Watch the video, or read the transcription below:
Hello. This is Rick Ridings of Succat Hallel in Jerusalem. And I’d like to share with you a couple of ways that we’re praying here for the situation in Afghanistan.
The first is based very much on what we experienced here for four years from the year 2000 to 2004 of many, many bus bombings and suicide bombings in this city and in our own neighborhood. And we had children.
And I saw the grace of God as believers prayed for us to be able to continue to worship and pray. And I saw how important it was for us to rise above the fear.
The city was so oppressed by fear and by confusion and by death and the sounds of death as a bomb would go off. And you knew more people had been killed and heard all the sirens.
And the only way we could come into that place of freedom from fear. And that place of peace was through worship and praise as a sacrifice to the Lord.
So I encourage you to pray that the believers in Afghanistan would receive a special grace from God to be able to give a sacrifice of praise.
There’s a scripture that talks about this, written by King David at a time that he was not just experiencing spiritual warfare but physical oppression, physical oppression from his enemies who surrounded him.
And this came out in the watch, the government watch. Last Monday morning.
Patricia was worshipping and leading us, and Sandra Teplinsky felt to share this scripture, and I felt the same scripture at the same time.
Psalm 27: The Lord is my light and my Salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life.
Of whom shall I be afraid when the wicked advance against me to devour me? It is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army beseech me, my heart will not fear the war break out against me.
And he’s speaking here of physical war, not just spiritual war.
Even then, I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, and this only do I seek that I may dwell.
In other words, stay in that place of the house of the Lord…
…All the days of my life to gaze on the beauty of the Lord, and to seek Him in His temple.
In those times of physical violence and in spiritual violence, it’s so important that we turn our gaze away from the situation and to the Lord.
And He says, for in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe in His dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me.
David knew what it was to be surrounded at His sacred tent.
I will sacrifice with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call Lord be merciful to me and answer me…
My dear friend Andrew Brunson, who was in prison for two years in Turkey, said it was so oppressive at times because he was in a cell with radical, militant Muslims.
And he was a Christian pastor. And he said it was so difficult. And he said, Lord, I don’t know what to do.
And then he read about someone who had been imprisoned for the name of the Lord. And they decided to give a sacrifice of praise.
A sacrifice means when you don’t have the feelings within yourself, but you do it as an act of faith by you’re, by the Lord’s Grace in the strength that He gives you to do that.
So he said, I decided every day I would try to dance to the Lord. He said it was so difficult, but he knows that it was the prayer of believers all over the world who were praying for him, for the grace to rise above the situation.
And God enabled him then to overcome and to make it through that difficult time until God did a miracle to release him from prison.
So, Father, we pray today for the believers in Afghanistan. Would You pour grace upon them, oh, God, to rise up in a sacrifice of praise in a sacrifice of worship?
May they rise up above the circumstances, above the situation, and may they be hidden in Your tent of worship, in Your dwelling place, be hidden from those from whom they need to be hidden and seen only by those who need to see them in the name of Yeshua.
And the second thing I would like to share around on 1990, I was very, very involved with a dear friend in Algeria. He was one of only five believers in his whole region of the mountains of Algeria.
And they had experienced so much persecution. He’d had a gun held against his head, been threatened different times.
And in that situation, they began to see how God used the evil that was being done by these radical Muslims there.
At that time in Algeria, there was a militant Islamic group that was trying to take over the nation, and they killed over 1000 moderate Muslims. There were hardly any Christians at that time in Algeria, and they killed over 1000 moderate Muslims.
But what it did, it took the mask off of the demonic spirits that were operating behind Islam to take over that country.
And the people, especially the young people. I had young people tell me I am so fed up with what I see. If this is what Islam is about, I don’t really want this.
And so they began to search. And as my friend and another believer began to worship and pray every night, every Friday night, all night long, began to give them breakthrough.
And they saw in ten years what were only five believers grew to over 10,000 believers.
So the persecution, the oppression, the violence actually was turned around by the Lord for an even greater harvest.
So, Father, we pray for Afghanistan.
We thank You for the harvest that has happened there already. And we believe You for Your strengthening of every believer.
But we pray You will give them hope that through what is happening, it will prepare the hearts of even more people in Afghanistan to see that Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, is the Prince of Peace.
Who You really are, and that they may find that only in You do we find not only Salvation, but do we find true peace.
So we ask You to guard the hearts of the believers in peace. And we ask You for a turnaround of this situation over the next few years.
That there will be great breakthrough for an even greater harvest in Afghanistan.
In the name of Yeshua, we pray, Amen.