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Interceding for Egypt
April 27, 2012
Today, we're praying for our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt. We're praying specifically for the people involved in these recent news stories:
- Church torched because it was "too tall;" Christians forbidden from accessing it. Priest sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Also, we're praying for 17-year-old Gamal Abdou Massoud. On April 4, he was sentenced to three years in prison for posting cartoons "offensive to Muslims" on his Facebook page. When Muslims in neighboring villages learned of the cartoons, they rioted for two days and attacked Christians. Several Christian homes were burned and several Christians were injured during the protests. Middle East Concern reports that right now, Gamal has submitted an appeal and is waiting for a further hearing scheduled for May 7.
I've been praying the words of David over these incidents (paraphrase of Psalm 38:15-16):
For in You, O Lord, do Egyptian Christians hope;
You will hear them, O Lord their God.
For they said, “Hear us, lest they rejoice over us,
Lest, when our feet slip, they exalt themselves against us.”
Scripture is full of the earnest prayers of God's children asking for Him to act. In Psalm 38, David is imploring God to see the trials and injustices he is facing, and imploring God to hear his pleas. Yet even in the midst of abuse from both friends and enemies, David affirms God's sovereignty. David's hope is in God, and he persists proclaiming God's faithfulness no matter what. Matthew Henry notes in his Concise Commentary on the Bible that David has set an example for us:
"Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself.
The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, 'Be not far from me.' The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in Him as their salvation.
There are many bold Christians who are living out their faith in Egypt, and although the media doesn't often report it, many Muslims are turning to Christ from the violence and confusion of Islam. But believers are under tremendous pressure. Let us lift them up before our God with sincerity and urgency.