If you are like me, you have had a heavy heart for the schoolgirls who were abducted in Nigeria. On a recent trip to Africa, I sat next to a Nigerian Christian man and asked him to describe the situation that led to this tragic crime. The more he described, the greater my level of sadness and anger.
He, however, remained calm.
“Is there hope that the girls will be returned?” I asked.
“Yes, of course,” said Moses. “Cheryl, the hope we have is found in Jesus. We know our God can do anything. The church in Nigeria is gathering together on Saturday, May 24 to pray.”
Hashtags like #bringbackourgirls are great, but we can do more.
Let’s join our brothers and sisters in Nigeria on Saturday to pray. There was also a bombing in Jos yesterday. Please pray specifically for the city in the wake of this tragedy.
I asked Moses for specific prayer requests. He gave me some background information and the following requests.
The whole world is waiting and watching anxiously for the release of the more than 200 high school girls that were kidnapped in the northeast region of Nigeria by the insurgency. Chibok is in the southern part of Borno state. The location where these girls were abducted is a predominately Christian community and so are the surrounding villages in Borno state where the Boko Haram sect operates. Also, Chibok is not far from the country of Cameroon which is one of the three countries this sect seeks for refuge.
- For the release of these children so that they can be reunited with their families again.
- For God’s grace for these girls to remain faithful to Jesus every day of their captivity. Some of them have been traumatized by men of this sect.
- For peace in the hearts of these girls, their parents and the Nigerians – the kind of peace that Jesus gives.
- For the Nigerian government and her international partners USA, Britain, France, Israel as they work together to fight the insurgency and to rescue these girls.
- For the safe release of all who have been kidnapped. Almost on a monthly basis someone is kidnapped in that region of Nigeria. I personally know a friend whose brother has been kidnapped since December 2013 and has not been found.
- Against anarchy – pray that Nigeria will remain a secular state.
- That God will flush out the "bad eggs" in the incumbent Federal Government of Nigeria. It is assumed that top security intelligence reports from the government were leaked to the insurgency.
- For wounds to be healed and that Christians in Nigeria will be able to forgive and move on with their lives. Families and infrastructures in Nigeria have received deadly blows from the insurgency.
- For God's protection for foreign and indigenous missionaries (including Cru Nigeria staff) serving our Lord Jesus to bring the gospel to many people in this region. Pray that we will also take the needed precautions necessary to avoid being harmed. Missionaries are being targeted in some cases.
- That Lord will not permit the spread of this insurgency in Nigeria and other countries. Pray for good cooperation among Nigeria's border countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
- For wisdom for our President and other Nigerian leaders will be able to do the right things for the citizens. Pray that they will serve the people well from the heart and not out of greed and selfishness.
- For God to use this situation for His glory.