We so often see with earthly eyes and not spiritual, and need reminding that the recent Middle East turmoil surrounding Qatar is both geo-political and in the heavens.
Due to the wealth of the nation, daily lives of residents and locals seem unchanged. The supermarket shelves have been refilled after an initial panic, water and electricity continue, and the minor inconveniences include finding flights that don't go through certain airports. Locals are hanging Qatari flags on their homes; massive flags are everywhere. Bumper stickers and t-shirts with the ruler's image and praise appeared overnight. Public rhetoric says, "We're so rich and nice we can outlast your siege and bickering". The stickers say, with a handsome image, "God, our nation, our leader" and "You have the world, we have our leader".
However, in private, the ripples of uncertainty have begun to fan out. Companies are finding that components are stuck at the border or in nearby ports, delaying or deferring activity. In some sectors, there's talk of downsizing the workforce. Milk from Saudi Arabia has been replaced by Turkish. Vegetables have come in from Iran, subtly agitating the sea of political and religious alliances. Egyptians who form the middle management are reluctant to leave for summer holidays in fear they won't be able to return. Others are looking for jobs in "more stable" countries, talking of trying to emigrate, and even trying to claim asylum from here. There is even mention, with tones of unlikeliness, of what happens if someone inadvertently throws the first stone.
Believers have not seen a new openness to talking about eternal realities with local friends. However, the increased conversation gives opportunity for the bold to state convictions that God rules in the heavens and on earth. And there is always an open door to ask questions regarding the political situation - What's really behind this? What do you think? Where is your hope and trust? From there, it is only a step to sharing where our own faith is grounded. Pray for the believers to have boldness and opportunity to bring in the harvest.
For several years, M has continued a friendship with his former professor. Recently at M's house, they talked about how Old Testament themes reappear in the New Testament, such as salvation through Moses and Joshua, being fulfilled in a spiritual sense through Jesus, etc. Pray that M will seek to verify the truth that is found in Jesus.
PTAP on the PrayerMate App
PTAP is now on the PrayerMate app which you can download for free on iOS or Android. Check it out under the "World Mission" category. Just another way to help us pray for the AP and many other regions of the world! See here for more info: http://praynow4.org/arabianpeninsula