Leading Up to U.S.-North Korea Summit, Open Doors Calls for 24-Hour Prayer, Fasting on June 11

June 6, 2018 by Lindy Lowry in , ,

As the U.S.-North Korea Summit approaches on June 12, Open Doors is calling Christians to 24 hours of prayer and fasting on June 11 in advance of the historic meeting. We are calling all American Christians to join God in what He is doing in North Korea and around the globe–through fervent prayer for Presidents Trump and Kim Jong-un, their time together and the underground church of North Korea, 300,000 Christians strong.

As people of prayer, we want to lean on God’s Word and claim His promises. Open Doors Founder Brother Andrew reminds us that our prayers “can go where we cannot … there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.” And 19th-century minister Samuel Chadwick writes that prayer is our greatest weapon: “Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”

Biblical promises about prayer and fasting:

  • “Then Jesus told his disciples … that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1, NIV);
  •  “… if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23, NASB);
  • “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV).

Scripture also tells us to fast, noting several instances where fasting is an important part of the prayer process, especially as we pray and intercede in spiritually stubborn situations. Matthew’s Gospel shares Jesus’ words about the power of faith, prayer and fasting to His disciples:

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it [demon] out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. [But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]’” (Matthew 17:19-21, NASB).

Praying and Fasting for a Country Ruled by Isolation and Fear

For the last 17 consecutive years, North Korea has ranked as the #1 most dangerous country for Christians on the World Watch List. The country has become infamously known for its human rights violations of North Koreans and harsh treatment of North Korean Christians.

In the East Asian country, the Kim regime uses isolation and fear to rule the country–keeping the 25.4 million people living there uninformed and immersed in propaganda. North Koreans must worship the ruling family–nothing else–and Christianity is illegal and will be punished. The discovery of faith results in imprisonment in the country’s notorious prison camps and even death for not only the individual or family but also three generations of that family.

Below, we offer 15 powerful, informed and specific prayers of petition that we, as the Body of Christ, can bring to God—interceding for and standing with our North Korean brothers and sisters in Christ both before and during the Summit.

15 Important, Informed Prayers for U.S.-North Korea Summit

  • Pray that President Trump and Kim Jong-un’s historic meeting on June 12 will be the first in a series of actions that sets Korea on a new course of religious freedom.
  • Pray that Kim will be convinced to release the more than 50,000-plus Christians unjustly held in detention centers and prison camps throughout the country.
  • Pray that Kim will loosen age-old requirements that residents attend indoctrination classes and display and bow to Kim family portraits.
  • Pray that Kim will lift information embargoes and allow his people greater access to radio shows, TV programs, and websites.
  • Pray that Kim will allow for the creation of new churches where North Koreans can freely worship outside of the one “show church” that currently exists.
  • Pray that existing believers within North Korea would take courage to lead a new revival of the Christian faith in North Korea.
  • Pray that the underground church In North Korea would grow in boldness and be ready for widespread evangelism efforts when the opportunity arises.
  • Pray that extended families who have been separated across North and South Korea may be reunited.
  • Pray that organizations like Open Doors will be allowed access to provide Christian training and resources to believers in North Korea.
  • Pray that other relief and aid organizations would gain entrance to provide relief aid, trauma care, and other needed services.
  • Pray that North Korea’s economic and social infrastructure will find reform—that children will no longer be forced into labor, that preschoolers will no longer be indoctrinated, that roadways will be made safe.
  • Pray that North Korea’s food supply would be enriched through education and increased trade, so that the 2 in 5 who are currently undernourished will be provided with adequate nutrition.
  • Pray that God will give North Korean people wisdom to sift through the many nationalistic and mythical storylines and propaganda they have been fed throughout their lives.
  • Pray that parents will ultimately be able to freely share their faith with their children and raise them to know Jesus.
  • Pray that U.S. and other world leaders would put in place the right sanctions, pressures, encouragements and opportunities to restore peace and well-being for North Koreans and their neighbors.

Join Us June 11 for Online Prayer Summit

We would also like to invite you to join an exclusive online Prayer Summit for North Korea on Monday evening, where Christians around the world can gather to pray for this landmark meeting as the Trump/Kim meetings are kicking off.

During the online Prayer Summit, an Open Doors expert will share why North Korea is one of the most difficult regions in the world to be a Christian.

It is our hope that God will use this meeting between two world leaders to pave the way for a new era of religious freedom in their country.

Click here to register for the Prayer Summit for North Korea. You’ll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining this free online prayer summit.

The prayer summit will take place on Monday, June 11th at: 

6pm Pacific
7pm Mountain
8pm Central
9pm Eastern

We urge you right now to note June 11 on your calendar and then come together with millions of Christians around the world as we stay alert, lifting hearts and voices–praying for God’s unseen hand to move.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Eph. 6:18).

#pray4NK

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Blind chance? An Unexpected Aurora over Norway

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
An Unexpected Aurora over Norway

Image Credit & Copyright: Tommy Richardsen

Explanation: Sometimes the sky lights up unexpectedly. A trip to northern Norway to photograph auroras was not going as well as hoped. It was now past midnight in Steinsvik, Troms, in northern Norway, and the date was 2014 February 8. Despite recent activity on the Sun, the skies were disappointing. Therefore, the astrophotographer began packing up to go. His brother began searching for a missing lens cap when the sky suddenly exploded with spectacular aurora. Reacting quickly, a sequence detailing dramatic green curtains was captured, with the bright Moon near the image center, and the lens-cap seeking brother on the far right. The auroral flare lasted only a few minutes, but the memory of this event, the photographer speculates, will last much longer.

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To the Jews first–

If you are Jewish, you probably aren’t reading a blog about Jesus. But if you are–

Jesus is your Messiah. He came to you first.

We gentiles are only helping ourselves to the crumbs which fall from your Master’s table.  We lucked out because you didn’t recognize him the first time. That’s not meant as an accusation, just a fact. We benefited from your rejecting him. We were added.

But when he comes again, you will recognize him, you will receive him–and we will all be one family.

 

NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS: Please see corrected version of yesterday’s post, The Color of Friendship.

 

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The Color of Friendship (corrected)

NOTE: I am re-posting this to correct facts in paragraph 16 (the Andersons moving to Yellow Springs), and to include links to Dr. Anderson’s biography Playing on All the Keys (by Joan Horn) and his obituary in the Washington Post.  I also include a link to my own book containing this essay–and corrected the title, which I’d gotten backwards!

 

It wasn’t until my first husband and I sold the house in Long Beach in which we had lived for ten years that some of our friends showed us their true colors. Neighbors who had shared recipes with us, given us tips on gardening, exchanged anecdotes about parenting, now warned us not to hurt their property values.  Suddenly there was a gulf between us. I was angry—and disappointed to realize we hadn’t known them as well as we’d thought.

My parents went through the same thing before I was born. Dad had gone all the way through medical school at the University of Chicago with a close friend named Walden. Years later, he and Mum visited Walden in Visalia, California, and reminisced about old times.

They were both interested in writing. Dad told Walden that Jose Ferrar had taken him to his place in upstate New York so they could work on Dad’s play Bite the Dust. He told him Ferrar had signed a contract promising to produce it and was paying him $100 per month as a retainer while he was out in Hollywood. Walden was impressed. Then Dad started telling him about the plot.

“These American Indians go to downtown Manhattan and demand their land back,” he said. “I chose Indians because they’re less controversial than Negroes but I can still make a point about discrimination.”

Walden stiffened. He made some tight comment about “niggers.” Dad was caught off guard.

“Come on, Walden. I’ve known you for years–” Dad tried to say it lightly. “You’re not against Negroes, are you?”

The man’s voice was cold. “Earle, you’d better just leave.”

In stunned silence, Dad and Mum got up and walked out the front door. They got into their car and Dad pulled slowly away from the curb. They drove in silence around the corner. When the house was out of sight, Dad stopped the car. He was shaking.

“I never knew–” he said. “All those years–”

That was the last contact the two men had with each other.

But it wasn’t the only time Dad and Mum were kicked out of a house for refusing to discriminate. With my elder brother Tim only six months old, they drove down to Mississippi where Dad resumed his old job with the Mississippi flood control for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They rented a flat and hired a black woman, May Belle, to wash Timmy’s diapers in a cauldron of boiling water over an open fire, stirring them with a stick. They paid her the going rate: 50 cents a week.

One day Mum invited May Belle in and they sat at the kitchen table and talked. That night when Dad came home, the landlady met him, furious. Mum could hear her screaming from upstairs.

“Do y’all know what your wife been doing while you was away? She had that nigger gal inside the apartment!”

“We’re paying rent,” replied Dad. “Doesn’t that give us the right to have any guests we want to?”

“Get out!” yelled the landlady.

Dad and Mum packed up the baby and all their belongings and moved out that night, with nowhere to go. Eventually they ended up in Yellow Springs, a small town near Dayton, Ohio. Dad started teaching anthropology at Antioch College. In 1946 Dr. Walter Anderson, his wife Dorothy and daughter Sandra moved in across the street from us. They were one of the few black families in town and Walter– “Andy”–had been hired as Professor of Music at Antioch, said to be the first African American named to chair a department outside of the nation’s historically black colleges. Sandra and I, born within 8 months of each other, became best friends.

Most white people would have denied–sincerely–that there was prejudice in this “enlightened” college town in a northern state in the late forties. But when the Andersons attempted to transfer their membership from the Presbyterian Church in Cleveland to the one in Yellow Springs, the church’s board of elders balked. The Andersons “wouldn’t fit in,” they said. They would be happier with “their own kind.” The minister, Herbert Schroeder, insisted the elders abide by the church rules regarding transfer of membership and said that he, for one, would welcome the Andersons. Several members left the church in protest.

Reading this in the local newspaper Dad and Mum were so indignant they joined the church to support the pastor.

In the arena of issues, you can’t always choose your lions, as she did then. Sometimes you find yourself attacked not so much for taking a deliberate stand over an issue as for refusing to see it as an issue. But the wounds can be just as deep.

At about this time Tim, now five, joined the Cub Scouts and Mum became a den mother. She didn’t think twice about it when Tim brought Philip Artyce to the meetings or when Philip, like everyone else, brought his parents to that month’s dinner and program. But the next day one of the other mothers called, very upset. She said Mum had shown “poor judgment” in having the Artyce family to a social function.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate for a Negro boy to be in this troop,” the woman said.

“All the boys are in school together,” Mum pointed out.

“Let him join a den for his own kind.”

“That’s silly,” said Mum. “Besides, I don’t think there is one.”

“Then they should start one.”

Mum told her primly that it might be a good idea if she would start a den for her own boys so they could be with their own kind. Philip stayed.

Two years later Ted was finally a Cub Scout. He came to Mum and said, “A boy in school wants to join.”

“Okay,” said Mum. “Bring him to the next meeting.”

Ted hung his head so all Mum could see was curly brown hair and he poked at something with the toe of a Buster brown shoe. “There might be trouble like there was with Philip.”

“Why?” Mum asked amiably. “Is he a Negro?”

“No. Not exactly.” Ted swallowed hard and licked his lips. “But he’s got–red hair.”

So simply do children point up the inscrutability of the prejudices of adults.

 

From my book, MUM: The Conscience, Courage, and Compassion of Barbara Reynolds, June 12, 1915 – February 11, 1990

Joan Horn, Playing on All the Keys: The Life of Walter F. Anderson

Walter Anderson Dies, Washington Post, 11-29-2003

Posted in biography, church, Helping others, interesting people, My brother Ted, My mother Barbara Reynolds, not-so-amusing anecdotes, observation on human nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eyewitness: A heaven even Ted might enjoy

I’ve just read the firsthand account of a heaven I think even my agnostic brother Ted (especially Ted, as a lover of science fiction) would enjoy. It’s Betty J. Eadie’s Embraced by the Light.

First there was the obligatory tunnel, movement toward the light, the figure of a man radiating “a brilliant, magnificent whiteness. . .

“I could see that the golden halo burst out from around him and spread. . . I felt his light blending into mine. . . Although this light was much brighter than my own, I was aware that my light, too, illuminated us. And as our lights merged, I felt as if I had stepped into his countenance, and I felt an utter explosion of love. It was the most unconditional love I have ever felt. . .

“His light now began to fill my mind, and my questions were answered even before I fully asked them. His light was knowledge. . . I wanted to know everything. . . My comprehension was such that I could understand volumes in an instant. It was as if I could look at a book and comprehend it at a glance–as though I could just sit back while the book revealed itself to me in every detail, forward and backward, inside and out, every nuance and possible suggestion. . .

“I understood not only what people did but why they did it and how it affected other people’s perceptions of reality. . . and all of this brought a wholeness to an event or person or principle that was not possible to comprehend on earth.”

“. . . I walked on the grass for a time. It was crisp, cool, and brilliant green, and it felt alive under my feet. But what filled me with awe in the garden more than anything were the intense colors. We have nothing like them. . . . [Here], the light reflects off [an] object in a certain color. . . Light in the spirit world doesn’t necessarily reflect off anything. It comes from within. . . The flowers, for example, are so vivid and luminescent with color that they don’t seem solid. . .

“A beautiful river ran through the garden. . . fed by a large cascading waterfall of the purest water. . . a melody of majestic beauty carried from the waterfall and filled the garden. . . The music came from the water itself. . . and each drop produced its own tone and melody which mingled and interacted with every other sound and strain around it. The water was praising God for its life and joy. . . the thought came to me that these could possibly be the ‘living waters’ mentioned in the scriptures. . .”

“I noticed a rose. . . gently swaying to faint music, and singing praises to the Lord with sweet tones of its own. . . I seemed to be able to see down into it. . . as though my vision had become microscopic. . . I felt the rose’s presence around me. . . I experienced it as if I were the flower. . . I felt it. . . creating its own music, a melody that perfectly harmonized with the thousands of other roses. . . its petals produced their own tones. . . each working harmoniously for the overall effect–which was joy. . . I felt God in the plant, in me, his love pouring into us. We were all one!”

“. . . Our speed increased, and I felt the exhilaration of flight. I could do whatever I wanted, go wherever I desired, go fast–incredibly fast–or go slow. I loved the freedom. I entered the vastness of space and learned that it was not a void; it was full of love and light. . . I heard a soft, pleasant sound, a distant but comforting sound. . . It was a tone, similar to a note of music, but was universal and seemed to fill all the space around me. . . a vast, cosmic song. . . The tones produced soft vibrations, and as they touched me I knew that they possessed the power to heal.”

Back to her first meeting with the man of light: “There was no questioning who he was. I knew that he was my Savior, and friend, and God. He was Jesus Christ, who had always loved me, even when I thought he hated me. He was life itself, love itself, and his love gave me a fullness of joy, even to overflowing.”

 

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Eyewitness: “I died, too.” (Brian Dean)

Brian and Lee, NDE survivors

Jerry and I recently drove our friend Lee (on right), with his wife Karri, to a doctor’s appointment. In the crowded waiting room Lee started describing to someone how he had died and gone to heaven (Lee’s Heaven, yesterday’s post.)

He was filling in details he hadn’t mentioned to us before–“I saw my grandfather. A voice said, ‘Come closer! Come closer!’ and I was saying, ‘I’m dying! I’m dying!’ Jesus was on the left in a shroud of gold. I heard someone call ‘Code Blue!’–” when a large man sitting across from us in the waiting room spoke up. “That happened to me, too.”

Lee was still caught up in his own story so I waited until he was through and turned back to the stranger across from us. “You died?”

“Yes, I died too. Twice.”

His name is Brian Dean. It was June 23, 1982. Brian was 17 years old, at the wheel of his father’s Datsun pick-up at 2 AM, on the way to marlin fishing off Baja de Los Angeles. He and his father both fell asleep and the next thing Brian knew he’d slammed on the brakes, locking them up, the truck rolled, he went through the windshield–and was rising painlessly up through the clouds into brilliant light.

“Then I put a hand to my head, felt blood and thought, ‘I must be alive.’ At that instant I was back in the drivers’ seat, in my body.” Excruciating pain set in–his femur had been forced through his pelvis–and he claims he made medical history a week later as the first American to receive two stainless steel implants and 11 screws.

Next to me Jerry commented wryly, “I don’t think I’d like to have my 15 minutes of fame like that.”

Five years later, Brian told us, he fell asleep at the wheel of a Toyota truck, mesmerized by the reflection of his lights in the mirror-like surface of the tanker truck in front of him. “The road turned and I didn’t. I hit the corrugated metal guard rail with its railroad ties, hit it straight on and went up like a pole vaulter. I broke my leg in three sections. My cousin was with me and the rail came one inch from his crotch. They had to remove him from the truck with the Jaws of Life.”

At this point Brian was called in to see the doctor. The petite woman who had been sitting quietly beside him now introduced herself as his wife Paula and she took over sharing Near-Death Experiences about people she knew. “My friend Petra died during surgery,” she said. “She saw a beautiful place, a garden with lounge chairs and a river in front, peaceful. She did not have a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order so the doctors brought her back. She told her husband, ‘Next time don’t let them bring me back. It was wonderful!’”

Then she told us, “My sister had lupus. She was on a respirator in ICU for a month and a half. The doctor said her lungs would collapse and she was so scared. Next thing she knew everything was white. She saw both sides, a dark side and a light side, and when she came back she was so shaken by the dark side she talked to a priest about it. (We had been raised Catholic but she had lost her faith at a secular university.)

“She passed away two years ago from cardiomyopathy connected with relapsed lupus. But this time she was totally at peace.”

Both our men had seen the doctor by this time and were back in the waiting room. They compared notes and found out they each have a follow-up appointment on March 29, just half an hour apart–“and it’s my birthday!” Brian exclaimed, pleased. The four of us exchanged contact information and hugs and planned a reunion in that super-charged waiting room again in four months.

“I’ll bring a cake,” I promised.

 

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Eyewitness: Lee’s Heaven

Our friend Lee died on an operating table when he was 21. He saw a pure white light. He heard God’s voice saying, “Come closer! Come closer!” And he saw three or four doctors below him trying frantically to restart his heart with paddles.

“I went through doors,” he says, 30 years later. “I had a brief glimpse of my mother, sitting in the waiting room.” Then he was looking at a plateau and Jesus was standing to the left of the scene. There was a gate, with people going through it. “I think I saw my grandfather,” he says.

“The streets were like translucent gold. There was an altar with inscriptions along the front and there were words in a big book that was open but I couldn’t read them. They were in Hebrew. The throne of God was in the middle with a river flowing from it.” (He had not yet read Revelation 22:1.) Jesus was at the Father’s right hand.

“I don’t remember everything that happened. A year or two ago more details came back to me. There was a garden with trees and benches, where Jesus walked and talked and sat with me, showing me the scars in His hands. I still don’t remember everything He said.”

Lee’s mother and sister were in the waiting room when a nurse ran out of surgery calling, “Code Blue!”

His mother asked, “What happened?”

The terrified nurse said, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone but someone by the name of [their surname]–we lost ‘im!” She ran back into the operating room.

“Jesus asked me, ‘Do you want to stay or go?’”

“Stay,” he said. But Jesus told him, “No, you’re going back. You have too much left to do in this life.”

“I heard a thousand voices all in sync, like running water,” Lee remembers, “flutes, stringed instruments–a rushing sound, like the sound of birds. Standing there I felt movement, felt myself move, then felt myself going back, weightless.

“All of a sudden I could feel electricity going through me. I felt a heaviness. I woke up in recovery with a nurse slapping my face.”

Later the surgeon came out to the waiting room and told Lee’s family, “Your son’s condition is grave. The next 24 hours will be critical because we had to stop and start the heart.”

The next day the doctor told me, ‘We had some trouble with you.’”

When he got out of the hospital, he drew a picture of what he had seen. He told his parents and inlaws that he had died on the operating table and gone to heaven, that he had spent “hours” with Jesus during those few minutes his heart had flatlined.

His mother and stepfather said, “Don’t talk about it because people will think you’re crazy.”

His father-in-law said, “You didn’t really die!”

So he tried not to talk or think about it for a long, long time.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE! We’re glad the Father let you live long enough for us to know you.

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