find open doors in people to testify of a good and saving God, that they will be able to show acts of peace and love.
- Pray that – just as in Syria – many Muslims will turn to Christ as their Saviour.
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