RICHMOND, Va. – Mission prayer strategist Randy Sprinkle asks Christians to follow in Jesus example by "pray[ing] like we've never prayed before for those who hate us" Such calls for prayer and courage have appeared more frequently since the recent attacks against American Missionaries out on the international missions fields.
In the most recent attack, three missionaries died suffered a terrorist bombing outside an airport terminal in Davao City, March 4. Veteran missionary Bill Hyde, 59, were among the 21 killed in the attack; Mark and Barbara Stevens and their family members were among the injured.
Referring to this, and other attacks, Sprinkle noted some of the last words Jesus.
"Jesus told the disciples in the upper room right before he left for Calvary: 'In this world you have tribulation....' It's not that we may, that we might, in some countries but not here. In this world as his followers we will have tribulation. But then he says, 'Take courage. I've overcome the world,’” said Sprinkle.
He contrasted the last words of Jesus to the first words he gave to his disciples
"The first recorded words [of Jesus] to the disciples are still the cornerstone words to every one of us today: 'Follow Me,'" said Sprinkle.
He then drew a parallel between the lives of the disciples to the life of Bill Hyde.
"It's difficult for us to face the reality of this, but Bill was there because he had been obedient to those very words. Jesus said, 'Bill, you follow me,' and he said, 'I will.' And he's continued to follow for 25 years, reflecting and pouring out the love of Jesus for the Filipinos.
"[My] flesh weeps when suddenly in a violent moment that life is snuffed out. But the Spirit causes us to see through the tears that our dear brother Bill moved ... by the blood of Jesus into the glorious presence of his Savior."
Sprinkler stressed the necessity of courage during this time where terrorism, threats and violence against believers are increasing. There is a rising “spiritual struggle of the forces of darkness” against the gospel, asserted Sprinkler. However, he encouraged churches not to retreat in the face of such tribulations.
"What I want to see the church do is not shrink back, but stand up and be who we are, that those who do not know the love of God could hear it and see it," Sprinkle said. "What the Lord Jesus wants us to do as his church in this day is to pray -- like we've never prayed before -- for those who hate us and curse us and use us, and out of our praying to respond by obeying like never before."
By Pauline J.