I recently read about Maryam Naghash, a 36-year-old believer in Iran who was refused an extension of her medical leave from prison, where she is serving a four-year sentence for witnessing to her faith.

I was moved to pray for her. Then I thought – surely God loves her infinitely more than I or anyone could? Surely God knows her needs and what is the best for this sister. So why should I pray for Maryam? What difference would it or could it make?

Reflecting on the subject, it became obvious that, in praying, we are clearly following God’s commands, and the example He gave us through the life of Jesus. God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in many situations. At SAT-7 we pray in: preparation for major decisions (Luke 6:12-13); to overcome Satan’s opposition (Matthew 17:14-21); to gather workers for the spiritual harvest (Luke 10:2); to overcome temptation (Matthew 26:41); and to obtain the means of spiritually strengthening others, including our many viewers (Ephesians 6:18-19).

God promises that our prayers are not in vain (Matthew 6:6Romans 8:26-27). He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). But, even then, He sometimes delays His answers for our benefit, urging us to be diligent and persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7Luke 18:1-8). Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God’s will done on earth because, of course, God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

Of course, we also pray because we have personally witnessed answers to prayer – sometimes dramatic answers!

But, none of this explains why God chooses to work with and in us through prayer. In the end, prayer is a mystery, an act of faith and obedience.

So, while reading the various posts and articles on our website, thank God for all He is doing. And, as the Lord leads you, pray for different SAT-7 viewers, personnel, channels and opportunities you read about. Because, the mystery that it is, prayer is the greatest contribution that you can make to this ministry!

Dr Terence Ascott

SAT-7 Founder and President | Dr Terence Ascott has lived in the Middle East region for over 40 years. In 1973 he moved to Beirut, Lebanon but after the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Terence and his family evacuated to Egypt where he launched an Arabic youth magazine called "Magalla" - the first Christian magazine to be successfully distributed on the newsstands in more than a dozen Arab countries. In 1995 he, along with Middle Eastern Christian leaders and around 20 partner organisations working in the region, launched SAT-7 as the first Christian satellite television channel in Arabic. In December 2011, he was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Christian Ministries Degree from Belhaven University "for extraordinary work and achievements in promoting Christianity throughout the Middle East and North Africa."

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