The season of immeasurably more
June 11, 2021
Early this week I was privileged to join a national prayer Zoom call in which a family ministering in the Middle East related that what God has been doing in and through them has been “immeasurably more than” all they had asked or imagined (Eph 3:20 NIV). As I was seeking God for what to write about in this GHPL, it was obvious – the mass murder of three generations of the Afzal family in London, Ontario on June 6. But I also asked God what could I possibly write that would be more than (in the sense of adding to, rather than repeating) what so many Canadians are already saying and praying.
He led me to my notes from that Zoom meeting. The speaker exhorted us to prepare to go “over the top” like the paralytic’s friends when they dismantled a roof to lower him directly in front of Jesus (Mk 2:2-12). He challenged us to navigate out of imagination* rather than memory. Have you prayed for years, consistently believing that God hears? Prepare to go over the top in your praying and ministering. Have you ministered faithfully in tried-and-true ways? Don’t look back to be reassured that the furrow you’ve ploughed is straight, because we have entered the season of “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”! Let’s pray imaginatively for the Church to go over the top in response to the tragedy in London.
God, we pray that Canadian Christians still afraid of Muslims and handicapped by lack of love will be gripped by the Holy Spirit even upon seeing the Afzal family photo and baptized with an outpouring of the Father’s great compassion for those whom they have considered outliers but who are made in God’s image and whom He wants to include in His family photo.
Jesus, You commanded Your disciples to go and make disciples among all nations (Mt 28:19-20). The nations You were referring to are here in Canada.
Jesus, You came to earth because of Your desire and commitment to restore relationship with humanity. We declare there will be zero “no-go” groups in Canada to whom the Church does not go in Your meekness, bringing with us Your glory!
Christians will see the Muslims in our communities. We will be attracted to approaching them and intentional about getting to know them as our neighbors.
We will release to them blessings from the Father, prayers from the Spirit and miracles from Jesus.
The source of our love will not be in ourselves but in the Father. Our power will not be personal but of the Spirit.
The Gospel will spread to Muslims through close person-to-person contact. We will be the Good News to Muslim people. The Gospel will take hold and accomplish healing, salvation and deliverance.
At this writing, very little is known about the assailant or his motives. The public assumes the attack was a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia and racism, but this is unconfirmed. However, there is no doubt that Canadian Muslims are feeling terrorized. Let’s pray for Muslims as they process this traumatic event and its impact.
Lord, You are close to the broken-hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit (Ps 34:18). Heal little Fayez, the sole survivor in his family, and assign angels to carry him through this time. Guide Muslim youth to community resources to help them deal with anger and fear. Reveal Yourself as Prince of Peace to women terrified to leave home and to activists who hope more legislation can protect them. Give leaders wisdom in directing their communities to positive outcomes. Stir up in all Muslims a desire for assurance of salvation that leads them to call on the name of Jesus so they will no longer have to grieve without hope. Hold back the hand of evil that orchestrates such attacks and redeem in every way possible the intended outcomes of this one.
*The Hebrew word yetzer translated “steadfast mind” in Isaiah 26:3 means “imagination”, i.e. our God-given imagination that forms and frames our reality and must be kept holy. (See footnote, TPT.)