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August 27, 2021

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

With countless prayers ascending from the Church to God's throne for endangered Afghan believers, as well as women and children, journalists, interpreters, and many others desperate to leave Afghanistan, it's challenging to consider what Jesus might have in His heart for the Taliban. Since He said we must love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48), we should.

"Taliban" is plural for "student". The Taliban who now form the government of Afghanistan are students of Orthodox Islam who believe that Muslims will achieve success—including world domination—by zealously following the way (sharia) modelled and taught by Muhammad. They are highly motivated by a core Islamic doctrine which obliges them to re-establish Allah's sovereignty over Muslim lands occupied by the infidel oppressor. Nineteen years of infidel occupation is just a blip in the long game they are playing. Islam has an end times doctrine in which the Islamic Jesus (Isa) returns to earth with the Muslim Messiah (Mahdi), destroys Jews and Christians, and helps set up an Islamic Kingdom (the Caliphate), which brings the whole world under submission to Allah.

At least, that is their hope.

True Christians with a biblical mindset, of all people, should be able to understand what drives the Taliban. We are lifelong students of God's word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We believe the whole earth belongs to God (Psalm 24:1), to whom we lovingly submit (James 4:7) and whom we serve with fervour (Romans 12:11). We have a sure hope that Jesus will come again to judge the earth and set everything right (Revelation 16:5-7, 19:11-16), and we're playing a long game until that happens (James 1:2-4).

But we have everything that the Taliban does not! We know the Father's love; we've been forgiven, cleansed, saved and redeemed by Jesus' blood; and we have the Holy Spirit to give us right guidance in real time directly from heaven's throne! We know it's by His gift and not by our own efforts that we become acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8-9), and we know we extend His Kingdom on earth not by our might and power but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). What we have as followers of Jesus is world-changing!

But Islam, in which the Taliban put their hope for success, is a stronghold of lies that cannot protect them from God's wrath.

"Like the [Taliban], we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:3-9)

Lord Jesus, help us to pray for the Taliban with the revelation of Your heart for them, expressing your kindness again and again to those who by nature deserve Your wrath, as we once did.

Father, every one of us has tried to earn Your love and approval. We repent! The only one who has ever lived up to Your standard is Jesus. We pray for the Taliban, especially the leaders, to quickly realize as they face the challenges of governing that You regard their efforts as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) that only deserve Your righteous wrath. May they cry out for You to send them a Saviour!

Spirit of Truth, thank You for using the Taliban to expose the true face of Islam. By faith we demolish the lie that success comes from zealously following Islam. We speak the light and life of Jesus Christ into the spirits of the Taliban so they see and know that Islam is not from God. 

Father, we pray for those regular Taliban fighters, many of whom are impoverished, hungry, uneducated and ignorant. Show them that You see them (Genesis 16:13), and You hear them (Genesis 16:11). Draw them to You by Your tender love so they may find the rest they are seeking in Your Son (Matthew 11:28-30).

About Leslie

Leslie knows by faith and experience that our heavenly Father puts His prayers in our hearts and then listens to our hearts’ cry as we pray them back to Him. We hear God, and God hears us.

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No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.

Nelson Mandela

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. And your neighbor as yourself.