ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- North American Mission Board President Robert E. Reccord led the organization's staff in a special prayer service March 19 for those affected by the imminent war with Iraq -- from U.S. military personnel and national leaders to the Iraqi people.
"I'm reminded that as we stand at an opportunity to make a difference, we need to be continually on our face and on our knees saying, 'Lord, show us what to do,'" Reccord said. "'Show us how to do it. For those with whom we partner, do the same. And with the leaders of our country, Father, give them wisdom beyond human ability.'"
Reccord read from 2 Chronicles 20 of Jehoshaphat's prayer during a time of imminent battle. While the circumstances today are different, he said, the Israelites of that time shared the same need for God's guidance and protection.
The leadership of the nation came to God and said they were not equal to the task, Reccord said, and that their only recourse was "to stand humbly before our God," and make the best decisions they can, "and then trust him."
Reccord said he believes President Bush has a similar humility and relationship with God, noting that he begins each day with Scripture and prayer.
During the prayer time NAMB staff gathered around more than a dozen colleagues who have family members involved in the conflict.
The meeting followed a special e-mail message March 18 in which Reccord called all staff, missionaries, chaplains and trustees not only to pray intently, but to be open to ministry opportunities.
"As President Bush told our nation Monday evening, war holds no certainties, except the certainty of sacrifice," Reccord said. "In that spirit, I would like to challenge all of us to be especially alert to places we can serve and people to whom we can minister as our nation steps into this conflict."
Reccord encouraged prayer for:
-- The nation's troops, as well as the protection and provisions of their families. He also suggested praying that the chaplains and other Christians would be bold in their witness and faith, and that God would use the time of uncertainty to draw thousands of soldiers and their families to Christ.
-- Guidance and wisdom for the nation's leaders, including President Bush, his advisers, members of Congress and military leaders.
-- The Iraqi people. Pray that God would protect innocent civilians, that Christians would be protected and experience new freedom to share their faith boldly, and that God would draw large numbers of Iraqis to himself, "so they might not only know freedom from an oppressive government, but the ultimate freedom only Christ can give."
-- Peace in Jerusalem, including prayer that Israel would not be drawn into the conflict, that greater stability in the Middle East would result, and for other nations in the Middle East.
Also being released March 19 is a series of four public service announcements by Reccord that will air on the FamilyNet television network, a NAMB subsidiary.
The spots offer similar suggestions for prayer, as well as other advice on how to minister during the crisis.
Additional prayer resources will be posted later in the week on NAMB's www.namb.net website.
By Albert H. Lee