As the UK woke up to the awful news of a terror attack on our own doorstep, we are reminded again of the war zone that our whole world has turned into as extremists export their brand of terror across the globe.
Unfortunately, we know how many will respond.
The terrorists’ aim is to produce fear, and the natural reaction is to respond with outrage. Far right groups such as Britain First and English Defence League have already been spreading their trademark anger and vengeance on social media. In their eyes, it’s not only the extremists but all Muslims that are the enemy.
This is the instinctive, easy response. This is a response that comes from a place of fear rather than a place of love.
As Christians however, we need to remind ourselves of the words of Ephesians 6:12:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. It’s not ultimately against physical people (however many bombs, guns or knives they wield). Our struggle is against “the spiritual forces of evil” and the “powers of this dark world” that drive the terrorists and the ideology they represent.
That’s why our prayers are needed just as much as our actions. We give thanks for the response of the emergency services, and all those offering practical help to those who have been caught up in the carnage. But we also need to pray.
Ephesians 6 goes on to urge believers to: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests”.
When we pray in the Spirit we join in a cosmic spiritual battle that is raging in unseen realms
Christians are people who have access not only to the natural resources our world offers, but the supernatural resource of the Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit we join in a cosmic spiritual battle that is raging in unseen realms.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
This is our message. We know that in the end this battle will not be won by increasing security or making arrests (important as those are). This battle will be won when people hearts are changed from fear to love. The hearts of both terrorists and the public.
Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
So let’s pray, and let’s join with the forces of heaven to cast out fear and see love win.