May 5, 2003
Pray for reconstruction of Iraq
___It appears God has answered prayers for a swift conclusion to armed conflict in Iraq. For all practical purposes, it looks as if the war has ended, and the arduous task of rebuilding a nation lies ahead.
___As believers, we have united our hearts in praying for our nation's leaders and our troops in recent weeks. If we have joined together in prayer during the waging of war, can we do any less now when it comes to waging peace?
___We pray for wisdom and courage on the part of our president. We pray for him and for other international leaders as they work to achieve a just peace. America's credibility with the world will grow if we are as determined to help the Iraqi people restore their nation as we were to see the change in regime. How we handle the weight of victory will define what kind of century will stretch before us.
BGCT Executive Board
___The Old Testament prophet Micah expressed the great intention God has for his people: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8) .
___Clearly, the world demonstrated mixed feelings toward the conflict in Iraq. On the one hand, many in the international community hoped America would succeed in disarming Iraq. On the other hand, they have not been sure what would keep America from overreaching and using our power in a unilateral and arrogant manner.
___Everything depends on whether the victory we have prayed for results in humility and a determination to keep our promises to the world, or whether it will lead to a haughty rudeness and disregard for the other nations of the world.
___There are instructive lessons to be learned from noting the difference in the ways the Allies responded to the defeated nations of Europe after World War I and after World War II. If we can work with the people of Iraq using the Marshall Plan as a model, we can perhaps achieve a lasting peace and a new sense of cooperation between the peoples of the Middle East and our land.
___America has been given much. Our people enjoy prosperity, freedom and opportunities that many people of the world cannot even imagine. It is now our responsibility to use well what has been entrusted to us. The words of Scripture echo in our hearts and, hopefully, throughout the land: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded" (Luke 12:48). "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2).
___We know that God hears and answers prayers. I know all our churches and people have been in prayer. Let us not cease to ask God to bless and protect our troops as long as any remain in harm's way and to seek the Lord's guidance for our nation's leaders. Pray God will make us humble and merciful, generous and magnanimous in victory.
___We pray with our Lord, "Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven." And we ask that we might be useful to God in bringing good out of even the ravages of war.
___We, and our enemies, are loved.
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