Reading Time: 6 min

Weekly Prayer Posts from Thailand

Contending for the Land

February 11, 2021

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

It is becoming increasingly evident that our world is in deep trouble. Crisis after crisis is crashing in on us with no end in sight. And yet, what is most alarming is that none of this seems to be bothering us much. We may attribute this to our ability to adapt to our changing circumstances — the “new normal” idea. After all, we human beings are quite resilient. But could this nonchalant attitude of ours be attributed to something more disturbing about us — something more unsettling? Could it be that we as a species have become so callous that we have become oblivious to the great unraveling that is taking place right before our eyes?

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Ezekiel 22:30

This passage from Ezekiel is truly amazing! How is it that the land has suddenly become liable to destruction for no fault of its own? What did the land do to anyone to deserve God’s wrath? Look into any period in history and you will find that it is us — we “human beings” who have repeatedly provoked God to anger! If anything, the earth has always been the innocent bystander that ends up suffering on account of the people who live on it. In fact, God has been known to call on heaven and earth to serve as reliable witnesses against us — to provide trustworthy testimony concerning our conduct before God.

“After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.”
Deuteronomy 4:25-26

It is abundantly clear that “we” are the ones who deserve to be destroyed — not the heavens, nor the earth! We are the ones who have chosen to turn our backs on a loving
February 11, 2021
God by deliberately disobeying every instruction that He has given us for our own good.

“But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Deuteronomy 30:16-20

In light of all this — it is astonishing that the earth hasn’t opened its mouth to swallow us whole! It has been known to do that you know — to swallow people. We can count ourselves fortunate that the earth is not doing that anymore. The sheer evil that we see being paraded before us day after day surely calls for some sort of response. We may be kidding ourselves if we think we are not liable to judgment — after heaping abuse upon abuse on one another — not to mention the abuse we have piled upon the earth as well.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”… As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”
Numbers 16:23-24, 31-34

It is time to get serious about our responsibility to contend for the land, and for everyone who calls this planet home — this includes caring for all other life forms as well. We not only have the responsibility for caring for our world — we have been given the ability to bring about true and lasting good! We can do this by doing our level best to fill up any gaps in the wall that have come about to separate us. The wall we are being called to build isn’t a wall that is meant to divide us — it is a platform designed to extend our vision! God wants us to come up higher — so that we can be able to see things from His perspective.

We have been called to build up — We have not been called to tear down.

Joni & Nangsar

🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏

  • Let’s continue to pray over the chaos that is unfolding in Burma.
    • The people of Burma truly deserve a better government. Let’s pray that a way will be found to deescalate the tension that has broken out between the military and the people.
  • Pray for the church leaders who are providing care for their people.
    • The churches have been caught in the middle of the unfolding struggles. Many churches have members who are in both camps — some by virtue of having relatives in the military, and some by virtue of having relatives who are in the party that won the recent election. Church leaders are having to walk on the razor’s edge as they try to navigate this new situation. They know that they have the responsibility to genuinely care for each of their members.
  • Pray for all those who have been arrested in the course of this upheaval.
    • Many communities have members who have been rounded up by the authorities. Some have not been seen since their arrest. Many who participated in the mass demonstrations are now fearful for what may happen to them. Many have had to go in hiding. Midnight knocks on doors are becoming increasingly regular. Citizens are required to report any and all visitors — especially anyone staying overnight.
    • A speedy breakthrough is needed — answered prayer truly is our only hope!