Praying for the captor. And now... FREEDOM. I'd forgotten about this, but I distinctly remember laying on that stuffy twin bed in the hotel in Korosten praying and crying and reading the Bible, flipping pages and reading aloud and Michael saying I wasn't making sense then jotting down notes... Mike eventually did make sense of me :)
Before going to bed I began to consider a name for our future children. The name we had for Sasha was Aleksa Faith. It is by faith that we stepped out to find her. The name for our son, unknown to us(but this would be Misha), was Dylan Jeremiah. Today we learned our new son’s nickname is Simon. We have decided that Simon will be his middle name as we have named each of our children with a strong Biblical middle name. For our girl, since it was Faith that brought us to Sasha, seemed appropriate to have the middle name of Hope. So I looked through my Bible's concordance for Hope. What is a verse to cling to for our little girl? Immediately the verse we know so well stood out to me. Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” How fitting.
Our little girl will not have a future without being adopted. But the lord has plans for her. Plans to give her hope and a future. Plans to prosper her and not to harm her. Plans to give her a family and love. And how neat that it stood out to me because of the name Jeremiah that precedes it (the name we intended for Misha's middle name).
That’s not all though. That’s just in the concordance. When I turned to Jeremiah 29 I began at the beginning of the letter. It was written by the prophet Jeremiah and “sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets, and all other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.” It carries the words that the Lord has sent to the exiles. In verse seven it says something unusual though. “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” In my study notes it says this “An unprecedented and unique concept in the ancient world; working toward and praying for the prosperity of one’s captors.”
It goes on in verse 10 to say that at the prescribed time He will come and fulfill His promise and bring them back. Then verse 11, plans to prosper, to give hope, to give a future. In verse 13 and 14 it says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
He will collect his children. He has a plan for them. And a plan for their captors as well…In the end of verse 21, speaking of those who have spoken lies in His name, it says “I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will put them to death before your very eyes.” Those that created stumbling blocks will be dealt with.
Thank you, God for teaching us to pray for the captors. Pray for those who persecute. Pray for the captors. Pray not just for a change in their heart, but for their prosperity. Because if they have peace and prosperity so will the captive.
I don’t know about you, but I never thought to pray prosperity on the ‘captor’ of Sasha’s orphanage. I didn’t think to pray peace. But it is true… if he has peace and prosperity, so then will Sasha. And in an economy where the need for money is a drive for so many inappropriate actions and decisions, prosperity may be just what some people need in order to be okay allowing change.Tonight I ask you to pray for peace and prosperity on the director of Sasha’s orphanage.