Urgent Prayer & Action: Final Verdict for Pastor Youcef: Death

Aimee Herd : Feb 22, 2012 : Lisa Daftari – FOXNews.com

“The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith.” -J. Sekulow, ACLJ

(Iran) -According to a FOXNews report today, the final verdict has been handed down on Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s fate-death.

Pastor Youcef and family

As Youcef’s supporters all around the world feared, the Iranian trial court has decided that he will be executed on the charges that he left Islam to convert to Christianity.

Pastor Youcef and familyThese charges have stood in spite of the fact that it could not be proven that the 34-year-old father of two had been a Muslim during his adult years, which would prove apostasy. In addition, Youcef himself has always maintained his innocence saying that he was always a Christian as an adult.

He was given the chance to recant his Christian faith, but he refused, and he also refused to say that Muhammad was a prophet.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director of The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), said, “The world needs to stand up and say that a man cannot be put to death because of his faith.

“This one case is not just about one execution. We have been able to expose the system instead of just letting one man disappear, like so many other Christians have in the past.”

According to the report, the final order was given just days after US Congress supported a resolution sponsored by Penn. Rep. Joseph Pitts, which denounced the charges and called for an “immediate release.”

“Iran has become more isolated because of their drive for nuclear weapons, and the fundamentalist government has stepped up persecution of religious minorities to deflect criticism,” Rep. Pitts told FoxNews.com. “The persecuted are their own citizens, whose only crime is practicing their faith.”

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s family and supporters are asking for urgent prayer by Believers worldwide, on his behalf, and for people to contact their legislators to ask for intervention.

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Mary, Why Are You Weeping?

I am at Your tomb, looking for You,
Where have You gone?
My heart breaks with weeping,
You carried me…How can I go on?

They have taken my Lord away!
I cannot find Him and I need Him to stay.
How could two so close be separated
by this world?

“Mary, why are you weeping?
And who is it that you are looking for?”
She didn’t recognize You
though You were still her Lord,
Standing right in front of her,
veiled by her tears
when You first appeared,
Still, just hearing her name from Your lips
and she’d be reassured.

My own tears wash Your feet,
though I have come
and found the grave empty.
But maybe just like Mary,
I’ll look up and see You standing by me…

Standing right in front of me,
drying my tears as when You first appeared,
And then, just hearing my name on Your lips
and I’ll be reassured…

Yes, I will be like Mary
at the end of all my pain,
for You will call and I will hear,
and I know, I will see You again…

“Mary!”
“Mary…”
“Mary, why are you weeping?”

(from The Boast of the Broken-Hearted by Kimberly Lefebvre) available from Lulu.com

The Ground of Davidic Reality

by Bryan Purtle

“Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.
Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.” -Ps. 31.9-12

The element of human weakness in the Psalms is a great provision for the Church, for the moment we come onto the grounds of flowery religious cliche, we at once come to unreality, and God will not work with us along those lines. It is noteworthy for us to consider that the sweet-singer and priestly King of Israel, David himself, had seasons where his soul was overcome with grief and confusion, paranoia and weariness, fear and hopelessness. This does not make him an insignificant figure in the history of the faith, but is rather a testament to the faithfulness of God, Who is able to save “to the uttermost” all who call upon His name.

The Psalms are filled with David’s inner turmoils and wrestlings, and he was not afraid to sing of them in the Tabernacle of old. He did not think of his spiritual image before men, for he was pre-eminently concerned for the presence of the heavenly King. He knew that the One Who had formed the world and knit him together in his mother’s womb, was well acquainted with the actual condition of his life. He felt no need to perform spiritually, but to come to God on the grounds of truth, bringing to the Lord the whole of who he was, “warts and all.”

This is a great call for our nip-and-tuck, fashion-obsessed, image-dominated society. We unfortunately bring the unreality of worldly thought into our experience of religion, and most of us can be found putting up the self-image of our choosing; that which looks most presentable to men. But God has ever and always been eager for the reality and truth of our condition, for it is only on those grounds that we meet with His mercy and transforming power.

We would be quick to accuse, and even quote a verse at David if he were to pour out his soul to us as he did in Psalm 31. His pleas with the Lord were often antithetical to the boisterous, Dominionist views of many modern souls in the Church. We might think of his song as a bad witness, a complaining rant, or a sign of his weak spirituality. But how was it that David became such a precious figure with such favor from God? How is it that when Jesus comes He will restore the “tabernacle of David,” that He will sit on “David’s throne,” and that He did not wince when He was called “the Son of David” by the blind man?

God is not ashamed to be identified with David because David cried out to Him from the ground of reality. And it is David’s pursuit of God from the ground of weakness, in grief, in sorrow, even in iniquity, that made him a “broken vessel” who is still “blessing the families of the earth” today. His weakness is the condition of all humanity, but out of that low place, he continued to cry out to the One who is “high and lifted up,” and we are still feeling the reverberations of his life in God in our generation. Am I pursuing Him from the ground of reality, or have I got some image to uphold before men?

When I come to Him from the ground of my own brokenness, at once I am touched by the only One who has the power to cleanse, heal, and restore my soul, and to bring me into alignment with the reality of Himself. And to live in the reality of God Himself, walking circumspectly before Him in all His glorious light, is to be “free indeed.”

For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,
I say, ‘You are my God.’
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.” (vv. 13-16)