Don't Bomb Syria

We cannot “fix” the world by using power!

Throughout history no matter what religious affiliation a society has had we have all made the same mistaken approach to associate right with power and dominance. We have used the name of our “God” in terms of a conquering / dominating imposition of superiority over others

Jesus gave a different perspective – though he had all the power he chose to channel this through bringing in a new Kingdom built on love, on service, on sacrifice. He called us to love those who hate us; he showed us that service was better than domination; he told us to love our enemies even to give our lives for them.

So transformational was this approach that many laughed and ridiculed him. Yet he is the beginning and the end and all authority is his and he will judge between the nations, he will settle their disputes – they will beat their swords into ploughshares. (Micah 4:1-5).

But if we don’t respond to the chemical weapons attack……won’t Assad win, won’t Al Qaeda win, won’t the world be seen as weak? This is the argument of the countries building up their “legitimisation” to strike.

Retaliation and vengeance never achieve their goal – they instead bread hatred and war.

Jesus calls us in Ephesians 5:1-2 to be imitators of God, to live lives of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Praying for Syria

How can we pray and how can we engage in this horrendous situation which has shown the depth of the darkness we can descend to by using such a weapon of war? A number of thoughts:

Trust God: throughout history God has shown that he can deal with nations. We often read in the Old Testament that God would not allow the Israelites to count the strength of other military armies, but instead trust in him to deal with them. Let us pray for God to intervene directly in Syria – to bring about the change and space to bring resolution of this awful conflict.

Let us not judge: it is so easy to say we are better than others because we have not done what they have done – but Scripture is clear – we are all sinners, we have all fallen short. Indeed, if we were to honestly look at the evidence of what our own countries have or have not done in response to atrocities or even have done their own atrocities – we would all find ourselves ashamed by our complicities. Let us pray for mercy and love to reach all in need, and pray  in particular for:

 - Those who released the chemical weapons: that they would be convinced their wrong doing and move to repentance

- Those preparing to strike militarily: that they would realise that power vengeance does not work and that they would receive a check in their actions from God. Pray for their wisdom to find another solution.

- Those affected by the war: that they would be protected and cared for – that God in his mercy would deliver them and their country into peace.

For hope: It looked bleak on the Good Friday – Jesus was crucified. But with God all things are possible and on the third day he rose again and gives us life. Let us pray that even though it looks bleak and dark – we trust that God loves Syria more than we will ever know and longs to see them at peace. Let us call on his name, his promises, his love to act now and bring hope.

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love.

Note: September 15th – a global call for prayer and fasting for Syria – SIM (members of Micah Network) have asked us to join together to pray.

Thematic Focus: Who is Jesus?

Luke 9:20 – …. But who do you say I am?

In the first Century AD, there will have been great expectations that the Messiah would bring immediately relief from the tyranny and oppression placed on the Israelites by the Roman Empire. Perhaps the people would have been dreaming of a conquering king, a Davidic styled Messiah who came with the sword to destroy their enemies. The revolution that may have been prayed for even longed for was one of a forceful retaking of the land.

How did Jesus respond to this?

He said all who followed him and his style of leadership, his politics would need to deny themselves and take up their cross daily. (Luke 9:23). He went onto tell his disciples that his approach was different to the one they had anticipated, he was going to suffer, to die for those he came to serve.

Throughout the life of Jesus he spent time demonstrating the values of this new Kingdom of God, where to be the greatest was to be the servant of all.

Following Jesus

In integral mission we need to ask ourselves who is Jesus?

When the disciples saw Jesus calm the storm (Luke 8:22ff), heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the thousands, they were still unsure. Even John the Baptist asked “are you the one?” (Luke 7:18ff).

Interestingly, the disciples had been sent out with authority and power to preach the Gospel and heal the sick and still they had uncertainty on who Jesus was. They reported to Jesus what the crowds said but it was only when he asked them personally – but who do you say I am – that revelation and faith began to grow as Peter affirmed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Yes, they still had much to learn, but this was a crucial change moment for them – for us.

As we go about our daily work and activities, we need to ask ourselves who Jesus is to us? If he is indeed Lord of everyone and everything, King of Kings and God Almighty – how does this impact every aspect of our lives and choices?

Let us pray about:

How we choose to spend our time, our spare time, our work time –that it is for the Kingdom. Pray that we would be open to interruptions and welcome those in need. Pray that our eyes would be open to our family, neighbours and community – that we would be salt and light for the Kingdom.

How we develop our programmes of response to people in need, people exploited and the injustices of our world – that we would not be judgmental, but rather that we would speak truth in love and mercy and stand together pointing to the Good News of life in all its fullness through Jesus.

That we would receive a daily revelation of who Jesus is and respond in love and obedience as we follow him

Member Focus: Aid Organisations

Let us set aside time this month to focus on all who are working with / in aid organisations around the world and especially to ask God to grant them access to the world’s neediest people in word and deed.

In a time of financial economic struggles let us pray for their wisdom on using the funds they have to impact those in need positively and in all integrity.

With a number of new governments being elected who have pledged to reduce international aid, let us pray for the voices of the local churches throughout these countries to rise up and hold their governments to account for the commitment they made which stated:

“We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.” (Millennium Development Goals Commitment, 2000)

If you have as yet not added your voice to the Global Call to Action through the EXPOSED, Shining a Light on Corruption: please do so now and invite your network of friends, colleagues to do likewise. Sign here:

Please pray that the 1 million signatures we long for will be achieved and that a real decision for transparency would be brought about.

Prayer Points in Brief

Cambodia: Chandara Ket (Micah Network Cambodia Coordinator asks us to stand with all in Cambodia and pray:
- Peace for Cambodia nation after national election
- Pray for political situation in Cambodia
- Micah Network Cambodia will conduct a training on child protection to local churches and NGOs that held on last week of September.
- Pray for one of the trainers is who from government to open their heart to working with Christian leaders.

Solidarity in Disaster Management Consultation: 16th to 20th September 2013 in Manila. Please pray with us for:
- PCEC who are hosting this – that they would be able to serve and inspire all who are attended. Pray for the strength and insight as they do the administration and logistics
- Participants: all who are attending that God would use this time to challenge and transform lives who can then in turn support their communities.

Micah Network members: as they engage with peers, communities and donors that they would reflect the values of the Kingdom of God in all they say and do. Let us stand together in Solidarity for now is the time we are called to be Kingdom people.

Lets follow Jesus...

Enter body content here