A Prayer Response to Global Terrorism

“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” - Psalm 91:5, 6 (NIV)

It feels like the earth is trembling.

Recent attacks in Paris offered the harsh reminder that terrorism is not restricted to places like the Middle East—a reminder that the western world does not always handle very well.

Many of us live mostly isolated from the atrocities. We’re so used to hearing about unrest and turmoil in places like the Middle East and Africa that we hardly flinch at news of bombings or shootings “over there.” The scope of this horror is hard to wrap our heads around; meanwhile, it is a daily reality faced by thousands.

At the time of this writing, there have been 292 terrorist attacks around the world in 2015. Over 6,500 people have been killed (a conservative number that doesn’t include perpetrators, military personnel killed in the line of duty, or those still unaccounted for), and countless others have been injured or displaced. ISIS is responsible for a majority of the attacks, followed closely by Boko Haram, one of their associate groups.1

Fierce evils are trying to encroach on nations. Places like Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria are facing weekly, sometimes daily, attacks. Other countries like India, the Philippines, and Ukraine have had to deal with multiple incidents over consecutive months. Some of the most vulnerable places and people groups in the world are living with so much uncertainty, instability, and violence.

While weapons may be in the hands of human beings, we know there are rulers, principalities, and spiritual forces of evil driving terrorists (Eph. 6:12).

People have been asking for prayer for their nations, and we want to stand together as believers. It is natural to feel afraid, but it is our response to fear that matters more. We can’t let fear rule us; instead, we acknowledge it, surrender it, and invite God’s perfect love in (see 1 John 4:18). We can be ruled by peace even as turmoil rages around us.

We are calling on you, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Take a step back from politically charged rhetoric. Turn off the news channels that are eager to feed your fear. Don’t listen to voices that say there’s nothing we can do about any of this because things are supposed to get bad before Jesus returns. Jesus Himself told us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

Well, we are here on earth. And terrorism is not the will of heaven. So we will pray, and we will love because the kingdom of darkness is no match for those two things when they come together.

Around the world, let’s pray:

  1. Ask the Lord to help you remember how much He loves you and to give you a sound mind to think and pray clearly about these matters. (2 Timothy 1:7)

  2. Always keep in mind that we are fighting a spiritual battle first. (Ephesians 6:12)

  3. Pray for those living in areas of the world where terrorism is most common. Declare God’s peace and safety over people living in specific countries and cities. Call them by name. “Lord, you establish peace for us.” (Isaiah 26:12; NIV) “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalms 4:8; NIV)

  4. Declare that you and your family dwell in safety for the Lord is your God. “The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.” (Psalm 121:7; NLT) Decree this over your neighborhoods, schools, churches, emergency responders, etc., as the Lord leads you.

  5. Pray for those who are choosing to destroy others and sometimes themselves. If they only knew the great love which the Father has for them, they might change their minds and choose God’s plan of salvation, instead of destruction. “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16; NET Bible)

  6. Ask the Lord to uncover every planned attack, and proclaim that acts of terror cannot be carried out. Ask God to stop those that persist right in their tracks. Proclaim that their hiding places will be uncovered and that authorities will know where to capture them and how to bring them to justice.

1. “List of terrorist incidents, 2015.” Wikipedia. Web. 18 November 2015.

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Adela Just

Adela Just

Adela Just is a writer and teacher. She resides in Texas with her husband and two energetic, imaginative children.

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