Over the last few days, I have been following the developing news story in Syria. For those who missed it, there was a horrible massacre in Syria last Friday, which took the lives of over 100 people – 49 which, I believe, were children. I listened to the testimony of a Syrian national who questioned why government forces would do such a thing. With passion, he asked why they felt the need to kill a nine-month old baby – was he carrying a gun or grenade that posed a threat to the larger society.
On my way home last night, I listened to the story of a man who was also killed recently. Bassel Shehadeh was a slain filmmaker, who when given the opportunity to study in America decided to give up his education and return to Syria to be a part of the revolution. He says: ‘I couldn’t be away when the revolution is happening. I needed to come back. You can always study later.’
Since returning to Syria, Shehadeh spent time training other revolutionaries to shoot and edit their own footage of what was taking place. However, when the government started shelling a place an area where he was staying, he did not survive. At his burial which also included the burial of others who were killed during this horrific incident, the people chanted: ‘Heaven open your gates…your students are coming home.’
Hearing this story and the stories of others like it has really disturbed my soul. I am appalled over the fact that in the space of 15 months, this conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people – people who have died senseless deaths that could have been easily prevented. And as the people continue to die, the world watches. But how can we watch comfortably? How can we not be moved by the images we see and the stories we hear and be content with doing nothing?
In my time alone with God tonight, I prayed for my Syrian brothers and sisters. As I did, God brought me to this scripture passage in Psalms 22.24:
This passage brought me some comfort. Emphasis on some. I know that God hears the cries of this people, the mothers, the fathers, the children, day and night. I know that He is not resting comfortably as the people that He created are perishing. Because, you see, the thing about God is that when He hears, He acts. He moves time and will change history just so that He can change the lives of His precious ones.
However, I believe that God wants us to hear their cries too! I believe that He wants us to be affected, I know that He wants our hearts to break over the state of these people who have been betrayed and cast aside by their own government. I believe He wants us to hear so that we can do something, take action and make things happen.
In light of the horrible ordeal this weekend, the world and its political leaders are considering a variety of action steps moving forward. One thing that they have not considered is prayer, and the power that prayer has in charting the course of human history. Although its not on their radar, its on mine! God has laid this burden in my heart to serious pray and intercede for this situation at hand. Will you join me?
Over the next 30 days, I commit to spending time every day praying for God to intervene in Syria. I invite you to pray with me and spread the word so that others can pray along too! You can do that easily by sharing this post via Facebook, Twitter, Email and the old fashion word-of-mouth.