D-Day and Prayer for France
© July 2004 by Asher Intrater
On the first weekend of June, Valerie, Youval and I ministered at the Messianic congregation in Paris on Saturday and Christian Life Center on Sunday, which turned out to be the same time that international leaders, including George Bush, were also in Paris for the 60-year memorial of D-Day. It is strategically urgent and important to pray for France; here are some thoughts:
1. Liberal Secular Humanism - There are roots of liberal secular humanism in the French revolution of 1779, whose rallying call was "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity." Those three values are correct from a biblical viewpoint. The problem stems from the fact that the values were separated from the "under God" theme that was found at least to some degree in the American Revolution. So after 225 years of liberal secular humanism, the French society has become one of the primary strongholds of that spirit in the world.
2. La Belle France - One of the images of France is a woman clothed with a long robe (the original statue of liberty is located on the Seine river in Paris). The figure of this woman has either positive or negative values, depending on how it is seen. (Revelation describes two archetypal women figures, one divine - the glorified woman of chapter 12, and the other demonic - the great prostitute of chapter 17.) God's calling for any nation, is to become a glorified bride. When that image is warped by sin, it becomes a spirit of immorality and idolatry. Interestingly, the best selling novel, "The Davinci Code," whose theme is worshiping "female divinity," describes the center of that spirit as Paris.
3. Threat of Islamic Terror - Perhaps Bush's visit to Normandy was a "wake-up" call to France. As more than 60 years ago, the French tried to reconcile with the Nazi spirit through a negotiated settlement, so today have they been deceived into trying to pacify the beast of Islamic terrorism through concessions. Because France did not recognize the need to fight in the earlier stages of World War II, it suffered much greater losses. If France does not make a commitment to fight terror, it is again heading toward great losses.
4. Islam and Evangelism - In addition to the threat of terror, there is also the advance of the Islamic religion in France. Of liberal Western nations, Islam has won more converts and settled more Islamic immigrants in France than in any other country. This cannot be fought with guns, but with prayer and evangelism. Among non-Arabic nations, France has one of the lowest percentages of "born again" believers in the world. The spreading of the gospel IS THE plan of God for this age. Pray for the gospel to spread in France.
5. Heart for Reconciliation - God has gifted the French with an appreciation for the cultures of others, and for reconciliation. This is a good value, not a bad one. (Although the "rainbow" is seen by many as a New Age symbol, it is originally a sign of Noah's covenant, representing the beautiful harmony and diversity in different races and cultures.) May France's calling to foster love between the nations come forward in God's way.
6. Francophone Potential - Almost 90 nations of the world have French-speaking parts of their population. The potential for the gospel and godly influence through these peoples is enormous! Pray for international missions to spread through the Francophone world.
7. Arab Connection - There is a long history of French relationship with the Arab nations. The potential for France to be a "bridge" nation for the gospel to spread into the Islamic world is just as great as its potential for Islam to spread into the European world through France. In addition, there is a large Jewish population in France. More than any other nation (excluding Israel), Arab and Jew live side by side in France. As this has been a source of anti-Semitism, it can be an opportunity for "rapprochement."
As a Jew, as a believer in Jesus, as an American, and as an Israeli, I have had to overcome resentment toward France in order to understand God's heart for this nation. As France once stood on the battle line between the spirits of the "beast" and the "whore" in World War II, so does it stand on that same battle line today. France is a key area in the spiritual war against liberal secular humanism and against Islamic propaganda, terror. Like D-Day 60 years ago, we still need to fight that battle today.
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