Ramadan attacks reflect need for Christians to pray

ISTANBUL, Turkey (BP) -- Two terror attacks in Turkey during Ramadan have marked the Islamic holy month with violence and chaos.

Terrorists opened fire at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul late Tuesday (June 28) before detonating explosives, killing 43 people and injuring more than 200.

Three weeks earlier, a car bomb tore through a crowded area of Istanbul during the height of morning rush hour, killing 11 people and wounding dozens more.

Almost immediately after the June 7 attack, Turks and others began venting their grief and frustration on Twitter. The hashtag #terörelanetolsun, which means, "may terrorism be cursed," soon racked up more than 70,000 tweets.

Cursing terrorism, however, won't bring people closer to God. No political solution, military intervention or obedience to religious obligations like fasting during Ramadan can bring true spiritual peace.

When headlines of terrorism flash across your screen, pray that God will make Himself known.

The International Mission Board has relayed several ways to pray:

-- Pray for those grieving the loss of beloved family members and friends. Pray for the wounded. Ask the Lord to preserve their lives so they can find life in Christ.

-- Pray that the Lord will grant government officials, politicians and police forces wisdom to respond in the midst of crisis in a way that will not increase tensions and escalate violence.

-- Pray for reconciliation. Pray that Christians will lead the way in demonstrating that peace is possible through unity in Christ.

-- Pray for believers to be bold in sharing the Gospel with family and friends during turbulent times. Ask God to use these terrible situations for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

-- Pray for the local churches that continue to gather faithfully and courageously even in the face of security threats. Pray that they will have the attitude of Christ and their light will shine into their communities.

-- Pray that Christians worldwide won't allow fear of terrorism to inhibit them from loving across cultures and traveling to share the Gospel. Pray that God will give the global church a spirit of boldness and an unshakeable faith that He is with those who are obedient and faithful to take the good news to all peoples.

Resources:

-- Istanbul Prayer Guide: http://imbresources.org/index.cfm/product/detail/prodID/4437

-- Turkey Cities Prayer Guide: http://imbresources.org/index.cfm/product/detail/prodID/4100

-- Turkey prayer bookmark: http://imbresources.org/index.cfm/product/detail/prodID/4651

Reported by IMB staff.
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