Friday, February 28, 2020
Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! That is the modern name for what the Bible calls Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word “Mesopotamia” means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name “Iraq” means country with deep roots.
Indeed, Iraq is a country with deep roots and is very significant in the Bible. No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than does Iraq. Here are a few examples: the Garden of Eden was in Iraq; the Tower of Babel was in Iraq; Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq (today it is called Al Nasriya); Isaac’s wife Rebecca was from a town in Iraq; Jacob met Rachel in Iraq; Jonah preached in Nineveh, which is in Iraq (now called Mosul); and so forth.
Eternal God, our Father, Savior, and Lord, blessed be your holy name for ever and ever. I bring to your attention the 40 million people in the Republic of Iraq. They need Jesus. They are lost without him. Open their hearts to receive your love. Fill their minds with your joy and peace. Help them understand the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and realize the enormous cost you paid to bring them from darkness to light.
I pray for the church in Iraq. Help the few remaining Christians who have not already fled the country. In your mercy, remember the church leaders. Their lives are on the line. Many of them have the courage and stamina to stay to take care of the sheep. Protect them. Reward them. Help them win the lost.
In your mercy, remember the rulers and leaders of the country. May the light of Christ shine in their hearts and minds. Grant them grace to give freedom to the Gospel. May Iraq become a leader in the region in bringing Muslims to Jesus.
I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon…. [and] put my sword in his hand (Ezekiel 30:25).