Dearly Beloved of God in Syria:
May the peace and protection of the living Christ be known by you, for He who raised you to new life does surely walk through the turmoil, into the insidious carnage of chemical weapons, and beyond the shadow of inhumanity and into the rising, dark cloud of war. He who walks among you, though you may not fully discern His presence, is the very One who walked on the Sea of Galilee in the midst of another storm. He is not only calling His Church in Syria to recall your glorious place in the Body of Christ: the preaching of Peter, the baptism of Saul of Tarsus, St. Paul’s evangelistic ministry in the marketplace there, all the way to the faithful who stood against the Nestorian controversy at Chalcedon (the denial of Christ’s two natures—fully God and fully Man, not Man assuming Deity but God in the flesh born of the Virgin Mary), and courageous church planters who are establishing Golden Lamp-stands even now—He is calling you who are under threat to join with the glorious company of prophets, apostles, martyrs, persecuted believers and anonymous faithful, known fully by God, who did not bow the knee to Baal or deny the blessed name of Christ. Your brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus in all of the beautiful parts of the mosaic of the Body of Christ catholic remember you:
As we pray for you;
As some of you in the Church in Syria have been granted a voice for righteousness, to speak for those who cannot—whatever their creed, for they are made in the image of God;
As you share Christ Jesus in Word and deed;
As we seek to follow your Godly example; and
As we see the transcendent glory of Jesus in our times through your tears and cries for Him.
We are not what we should be as intercessors and we repent, asking that your suffering and your faithfulness will bring about a revival of prayer in the West, thereby removing the scales from our eyes as your father, Ananias, did unto Saul in Damascus.
Thus we pray through the Holy Scriptures remembering you, loving you in pleas for your protection before the throne of Grace, and praying through these Scriptures which we dedicate to believers in chains in Syria and throughout the world:
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:12, 33-37 KJV).
As we pray for others in these times we pray for you O Church in Syria, believing that through you, we may see the genuine revival from on high coming down to transform millions in the Middle East to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who reigns with Thee O Father and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.
Jim Mendeleyev says
Dear Father/Pastor Milton,
I must tell you how much I appreciated the wording of your commentary and prayers regarding our blessed Church in Syria. May the memories of her martyrs be eternal and may God guard his children who remain.
It is quite unusual for an evangelical to touch me as you did, that doesn’t happen very often. Obviously you have some familiarity with the holy Church Fathers, Patriarchs, Apostles and Saints. Such is encouraging although rare.
I have spent time this year and in 2012 in Syria representing Journalists Without Borders and also traveling with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church as our country, Holy Mother Russia and the Third Rome of Eastern Christianity, is very concerned about the state and welfare of the Church in Syria. I have spent time, very recently, in Egypt as well.
Christ our living God has not given us the spirit of fear but of boldness and we pray that God will spare and protect His people, but there are many martyrs from this conflict and their prayers arise like a great chorus in a special place reserved in the arms of God and before the Throne of Grace.
In our news blog we have written about the refuges who have fled Syria and found refuge in Russia. (http://russianreport.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/russia-begins-to-receive-christian-refugees-fleeing-egypt-and-syria/)
We have written about, and there are very good reasons not understood my most Americans, as to why it is good for Russia and for all Christian believers to oppose the USA on the matter of Syria. (http://russianreport.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/should-russia-oppose-washington-on-syria/)
Thank you for not forgetting the forgotten church.
You honor me with your words. You are very generous. Sola Deo Gloria. I do, indeed, feel that we in the Western churches have much to learn from the Ancient Churches of the Middle East. May the Lord also bless the courageous work of Journalists without Borders. You are acting as “Watchmen on the Wall!” Thank you for taking the time and thoughtfulness to write.
The Lord bless you and guard you.
Joe godal says
It is a beautiful prayer and I thank you for it. I will pray for the Syrians.
I don’t mean to be unduly critical but if the prayer is addressed to God, I don’t believe he needs to be educated regarding the Nestorian heresy. An explanatory footnote would have been preferable
Michael Milton says
It is an epistle to the people in a prayerful tone, assuring them of our prayers. It is to encourage the Church in Syria. It is not addressed as a prayer per se but a letter of love and assurance of intercession. The change of “voice” in the conclusion is the author’s own transition to the Triune God.
God bless you. The author is very grateful for your kindness and thoughtfulness in writing.
We should pray that our brethren be reminded of the promised victory:
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev. 12.11 –