Friday, 01 July 2016 08:53

Prayer...A Powerful Weapon

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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In Ephesians 6: 10-12, we can read this exhortation: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NKJV)


Kenneth Bae is a missionary who was born in South Korea, but had located in Washington. He had run a tourist company taking trips to North Korea - many of which were Christian-based, according to a piece on the website.  Until November 2012, over a dozen of those trips had been made without an issue.  But, at that time during a tour, Bae was taken into custody and was accused of attempting to overthrow the government.  He was arrested not far from the city of Yanji, where some Christian groups provide aid to North Korean refugees.


The story relates that Bae was sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor in North Korea, and served in a labor camp for two years before ultimately being freed.  He is now speaking out about his experience and how his missionary work was deemed a “threat” to the atheist government.


The story says that recently he told CBS News, “They (the prosecutors) said, ‘You attempted to overthrow the government through prayer and worship and they really took prayer as a weapon against them.”


Bae said that what had caused him to get in trouble was a computer hard drive in his possession that contained prayers to God, as well as photographs of impoverished North Korean children.  He was accused by officials of being a spy and he was placed on trial.


The missionary is quoted as saying, “One of the prosecutors told me that I was the worst, most dangerous American criminal they had ever apprehended since the Korean War.” He continued, “I said, ‘Why?’ and they said, ‘Because not only [did you come] to do mission work on your own, you asked others to join.’”


Bae spent 735 days in prison before being pardoned by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The story states:


But Bae took his difficulties in stride and told CNN on Monday that he spent his days “depending on God and pretty much living day to day—just one day at a time.” He trusted that God would be his rescuer, and held onto the promises of Scripture.


“I [would look] in the mirror in the bathroom every day, and say, ‘Remember, you are a missionary. This is what you are here for,’” Bae also told CBS, referring to his mission to share Christ with the lost. “I took it more as a blessing, rather than a curse or suffering.”


What an amazing story, and a testimony to the perseverance of this one man, who did not become discouraged during captivity, but saw his time in prison as an opportunity for God to use him to share Christ.  


I think that one takeaway of this story deals with that attitude that Bae displayed, as he looked in the mirror and saw his mission.  Each day, we can consider that God has a purpose for us that day, to use us for His glory.  We can be inspired to view each day as a gift, and recognize that we are called daily to lay down our lives and follow Him, allowing the life of Christ to flow through us, motivating us to live for His glory.


We can know that God gives us not only the capacity to do His will, but we can recognize that He has given us tools to fulfill His will.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to give us power and direction.  He has also given us prayer.  Remember what Kenneth Bae said:the North Korea government regarded prayer as a weapon; they accused Bae of using prayer and worship to overthrow their government.  


Think about that for a moment.  These officials were threatened by Kenneth’s faith and they possessed an attitude about prayer that might even be helpful for us to consider. In a strong sense, these presumably godless government representatives acknowledged the power of prayer and worship.  They admitted that they saw prayer as a weapon.


I think of the passage in 2nd Corinthians 10, which says that our weapons, weapons of spiritual warfare, are not carnal, or of the flesh or human strength, but they are mighty to pull down strongholds. But, we have access to the armor of God and the resources of heaven.  We can engage in spiritual warfare through the power of prayer, in the name of Jesus.



Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2016 08:58
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