You are El Shaddai, God Almighty, all-powerful, sovereign over everything.
As jury selection starts on Monday and Jahar’s trial begins, remind us that You are in control. We tend to think we know what is best – but You have a plan that is far behind our wildest imaginations. Father, would you have Your hand on every single thing that happens – from the jury selection to the timing to the location to the evidence to the witnesses to the judge to the prosecution to the defense to the verdict to the sentence? We know that nothing will happen that is outside of Your will. Would you providentially orchestrate every single circumstance to lead Jahar home to You? Even when things don’t seem to be going our way, help us to trust in You. Remind us that no decision, no action that human beings take can ever thwart Your plans for him.
You are comforter.
Father, we can’t imagine how scared Jahar must be right now – and while much of that may be his fault, we ask that You wrap Your arms around him and calm his fears. Give him a peace that surpasses all understanding. God thank You for the incredible legal team that You have blessed him with. Would You use them to love and comfort him in the midst of this chaos?
You are everywhere.
Flood every inch of that cell with Your holy presence. Surround Jahar so completely that there is no escaping You. Be in that courtroom for every second of this trial. Be with the victims. Be with his family. Make it so clear to everyone involved that You are there.
You are jealous, and You are stronger.
You are the one true God, and you deeply desire the worship and praise of all of Your children. You are so in love with Your children that when one of them gives their worship to a false “god” – it incites a deep jealousy. You are jealous for Jahar. And You are also stronger. You are stronger than Allah. You are stronger than the darkness and evil that Jahar allows to control him. If You have chosen him, if You desire him to be Yours, then he will be. Lord, would You reveal Yourself to Jahar? We plead with You, Father, to give Jahar dreams and visions…..to show him that You are what is true and real…..that You long for him to return to You. Would You pursue him relentlessly, God, until he is home in Your arms?
You are protector.
As Jahar’s trial begins, he is going to be traveling back and forth frequently between the prison and the courthouse. We know that he may not be Yours yet, but we ask You to be his defender God. Protect him from those whose hatred for him is so strong that they desire to harm him. Keep him safe. Protect him from abuse and torture for all the years that he spends in prison. Protect him from the seemingly inevitable mental illness, depression, and thoughts of suicide that come with long-term solitary confinement. Give him the hope and joy that can only be found in You. Reveal to him Your plans for him so that he has a purpose and a reason to keep going each and every day when there otherwise would be none.
You are healer.
Jahar sustained many injuries that night in the boat, many of which he still appears to be suffering from today. It is impossible for us to know how much emotional damage has been done from all of the time he has spent in solitary confinement, but we can imagine. Lord, would You lay Your hand upon him and heal his physical injuries? Restore his hearing, Father. Heal his arm/hand and face. God, we ask that You heal his emotional trauma as well. Reverse the damage that has been done. Show him that You are healer. And God, there are hundreds of victims still suffering today…suffering physically from injuries sustained that day…suffering emotionally with trauma or the deep pain of the loss of a loved one. Would You heal them as well Lord? Comfort them, and give them the strength to move forward with their lives each day. Take all of the evil that happened to them that day and turn it into good. Don’t allow hatred or anger to control them Lord. Flood their hearts with Your mercy and grace.
You are all-knowing.
You know Jahar’s every thought. You know his heart inside and out. You created him God, and You know exactly what he needs. For those victims that will make victim impact statements – would You work through them God? You know if Jahar needs to be woken up to the horror of his sin or if he needs to experience Your unfailing mercy and love through them. You know exactly what it’s going to take to win his heart. God, we all have our own desires – but You know if he needs life in prison or the death penalty. Help us to trust that whatever the outcome is, it is because You know Your child – and You are doing everything You can to win his heart.
You are gracious and merciful.
Lord, sometimes it’s hard for people to understand why we so deeply long for Jahar to be our brother. We know that while we were still sinners, no better than Jahar, You sent Your Son to die for us…and we so desperately want Jahar to know that same mercy. Your Word says that You desire everyone to be saved, and so do we. Father, You have already shown so much mercy by sparing Jahar’s life that night on the boat. Judging by the looks of that boat, Jahar should be in the eternal torments of hell right now – but he isn’t. Instead he has the chance at eternal life with You, and we praise You for giving him that chance. We plead with You Lord to please lavish Your grace and mercy upon Jahar. Help him to see his sin and how much it grieves You, but help him to see that there is nothing so terrible that the blood of Your Son can’t wash it clean. Make him a beautiful new creation in You.
You are love, and You are Father.
Jahar has no idea that he is Your child…that You are his Abba Father…that he can have a personal and intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Lord, show him that prayer is more than just robotic repetition…that it can be a beautiful two-way conversation with his Father. Fill him with the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Show him what it means to be truly, deeply, and unconditionally loved…because he is.
We are Yours, and You are ours.
And we fully believe that one day – whether tomorrow or 50 years from now – You will be his and he will be Yours. Thank you for that Lord. We long for the day when we will be able to worship You alongside him in Heaven and see the hands that once destroyed so many lives raised to You…to see the lips that once proclaimed a false god singing praises to his King.
As his trial begins, we lift him up to You in complete confidence and trust. In Your beautiful, powerful name above all names we pray,