Omran is a 5-year-old young boy who was pulled from the rubble of a building that collapsed as a result of an airstrike on the city of Aleppo, Syria. The medical aid workers pulled him out of the rubble and set him in the chair. They left him there and went back looking for more people amongst the rubble. He is covered in layers of dust, ash, dirt, and encrusted blood. He sits motionless in a chair with a look of shock and pure sorrow. His picture has become the face of all Syrians affected by the war. He doesn’t know it but he is taking the internet by storm.
When I saw this picture my heart sunk. All I could think about was why this precious little boy had to go through this? What could I do to help? How many more children are fortunate enough to still be living but are living in these conditions?
If I were to have seen this picture a couple of months ago I most likely would have been overtaken by the same feelings and would want to know what I could do. I would have researched and thought about ways I could physically help children like Omran. I would have searched for agencies and organizations that are on the ground in Syria and would have tried to figure out how to help them.
When I saw this picture I did have those thoughts. I thought about how I wanted to help this little boy and others like him. I thought about wanted to go over and give this little boy the biggest hug and tell him I loved him and that I was here to help. But then I realized that I can’t exactly hop on a plane and go to Syria. But there is something I can do. Something you can do. PRAY!
I know. I know. That sounds like one of the most cliché things you could say but God been teaching me a lot about the amazing, gloriously wonderful power of prayer. I’ve learned how prayer can and will literally move mountains. All you have to do is ask.
Can you imagine what would happen if we all prayed for Syria as a country? If we prayed for peace. If we prayed for kids like Omran. Can you imagine the amazing revival that would take place and how God would be glorified??
What would happen if we prayed so earnestly and unwaveringly like the church in Acts 12:5?
What would happen if we really truly expected that God would answer our prayers like Rhoda was Acts 12:13?
What would happen if we as a global church committed to praying for those affected in Syria and the surrounding countries once a day for 5 seconds? For 5 minutes. For 5 hours. For 5 hours. For the rest of our lives.
More importantly what would happen if YOU chose to pray.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (The Message)
God calls us to pray for everyone we know in every way we know how. This is not just a good suggestion God gave us in a book written hundreds of years ago. This is a commandment in His word that is still relevent today. He commands us to pray for everyone we know. For all the nations and people of the world. In every way we know how to.
I saw first hand this summer how lives can change when we are truly pouring our heart out to God about something. Will you please join me in praying for the country of Syria. Below is a list of some specific prayers for the country of Syria according to Operation World.
- Pray for Syria’s influential role upon the Middle East. Peace in that area will not be achieved unless Syria is involved.
- Pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Syria. Pray for safety but also for boldness to listen to what God is leading them to do share His love with those around them.
- Pray for the unreached people in Syria. Pray that God’s love will be able to reach them soon and that bridges between Islam and Christianity can be made and God’s overwhelming power will overtake them.
- Pray for ISIS. Pray that the leaders of ISIS will be exposed to God’s love and that because of that they will begin to turn their lives over to God and that they will then grow up and turn the country of Syria back to God.
These all seem like big, daunting prayers and some of you may be thinking that those are just dreams of the future but will probably not really ever happen. But I do truly believe that if we take these prayers before God’s feet and that we expect the prayers to be answered they will.
On Sunday my pastor at Prescott Cornerstone, Scott Savage, challenged the congregation with something he is calling the #DesperatePeopleChallenge. The #DesperatePeopleChallenge is a challenge for everyone to pray at 12:15pm everyday from August 14 until September 3. I would like to challenge you all to join us in this. I am so excited to see what God does during these 28 days (23 days now).
God can and will do big things in Syria. The only question left is do you want to be a part of it?
Bibliography: Mandryk, Jason, and Jason M. Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation. United States: Inter-Varsity Press,US, 2010. Print. In-line Citation: (Mandryk and M)