I am a mother. I have two sons. The standing rule in my family is that the boys call home anytime they move from point A to point B. I expect them to call in as soon as school is over before they begin their after-school activities. If I don’t get a call from the boys as at due, I would wait a while and call them. If I don’t get a response after making several calls, I'll send a prayer to heaven. I know God is keeping watch over them but they will surely have some explaining to do as to why they could not be reached. Why? You might wonder. Because like all parents, we want an assurance that our children are safe and fine.
A friend's daughter went “missing” a few years ago. She did not come back home after school and she did not respond to numerous calls on her cell phone. By 7:00pm, we were in their house. The women stayed with the mother while the men were on the street going from one police station to the other in the bid to find her. The waiting period seemed endless. We prayed and we prayed some more. Yet, the anxiety and concern continued to mount as hours went by. Praise be to God, she was found later that night. I still remember those moments of not knowing where she was or what was going on. You can't even begin to imagine the emotional state of the mother.
When David and his men came back to Ziklag, they found that their wives, sons and daughters had been taken captive by the marauding Amalekites. The Bible recorded in 1Samuel 30 that David was greatly distressed. The souls of his men were bitterly grieved to the extent that they talked of stoning David, each man for his sons and daughters.
It is a parent’s worst nightmare, that heart wrenching fear that your child can be taken away from you. How would such parents go to sleep not knowing where their child is or what has happened to that child? The subtle suggestions of the enemy as he paints the picture of worse-case scenario in the mind of the parent is enough to cause fear to grip the hearts of such parents.
On the 15th of April 2014, over 200 young girls were abducted from their school while taking their examination in Chibok, Northern Nigeria by a group of terrorists. Multiply the number of these girls by two and you will have an idea of the number of parents grieving at this time not knowing where their daughters are. Add the grandparents, aunties, uncles, brothers and sisters to the list. One can imagine that the souls of these people will be bitterly grieved and they will be in great distress at this time.
They know that their daughters are in the hands of men whose hearts are so desperately wicked that they will wantonly shed innocent blood without a thought. They know that their daughters are in the middle of nowhere exposed to many dangers. They know that each of these girls are in constant fear of what may happen to them and whether they will ever see their parents again. These thoughts must indeed add to the nightmare of the parents.
These parents’ worst nightmare is not theirs alone. It is the nightmare of anyone who has a child. It is the nightmare of anyone who has a conscience. It is the nightmare of anyone who cares about the fate of these girls. This is not just a crisis in a small corner of Nigeria, it is a national crisis. Knowing that terrorism doesn't respect borders, this nightmare is possible anywhere. This a reflection of extent of wickedness that man can perpetuate on fellow mankind for any reason.
But more importantly, it is a wake-up call to everyone called by the name of the Lord within Nigeria and beyond. It is a call for spiritual awakening for all the churches in Nigeria and for all those who have been at ease in Zion, feeling comfortable in their cocooned world.
When Peter was arrested by Herod and held captive in the prison, what was the response of the church? Fervent prayers were persistently made to God for him by the church (Acts 12:5). The fervent and persistent intercession of the believers brought about a divine intervention, the Lord sent an angel to deliver him. And when Peter realized what had happened, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where a large number were gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:12). They prayed without ceasing.
Perhaps, the nightmare of these girls and their parents will cause a stirring up in the hearts of believers in the land, which will result in a movement of prayer that will ignite a spiritual awakening in the churches and a revival, resulting in the move of God’s power across the land like the sweeping force of a Tsunami wave.
This is my earnest and fervent prayer; that the nightmare of these girls and their parents will cause men and women across the globe to fall on their knees, praying without ceasing and with strong purpose that the Lord will move in the affairs of men in our nations.
The revival that took place in Wales in 1904 began with a movement of prayer and was sustained by a movement of prayer. For a revival and spiritual awakening to take place in our nations, there must be someone or some people willing to travail in fervent prayers. Such fervent prayers are effectual because they can impact all the spheres of our national life.
This is the kind of movement of prayer that can be generated as a result of this incidence. So, as the Lord stirs up our hearts, let us gather together in our homes and in our churches, and pray for these girls held captive by these violent wicked workers of iniquity that the Lord will cover them with His feathers and hid them under the shadow of His wings. Let us pray that the Lord Himself will be a wall of fire around them and that we will recover all of them.
Let us pray for their parents that the Lord will garrison and guard their hearts from every agitating fears and anxieties with His peace which passes all human understanding. That they will be encouraged in the Lord and in His faithfulness as David encouraged himself in the Lord in 2Sam 30:6.
Let us pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon all of us in all our churches that will fire aflame a desire in our hearts to persevere in intercession until the move of the power of God in our nations is so mighty that it will pull down the barriers, which have hitherto divided us, and it will bring about unity in the body of Christ. To the extent that believers will passionately pursue God to work with extraordinary power in our land.
On Thursday, May 15th, 2014, we will gather together here in Geneva to pray for our girls in captivity, for their parents and for our nations. We will continue to persevere in prayers until we see the victory of God over those who seek after our land to destroy, destabilize and devour.
Dear Friends, will you be stirred up in your hearts to be a part of this movement of prayer that has the potential to bring about a revival in our land? God bless you as stand in the gap.