Praying for the Middle East

Praying for the Middle East

01-29-2011

The events throughout the Middle East, and especially in Egypt, are sending shock waves throughout the world. The impact is being felt politically and economically around the world. It's affecting oil prices, stability in the Middle East, and the security of Israel.

But how are some Christians in this part of the world responding to these events? It's driving many to their knees and to the Bible. Many site these scriptures, in I Timothy 2:1-6, as one of the Apostle Paul's most fervent exhortations to pray for events like the ones we're seeing unfold in Egypt today:

"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time."

It might surprise you that there is a formative prayer movement in Egypt with a number of "houses of prayer." There's also a nascent move of young Egyptians - former Muslims - coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Rick Ridings, with Succat Hallel, mentions those phenomena in this YouTube posting.

Here's another excerpt from another Middle Eastern house of prayer. It sums up some of the pressing prayer requests some in the Middle East are sending out:

"Pray for Egypt, Gaza, Yemen and Tunisia – cover the Middle East! Lebanon is also in a government upheaval adding to the tensions of the region. Pray that the Lord would direct the outcome of these riots. (Ps. 75:7 - But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another)"

There is also a danger to Israel in that it could potentially find itself sandwiched between two radical Islamic regimes should more radical elements prevail and overthrow Mubarak.

- Pray that the Lord establish the leadership of His choice in Egypt.

- Pray for the Egyptian people that they would call upon the name of the Lord in the midst of this turmoil and be saved.

- Pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Pray for their safety.

- Pray that this violence does not spill over into Israel. Pray for the government of Israel to hear the LORD. Islamic governments often tend to blame Israel and the Jewish people as being the root cause of their problems.

Some of our Christian Arab friends feel that the Middle East is on fire spiritually and God is about to manifest powerfully."

It's worth remembering too that the Bible talks about a future time when the entire Middle East from Egypt to Assyria (modern day Iraq) will enjoy tranquility. Many here in the Middle East are praying for the fulfillment of these verses in Isaiah 19:23-25:

"In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

And of course, many are praying for what Psalm 122:6 says:

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure."

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