Last Wednesday a group of friends of mine joined in the stream of intercessory prayer with the Somali people. We were a bit goofy that evening, but it didn’t detract, rather, it was important in being creative and open enough to listen to His heart.
Somalia and her people are going through a new crisis, on top of the persisting old one. The country is on the east horn of Africa. It is a nation of poets and so very beautiful. The number of Christian believers are about .05%.
Since 1991, they have not had a stable government. For many, many years, an extremist group has enforced authority over the people and the land and fought against those they considered enemies. Horrible fighting that have left many dead. Two years ago, they ran off the humanitarian groups, which had been overwhelmed by those suffering because of the fighting. Somalia was considered the most failed state in the world last year. And then, a few months ago, a severe famine hit Somalia and parts of the neighboring countries. 100,000 displace have added to the already 350,000. Some aid organizations have been allowed in.
It is humbling to pray.
Jesus reminded me of Isaiah 42, that He will not be discouraged until justice is established on the earth and I was reminded that His intention id the same for Somalia. So I prayed for justice in every horror, every loss, everything that is not right in Somalia. My friend Steph Seitz felt promoted to pray according the Ezekiel 37 and then, as she passed it, on Ezekiel 34. She had been focused on God’s word against poor “sheperding” and His promise of the true shepherd to card for them.
Later, though, she read and pointed us to the whole chapter and we all rejoiced at the promise:
“23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.
25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”
Take that in and rejoice!
Another thought: during prayer, our friend Peter got an image of himself on a pirate ship, like Robinson Caruso. Somalia is known for their pirates. In praying for His redemptive, reconciliatory justice, i felt like He was calling people to respond to His call to come on board in His breathtaking work of His justice in Somalia, with a courage and adventuresome spirit to take in the pain of our fellow human being there and open our hearts, willing for them to be broken and then shaped by His heart, and be open to the ridiculous hope and outrageously good plans He is speaking into reality through our prayers and our work.
We ask for what cannot be done without out Him. His work of redemption and reconciliation is beyond anything we can ask or imagine.