A Missional Encouragement to Pray for Our Enemies

Terrorism and ISIS dominate both world and national news with their emphasis on random acts of brutality and murder. They operate in small terror cells, recruiting worldwide, and seek to build a movement that will rule the world. But think about these battles from the perspective of spiritual or “heavenly realms”. Satan is merely copying God’s strategy of using small cells to recruit and wage war against the “enemy”. Consider the following missional encouragement as a point of strategic prayer. Jesus taught His disciples: “Where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”(NLT).

We know the Scriptures (Ephesians 6) about putting on the armor of God to fight the devil’s schemes. We “fight”, using God’s truth, live according to God’s righteousness, spread the gossip of “peace on earth”, and pray. We read the history of the early church - persecution scattered the church worldwide in small groups, “gossiping” the gospel as they traveled. Many gave their lives; many today are also giving their lives.

How does this “good news” apply even to ISIS members? We are all made in the image of God. We are consumed with evil. But we are people, loved by Creator God, and for whom Jesus died; our sin debt has been paid. Jesus’ death released us from the power of sin. He promises to return and make all things right. To insult ISIS does not reflect the “Lord Jesus Christ to a needy world”.

Pray not just for the victims of ISIS, but for ISIS members themselves … members who are deceived in thinking the way to heaven lies in killing and suicide. Pray personally. Pray in small groups. And always, take time to praise and thank the “Lord God Almighty” (or “Lord of Heaven’s Armies -New Living Translation) for the power of His love and the defeat of Satan’s armies on the cross.