Let's Pray to End Terror

by Tim Isbell, Robin Isbell, and Pastor Chris Hoch    January 2016

On December 13, a few weeks after the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, we held a prayer service at New Life Nazarene Church (Cupertino, CA). It was a small, intimate, gathering of 15-20 Christian people praying for the many dimensions of the current situations.

We prepared the Worship Center with prayer stations and played quiet instrumental Christmas music. Each station had a poster and a few scriptures to guide peoples' prayers. Finally, we regathered in one group and closed with prayer. 

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Blessings, Tim

Intro

(Pastor Chris Hoch)

It went something like this:

Welcome to New Life Church. My name is Chris, and I am on staff here. We are glad you joined us tonight. We have all seen and read about terror in our world recently. Many times we have no idea what to do, and praying can seem clichéd. However tonight, we will take the time to pray as something we can do for the people involved in these terror situations.


Prayer advice

(Robin Isbell)

She reminded us of a couple of principles that would help is pray by using Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And she encouraged us to base our prayer on what we have experienced about the character of God, and what we know about God from Scripture - as opposed to just saying words in God’s direction about what we want.

Stations and how to use them

(Tim Isbell)

I used something I often use in my life, and when leading group prayer:

God is in control, despite all appearances to the contrary.
This is what we believe.
This is what we have seen.
This is what we have to offer the world.


And I used a few lines from the song "Faithful"
Faithful, forever You are faithful

Father to the fatherless
You uphold the one who feels forsaken
You are faithful, God

Faithful, forever You are faithful
Lover of the wounded heart
You defend the poor and the forgotten
You are faithful, God

And I will sing to the maker of Heaven and Earth
God, You reign forever and Your love will endure
Faithful and true is the name of the Lord
You are faithful, God

Faithful, forever You are faithful
Shelter for the fragile soul
You lift us up, You hold us all together
You are faithful, God

And I will sing to the maker of Heaven and Earth
God, You reign forever and Your love will endure
Faithful and true is the name of the Lord
You are faithful, God...


Songwriters: CHRIS TOMLIN, CHRISTOPHER DWAYNE TOMLIN, CHRISTY NOCKELS, ED CASH, NATHAN NOCKELS
Published by Lyrics © MUSIC SERVICES, INC.


Stations

Terrorists

That the terrorists will choose life.

(God says)… Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.
Deuteronomy 30.19-20

For God to change terrorists
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 9.1-6

Refugees and destination countries

For the refugees
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34.18

This is what the Lord says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
Jeremiah 29.1-7

For the destination countries
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
Matthew 5.7-9

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19.33-34


San Bernardino

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5.4

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19.33-34


For Christian citizens
In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile… barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3.11-13

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.
2 Chronicles 20.12

World and local leaders

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
Matthew 5.9

Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.
Psalm 74.21

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
Leviticus 19.33-34


Help for those who protect

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5.9








Paris and Brussels

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 4.5

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.
2 Chronicles 20.12

For Christian believers in Paris and Brussels
In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile… barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3.11-13


Syria and Iraq

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 4.5

O God, listen to my complaint.
Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
Hide me from the plots of this evil mob,
from this gang of wrongdoers.
Psalm 64.1-2

Harmony
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!
For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head,
that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion.
And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
Psalm 133

Hearing God’s voice.

Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come
Revelation 1.4-8

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Hebrews 10.11-14,15-18,19-25 2 Chronicles 20.12

Closing Prayer

(Pastor Chris)

It went something like this:

To close, I want to leave you with the thoughts of John, who was one of Jesus' closest followers.

[Read John 1:4-5 (NLT)

We are the light that can shine into the darkness. If anybody knew about darkness, John definitely did in hearing about his friends being killed, Jerusalem being destroyed, among other dark events. John says that the light of Jesus in us shines in the darkness we see around us, but the darkness can not extinguish that light.

Closing prayer.



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