PRAYER ALERT: Events are developing rapidly in the intervention in Mali. We prayed last week that the al Qaeda-linked jihadists advancing to take over southern Mali would be driven back. We had a time to pray for cooperation among the nations engaging in the intervention in Mali against the jihadists’ efforts to expand this war by seizing an internationally-staffed gas plant in Algeria. Since then French and Malian forces have been steadily driving the jihadists back northward from city to city, recently taking back the key cities of Gao and Timbuktu. There has been remarkable international cooperation to provide help in this struggle. Even neighboring countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations, such as Niger and Chad, are preparing to join the fight in the intervention in Mali against this radical form of Islam which they do not want to enter their borders. They are part of a group of seven African nations now mobilized and waiting for airlift support, ammunition, communications equipment, medical supplies and food and water.
France has estimated this will cost $452 million. The African Union will meet with donors for this purpose on January 29. The European Union has committed $64 million to pay the salaries of African ground troops getting ready for the intervention in Mali. The EU and US are already helping with airlifts. Even the mainstream media is dropping its reluctance to label Muslims as terrorists and is exposing the cruelty of the jihadists’ attacks and treatment of their victims. Both Western and African leaders agree that this UN-backed intervention in Mali is necessary to keep Mali from becoming a safe haven for Muslim terrorists to launch international attacks. They know they face an enemy which is extensively trained and equipped. The jihadists have been financed in part by the kidnapping and ransoming of French expatriates, and in part by allowing drug cartels to make low-cost, low-risk transshipments of drugs across the Sahara to Europe. The jihadists also have the vocal support of Egyptian President Morsi, who said he would never agree to a military intervention in Mali that would “separate the Arab [Muslim] north from the core of Africa,” where radicals plan to extend Muslim domination. Mali wants to continue driving the insurgents back before more radicals join their ranks.
In the meantime the government of Algeria moved to bring a quick end to the gas-plant hostage crisis before it revives the civil war that raged between moderate and radical Muslims in the 1990s. As Algerian troops proceed with reoccupying the gas-plant, they have so far found that at least 81 died as a result of the jihadists’ attack. This a time to pray for quick results for the intervention in Mali too, to prevent war and death and jihadist domination from spreading.
A TIME TO PRAY: Father God, You are Creator, Sustainer and Sovereign, and the world is in Your hands. Yet You have given it into the hands of men. We therefore lift up our hands to pray for Algeria and the intervention in Mali in Africa that has involved nations in Europe, Asia and North America. We thank You that You have answered prayer to bring the hostage crisis to an end before it worsened. We thank You that You have answered prayer to bring various nations around the world into agreement and action, to drive back jihadists’ efforts to conquer Mali and to force Islamic shariah on more of Africa. We praise You for moving across the continent to convert more than half of Africans to Christ since 1950—a total of more than 380 million.
Unite them and us in prayer to fight this battle in the Spirit as You mobilize willing nations to fight this intervention in Mali on the ground, minimizing the casualties as much as possible. Help those nations to understand how to engage in Africa, how You have begun a great work there, and how radical Islam plans to steal, kill and destroy that work before it grows further. Continue to drive the enemy back by divine force, and lead Your people to take more of the Africa by faith. Even turn Your enemies from zealous opponents to zealous proponents of Your work, as You did with Paul. Reveal to more and more Muslims, to drug lords, and to all of Africa, that the true desire of the nations is fulfilled in Jesus Christ alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.
A time to pray for the intervention in Mali, as well as Algeria and Africa