He is Risen!
As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ this Easter, let us pray for the Church of the Middle East and North Africa. Millions remain fearful as acts of terror strike unpredictably in different countries across the region. Recently, over one hundred Christian families hastily fled killings and death threats in North Sinai, Egypt. Yet Jesus overcame the grave and, together, we can be reassured that He is in control.
That is why SAT-7 Producer Andrew Gamal decided to devote a special live episode of Keep on Singing to reassure Christians shaken by the events to pray. What transpired has inspired all who watched.
“We chose this topic because of the recent persecution incidents and the people’s frustration. People are saddened by the injustice done to the Christian families in El-Arish,” Gamal said.
“We felt that we needed to send out a message to the people that we aren’t just singing songs of praise to the Lord but we are also a heavenly church awaiting heaven. We aren’t escaping reality, but we have faith that the Church belongs to heaven. Christians have faith and hope in the hand of God to lift us up in the middle of dire circumstances; in Him we are protected.”
The episode included a beautiful worship video, “Heavenly Church,” that Gamal had recently produced. “Heavenly Church” was a response to the deadly December bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul’s (“Botroseya”) Church in Cairo.
Inspired by Romans 8, it declares that nothing can separate us from God’s love or stop us from passing on His love and forgiveness. For, He overcame the grave so that, through Him, we have hope.
Marian, a member of the Good News team who were guest worship leaders for this episode, prayed:
We pray for those blinded by evil. We pray that Your love binds them in Jesus’ name. I ask for Your love to overwhelm them and show them that You gave yourself on the cross for their sake. You want them, You love them. We pray for Your love to surround them. Come to them…call on them, each by their name because You shed Your blood for them on the cross. Lord, when You were on the cross You forgave those who slapped, hurt and stabbed You with the spear. In the same way, we forgive those who trespass against us because it’s what You taught us. Lord, we ask You to give us seeds of forgiveness in our hearts.
“We have faith that You can do that because You are good. In Jesus’ name, I pray.”
GOD’S WILL SHALL PREVAIL
Among the viewers who called in to the show to pray was a man named Kamel. His words combined a deep sense of God’s compassion with the confidence that God is in control and will not let His people be overcome by this suffering:
“Lord, it’s painful for someone to have to flee their country and leave their home. It is painful to be insulted and have a family member killed. It’s painful to go to a strange place not knowing how one will make a living or when they’ll return home. It’s painful that a close relative could go to church to pray to die and we never get to see them again.
“But You God see everything. You are a powerful God. We know that You are alive and in control. You will not be defeated. You know what You will do and even if You allow evil to roar like a lion, Your will shall prevail.
“Lord, we pray for our sisters and brothers who lost their families in the Botroseya church attack. We pray for the families in El-Arish. We pray that Your word be in their hearts: ‘In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’ Nothing can separate us from Your love, Lord, despite the tribulation, distress and persecution. We pray for strength from You to make us a heavenly church in Jesus name.”
He is Risen.
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