Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls: Persisting in prayer

Our first blog post call to prayer about the missing Nigerian schoolgirls was written 5/7/14. Three weeks later, a second blog call to prayer for those same girls was posted. Tonight, we turn our hearts again to those two hundred plus schoolgirls (mostly Christian).   They are still being held hostage by Boko Haram (the name means "western education is forbidden"), a terrorist organization that is demanding release of their imprisoned members in exchange for release of the girls. 

According to reports from leading news agencies, the girls have been divided into several groups, each group being held in a different area just outside the Nigerian border. Also according to reports, a privately viewed video released this past weekend showed that the girls are not having an easy time. They are suffering. They want to go home. 

The problem with multiple locations for the girls is that a rescue attempt would have to be undertaken at every location simultaneously to avoid retribution against the remaining girls. There is a hash tag crusade to "do something" and there is some concern that social media will demand (and force) action that is doomed to fail, resulting in loss of life for the girls and the rescuers. 

It is a problem with no clear solution. A hashtag demanding their release is trendy, but prayers should be more effective. With that in mind, and the promise that the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much, here are a few prayer starters tonight:
- wisdom for those in authority to know which steps would be effective and the courage to take them
- unexpected release of the girls by their captors
- successful escape by the girls, with ready assistance to get back into Nigeria and home with their families
- that God would send angels to unlock every prison door and the girls would have the courage to walk out (at least four girls have recently escaped ) and the wits to find their way home
- that none of the girls would be "married" to the captors or sold as slaves, as Boko Haram leadership has threatened
- that the Boko Haram reign of terror would be brought to an end. Their evil has flourished long enough. 
- that the forces of evil would be quickly and utterly defeated 
- that the long-term effects of their kidnapping would be limited and would make the girls stronger rather than more afraid. 

Pray, friends. These girls are suffering unimaginable horrors. They need to be freed. At this point, it appears only God can accomplish their release, so pray that He will do just that. 

Continue to pray for freedom and healing in the name of Jesus. Amen.