International Prayer Alert for North Korea
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:2-6)
On Saturday, December 17, Kim Jong Il, the ruler of North Korea, apparently died of a heart attack. You will remember that special emphasis has been given to praying for North Korea this year. During September's Prayer Initiative for North Korea (PINK), about 300 Korean and international intercessors met near the DMZ (the dividing line between North and South) and asked the Lord to bring about a "new Korea." We have been specifically asking for the deliverance of the North from its oppressive, tyrannical regime and reunification of the two sister nations that are still at war into one restored Korean peninsula. Many of us feel this is coming and that the Lord is using our prayers in this process.
The death of Kim Jong Il could now open the door to significant and sudden change as CNN reported today: "Kim's death could provide an opportunity for change, or trigger instability and even chaos. His son, the "Great Successor" Kim Jong Un, now inherits a reclusive, unstable regime confronting political uncertainty, diplomatic isolation, economic malaise and food shortages."
One of my Korean colleagues, John Hur, has written asking for special prayer during this uncertain time before a new power structure is consolidated inside North Korea:
"We need to pray further that this (Kim's death) should be leading to the people's liberty and democracy. The North Korean people should have the freedom of religion as there are still many Christians even under severe persecution. This should be God's response to our prayers within three months." He included the following prayer points:
- "The power vacancy in the North be filled with God-favored leaders to cope with the national risk and the imminent confusion be turned into blessing to the people there in North Korea.
- Give wisdom to the leaders of North Korea, South Korea, U.S.A. China and Russia and bring peace-loving mind so that they operate diplomatic and military hotlines among themselves for the good of of the Korean peninsula and the Kingdom of God.
- Bless South Korea to have good leaders to be respected by people and used for building stepping stones for the reunification of the two Koreas."
- Pray for the provision of effective food aid that reaches the North Korean people, many millions of which are suffering famine as a result of its government's failed economic policies that have served only the political elite. CNN reported today, "North Korea has been dogged by famine since the mid-1990s when it was hit by severe food shortage caused by floods, drought and economic mismanagement. United Nations agencies based in Pyongyang say the North is in desperate need of outside aid to feed its 24 million people."
- Pray that Kim Jong Un, the young and untested son of Kim Jong Il, will have the courage to do what is right for his people, reversing the oppressive policies of his father; or that he will be removed in favor of new leadership that will care for the people's wellbeing.
Your focused prayers at this time will make a huge difference in the way history unfolds for this long-suffering land and its people.
John Robb is the chairman of the International Prayer Council
. The IPC is a co-sponsor of Prayer Connect