13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
Jesus foretold his death and resurrection,
Which put his Apostles in much reflection.
He said this all more than twice,
The disciples found it tough not nice.
Peter didn’t want Jesus Christ our Lord to be crucified,
Yet that was how God in his Son would be glorified.
Spoke the Savior before his solemn sacrifice,
That Peter the future saint would deny him thrice.
When Peter eventually our Lord Jesus for fact deny,
He went out later and truly did bitterly cry.
Only Jesus the eternal king of the Jewish nation,
Could later give repentant Peter spiritual restoration.
Christ the Redeemer at the last supper spoke of his betrayer,
The vile Judas Iscariot who from the true path became a strayer.
Yet this apostate didn’t of his evil heart at all repent,
And by giving up on Jesus ensured where his own afterlife be spent.
And yet didn’t the Son of Man speak of his resurrection?
For God gave him the power to rise up again in divine affection.
Christ Jesus he had to pay everyone’s sin’s full price,
So that those who believe in him get forgiveness and paradise.
The Bible mentions many narcissists and also their how they got punished. So I’ll mention four such men below:
- Judas Iscariot
1) Gehazi the servant of the prophet Elisha
Elisha had chosen Gehazi as his servant. Many a times Gehazi must have first hand experienced miracles of God by the hands of Elisha. It’s an honourable thing to work with a true prophet of God. I’d say Gehazi initially was not a bad person. If we read 2 Kings 4:8-37 you’ll notice that he was entrusted by Elisha to even help out in the case of the dead son of the Shunnamite woman. Though he tried to revive the child and couldn’t succeed, Elisha never rebuked him. Instead Elisha simply by faith in the Lord revived the woman’s son. Gehazi still had potential in him for a great future.
So where did it go wrong for Gehazi?
It’s when Elisha healed Naaman the Syrian that Gehazi acted wrong. If you read 2 Kings 5:20-27, you’d notice a change in attitude of Gehazi. Through self-exaltation and deception he acted the way a narcissist acts and misused the healed Naamans gratitude towards Elisha for healing him. He pursued Naaman after Elisha said no to any gift and lied in the name of Elisha to Naaman as asked for gifts for prophets. And so he obtained two talents of silver in two bags and also two changes of clothes. Now when confronted by Elisha, he will still more impudent and lied about what he had been doing. So, then Elisha the prophet of God, pronounced upon him a serious punishment and here it goes :
“Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow. (2 Kings 5:26-27)
The very leprosy that Naaman once had now got passed over to Gehazi. A bad way to ruin one’s legacy of being the prophet’s servant!
2) Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian emperor
A pagan emperor who built his empire on violence and bloodshed. He too had an abundantly clear experience of the power and deliverance which comes from the Lord God. You can refer to Daniel Chapter 3 and you’d notice that the emperor first raised up an image of a false god made of gold, then his sly Chaldean citizens accused Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (the three holy colleagues of the prophet Daniel) of wrong doing. Nebuchadnezzar in his furious rage assigned them to the fires all bound up to prevent their escape. Yet in the fires a fourth person appeared and prevented them from getting burnt. Even Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged this one as from God in saying “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25). He soon enough made a declaration all through his empire that in favour of the Lord God and the three men who stood up for God. Seemed liked he almost had a conversion.
So where it go wrong for Nebuchadnezzar?
Now even after Daniel helped Nebuchadnezzar in getting to know the meaning of the Second Dream the emperor received (refer to Daniel Chapter 4) there came big time humiliation for him. He was already warned that “Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27).
Yet after a year of receiving the warning he still spoke pompously about himself on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. And this there was no Daniel speaking, instead it as a voice from heaven which spoke to Nebuchadnezzar “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4: 31-32)
So if you see, Nebuchadnezzar was through a dream warned by the Lord God about his pride. Yet despite getting a prophetic confirmation later he rebelled. Then he was punished by the Lord. He did repent and came back to his senses. The following verses confirm this:
Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4: 33-37)
A narcissist at times if he or she is willing to acknowledge his pride and then humble themselves, can actually get out narcissism for good!
3) Judas Iscariot the vile betrayer of Jesus Christ
Judas Iscariot was a narcissist too. In spite of personally bearing witness to the Lord Jesus performing miracles, he didn’t have a clean heart. It may seem remarkable that when most of Jesus’ disciples left the Lord, Judas still continued with Jesus. However, before anyone says that he did it out of faith, I’d like to point that he was stealing from the Lord’s treasury and that’s one thing that kept him going on with Jesus. The following scriptures confirm this:
Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” (John 12:1-7)
When did it go even more wrong with Judas?
Now just because he was not harmed due to stealing, he got even more obsessed with his own base desires. It went to be so evil in his soul that Judas for a few silver coins betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ. This betrayal is the worst ever betrayal till date and for the record he betrayed Jesus unto death. He did experienced grief but never really repented. As a result he committed suicide by hanging himself and later his body burst forth too (refer Matthew 27: 1-10 and also Acts 1:15-20) .
For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. (2 Peter 2:21)
Even Jesus said that it was better for Judas Iscariot to have not to be born at all. The following scriptures confirm this:
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” (Matthew 26:20-25)
A horrible way for once a person who was called an Apostle of Jesus to down to the grave and to hell!
4) Herod the impious king
Herod was a king who was way too full of himself. The only thing he was truly great was in actually was in wickedness. He persecuted the Church and even got the Apostle James killed!
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. (Acts 12:1-3)
Herod was a manipulative narcissist who would go to any extent to please the crowd so as to get in favour with them. So he got Peter arrested and kept him in prison because Peter proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, the Church didn’t lose hope. The people of the Church prayed very earnestly unto the Lord God. And the Lord sent his angel to rescue Peter. Despite being guarded by two soldiers who even kept watch as the Apostle slept the rescue was still successful. God’s angel got rid of Peter’s chain and led him to a safe place (Refer Acts 12:5-19). Yet this didn’t humble Herod but rather drove him into rage due to which he got the prison sentries killed. He had no regard for the Lord at all.
What finally nailed Herod in the end?
His most evil deed was yet to come. He began manipulating the people of Tyre and Sidon by his anger. And they depended on his country for their food they had assembled to meet him and ask for peace. Instead like a vile narcissist he gave such a speech that he got them to shout out that he is a god. This provoked the Lord God with burning rage that the angel of the Lord struck him and as a result Herod died of worms
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. But the word of God increased and multiplied. (Acts 12:20-24)
Herod was never a good man from the beginning nor was he a good man at his end. He tried to please others only for his selfish agendas. Not giving God the glory cost him his very life!
I shall soon write about the first narcissist ever to exist (hint: the Fallen one). However for now, from the above four examples we can learn that:
- It’s possible for a narcissist to repent.
- Not every narcissist might repent.
- The actions of narcissists can be harmful and even ungodly.
- Narcissistic people may even lie in the face of facts.
- Narcissist’s can hide their true inner motives by covering them up with good motives publicly.
- God can bring down the most proud narcissist to his or her rightful end.
- It’s possible for narcissist’s to experience miracles of God but remain unchanged.
- God can at times warn narcissists too either directly or through others.
- As in the example of Peter there is no need to deliberately get back to a narcissist who intends you harm.
- The Church though prayer and faith in the Lord God can actually defeat the plans of narcissist’s especially those one’s who persecute the Church and try to hinder the preach of the Gospel.
All praise and glory to the Lord God who sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin, hell and death. Thanks be unto Him who loved us even when we were still sinners. We pray that the Holy Spirit guides us and leads us into all truth. Grant that we in the example of Christ our Lord, be truly sensitive to the needs and situations of others. All this for the glory of God. Amen.
In the Holy Scriptures we come to know of instances when the servants and prophets of God gave spiritual hope to others in trouble. This is shown in both the Old and New Testaments. A person who believes in the Lord God must be ready to be attentive to those in suffering and pain or in trouble. We are to this without compromising on our belief in the teachings of the Bible nor falling prey to tricksters.
The example of Eli the priest of God at Shiloh
Hannah was barren and so didn’t have any children. She faced a lot of ridicule and humiliation from others. So when she prayed to the Lord God at the place of worship at Shiloh she was deep anguish and desperation. Eli initially thought she was drunk but on questioning her found that her pain was strong. So he said to her “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him” and then we read in 1 Samuel Chapter 1 that ‘And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord” ‘. There would be no prophet Samuel born unless Eli blessed Hannah in the name of the Lord God.
This was not the only time that Eli did good. We read in 1 Samuel 3 as to how Eli helped the child Samuel hear the voice of the Lord God which then helped Samuel eventually realize his calling from the Lord God to be his prophet unto the people of Israel. Again, there was no way Samuel would know he is to be God’s prophet unless Eli helped him to be attentive to the Lord God.
The example of the prophet Elijah and Widow of Zarephath
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:17-24)
If the prophet Elijah would have refused to pray for the dead son, then the widow of Zarephath would live in despair. But in truth, he had compassion on them and God heard his voice and the child came back to life again.
The example of the Apostles Peter and John with the Beggar at the temple gate
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10)
Though they didn’t have silver nor gold, the Apostles Peter and John had something precious. They had faith in the name of Jesus Christ. And by this faith, did Peter make the crippled beggar walk normally. They too acted with trust in the Lord so that they can bless this beggar.
What about your example in life?
From all the above examples you see one thing in common, the prophets, priests and apostles were spiritually sensitive to the needs and situations of others. They didn’t dwell on the ‘I will only pray’ approach to help others in trouble. They gave counsel, preached deliverance, gave healing and raised the dead besides interceding for others. Do not get into the stupidity of ‘prayer only’ when you see someone who needs rescue from danger be it hunger, sickness, poverty.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:14-23)
Do not say that you don’t have any opportunity nor the time to care for others. If anyone insists on saying he doesn’t have time and opportunities to be spiritually sensitive to the needs of others, then he might as well add that he doesn’t have the desire and will power for that as well.
When you read the newspapers, do you read about crimes or someone in suffering due to grave illness? If yes, then do you then pray about such things? Or do you switch to the sports and entertainment pages which are at time full of the vain acts of vain people taking bribes and changing their spouses every few months? Do you pray against acts of unjust violence across the world? Or do you enjoy watching movies that glorify murder and robbery?
Suppose if you know of a relative or friend in need of a job, do you too start searching suitable jobs for them? Or do you spend time gossiping about them? If your church announces a time of prayer and fasting for a preacher who’s gone missing after entering into a nation hostile to the Gospel, do you actually care to do what is told? Or do you want to go to some amusement park which coincides with the time of intercession?
Not everyone reading this can pray and heal others instantly or gradually. Not everyone can raise the dead. But then does anything in the Bible say that you are not to ask for such gifts from Christ our Lord? If not, then do ask and ask in faith, hope and love till you receive. Don’t lose heart but pray. I’ve seen people getting healed after I pray for them and I give the whole credit to the Lord God for his mercy and power. I still am praying for the power to raise the dead. God only knows when I shall receive it but I will keep asking him in faith or expect some better gift for his glory alone.
In the Christian faith many people have certain gifts from God in the supernatural such as healing, deliverance and casting out demons. While some are yet to receive them. You might not have supernatural powers manifest as yet, but you do have the Word of God. Then if anyone needs scriptural counsel, are you willing to help out to whatever level you have learnt so far? Or are you suddenly after years of church going and Bible study, are going to say you don’t know the Bible? Even if that is your reality, I don’t judge you but encourage to get reading and studying the Bible with more sincerity that you ever had.
Resolve that you will be more spiritually sensitive to help others all for the glory of God. Pray that you won’t be discouraged by the ungrateful but will continue to fight the good fight against evil in the name of Jesus. Ask that the Holy Spirit leads you do all this in safety and without being deceived by anyone, and God will surely look at your faith and answer you in his time and way. Sincerity is the key in all this.
Christ be with you.
The abundant grace of God does no where in the Bible ever permit abundant stupidity nor abundant heresy. Any teaching that shows the grace of God as merely ‘say a prayer and get your ticket to heaven’ without being clear on all the points of the Gospel is surely out of sync with God’s will. Do not listen to teachers of falsehood who corrupt the Gospel’s true meaning. The Gospel is about being in a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. The Gospel is about loving God and your neighbor. And you are not going to be able to live the Gospel right if you exclude genuine repentance from your sins. You cannot earn your salvation but people can surely give it up by their faithlessness to God and this faithlessness is visible even by their actions.
Let’s read the following verses from the Holy Scripture:
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire. (2 Peter 2:17-22)
It is vanity of vanities to come to unto the throne of grace only to turn and head back to your pit of immorality. It’s vain to preach the Gospel to others and then not follow what it teaches. O lovers of God, be faithful unto the very end. Let Christ be your hope. Let the Gospel be ever in your heart and mind.
Let your walking and talking never deviate from God’s will. May all your work be holy and acceptable in the eyes of God. This is possible by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now it may have chanced that you could have sinned after coming to Christ. Do not fear as our Lord is the patient with us. He bears up with our faults. That being said, knowing that he is merciful do not hesitate to repent of your sin. The world might say ‘O look a person who claims to believe in Christ and yet sins’ but you can make the world’s logic look stupid if and if you truly repent. Your aim here is not to take revenge against the world. The world is full of sin and when they condemn you, O lover of God, they will simply generate more judgement for themselves by the Lord Jesus himself. Instead, your aim should be to value your relationship with God by honoring Jesus’ death and resurrection for your salvation. Respond to his love by being truly repentant of every sin and living for Christ alone.
Christ be with you!
In the world there are people who eat to live and then we have the self-indulgent who live to eat. The same way there are those who are obsessed with money. I mean there is the legitimate use of money to provide for your basic needs, payoff debts and help others. And then is there a wicked way of life where a person’s main purpose of existence is to get more and more money by any means.
Now anyone obsessed with money won’t necessarily say they make pets of their money but they surely act that way. And in the due course of time that little pet who likes to be fed and patted often. But later it turns out to be a hideous ugly monster. And mind you, this monster isn’t bothered if you progress physically, all it will seek is that spiritually you are blinded and on the road to damnation.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Let me make it real to you. A person who betrays his nation for the sake of money is on his way to hell. He may be safe on some island resort for the rest of his natural life but when he dies, he won’t make to heaven.
Remember Judas Iscariot. He betrayed Jesus in the most vile way by using an act of greeting as a sign to single out the Lord for his crucifixion. After this Judas did have remorse but never repentance, due to which he committed suicide. Right now Judas is highly tormented in hell without any mercy.
It’s not that everyone who is obsessed with money is a traitor. It could be that the person doesn’t pay attention to the things of God. He may attend church regularly, help out with the orphanages and be nice to family. But deep within his heart his loyalty is not with God but only to money. The Lord is aware of the thoughts of every persons heart and doesn’t like such obsessions that are evil.
People tend to think that they can cheat the Lord God and his church and still be blessed. This assumption is extremely dangerous. Ananias and Sapphira (click here for a related article on them) tried to get fame and honor by lying to the church they sold of their property and gave all of it to the church. While in fact they retained a part of the money they got.
Nobody in the church would have known, except that the Holy Spirit revealed it to the Apostle Peter. So then Peter spoke words of judgement to them as they lied to the Holy Spirit. They cheated God. As a result both Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead immediately by the Lord God. This caused great fear in the church at those times.
No wonder, I say that never make money your pet, it may become a monster which turns out to be your nemesis!
Scriptures for reflection:
Proverbs 15:26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight.
Exodus 23:8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.
Proverbs 1:19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.
Proverbs 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
Let’s first reflect on the following scriptures before I give out the prayer points for Nigeria (April-May 2014)
The Book of Acts 12:1-11
1 About that time King Herod Agrippa[a] began to persecute some believers in the church. 2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration. 4 Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. 9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. 11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
From the above scriptures especially verses 5 and then 11, we notice that when the church prays together mighty things happen. Due to the prayers of the church the Apostle Peter was saved by the Lord’s angel from the prison and the evil plans of Herod and the Jewish leaders. The power of the church praying together is still there and alive today. All you need to do is to believe and pray. God will totally demolish the plans of the Evil one especially when people of the church start praying for those who are persecuted for Christ. Not just for the persecuted but also for those who are in any other sort of need be it physical or spiritual.
Sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture. We always pray for ourselves, then for family, friends and pets, our local church, local government agencies, soldiers and our own nation. This is indeed a very good thing to do. However, this should not be our limiting line. There is nothing in the Bible that says don’t pray for other nations or people of different cultures.
The will of God is that all people experience peace. There’s more to that, God’s will is that everyone receives the joy and hope that comes from Jesus Christ. For this the preaching of the gospel is beyond doubt very crucial. We need to pray therefore for other people for both their salvation and physical well-being.
With this being said, I felt recently that God is leading to me to post prayer points for Nigeria. I was praying recently with a friend of mine and suddenly he spoke that we must pray about Nigeria. This confirmed that indeed the time is now to pray for it. Amen.
Please look to bless others by praying for them. Here are the prayer points for Nigeria for the months of April-May 2014:
- That the terrorist groups, especially the Islamic terror group Boko Haram who have been kidnapping young Christian females be stopped in their tracks and the kidnapped people be set free.
- Pray that Christians in Nigeria don’t give up on their faith in Christ in face of persecution.
- That the government in Nigeria have good and ethical leaders.
- Pray that hate crimes and persecutions are condemned more vocally by the international community.
- That people of all religions in Nigeria are peace with each other and don’t co-operate with terrorists in any way.
- Pray that all the bombs planted to hurt people in Nigeria don’t set off. Pray that the police and armed forces are able to receive tip offs in time to defuse the bombs.
- That the preaching of the Gospel is without any compromises and that it increases multiple times over all across Nigeria, even in the non-Christian majority areas.
- Pray that the economy and infrastructure of Nigeria starts to recover strong and recover.
- That the witchcraft workers lose their sting in their black arts. That all evil spirits that still blinds the hearts and minds of various people in Nigeria by witchcraft are repelled in the name of Jesus.
- Pray that people of Nigeria live in peace and harmony with each other and respect each others freedom of personal choice.
- That everyone in Nigeria progresses in terms of education, health and standard of living.
A video link that shows persecution of Christians in Nigeria though I warn that the images are very graphic/violent:
Scriptures for reflection;
- Hebrews 13:3 ”Remember those in prison as though bound with them.”
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.