Has Prayer Made a Difference?

18 Sep 2015

#middayBABYmidday

Four weeks ago on social media I urged people to join me (and a handful of girlfriends) in prayer. A New York Times article had drawn attention to a “Theology of Rape” being perpetrated by ISIS against innocent girls and the reality that the situation in these war torn regions of the Middle East was intensifying.

SEE ALSO: A THEOLOGY OF RAPE: GLOBAL SISTERHOOD PRAYER RESPONSE

The prayer initiative quickly resonated, and then naturally broadened to encompass the challenge of millions of displaced people fleeing from Syria. The prayer hashtag of #middayBABYmidday grew to include prayer for ALL PEOPLE, the WORLD, the MIDDLE EAST, the REFUGEE CRISIS and of course, the girls, women and families who have been caught in the aftermath of the madness.

Remarkably three weeks into this daily prayer initiative (that simply encouraged people to set their phone alarm for 12 midday and pray), the entire world suddenly awakened to the refugee-crisis unfolding across Europe. The tragic and haunting image of a small child drowned and washed ashore after a perilous boat crossing, AWAKENED the world to an issue that can’t be overlooked or ignored any longer.

Who knows if our collective prayers forced the focus or not, but regardless of whether it did or didn’t, this global crisis is now the center of world news, government talks, heightened awareness and a bid to now respond in ways that were perhaps making little headway before.

If you haven’t been made aware yet – I encourage you to join the wave of prayer ascending each day. This isn’t only for women. I am so encouraged to know that many men have their phone alarm set as a reminder to pray also – my own husband Brian told me that when he hears my alarm sound, he quietly prays also. You can actually pray whenever you want – the alarm is simply a reminder, because it is so easy to get busy or sidetracked. How many times do we start strong and then waiver. Even Jesus, as he interceded in the garden before his crucifixion, had to prompt (and even rebuke) his disciples to PLEASE WAKE UP AND PRAY. I tend to pray each morning as I consider how and what to post on Instagram and Twitter. I am so encouraged when I see many others posting, reposting and spreading the news that prayer can and will make a difference.

#middayBABYmidday … Pray their perilous journeys result in a Salvation they weren’t expecting. Pray that “receiving nations” find the WISDOM, GRACE, CAPACITY & STRATEGY to cope. Pray “the global Church” & caring souls can partner intelligently, graciously and effectively. Isaiah 49 (NIV) “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers … Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed”. Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “YES, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob”. #setyouralarm⏰✔️ #prayingforALLpeople #prayingforthisWORLD #prayingfortheREFUGEEcrisis #prayingagainstatheologyofRAPE

A photo posted by Bobbie Houston (@bobbiehouston) on

#middayBABYmidday … Worthy of repost. God bless all those like Samaritans Purse & others who are making a “felt” difference. #Repost @gabiruth with @repostapp. ・・・ This Syrian mother fled her home at 37 weeks pregnant, gave birth in Greece, and traveled immediately to the Macedonian/Serbian border. This is her with her 3 day old baby who was getting treated for a skin rash by Samaritan’s Purse workers. I can’t even imagine having to endure the last days of pregnancy and the early days of my baby’s life like this, let alone the unknowns ahead. Don’t know how to pray for the huge #refugeecrisis? Find a story that resonates with you and START THERE. (Picture and story from Samaritan’s Purse. Also a great organization to give to as they are always on the front lines!) #middayBABYmidday @coloursisterhood

A photo posted by Bobbie Houston (@bobbiehouston) on

#middayBABYmidday … Well done London. #Repost @hillsonglondon with @repostapp. ・・・ The current refugee crisis is something we simply cannot ignore. We believe that as the Church, the body of Jesus Christ, we must respond. The last few weeks highlighted that the refugee crisis is not something that is happening far away but we have people arriving here in the UK that need help. The refugee camp in Calais, France which is only 2 hours away from London, has people living in desperate conditions. We have identified a few ways of how we as a church can make a difference in the lives of people affected. See Hillsong.com/RefugeeResponse for all information.  #RefugeeResponse #BecauseWeCan #setyouralarm⏰✔️ #prayingfortheREFUGEEcrisis A photo posted by Bobbie Houston (@bobbiehouston) on

If we follow world news, solutions are definitely in play – but as many will appreciate, it takes time and enormous planning. So let’s continue to be intelligent and mature in our responses:

Pray for

  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Response
  • Willingness
  • Strategy
  • Capacity
  • Finances
  • Pray for people who can literally give their time, strength and energy on the frontlines.
  • Pray for their safety and families
  • Pray that organizations on the ground will find the financial and human support they need.
  • Pray for the refugees and victims who are so desperately seeking a new life and home.
  • Pray that their hearts will not fail
  • Pray they will find strength to endure
  • Pray that their hope will not be disappointed
  • Pray they will discover that the world is still a magnificent place, that people are kind and compassionate, and that with enough encouragement and help, a way forward is possible.
  • Pray that refugees will miraculously overcome their trauma and move on
  • Pray that they can quickly assimilate into new culture and language
  • Pray for Governments and local communities to have the wisdom to know how to welcome and accommodate these displaced souls into healthy community.
  • Pray the church will rise to her calling and stature in this crisis.
  • Pray for those who are still under fire, attack and threat.
  • Pray that the perpetrators will have a Saul experience – an encounter with Jesus that turns them from rampaging terrorists into … a miracle story.
  • Pray that any plans of the real enemy (a dark spiritual enemy) are foiled and come to naught – the bible is full of examples and stories where miracles like this happened because people prayed and trusted in the power of God.
  • Pray many find Jesus in the midst of this exodus and crisis.
  • Pray this world is changed because she cared.

So thanks for reading. Add your own inspired prayers. Let’s press on and not grow weary.

I personally wonder if God isn’t awakening His entire Church to the power of prayer. Surely the days ahead will require a revelation of it in all our lives. I don’t think it’s coincidence that a faith-based movie, called WAR ROOM, released in this last month also and astounded the industry by ranking #2 and then #1 on two consecutive weekends. It certainly heightens the need for us to be praying.

Prayer is a mystery and we often don’t know where or how it is landing, but rest assured it lands somewhere and is never without results … “this is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV). In the Message is reads like this “…. and how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he is listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked is as good as ours”.

So for those of you who know and appreciate the COLOUR Conference and the global Sisterhood it represents – we are entering that fabulous season of preparation for next year. I am personally excited because I feel like the Lord dropped a key directive into my heart at the end of the 2015 gathering in London – and remarkably it related to “prayer”. So pray with me, and my team, that we follow God’s Spirit perfectly and can prepare another conference that will please the heart of God and empower us all again for the days ahead. If you have never been to Colour before, the Invitation is yours. Just come, you’ll love it.

Love you all.

Have a blessed week, thanks for reading this, and take heart that at 12-midday tomorrow our hearts are uniting in ways that could change the world.

Bobbie

#middayBABYmidday