30 November 2010

My Facebook Friend Posted a Prayer Request Today

A friend, a Facebook friend, posted a prayer request today... not your typical, "my kid has a runny nose, please pray it won't ruin our weekend plans" or "I broke my toe today, please pray for quick healing" kind-of-pray.  Not that those aren't real prayer requests or that God doesn't care about them.  Sometimes, though, I wonder if God is just waiting for us to ask for something hard.  Do we have enough faith to ask for the hard stuff?  You know.. the stuff that only God could do.  Are we so convinced that He won't do it, so we don't even bother to ask?  Who is the omniscient one in that scenario??

Back to my Facebook friend.  I've only met her once, and I doubt she really even remembers me all that well.  I remember her beautiful long hair, her tiny stature, and the seemingly amazing adventurous life that she and her husband were living in Asia.  I took her prayer magnet as a promise to pray for them and their ministry.  

Today, she posted this urgent prayer request:

Sevgili Kardeşler,
İranda genç bir pastör (33 yaşında) imanından dolayı (önceden Müslümandı ve sonra İsa Mesih’e iman ettiği için) hapiste ve mahkeme ona tekrar İslama dön dedi ve İslama dönmezse 19 gün sonra asılacak. İki oğlu var. Bunun için dua edin.

For those mono-linguists out there, she also posted it in English:
An Iranian Pastor of several underground churches, Pastor Yousef Naderkhani has been in jail. He has been convicted of apostasy. He will be hanged in 19 days unless God does a miracle. He is 33 has a wife and two sons. The verdict has not been applied yet they want him to return back to Islam. Please pray for our brother and his family.

The full story of Youself can be viewed here.  

Like a good magnet-carrying-prayer-partner, I commented that I would pray.  But at that moment, I didn't.  I'm not sure why I thought it could wait, I mean, she called it an "URGENT" prayer request.  Nevertheless, I am a procrastinator, and the story clearly states that Pastor Yousef has 19 days.  Besides, I still needed to read down the rest of my newsfeed to see what everyone is fixing for dinner, who had a bad day at work, and which of my old high-school friends is getting drunk tonight.  
It's late now, and everyone is in bed at my house.  I guess I can give God a few minutes before I call it a night too... and oh yeah, I guess I better pray for that guy.  What was his name again?  Whatever.. God knows.  
Does that sound familiar?  Yikes.  Convicted! 

I set my computer aside, read a little of God's word and then curl up in a ball as I think of this man ~ a husband, a father, a pastor.  I think of his loved ones ~ two little boys, a wife, the churches he shepherds.  I pray that God would give him a promise, a sign, that everything will be okay.  At first, I am too hesitant to pray for his release as I'm convinced God won't make that happen.  I toss in the customary "Lord, let your will be done, and may you be glorified in this situation."  I do mean it, but for heaven's sake, I'm talking to the Almighty Creator of the universe, is that really my only request?  I start really thinking about what it could mean if Yousef is released and what it could mean if he isn't.  What happens to his churches?  Will his sheep get scared and scatter?  Will they be imprisoned too?  What about his wife and kids?  At this point, in my laziness, I hadn't even read the article to know about their situation. 

The lesson I learned today:  If you say you're going to pray, do it.  Your friend with the broken toe is depending on you... and so is some man in a far away place.  A man you've never met in a place you can't even imagine.  A man who now has only 18 days to wonder if he will be released to his family or to his Creator.  

God didn't stop performing miracles the day people stopped writing on papyrus.  He still answers our pleas.  Will we have the courage to ask for something big, or are we short on faith?  My fervent prayer is for Yousef's reunion with his family, and that his ordeal would ignite a fire in his churches that spreads throughout the region.  Would you join me in that?  

Either way, God will be glorified, and Yousef will be free from the prison he is in.    ~ It's Plain & Simple As That.

1 comment:

  1. WOW. WOW. Great post. So true.

    I was convicted a few months ago of saying "I'll pray for you", whoever it may be for, and then never doing it. I saw myself standing before God's throne on Judgement Day, giving an account for my life and my every word and deed. As God asked me, "And why did you say that you would pray yet I never heard from you?", I could see so many situations which would have turned out differently if only I would have followed through with my promise. There's no human accountability in that statement "I'll pray for you": only God knows if we do it or not.

    So...I can tell you that I have already prayed for Pastor Yousef. And I will keep doing so! Let me know if you get an update from your Facebook friend.

    P.S. Love the new blog look and that you "came out" as Stacy! :)