“…for we are not ignorant of his [Satan’s] devices.”
– 2 Corinthians 2.11b
Dear Christian Friends
In his book Prayer Works, Brother Andrew stresses the importance of identifying the strategies Satan uses in order to pray effectively for our friends and loved ones.
“Many Christians mistake the tragedy or evil they see around them as having arisen from a loving, permissive God [in His sovereignty], when it is really the work of the enemy,” he asserts.
“Look at it this way: If something exists, God has not decided to abolish it. And if we ask God to change His mind about letting an evil situation or circumstance exist, Satan will do everything he can to hinder us. He … is a dedicated enemy of prayer.”
Brother Andrew discusses several things Satan does to war against us: he puffs us up, isolates us from God using false accusation and condemnation, isolates us from each other by creating misunderstanding and strife, addicts us to pleasure, injects doubt into our minds and sometimes just leaves us alone to blithely live for our own happiness.
“In many churches I visit there is a startling lack of knowledge about spiritual warfare,” Brother Andrew relates. “I often hear remarks like, ‘I don’t believe in talking about the devil; I’d much rather talk about God,’ as if somehow … the best thing we can do is ignore Satan in the hope that he’ll lose interest and go away.
“The suffering Church doesn’t have this attitude. They’ve experienced firsthand what happens when you ignore the devil and expect him to extend the same courtesy.
“Some believers don’t see the importance of our prayers in battling evil.
“Year after year, century after century, we have believed the devil’s lies, allowed him to take more and more prisoners, more and more territory, and even attributed at times the work of his hands to God, since God is sovereign and His ways past searching out!
“We Christians are the only real threat to Satan’s power and we are a continual reminder of his failure.
“One thing that makes him tremble is the knowledge that we as the Body of Christ can join together with the unbreakable bond of love and take up arms against him. We can rise up as one and pull him off his throne.”
So let’s do just that now, interceding together for our Christian family in Iraq:
I recently received a report that says thousands of Iraqi Muslims have been turning to Christ and the throne room in what was Saddam’s main palace in Baghdad is now a church. “The very place where the former dictator ordered the execution of thousands of people now resounds with the praises of Jesus,” the report says.
Regardless of this wonderful news, Iraq‘s Christian population is estimated to have dropped below 450,000 – half the size it was in 1991. Church bombings, threats, kidnapping of Christian children and ‘priest–nappings’ are all on the rise in Mosul and Baghdad.
So Christian leaders in Iraq are now proposing an autonomous region for Christians in the Kurdish area in the north of the country, in an attempt to help stem the tide of Christian emigration.
Some Kurdish Christian leaders however want to go further and create a new federal state solely for minorities, and Kurdistan‘s Minister of Finance and Economy Sarkis Aghajan, who is a believer, has recently demanded the right of autonomy for Christians.
But one Chaldean archbishop has said establishing either an autonomous region or a separate sovereign state in Iraq for believers would only make things worse for them by creating a vulnerable Christian “ghetto”.
However more than 100 new villages and churches have already been constructed for Christian refugees in the Nineveh Plain, Iraqi Christianity’s ancestral homeland north of Mosul.
“Over 5,000 houses have been constructed for Christians, in addition to schools, health centres, Internet centres and occasion halls,” Mr Aghajan reports.
But pursuing political autonomy could violently backfire on Christians in Iraq. Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk Luis Sako doubts the Nineveh plain could be made secure, as it is sandwiched between the Arab and Kurdish regions; and attacks on Christians were already on the rise before any plan for Christian autonomy was publicised.
Christian leader Paul Koshaba has been working to heal the rift between Christians in Iraq, believing that only a united church can survive there: “This is our last chance,” he warns. “We have to grab it now or it will slip away from us.”
You can read more details about the autonomy proposals and see photos of Mr Aghajan and a purpose-built Christian village in the Nineveh Plain on our website at: http://www.opendoorsuk.org.uk/news/news_archives/001788.php
Please pray with us that:
* Iraqi Muslims and nominal Christians will continue to come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus
* Iraqi Christian leaders like the men mentioned above will have wisdom, creativity and divine guidance to arrest the haemorrhaging of Christians from the country
* Iraqi Christians will be protected from those who want to harm them and drive them away, and that Iraqi MBBs especially will be protected from harm
* Unity amongst Iraqi Christians will prevail and God’s strategy for their security and prosperity will be implemented.
Thank you for your support and for praying with us.
PS: You can receive a copy of Brother Andrew’s book Prayer Works by sending a cheque for just £4.25 (inc p+p) made payable to ‘Open Doors Resources‘ to the address below. Don’t forget to include your postal details.
Open Doors UK & Ireland | PO Box 6 | Witney | Oxon OX29 6WG
T 01993 885400 | F 01993 885401 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | I http://www.opendoorsuk.org