“The moment they threw me in the hole to kill me, I said to God, ‘If you exist, please give me a chance to get to know you.’”

 

Meghrik (name changed) was traveling outside of ISIS-controlled Raqqa when three jihadists boarded his bus. They began checking all the passengers’ IDs, and Meghrik knew he was in a worst-case scenario. Even though he had abandoned Christianity in his heart, his ID card still listed him as a Christian.

“Are you a Christian?” one of the militants demanded. Meghrik answered ‘no,’ but his ID card was all the evidence the kidnappers needed.

Meghrik was kidnapped and tortured by Islamic State before his release. (Photo: December 2016, World Watch Monitor)

They took him to a house in Raqqa, where he appeared before an ISIS judge who concluded he was an infidel who ought to be executed. Militants blindfolded him and when they took the blindfold off, Meghrik was looking at an open grave, prepared for him. The fighters pushed him in and loaded their weapons. But instead of shooting him, they asked if he would convert to Islam. “I will convert,” Meghrik said, terrified.

For the next three days, he was beaten and interrogated. On the fourth day, the militants said they had found evidence that he had insulted Muhammad and must die.

Photo: The Washington Post

Yet in an inexplicable turn of events, another ISIS leader intervened, and another ISIS judge gave the order that Meghrik could go free. Meghrik says his release is because “God changed the heart of the judge and he set me free.”

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.” — Psalm 103:8-10

Pray —

A shepherd drives his sheep past a roadside sign pointing ahead to Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital in Syria. (Photo: The Washington Post)

3/1 – Praise God for sparing this young man’s life!

3/2 – Pray for Meghrik to study the life of Jesus and put his trust fully in the Son of God.

3/3 – Ask God to frustrate and halt ISIS’ schemes.

3/4 – Ask God to give church leaders and evangelists in Syria wisdom and courage as they shepherd their flocks and reach out to lost Muslims.

3/5 – Pray for the suffering of their countrymen to draw other nominal Syrian Christians into a personal, abiding, and Biblical relationship with Jesus.

3/6 – Pray that God will use Meghrik’s life as a powerful testimony to His mercy and power to save sinners.

3/7 – Pray that God will soften the hearts of Muslims who witness or partake in persecuting Christians in Syria.

3/8 – Pray for Syrian believers to rest daily in the promises of God and to wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is His Word.

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