I am sure that many of us have been praying this week for Meriam Yeha Ibrahim, who although eight months pregnant, has been sentenced by a court in South Sudan to one hundred lashes and execution by hanging. According to the South Sudanese authorities Meriam’s capital crime is her refusal to denounce her Christian faith.
I am sure that we are right to be appalled and outraged by such a miss-carriage of justice. I am sure that we are wise to write to politicians and sign petitions that exert pressure on world governments. However, it is essential that we continue to ask that the Lord himself would be intimately and actively involved in this unfolding situation. So how do we pray?
I was challenged last week when reading Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, written while he was imprisoned in Rome. The Apostle argues that, rather than working against the Kingdom of God, his chains enabled him to make Christ known to those who otherwise would not have heard the good news of Jesus. In this regard then, what happened to Paul ‘really served to advance the Gospel’ (Phil 1:12). Although this is difficult, whether praying for Meriam, our loved ones or indeed ourselves, we must pray for more than justice and deliverance. Indeed we must ask in every situation or circumstance into which we pray, that the Lord Jesus would himself be gloried.
Let us then pray on with renewed purpose, Gareth.