Prayer and Action for Iraq

Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq invites you to join us in a day of prayer and action. Every Tuesday until Easter we will have a focused day of prayer and a subsequent action. Our time of prayer will be at 1400GMT and the action taking place between Tuesday and Thursday. Please consider posting any messages related to these prayers and actions on this site so that we may all encourage each other’s spiritual growth. Please refer to the main website, cpt.org, for more on our organization.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Using the Whole Armor of God

IF YOU ARE SO LED PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FAITH COMMUNITIES AND YOUR EMAIL LISTS

An Invitation to Prayer
The Christian Peacemaker Team in Baghdad, Iraq invites you to join with us every Tuesday for a day of prayer, fasting and action that will continue until Easter week. Participate as you are led either by fasting (the team will do a bread and water fast) and/or participating with us in a time of joint prayer. At 9AM Eastern Standard Time (1400GMT) on Tuesdays the team will gather for an hour of focused prayer. You are invited to join with us for the entire hour or for as much time as you can. Please also note the Action Steps connected with the week’s sacred passage that is the focus for the prayer time. If you are so led, the CPT Iraq team asks that you take the suggested action between Tuesday and Thursday so that we can be working together.

Website for posting now available: CPT in Iraq has begun a web log found at http://prayerandactionforiraq.blogspot.com. We encourage you to post any insights that may have come to your during your times of prayer and action, so that we may encourage each other’s spiritual growth.

To post a comment on our web log, follow these steps:
1) Scroll down to the bottom of the posting you wish to comment on.
2) Click on the place that shows the number of comments made on the posting.
3) Scroll to the bottom of that page and click where is says, “Post a comment.”

February 22, 2005, Day of Prayer and Fasting: Using the Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6: 10-18a: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. NRSV

In the War on Terror, our world governments claim that they can root out evil with overpowering force. Even though this had been the way people and nations have attempted to deal with their enemy throughout history, it has never brought true peace. Violence has only continued the cycle of violence and desire for revenge, and caused great suffering in the world.

Inherent in the description of the armor of God is the understanding that the struggle against evil is not against flesh and blood (particular persons or regimes), but against whole systems of domination and against evil cosmic forces. If this is true, using the same weapons as these forces puts us in the same camp as them and only strengthens and spreads these systems. The only way of breaking the cycles of violence is by using spiritual weapons, such as the power of the truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, steadfastness, prayer, and proclaiming the gospel of peace.

This armor of God has never been more relevant and needed than in today’s struggles against evil. Followers of Jesus must not shrink back from proclaiming the way of Jesus boldly in our words and in our actions, and unleash the power of God.

Action Suggestions:

In prayer, seek these spiritual weapons for your work for justice and peace. Make them a part of your way of dealing with conflicts on all levels, and experience their power.
Start with other followers of Jesus, your family and friends, your home fellowship to study and affirm Jesus’ way, clarifying that this way does not rely on the weapons of violence, as some popular preaches suggest.
Visit other congregations and dialogue with leaders and members about the way of nonviolent suffering love.
Invite your congregation to join “Every Church a Peace Church.” Contact John Stoner at jstoner@ecapc
Proclaim this powerful way in public witness actions calling for different ways to deal with terrorism or world conflict. Find ways of using the weapons of the Spirit to confront the systems of domination.
Examples: a. Street dramatizations of the truth about a devastated
Fallujah.
b. Pray-ins inside or outside offices where decisions about
spending money for war are made or carried out,
weapons facilities.

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