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Friday, 21 November 2014


Psalm 63 has been a favourite of mine for nearly thirty years, having become very meaningful to me when my sister died. This morning I read it again as part of my planned reading, and a few verses which I always tend to skim over jumped out at me.

I had been  praying the world, holding a globe in my hands and focusing on the black dots of trouble spots which I’ve marked. Lingering over the Middle East, thinking about the threats and barbaric beheadings being carried out by the members of IS, verses 9 and 10 suddenly carried meaning for me.
‘They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.’

I have never wished harm on anyone, but seeing the deliberate brutality and hearing about their plans to extend their ‘kingdom’ throughout the world has perhaps altered my thinking a bit. Especially in light of the recent charges brought against men in the UK who had plans to behead a citizen in public here. 

I saw the evil as an octopus, head in the Middle East but with writhing tentacles insinuating themselves into otherwise peace-loving countries, seeking to destroy. And I prayed that those tentacles might be amputated, in effect, beheading the evil organisation.

The difference between my praying those pretty negative words and David praying them thousands of years ago, though, is Jesus. Because of Jesus, I am not praying against individual perpetrators but against the evil spirit behind them. And because of Jesus, I am praying for my enemies as individuals, that they would be set free from the bondage to terror which they first embraced, before it got a hold of them. 

Jesus came to set us free, all of us, and when we let him, we are free indeed.

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