Words of Hope: Release from darkness

I have been praying daily for the Christians kidnapped in Haiti. They were held by a murderous gang who wantonly killed children and adults unable to pay an exorbitant ransom. I felt frustrated with our government—why are we not doing more? I felt frustrated with their mission organization who offered the “solution” of prayer. I wanted activity—campaigning—raising of funds. Then I read about the tension if they pay off the gang, the violence towards others in Haiti will increase. The complexity felt overwhelming. Last week after over 60 days of captivity, the missionaries were set free. I sobbed with joy. I felt overwhelmingly humbled by the prayers and fasting of their mission organization. Why does prayer feel at times so inconsequential in the face of such evil and yet was truly the only real power? I love Isaiah’s lines, “release from darkness for the prisoners.” This reminds me of some verses Dad and I memorized from Ephesians that remind us “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” but against “the world forces of this darkness.” Wow! What an incredible image and a reminder that our battle is not a physical one but a spiritual one that requires spiritual methods of prayer and fasting. I am so thankful for the example of prayer for the missionaries and their families. Before I run ahead to solve a problem or try and right a wrong, I need to begin where the battle is waged and start with my head bowed.

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the spirit and with this view be on the alert with all perseverance and prayer for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:18