A Prayer for Muslims

Another election wrapped up, another terrorist plot averted. While I’m not suggesting this week’s two biggest headlines have any connection, have you ever wondered how proactive God is in the life of our civilization? He probably doesn’t keep an electoral scorecard of favorite politicians, and he certainly isn’t the author of evil conspiracies. Nevertheless, could it be that he is personally, actively very much engaged in what goes on around this planet? Let me explain.

I find particular comfort in a dusty line from the ancient prophet Daniel: “[God] changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21, 22). The New Living Translation renders that line, “He determines the course of world events.” Does that mean God works through the electoral processes of a democracy to put individuals into leadership/office who are sympathetic to his own agenda for humanity? He certainly did that with Nebuchadnezzar, the despot of Babylon who became a defender of the true God through the influence of Daniel.

History has repeatedly shown that all it takes is one receptive leader, open to the intervening Spirit of God, to protect God’s “defenseless” community of faith and thus advance the divine agenda and mission on earth.

But averting terrorist plots? Consider Daniel’s further depiction of our proactive God: “He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22). Do you realize what might have happened had the “underwear bomber” last Christmas and the two cargo plane package bombs discovered this week (both plots linked to the same Islamic terrorist organization) successfully detonated? With no immediate or obvious clue for the explosion(s), air travel as we know it would certainly have been instantly halted—impacting international commerce, exchange, finances, economics, politics in ways we cannot now fathom. And we can only imagine the deleterious effects on the growth of God’s kingdom on earth.

But the evil that is plotted in darkness is seen and known to the God who is light. “He determines the course of world events.” Which is why I pray two prayers when I read of averted terror—#1, thanks be to God, who has once again prevented the closing of a global door to the advance of his everlasting gospel on earth; and #2, God be merciful to his 1.4 billion Muslim children and protect them from the raging backlash that would diminish their openness to the truth about His character.

A century ago Ellen White observed: “In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will” (Education 173). Elections and terrorist plots included? But of course. Which is why he is God. And why we can be very grateful.