Be alert and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7
My son and his friend were recently having dinner in a local restaurant. Suddenly, everyone’s cell phone alarm went off at exactly the same time. The National Weather Service had just issued a flash flood warning for our area. So a chorus of loud buzzers echoed throughout the small eatery reminding everyone to be alert to potential hazards. I wonder what would happen if we as believers had our own early warning system calling us to pray? The Bible reminds us that we wrestle continually against the forces of darkness so we’re to always be ALERT for prayer.
I recently met a young woman who’s story burdened me so much that I have committed to pray for her every day. So I created my own little “early warning” system to remind me to pray. I set my iPhone alarm for noon each day reminding me to pray for one minute for Naghmeh Abedini and her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini. After you hear their story, I hope you’ll consider doing the same.
I happened to be seated next to Naghmeh at a recent gathering where she had been invited to share the plight of her husband, Saeed, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. I got to hear firsthand about the living nightmare she and her family have endured for nearly two years.
Like many, I have been troubled by Pastor Saeed’s imprisonment and went to the event eager to learn more about his condition and what world leaders are trying to do to secure his release. I came away with a new hero. His wife.
The attractive, articulate young Naghmeh spoke to a group of men and women gathered at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “We as Americans don’t like to suffer,” she said quietly as one who knows this full well. Suffering has been her daily companion as she wrestles with the agony of knowing of Saeed’s prison hardships and even torture. As daily, she watches her children, Jacob and Rebecca, missing their dad. “But it’s when we reach the end of our human strength that we discover the supernatural peace that only Jesus can give.”
Naghmeh is Iranian born but raised as a US citizen in Boise Idaho, accepting Jesus as her savior when she was just nine. She prefers a quiet life to the grinding schedule of worldwide travel speaking on Saeed’s behalf. Her itinerary has included appearances before the United Nations and European Parliament. “I wasn’t an upfront person,” she smiled. “Saeed would be very surprised to see me speaking all over the world on his behalf.”
When asked about her surprising sense of calm, Naghmeh says that she depends on Jesus each day to even get up in the morning. A self-described anxious person by nature, she says the Lord has enveloped her in a supernatural peace throughout this harrowing ordeal. After speaking to the United Nations, she even had Muslims and atheists come up to her to ask the reason for her unexplainable calm in the face of such a fierce ordeal. And she tells them. It’s only Jesus.
More than anything, Naghmeh wants to glorify Jesus as she works for Saeed’s release. And she asks for believers everywhere to join her in continued, fervent prayer for his release. Click here to learn more about the world wide Prayer Vigil for Saeed on September 26.
And consider setting your cell phone alarm right now and pray a minute a day for Saeed. Specifically, I pray each petition in the Lord’s prayer for Saeed and his family. And it only takes one minute. I timed it.
Hope I will hear other cell phones going off at noon as many of you agree to Pray a Minute a Day for Saeed.