Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) We need to embrace that Word as we consider activities around the world today.
Writers covering the Middle East often refer to the region as the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and indeed some significant civilizations. That very mix explains the constant struggle passionately encountered there.
The current upheaval started February 11, 2011 in Egypt, Because of the relatively controlled overthrow of Hosni Mubarak others were encouraged to follow the lead. Now analysts are calling the growing tensions in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and now Syria as ‘the Arab Spring.’
How should the West respond? What is our role? Should America be harnessed with the responsibility of being the world’s policeman? Right now, even while Libya remains highly active, foreign policy eyes and ears must be turning to events in Syria. According to US Secretary of States Hilary Clinton some of her advisors classified Syrian President Bashar Assad to be ‘a reformer.’ This despite the close Syria-Iran co-operation and the open association Syria maintains with Hizbullah in Lebanon.
Now Assad has ordered the Syrian army onto the streets to curb the growing protests threatening the ruling regime. Protesters were shot or wounded in the clashes by unknown forces firing from roof tops. Clinton was asked about the situation in a recent CBS interview. “Certainly, we deplore the violence in Syria. We call, as we have on all of these governments during this period of the Arab Awakening, as some have called it, to be responding to their people’s needs, not to engage in violence, permit peaceful protests, and begin a process of economic and political reform,” she said.
Clinton described U.S. involvement in Libya as different from the growing crisis in Syria. The CBS host Bob Schieffer pressed that point. He asked, “ But, I mean, how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Assad’s father killed 25,000 people at a lick? I mean, they open fire with live ammunition on these civilians. Why is that different from Libya?”
Mrs Clinton replied: “Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal – but that is not going to happen, because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold.
She went on: “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is deeply concerning, but there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities and then police actions, which, frankly, have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.”
When the Arab Spring uprisings began, Egypt, it was hoped would be the pattern for success. Hosni Mubarak and his Egyptian army chose not to fire on their citizens. But there has been a greater tussle for power after Mubarak stepped down than the earlier confrontation to end his rule.
Now the world is faced with dictatorial, authoritarian bullies who refuse to go without bloodshed. Make no mistake. If there had been no intervention in Libya, Gaddafi would have caused an horrific tragedy.
Assad controls one of the most suppressive nations on earth. He is following in the footsteps of his father. He enjoys the inspirational and substantive support of the Iranians. He has been in lethal partnership with Hizballah in Lebanon and Damascus provides a safe haven for the Hamas leadership. Syria is a terrorist hothouse. It is also closely aligned with Iran.
So far, Iran has not been on the political agenda for President Obama. Although Iran is most certainly directly linked with much of the present Arab Spring stirrings, there seems to be a prominent hands off policy.
How far will the West allow President Assad to go? How far can Iran spread its terrorist agenda? Why is there growing tension between Saudi Arabia and the U.S?
Do we actually have the capacity to contain all the protests, everywhere?
Christians know what to do? When the chips are down, lift Jesus higher.
We have the power of prayer and intercession. We serve the Lord who taught us to pray and we know ‘Nothing is too difficult for Him!’
1) Prepare you hearts for prayer
2) Ask the Lord how He would have you pray?
3) Seek confirmation in His Word. Be encouraged. Pray by faith.
4) Pray for the Church in the nations currently in tension. Pray for their safety. Pray they will have power and authority. Pray they will be a Light to the people.
5) Thank the Lord for His faithfulness in leading you.