Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bringing the kidnapped Nigerian Girls Home

Our area was hard hit by the recent tornados, and we are still reeling from the destruction. In the midst of gathering stories, comforting victims, and volunteering in the rescue effort, I have not had time to think about the rest of the world. That is unfortunate, because the world has needed our prayers, too. 

Many days, I know the topic for the evening blog by mid-afternoon. This evening, I was eating supper and still praying for a topic. "Lord, I have no idea what to write about. What's on Your mind?" The answer was immediate and clear. "Check the news." I laughed out loud, and clicked on my WTVA app. I read all the local news, the Mississippi news, the Alabama news. Nothing caught my eye. I was almost to the end of the national news when I saw it. First, Hillary Clinton and then Michelle Obama had weighed in on the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria. Now THAT seems like the kind of news that would be on God's mind.   

Boko Haram is an Islamic militant extremist group in Nigeria. This is a band of terrorist thugs who have been creating havoc in the region for years. Recently, they have been kidnapping Nigerian schoolgirls and are threatening to sell them. In a few short weeks, they have kidnapped nearly 300 girls and are holding them captive. I cannot imagine how they are treating those girls, but I am outraged. How cowardly they are to kidnap school girls rather than take their battle to someone with guns and rockets who might be able to defend themselves. I am surprised by their extreme evil. I would like to go to Nigeria, find those maniacs, and rescue those frightened girls, then deal with those hoodlums. I recognize that I would be no help in Nigeria, of course, and the Nigerians are already working to rescue their girls. They don't need that kind of help from me. 

There is outrage around the world. More than one million hashtag tweets (#bringbackourgirls) have been sent in support of the girls. Our country has sent a team to help rescue the girls. A serious effort is underway, but a serious effort was already underway, and they are still missing. 

A quick scan through the first twenty-seven articles about "Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls" revealed not one request for prayer. Dear ones, we need to get with it here, and get on our knees. I was a schoolgirl myself once, and I would be beyond terrified. I hope you will stop whatever you are doing and pray for these precious missing schoolgirls. 

First of all, we know that fear (though certainly expected in this frightful situation) does not come from God. Pray that those girls will not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a clear mind. Pray for perfect peace that passes all understanding and for the wisdom to recognize a chance to escape and the courage to take that chance. Also pray that not one escaping girl will leave another behind, but that EVERY girl can get away. 

Kidnapped girls must be in some sort of confining place. I'm calling it a prison of sorts. Pray that God will send an angel to open the prison doors, wake the girls, and lead them out tonight. Let's don't ask for soon. Let's ask for now! The time in Nigeria is six hours ahead of my local time. It's the middle of their night and a perfect time to escape. 

Kidnapped girls have captors and guards. Those guards must be incapacitated in some way so that the girls can get away without intervention on the part of the guards. God has good experience with incapacitating guards throughout Scripture and I, for one, am asking Him to be creative in disabling the guards. 

It would be a travesty if human hands got credit for rescuing girls for which God has intervened. Let's pray that no one gets credit except God, and that He gets the credit He so richly deserves. 

That brings us to the captors. They are the enemies of the girls and of our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. Scripture is clear on this. We have to love our enemies and pray for those who spitefully use us. I am praying for a spirit of conviction to fall on those captors, that they will repent of their crimes, and be burdened to make restitution to all they have harmed. Let's pray that the spirit of conviction breaks their hearts over their sin and that they never go back to terrorism again Pray, too, that their reign of terror will come to an end immediately. 

While we are praying big things, we should also pray that the escape of the girls is so remarkable that it causes an amazing revival in Nigeria that brings many people to Christ. 

While the world is busy trying to save the girls with hashtags, someone needs to do the one thing that can make a difference. That someone is you. It is me. Dear ones, start praying now and do not stop until those young girls are reunited with their parents and the reign of terror is at an end!