It’s been fun opening our hearts to generous giving. Thank you for giving meals for children and families in need. Generous givers are ready to serve, love, forgive, and to speak of whatever things are of good report. (Philippians 4:8) This week, we move from generosity in giving to generosity in praying. Generous giving comes with its own promise; blessing for blessing. We see the results of our gifts – big smiles, full bellies, hopeful families. But generous praying for those we will never meet feels different; that is, until we hear their story.
Open Doors USA introduced me to Dalia, 45, who only recently returned to Iraq after she was forced to flee her home when ISIS invaded in 2014. When she returned home, she felt she needed something to strengthen her faith and restore her self-confidence; and she saw other Christian women around her needed the same thing. “Our bags are always packed, just in case we have to flee for our lives again,” she shares.
Along with some neighbors and her local church, Dalia sprang into action and began setting up women’s discipleship meetings where they learned how to share Christ with the women of their village. (I love this brave sister of action!). Soon they were organizing multiple women’s Bible studies where women now come for prayer and encouragement.
This story grabbed my heart. The thought of me cozy in my home while these women keep their bags packed “just in case” makes me want to say, “Scoot over on the pew. I’m coming in to pray with you.” They do have a large vision going forward; some would say it is an impossible one, But we know with God all things are possible. (Luke 1:37)
We are calling on the women of She Loves Out Loud to come together this week to uphold Dalia and the women’s discipleship groups in this Iraqi village. Through our earnest prayers, we join these in the bold vision God has called them to.
As we pray together online each day of September 26-30, they are being told of our prayers and some will be able to see your quotes, Scriptures or prayers through our Facebook Group page. Oh, how I wish I could see their faces as they meet their new sisters in Christ in this way!
Physical harm, intimidation, poverty, and social outcast surround them, but they know the strength of the joy of the Lord and the power of His love and protection. What a privilege is ours to love these dear sisters!
Hey SLOL! Post a prayer, a word of encouragement, a verse of Scripture once a day for the next 5 days to encourage our neighbors in Iraq. Let this great company of women bring the Good News. (Psalm 68:11 CSB)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!
Keep expecting amazing!
Pray for these women as they pursue their 2020 vision of equipping six more villages to start ministry groups, that they will be faithful to the vision.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9
Pray the joy of the Lord would be Dalia’s and the other leaders’ strength.
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
Thank God for the 150 women—about half of the Christian women in the village—who have attended the Bible studies.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6
Pray for continued growth and success of the 16 women’s ministry groups Open Doors supports through our local ministry partner in Iraq.
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:14-16
Pray that the women participating in the studies become grounded in their faith as they learn who they are in Christ.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
Pray the women would be bold in sharing Christ with others in their villages.
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”