A Prayer Today For Terrorists And Extremists

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When I saw this picture on the front page of the USA Today newspaper two days ago, my heart was sickened. It is reportedly an image of an execution of Iraqi government soldiers by ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

My heart breaks for the violence going on today in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, etc.

We read about Muslim on Muslim sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites, Muslim violence against Christians, and yes, Christian violence against Muslims.

Today, I want to pray for terrorists and extremists. Why? Because Isa – Jesus – commanded it. And more than that, because he exemplified it.

In the hour of his greatest suffering – when experiencing unspeakable violenceJesus prayed these incredible words to Almighty God:

“. . .forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

This short prayer (from the Injil, Luke 23:34) is my prayer today for terrorists and extremists of all kinds.

In his teaching to crowds who followed him, Jesus said these extraordinary words:

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We can hate those many regard as extremists and terrorists – ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, al-Qaeda – or we can do what Jesus taught regarding our enemies:

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Lovenot hate
Do goodnot evil
Blessnot curse
Pray fornot against
And. . .
Forgivenot retaliate.

I pray for those who have hearts filled with hatred and violence to be blessed by knowing the love Jesus has for them.

I pray that they will be blessed by being melted by that love. Irresistibly changed by that love. Brought to genuine repentance by that love.

I pray that they will be blessed by coming face to face with the surprising, disarming, and mysterious power of forgiveness – by those they have harmed, and by God Himself.

This is my prayer for terrorists and extremists today.

9 thoughts on “A Prayer Today For Terrorists And Extremists

  1. I think you write good words in answer to the ISIS brutality, but it is easier to pray for mercy when you do not personally face the evil.

    • My dear friend, Jasim, you are so completely right that I have never personally faced this kind of evil but. . .Jesus did.

      Jesus is the one who experienced the worst evil humanity can ever possibly commit. And instead of asking God to slaughter his enemies, He asked God to forgive them. Unbelievable! Instead of trying to get revenge to gain back his honor, he allowed himself to be totally disgraced. Here is how the Bible describes it (Philippians 2:5-11):

      5 “. . .have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

      6 Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
      7 rather, he made himself nothing
      by taking the very nature of a servant,

      being made in human likeness.
      8 And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      by becoming obedient to death –
      even death on a cross!
      9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,

      10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
      11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

      As Shiites and Christians are slaughtered by ISIS in Iraq, my heart is broken. And I pray it will stop. Yes. Absolutely. But until then, I pray those who suffer violence – and their families – can trust God as Jesus did. . .and forgive.

  2. In the Islamic framework, Compassion and Mercy must be understood in the context of Justice and Justice must be balanced with Compassion and Mercy.

    To blindly forgive without the administration of justice is an injustice and injustice is against the will of God. Those who have committed crimes must be brought to justice, must repent and those to whom an injustice has been done, must have closure in order for the injured souls of both parties (victims and criminals) to heal.
    Healing brings peace and ultimately, our prayers must be that peace and good prevail.

    A movement for Restorative Justice is gaining ground around the world today. It focuses on healing rather than punishment.

  3. Sure appreciate the comments on justice and forgiveness. Am reading the life story of an Olympic runner , lifeboat survivor and POW in WW2, Louie Zamperini. It is titled “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.
    Suffering and cruelty in wartime is worth studying. For the divine Son of God to suffer by the design of God Almighty is worth deep thought as we consider the plan by the Godhead for a new heaven an new earth. (Last two Bible Chapters, 23-24) Truely amazing.

    • Mohammad, yes, I definitely believe God loves terrorists.

      But. . .let me explain something. It is important for you to understand what I mean by this kind of love. When I say “God loves terrorists,” I don’t mean that He loves or approves of their evil actions. No! Of course not! He hates evil. It has no part in His perfect, righteous character.

      What I mean is that God’s love for people is unconditional. It is not dependent on their actions – good or evil. It means He wants the best for them. He is truly a God of love.

      Look at this amazing expression of God’s heart for evil people as spoken through the prophet Ezekiel:

      “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live”
      (the book of Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11).

      He is also a God of wrath. If a person will not turn away (repent) from their evil actions, they will experience His wrath on the Day of Judgment. But God, in His love, will take no pleasure in that.

  4. PLANTING CHURCHES INSIDE MUSLIMS COMMUNITY
    Email: muslimsfoundjesus@gmail.com
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Dear Director / Pastor / Brother / Sister in Christ,
    Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
    We are in great need of your kind prayers for our own lives and ministry specifically among the Muslims. We are very glad to share with you that our Living God has filled our hearts with His burden & vision in our lives to reach specifically to The MUSLIMS by The Gospel of Jesus Christ & plant House Churches inside Muslim community. While Muslim terrorist groups such as Islamic state , Taliban, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram are killing Christians in different countries, He is leading us to reach out to the Muslims for His own glory and help them to know that Jesus Christ is The Only Living God and Saviour.
    Our Lord Jesus is using us to fulfil His plan & will in and through our lives. By the grace of God, already Several Muslim men & women accepted Jesus in their hearts as their Lord & Saviour. They are following His teachings in the midst of different types of physical tortures by the militant Muslims. They are witnessing about Jesus and they are sharing their testimonies to their relatives &neighbors. God is adding more men & women to our worship services almost every week for His own glory.
    Militant Muslims are often torture and try to harm physically to the believers from Muslim background for their new faith in Jesus. Even though we are facing heavy persecutions & threats by the Militant Muslims, but our Lord Jesus is using our lives for the extension of His Kingdom and He has protected us for His own glory. Militant Muslims are constantly trying to murder us. Our lives are in danger at this moment.
    We are in great need of your kind prayers in our own lives and for the persecuted believers. Humbly, we request you kindly pray for God’s protection from the hands of Militant Muslims. Please also pray that we might be always faithful to His call in our lives and grow in Him.We are prayerfully expecting to have at least 500 believers from Muslim background at our fellowship.
    Please write few words for us.
    With regards,

    Bashir & team

    KINDLY PRAY FOR: House Church Fellowship, Discipleship Ministry, Women Ministry, Children Ministry, Health Care Ministries for the women & Children and Compassion Ministry (such as Distributing Clothes & blankets to the poor children & poor woman, Free tuition to the needy students, Feeding to the poor children , helping to the persecuted believers those who lost their sources of income & houses for their faith in Jesus, Educational help to the poor & needy students, Providing Nutrients for Malnourished children)

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