Pray for Greece

(originally posted May 24, 2016)

In praying for the countries of Southeastern Europe also known as the Balkans, we will take this week to pray for Greece.
Two Major events in Greece: 1) Wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS804, 2) Migrant riot on Macedonian border.

1) Greece: EgyptAir made sharp turns before crashing with 66 aboard

USA TODAY) — Greek officials said Thursday that an EgyptAir flight that disappeared over the Mediterranean in route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard apparently made two sharp turns then suddenly lost altitude before vanishing from radar.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said the possibility of a terror attack as the cause of the crash of flight MS804 was “stronger” than technical failure.

Egyptian and Greek authorities said the plane likely went down near the Greek island of Crete.
Reuters reported that Greek authorities had spotted two floating objects in sea 50 miles southeast of area where the plane left the radar, 174 miles off the Egyptian coast.  Greece’s defense ministry mobilized a search and rescue operation.

2) Migrants throw stones at police – Greek police throw Gas canisters
“Violence flares as Greek police clash with migrants,” May 18, 2016:

Migrants throw rocks at Greek police during a scuffle at the Macedonian border (AP)
Greek riot police have fired tear gas and stun grenades at refugees and other migrants who tried to push a railway carriage through a cordon during a protest at a crowded camp on the border with Macedonia. Police said about 200 people were involved in the violence, and the migrants also attacked officers with stones. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

The sprawling Idomeni camp is home to about 10,000 people trapped in Greece after a series of border closures further north on the Balkan migration route to Europe’s prosperous heartland.<Read More>

Two situations in Greece; one is of high priority to the media and one less covered but both are important to Europe. If EgyptAir flight was a result of terrorism, then it adds to heightened risk of flying especially in light of the Brussel’s attack. The refugees from the Middle East are backed up on the border of Greece because Macedonia will not allow them access as all consequent borders to Western Europe are currently closed to migrants.

Prayer Points:
1)    Let us first pray that the Greek authorities will handle both situations with much wisdom.
2)    Pray for the families of loved-ones that perished on the EgyptAir flight.
3)    I can only imagine what it would be like to be a refugee and have to flee my home. Let us pray that the Greek government and the European Union will figure out how to relieve their suffering.
4)    In last week’s prayer points we inserted this link.  In this video it is mentioned that 53% of all refugees are Christians fleeing the Islamic oppression. Let us pray for these Christians fleeing the Middle East. May the Lord be with them as He was with the Children of Israel when they fled Egyptian bondage.
5)    It is said that a good number of Christians in the Middle East or those that lived in Muslim lands, are nominal in their spiritual and doctrinal beliefs. It is also true that persecution can supply a grace that immediately deepens a person’s faith.
a.    First let’s pray that they would be safe on their journey and the Lord would help them get to a safe dwelling place.
b.    Let us pray that many Christian organizations would be able to get Arabic and Farsi language Bibles into the camps.
c.    May these Christians from Muslim backgrounds be bold in their faith and lead many Muslims to the redemptive love of Jesus.
6)    With the present situation in Greece, let us pray for Greek churches to get involved in reaching out to these refugees. May the compassion of Christ compel them to see them as human beings first.
7)    There are reports of the Greek government and EU authorities restricting access to the camps. Pray that those helping the refuges would respect the authorities but at the same time the authorities would grant favor to visit and help. Pray for any confusion to cease and may the Spirit of God bring order into the camps.