Arrests in London of doctors and others charged with terrorist activities stress again the ever present dangers of our time. No matter how long it has been since the 911 tragedy, we're periodically reminded that those who planned those barbarous acts haven't given up their design for the destruction and dominance of those who love freedom.
Have there ever been so many things to terrorize us?
Yes, and then some.
Following the Cuban missile crisis of the early sixties, President Kennedy, sensing the growing menace of nuclear weapons in the world, warned that each day was drawing us nearer to the hour of maximum danger.
We lived through the cold war, sleeping, waking and going about our daily tasks zeroed into the missile sights of a powerful enemy bent on our destruction. The six nuclear powers of that dangerous era possessed firepower equal to five tons of TNT for every man, woman and child on earth.
Terrifying? I guess!
Yet, here we are alive and free nearly a half century later.
What spared us from destruction?
I suspect an important part of our survival has been the result of church groups and individuals calling out to God for His protection.
Immediately following the toppling of the twin towers and the other tragedies of that terrible day, churches were crowded with praying people. Many of these prayer meetings were the spontaneous reactions of those who recognized the seriousness of the situation and others were meeting in response to the President's call for a day of prayer.
When the Commander in Chief made calling up the prayer force a priority, he was following the advice given to King Solomon: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14). Interestingly, President Reagan laid his hand on this Bible verse at both of his inaugurations.
A letter on my desk is dated 29, Jan., 91 and was written from the Saudi border where Major Louis Best was waiting for orders to lead his men north into Iraq after the air force had done its job. I have never met Major Best but he had been reading my column in a newspaper sent weekly from his home. In his letter, he told of coming to an encounter with God while fighting a forest fire in the state of Washington that brought him to faith in Christ and changed his life. Now he was writing to ask for prayer for himself and all involved in the first Gulf War; the one that ended quickly and with few allied casualties.
Prayer knows no national boundaries or limitations and prevails when all else fails.
We must recapture the passion for prayer that followed 911 and enlist it to topple terrorism. Political and military solutions may be coming up short because we've traded prayer for politics. It's time to call up the prayer force again.
Prayer conquers every wrong it sees.
Let's start fighting terrorism on our knees.
Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and been published in major Christian magazines. He was a pastor for 22 years and been a guest speaker in Alaska churches.
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