February 7, 2012
The Phantom Intercessor
Ten Reasons Why Praying for the New North Korean Leader could be the Most Important Thing You'll Do Today
It was announced this morning that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died of a heart attack at the age of 69. North Korea is now forced to enter a period of transition; your prayers can help bring God’s purposes into this change. Pray for N Korea today! The points below explain why this day, and your prayers, are so important.
1. We're talking here about the single most oppressive nation on earth, not least towards Christians. There may be as many as 100,000 believers in prison camps right now existing in what Amnesty International's Asia Director calls 'some of the worst conditions we've seen in 50 years'. Yet with the death of Kim Jong-Il and power passing to his youngest son, the nation's core values just might be in flux. If you care about persecution you'll pray for North Korea!
2. Kim Jong-Un, the new leader, is just 28 years old and a fan of popular music and the NBA so he must be open to other world views. His name literally means 'Righteous Cloud'. Pray that he would live up to this prophetic title.
3. Kim Jong-Un was educated secretly in Switzerland until he was 14 or 15 years old, so he understands the wider world, which is closed off to most of his people. Might gospel seeds not have been sown in his heart and mind at that time? Pray that these would now grow.
4. North Korea is actively developing nuclear technology and undoubtedly poses a threat to the world. We cant ignore N Korea or kid ourselves that they are someone else's problem - this really matters for all of us. Pray for peace and better international relations, especially with South Korea, Japan and China.
5. More than 3 million North Koreans have died since 1994 in famines while the government has refused aid and continued to spend most of its money on military hardware. If you care about justice for the poor, you'll pray for N Korea.
6. Chef to the ruling household, Kenji Fujimoto reports that Kim Jong-Un is most like his father out of the three sons with a ruthless streak and stronger leadership skills than his two older brothers. This means that if we don't pray for change right now, things might stay the same in N Korea or even get worse with a new, young leader anxious to assert his control. Pray for wise counsel.
7. More positively, Kim Jong-Un shows signs of a social conscience. Fujimoto's book describes a time when he asked why it was OK that they could watch basketball, eat great food and even jet ski while other N Koreans starved. Pray that these questions would plague Kim Jong-Un with a growing compassion and determination to change the plight for his people.
8. N Korea is built upon an idolatrous system. The sayings of Kim Jong-Un's grandfather are studied at school and everyone is taught that all good things come from Kim Il-Sung. Children are even taught that Kim Il-Sung causes the flowers to grow. After meals, the children say “Thank you, Great Leader, we ate well.” If you care about the First Commandment, you'll pray for North Korea today!
9. While South Korea has the world's largest churches and 24-7 Prayer rising to God continually from the famous Prayer Mountain, just a few hundred miles away the vast majority of N Korea's 22.5 million people have never heard the gospel of Jesus. Ironically one South Korean said that teaching North Koreans about Christianity would not be hard; we would just have to substitute the word “God” for the word “Kim Il-Sung.”
10. God has done it before in North Korea! In January 1907 the Great Revival of Pyongyang swept through the whole peninsula, especially the north, purifying the church and bringing many to faith. By 1912 there was a church of 300,000 in North Korea. Kim Il-Sung's grandmother was a Christian and revival came powerfully to North Korea again 1945-7. Let's pray that God will intervene in this country once more. Why? For the sake of the millions who are starving while South Korea prospers. For the sake of our persecuted brothers and sisters in prison or banned from gathering in groups of more than eight, listening secretly to FEBA radio broadcasts. For the sake of 22.5 million people, made in the image of the One who bled and died for each one of them, and who have not yet heard the Good News of Immanuel.
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