On Friday, November 13th, spectators watched the lively soccer game between France and Germany when suddenly, the sound of a nearby explosion rocked the stadium. The President of France was quickly evacuated and chaos broke loose. What they did not know was that at the same time, similar explosions had occurred all over the city at restaurants and a major concert hall.
These suicide bombers and gunmen took the life of at least 129 people (with the death toll continuing to rise) and injured hundreds more. Although France temporarily closed its borders and officials are continuing investigations into the attacks, the country is in mourning and the world is mourning with her.
Members of ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing their earlier announcement that they would use the flood of Syrian refugees pouring into Europe to infiltrate the Western world. BBC correspondents in Libya and Iraq have confirmed that members of ISIS have been celebrating of the mass murders in Paris. Although officials say they cannot confirm the source of the attacks, it seems that ISIS may have succeeded in their plan.
If they can reach Paris, where will they go next?
The attacks on Paris follow a similar attack in Beirut, Lebanon that left 37 people dead and over 181 people injured on Thursday, November 12th. On Friday a suicide bomber attacked a wedding in Baghdad, and the city was attacked again with a series of explosions on Sunday, causing the weekend’s death toll to continue to rise. ISIS has claimed responsibility for each of these.
The biggest impact of the attacks on Paris will be seen in regards to the current refugee crisis. Since Russia’s involvement in Syria, the amount of Syrian nationals seeking asylum in Europe have grown. Countries across Europe were slated to take a certain number of refugees, but the events of the weekend might have changed that.
Poland had agreed to allow 4,500 Syrian refuges into the country, but now the incoming Polish Minister for European Affairs has announced that they “will accept refugees only if we have security guarantees.” Other European countries have begun to denounce Germany’s warm welcome of refugees, calling it “too naïve and too idealistic.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be forced to close German borders, an act that will be felt across the Western Balkans as the refugees find themselves with no place to go.
The fact of the matter is, the attacks on Paris have changed how the world looks at ISIS. While attacks were initially centered in the Middle East, they have now reached a little bit closer to home. Matthew 24:6 says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” We believe that what the Bible says is true and that means that recent events show we are headed towards the End-Times. With all of the chaos and the uncertainty, maybe you are wondering, “What can I do?” or “How will this affect me?”
It is our responsibility to pray for the world. Will you join the World Prophetic Ministry team in a week of prayer, dedicated to recent events? We know that although time may seem dark, God is in control.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
PRAY for the families and friends of those who were affected by the attacks in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut, and the places that have not made their way to the news. ISIS has left pain and suffering in its wake everywhere it has gone. PRAY that the Lord will be close to the broken hearted and that through this time, they will experience His peace and come to trust Him as Lord and Savior.
“For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.”
PRAY for the wisdom and discernment over the governments and world leaders as they are burdened to protect their people from ISIS. PRAY that in these times of trouble, they will seek the Lord and will be filled with knowledge. His ways are higher than ours.
“My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.”
-2 Samuel 22:3
PRAY for the refugees and the people of Syria. They have already suffered so greatly. PRAY that the Lord would be near to the displaced and that they would find their rest in Him. PRAY for those who are making decisions on how to address the refugee crisis. PRAY for wisdom to be stronger than their fear.
“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord…”
PRAY for the countries that are still reeling from the attacks. PRAY for those who are grieving and full of fear. PRAY for the countries as they begin a period of restoration and begin to rebuild their cities and their people. PRAY that the Lord would be their comfort and their peace, for He is a Strongtower.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
PRAY for the members of ISIS. It is hard to pray for our enemies and for those who have caused so much pain, but PRAY that God will infiltrate their hearts and minds and the tide of suffering will begin to turn.
“…So that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
-1 Corinthians 12:25-26
PRAY for the Church worldwide as we struggle with how to respond to such great tragedy. PRAY for wisdom and compassion and the strength to care for the hurting and oppressed even when it is not easy.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
PRAY that the world will be ready for Christ’s return. With so much going on around the world, it is pretty easy to believe that we are headed towards the End-Times. Ask that the Lord would give us wisdom for the times we are in right now.
The Bible is full of prophecies about the End-Times, and all of them point to a single truth: God has a plan and we do not have to be afraid. We encourage you to join us in prayers for Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad and the rest of the world this week!