“O Lord, why do you stand so far away?  Why do you hide when I am in trouble?  The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.  Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.  For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.  The wicked are too proud to seek God.  They seem to think that God is dead.  Yet they succeed in everything they do.  They do not see your punishment awaiting them.  They sneer at all their enemies.  They think, ‘Nothing bad will ever happen to us!  We will be free of trouble forever!’ Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and bitterness.  Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.  They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people.  They are always searching for helpless victims.  Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless.  Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets.  Their helpless victims are crushed; they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.  The wicked think, ‘God isn’t watching us! He has closed eyes and won’t even see what we do!’  Arise, O Lord!  Punish the wicked, O God!  Do not ignore the helpless!  Why do the wicked get away with despising God?  They think, ‘God will never call us to account.’  But you see the trouble and grief they cause.  You take note of it and punish them.  The helpless put their trust in you.  You defend the orphans.  Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!  Go after them until the last one is destroyed. The Lord is king forever and ever!  The godless nations will vanish from the land.  Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.  You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.” (Psalm 10)

“O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.  Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.  O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.  Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.  You will destroy those who tell lies.  The Lord detests murderers and deceivers. Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.  Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.  Make your way plain for me to follow.  My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.  Their deepest desire is to destroy others.  Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.  Their tongues are filled with lies.  O God, declare them guilty.  Let them be caught in their own traps.  Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.  Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.  For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.”  (Psalm 5)

“I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.  Save me from my persecutors — rescue me!  If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.” (Psalm 7:1-2)

As news reports, gruesome videos and pictures bombard our eyes and ears of the terrors being meted out against Christians throughout the world and especially in the Middle East, the lie may enter our thoughts and hearts that we are powerless to fight evil on such epic proportions.

Christians are not called to savage barbarism and terror, so we do not fight against wickedness and evil that way.  We do not retaliate.  We do not answer evil with evil.  WE ARE CALLED TO PRAY.  The fight is the Lord’s.  We belong to Him and He is our only hope.  He alone raises up those who will march out to the physical battlefield and defeat the enemies of the Lord.  He alone will deliver His people and serve up proper justice!  He raised up Cyrus The Great this way, naming him through his prophet Isaiah and describing what he would do almost 150 years before Cyrus was even born (Isaiah 45).  That is the power of our Almighty God!

We are given the Psalms so we will know how to praise God, how to thank Him, and how to fight for ourselves and others through prayer to God, asking Him to rise up on our behalf and defend us.

It is not our Father’s will that we would live in fear and terror, robbed of peace and joy and the zeal for life.  It is not our Father’s will that darkness, corruption and death would fill the world, as these things do not glorify His Holy Name.  Life, beauty, freedom, love, peace and joy are the work of God.  Death, corruption, oppression, destruction and terror are the work of Satan.

Let’s take control of our hearts and minds and pray that Satan’s plans and his agents of terror be smashed by our Father in Heaven when He rises to defend His children in a hostile world.  As the world news reports about mass killings, beheadings, displacement and destruction, let us remember we have our own News to present to the world while there’s still time: the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world!

We know that Christian persecution, suffering and martyrdom will increase exponentially in the last days, but we also know how the story ends: every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!  It appears that the clock is speeding up and Satan is doing all he can to eliminate the ones who pray to the Most High God.  As we are slaughtered for the Name of Jesus, let us never stop praying for each other, calling on our Father to rise up and rescue us!  Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have.

When our hearts and minds are clouded with the cares of this world, we can read the Psalms aloud.  They’ve been given to us for this purpose.  They are powerful prayers and we can adopt them as our own.

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