As 2015 dawns, it is an opportunity, not only to reflect on the issues that have dominated the headlines over the last year, but also to give thanks for prayers answered and to acknowledge that, despite everything we see to the contrary, our God still reigns over this earth.
Looking back over the 2015, we see a world that needs our prayers and intercessions now, more than ever.
This year saw the largest numbers of refugees and displaced people since World war 2, with unprecedented numbers trying to reach Europe alone.
This has, in turn, caused huge debate amongst politicians, leaders and churches as to how best to cope with the numbers of people arriving on their doorstep each day – a debate that is still going on today, even as the numbers waiting in refugee camps continues to grow.
The year also saw ground breaking elections in Myanmar, giving hope to Christians in that country of a better future to come. And it saw pressure mounting against Christians in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and, of course, the ongoing rampage of ISIL against Christians in Iraq and Syria.
However, in the midst of the deep darkness of oppression and persecution, there were also sparks of light and hope, as news filtered through of incredible Church growth in China, of Christians holding on and ministering to their communities in Iraq, of large numbers of Muslims in refugee camps coming to know Christ and multiple stories of God moving through His people to touch the hearts and lives of communities around the world.
“Our God is in His heavens and he will not be moved.” So wrote the Psalmist, and it holds true today. We can look at the world around us and wring our hands in despair, or we can look and see the points of light still flickering in the midst of the darkness, and believe that Our God reigns, and “one day every knee will bow before His throne and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Let us join together today, with a thankful heart for the year that has been, and with hope for the year ahead, knowing that our prayers for this world are not in vain.
James 5 vs 16: “ The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.“