A Prayer for the ISIS “Brides”

I got a link tonight; it tells me that ISIS has taken child brides, as young as 8. I think I’m going to throw up on the keys.

What am I supposed to do about this?

I don’t want to look, don’t want to envision this incarnate. I’ve been one to duck and run.

But He who crawled up on rough wood to face Evil head on, didn’t call me to hide my eyes.

She’s really there, and I’ve really got to do something– got to fight with the one weapon I’ve been given- to come like a persistent widow to the Good Judge’s door and knock and knock, and call, and plead till my knuckles are bloodied and black, and know with certainty that He’s heard. Not a syllable will be lost; the words hit their mark before they left my lips.

We’re not powerless.

The wheels of Heaven grind to motion before human knees have left the ground.

Want to join me? There’s courage when there’s more of us. We could go together.

If we’ll  speak, He guarantees we’ll be heard.

This is no polished piece; it’s right off the pages of my journal, scribbled on sackcloth with ashes.  It’s a plea and a beaten breast and a wail. I put it here in hopes that we could wail together…


“Great High Priest, our Lover, God. You know the horrible depths of man.

You saw ISIS from the beginning and You knew what each man had done; would do; and all that was in his heart. You saw his removal of love, his retreat from kindness.

“An hour is coming when those who kill you will think they render service to God”. Yes, you’ve known terrorists before. You died before a religious terror squad. Like a lamb that is silent before its shearers, You stood before a league of expert executionists with perfect calm. Nothing was unexpected for You; nothing was out of control in Your sense of the Plan. Evil was on full display, bringing its full hand to the table- the murder of the innocent– calling Good evil and evil Good. “Woe to those”, You had said, who confuse the two. (and who among us hasn’t done it in some tenet?)

Oh Jesus, You stood before terror and torture, and You took it. What those little girls are led off to- muzzled and helpless- You bowed Your great hands to take too… voluntarily.

“No one takes My life from Me, I lay it down of My own accord.”

You were oppressed and treated harshly. Those in authority who had the power to do good, looked the other way. Oppressed, mocked, shamed, stripped, beaten to beyond humanly recognizable- You were.

Those little girls- captive- led off in bonds and terror. You’ve known it too. Given into the possession of another for them to have their full wicked will with no restraint. You’ve known it. Beaten to exhaustion. Taken advantage of. Helpless. You’ve known it. But you chose it. Why would You? So that You could identify with us in all our deepest griefs; so that You could buy the right to steal away the sting.

Jesus, You know how she feels.

You know her desperation, her delirium, her deprivation and her fear. You know the smells and the tastes and the textures of the gall soaked sponge, the sweat soaked shirt, the pain, the blood, the gore, the salty tears and the shaking knees.

And You don’t look away.

It’s too much for me to bear, and I don’t know how You stand it, but You’re right there at her bedside, on the floor where she was taken. You see her. You know. You are the only One who can go there. You, the High Priest, perfect in Your efficacy, fierce in Your love. Have Your Way, Lord Jesus. Unleash holiness and send hopefulness like an updraft fire.

Begin right now to crush her fears. Send Your leagues of angels. Those You didn’t call to save Yourself, call even now to save every woman, every girl… and even every sin soaked man caught in adultery against the Light.

That’s the sad thing- they’re caught in a slavery and sin all their own. Their noose of darkness is tight on their own necks. God, with one fell stroke, drop their guns- seize them in their hands- let them burn the callouses from their fingers and their hearts. Drop the scales from their eyes and for one moment let them see the world- see the girls– aright.

Turn on the Light, Jesus.

Help those little baby girls sing- sing with their souls. Let them see Jesus. Singing broke Paul out of prison and praise can be a chariot of fire. Oh Jesus, prepare a chariot like Elijah’s to carry those girls right out of death- right over their death-dealing circumstances.

Would You replace the Terror’s face with Your own?

Be their Shelter. Be their Vision. Be the Helper and the Keeper. She can hide in You. You’re the Refuge and the Strength. Teach her to run there, and there to Remain.

Restore her, Jesus. Evil has for a time gotten run of the world, oh God, go get her. Save her. Kneel down and meet her on this pallet of desperation; form a cathedral in her tears. Don’t let her feel unseen, unhelped, alone.

You suffered alone so we would never have to.

And for her, and her family- help them forgive. And help that man, dressed in black like the heart of his master; cause him to drop his sin, shrieking, like a white hot coal, and run to You for relief.

Like Saul on the Damascus road, tell him that the god he thinks he serves is the very one he hurts.

Save him, Jesus. Send bothersome dreams and visions; wake him in terror because the Great Lion has thundered his name. And then steel his soul to courage; to act, to overthrow the wrongs, to set her free, and escort her home.

Even if it costs him his life.

Let repentance flow. Oh Jesus, go low, to the very bottom wrung where it crawls with evil. You’ve gone there before; have preached good news to captives.

Every captive who calls Your name will be freed; put in right on their lips. Give them faith to name it.

One day, no more liberated souls will have captive bodies. Suffering will expire; sorrow will be long in the tooth, and You will pull it. 

Send Your Destroyers even now, and destroy Darkness. Send righteous Judges, and judge Evil. For that’s where this stench really fumes from; from a place lower than ISIS- they’re just pawns and are easily controlled.

Jesus, change the game. 

Hear her cry and help her hide in You. Show her how. Be a Ladder, and teach her to climb it. Put Your Book in her mind if it can’t be in her hands, whisper to her the Comfort, and teach her Yourself.

I pray that one day when we stand before You we will meet sisters and brothers who were turned to You even in this tide of evil and pain; those for whom we prayed, those who reached back when You reached for them; and those who came forth from sorrow into the silence and Light of salvation. 

You raised a dead girl once before; grasped her hand and pulled her back to life with the words, “Little lamb, arise”. Do it once more. Even tonight



[here’s the article that prompted the prayer]

photo credit


4 thoughts on “A Prayer for the ISIS “Brides””

  1. Good grief CGS, your words slay me. The pain of this part of my world is so great I put it out of my mind, often. And you take my face in your hands with your
    words and make me look.
    Right up close. And after I have felt the full brunt of it, cringing. weeping. then dare to feel the full hope of Hope. “Suffering will expire; sorrow will be long in the tooth, and You will pull it. “. Thank you for prying my eyes open once again. I join my prayers with yours.

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