In the evening of January 2, 2020, in California, I had put my daughter to bed and was organizing a craft for myself to do while I wound down the day.
Suddenly my spirit rose up and I was prompted to speak out: “Hosanna! Hosanna!” between two and four times. Rather than continuing on in praying in my prayer language, my spirit was at rest.
My mom had told me in the past that “Hosanna!” is a spiritual warfare prayer. It means “save us!” As I went back to my craft, I smiled and wondered amusedly, “Lord, what happened just now that you prompted me to pray that?”
In the Middle East, what was to me the evening of January 2, 2020 was the morning of January 3, 2020.
Well, the next day I found out the answer to my bemused question “What happened just now that you prompted me to pray that?”
At the hour the Spirit stirred up my spirit to call out “Hosanna!” Qasem Soleimani was assasinated.
I was floored at the news not just because of its international significance but because of what the Lord had made me privy to in the spirit.
Qasem Soleimani was the Iranian general specifically appointed by the Islamic regime in Iran to install and train terrorist organizations, including ISIS, throughout the Middle East. He was a man possessed by the Strongman of Iran and the Middle East who is the Prince of Persia named by the Angel in Daniel 10:12-14. This is a demonic principality.
Jeremiah Johnson had a dream about this principality having a hit list of prophets to take out who had dared to pray for Iran.
This instance on January 3, 2020 was not the first time I had prayed for Iran without knowing it.
During a worship team prayer time in 2019, I was prompted to pray for the persecuted church. This was Thursday, May 2, 2019. I recall the exact date because I remember that we were praying corporately that night because it was the National Day of Prayer.
I’m not really a missionally minded person to be honest. The Lord has shifted me to be more global in my thinking about the church over the last few years, but a prayer for the persecuted church wouldn’t really be my typical “burden” so to speak. In fact, my heavy burden has been for the apostate church in America!
As the Lord directed me during corporate prayer to pray for the persecuted church, here is what was happening in Washington on May 2, 2019:
Vox reported, “May 2, 2019: The [Trump] administration ends waivers that allowed countries to import Iranian oil. Without those waivers, countries that purchased oil from Iran, including China, India, and Japan, could also be subject to US sanctions. If those countries choose to stop buying Iranian oil, it would hurt Iran’s economy even further.”
You can find that rest of the significant events between Iran and America that occurred between May 2, 2019 and July 2019 by following this link. These events include escalation between Iran and America up to the point of war until at the climax of tensions, Trump decided against striking Iran ten minutes before the strike was to begin because he wanted to avoid Iranian casualties.
Hormoz Sharia, who is called “The Billy Graham of Iran” put these events’ impact on Iranian Christians into clarity when he wrote this concerning America’s economic, diplomatic, and military pressures on the Iranian government:
The Islamic Regime’s Problems
(This is an excerpt from a post titled, “Qasem Soleimani Assassination: Impact on Iranian Christians.” posted to Hormoz Shariat’s Blog on January 10, 2020. I first accessed this blog on October 30, 2020.)by Hormoz Shariat
- Bad economy. The economy is bad because of sanctions, poor decisions, and weak economic infrastructures. Iran can solve none of it. A lack of financial resources will continue to pressure the government. They have been reducing subsidies. If they become unable to pay salaries to government employees and especially the revolutionary guards, the whole government will implode. Even if they suddenly want to shore up the economy’s foundation, they cannot because the system is not designed for such corrective action. So the economy is an unsolvable problem for them.
- Corrupt government. Corruption is so rampant that it has become an integral part of how the government governs. The US$150 billion that they received under Obama’s administration sped up corruption in Iran. Many people in power wanted a piece of that pie. Those who want to eradicate corruption cannot do it because the top clergy and their families are the major players in it. So corruption is another unsolvable problem for them.
- Oppositional population. The people are against them. They came on the streets to protest the economy, and they faced bullets. As a result, their hatred of the government and even Islam itself has increased. The regime reportedly killed over 1,500 people within the past two months. They have not allowed the families of the dead to gather and mourn, and they arrested those who tried. That means the parents of some of those who were killed are now in jail because they publicly mourned the loss of their son or daughter. The government has lost the people’s heart, and there is no way to gain it back.
- Military Threat. Now they have President Trump threatening them with action. It started with the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, but Trump made it very clear that he is ready for more. They have no solution for that. If they do nothing, they look weak. For 40 years, they have lied to the people of Iran, telling them that Iran is a superpower. Now they are in danger of being found out and losing respect and credibility. This threat may give people hope that their government is not as strong as it claims and that it could be toppled. If so, this hope will encourage them to continue their protests and oppositions.
The Spiritual Impact
- More salvations. I predict that in the next six months, we will have an accelerated number of Iranian Muslims who will come to Christ. This expectation is not new. We saw a similar occurrence ten years ago. During the Green Movement in 2009, the government killed, raped, and tortured many people. The government’s brutality unmasked the true face of Islam to many: a heartless religion that devalues human life. Because of what they saw, many people who were undecided about Islam beforehand became sure that Islam is not the way. Thus, they became open to the message of the gospel. Even some fanatic Muslims—people who were sold out to Islam and opposed Christianity just a few months prior—came to Christ. How do we know? Because they contacted us and shared their stories. Likewise, we expect that in the next six months, we will see a surge in salvations among those who used to be devoted Muslims—even among the clergy and government officials!
- Fewer persecutions—temporarily. Becausethe government has too many problems to fight, for the next few months they will not focus on destroying Christianity as they have when they have had the money and time. If their negotiations prove successful, however, and they can bring back a more normal situation to Iran, then they will start a new wave of Christian persecution.
- More intense persecution. They will arrest fewer people, but they will act harshly toward them—that is, long jail terms and even execution. They will want to make an example out of the few they arrest to put fear in the hearts of other Christians and stop them from evangelizing, fellowshiping with other Christians, or connecting to organizations outside Iran such as Iran Alive. As Christianity grows and the government feels more out of control, it will intensify the persecution.
- Greater opportunity for Christians to be salt and light. As the darkness grows, the light can have more impact because it has the power to destroy the darkness. Light in the midst of the darkness is easily seen and very attractive. So this is the time for Christians to be different. In the midst of the nation’s desperation and hopelessness, Christians can bring the hope of Christ.
I will add here one last plea before the election: please vote for President Trump. He is in fact being used in MIGHTY ways for the purposes of the Gospel. It confounds wisdom, but I tell you, it is true.
As the church in America comes under sifting and faces the first ever advent of persecution, the church in Iran is rising in honor and breaking off yolks of oppression throughout the Middle East.
Let Trump continue to put the screws to the regime; it is helping! Where Iran encourages terrorist insurrection globally, America under Trump is aiding and abetting a Christian uprising in Iran that would benefit no less than 11 Arab Nations.
Take off carnal thinking. Cast down Jezebel in your midst. And really, vote for Trump. This is not partisan thinking, it’s prophetic observation.