As political unrest and cries for freedom from oppression are sweeping across the nations of North Africa and the Middle East what is our responsibility as Christians? And more specifically how should we be praying? Several days ago I happened to be reading Psalm 94 and was deeply impacted by its relevance for the present uprisings sparked in Tunisia and spreading to Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and the likes. I found it providing very specific ways to pray and empowering my faith to join in the fray through prayer.
As Christians we believe that the God whom we serve is the Lord of the nations. Nothing escapes His notice or happens without the unfolding of His plans and purposes. It is important to note that the prophecies of the Old Testament dealt with the fate of many nations and not just Israel. “It is God who judges; He brings down one and exalts another.” we are told in Psalm 75:7.
Throughout the ages God has invited His people to rule and reign with Him from a place of prayer. The great John Wesley once said “God does nothing except in answer to prayer.” We are therefore as followers of Christ, who are seated with Him in His throne in the heavenlies, privileged and empowered to join Him in effecting His will in the earth through prayer. (Ephesians 2:6)
Psalm 94 begins by declaring that God is an avenger and invokes Him as the judge of the earth to pay back the proud and the wicked.“How long” the psalmist asks will the wicked “pour out arrogant words . . . full of boasting?” (vs 3-4) Sounds like some dictators we know does it not . . .Gaddafi et al.? The ensuing verses continue to chronicle the cruelty and oppression suffered at the hands of such cruel regimes.