Monuments & Moments – Day 9 – The Road to Damascus

Gaining Perspective

This was the only day I was nervous on the trip. We stood on a dormant volcanic hill looking over Syria. Just over the border was a civil war that has been raging for six years, and we were told there was a possibility we could hear shots and bombs from the fighting. We looked over into territory controlled by extreme military groups: Hezbollah, who is not currently fighting with Israel as they focus their fighting power on ISIS, and ISIS, a more extreme military group who is killing anyone else who is not in their party. As we were in the area, we heard a large blast from the border, and were told that it was most likely a drone that Israel shot down.

From the top of the hill, we could see a road sign that said “Damascus (Capital of Syria), 60 kilometers.”

Road Sign to Damascus on an Israeli Bunker

A Flower Growing Near a Bunker Overlooking Syria

Road Sign to Damascus

When I think about ISIS, I think, “Let’s go destroy them off of the face of the earth.” They are murdering innocent men and woman of all faiths. They pledged their allegiance to Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for taking down the Twin Towers and killing 2977 people on September 11, 2001. Honestly, I’ve never thought to pray for them a single time until… Until I was standing on that hill looking at the road to Damascus.

There was man named Saul who went around Israel murdering, arresting, and torturing Christians. He stood at the death of Stephen (who was martyred for his faith in Christ) and he approved (Acts 22:20). He was a radical extremest who was murdering Christians, no different than ISIS orAl-Qaeda. He was a terrorist. A terrorist who had a radical experience with God on the road to Damascus.

"Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' And he said, 'Who are You, Lord?' Then the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' So he, trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what do You want me to do?' Then the Lord said to him, 'Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.'” Acts 9:1-6 NKJV

Saul, the terrorist, was transformed into a follower of Christ, had his name changed to Paul, and wrote more books in the Bible than anyone else. When you think about this, it’s time to pray for these terrorists to have a “Road to Damascus” life-changing experience. What would happen if ISIS leaders started seeing Jesus as they traveled through Syria? I can’t wait to hear testimonies of this. At the end of our trip to the Syrian border, we prayed for ISIS to have a moment with God.

Prayer:

(Prayer Template from Day 5: Worship, Confess, Listen, Declare)

Lord, we pray for ISIS members, that they would have radical experiences with You. We pray for the innocent people of Syria to be protected, and that they would come to know You. We pray for the governments involved,  that they would make God-honoring decisions. We pray that the 6 million Syrians driven from their homes in Syria would come to know You, and that the 5 million Syrians who have fled Syria would find You, Jesus. God, if there is anything we can do, show us.

Bottom Line:

Syria is in need of our daily intercession and prayers.

 
 

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