5 Days of prayer for Midian
The Spirit of God through Isaiah wrote, “A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD” Isaiah 60:6b
Midian – The Land and the People
The Midianites were well known to the Israelites. They shared the same father, Abraham, and their histories intersected at several points. Midian was the son of Abraham by Keturah, Abraham’s wife after Sarah died. Midian had five sons who were the progenitors of the Midianites (Genesis 25: 1,2,4; 1 Chronicles 1: 32-33). While Abraham was still alive, he sent the sons of his concubines, including Midian and his family, “away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country” (Genesis 25:6). This was approximately the year 2000 BC.
Who are the people now living in what was once known as Midian?
The Bani Atiyah tribe currently lives in northwest Saudi Arabia, which is considered to be the ancient heartland of Midian. They comprise the largest part of the population in this area. They were once predominantly nomadic Bedouins raising camels and sheep, but now most are settled in towns and villages.
The largest town and provincial capital is the town of Tabuk. In 1950, Tabuk had a population of 12,000. By 2022, this number had grown to 667,000, reflecting the general trend in Arabia of people leaving their Bedouin lifestyles and settling in towns and villages. Tabuk is an active commercial center and has been serving pilgrims on their way to Mecca for hundreds of years. Due to its somewhat more moderate climate it is the site of several dairy and poultry farms.
Tabuk is located to the east of the Midian Mountains. These mountains drop off steeply to the Gulf of Aqaba on the west side. The eastern slopes are not as steep, with oases around springs and wells where the nomadic peoples of the past watered their flocks, as some of the Bani Atiyah still do to this day.
In stark contrast to the ancient way of life still practiced today by the sheep and goat herders in the Midian Mountains, the massive Neom development project has the potential to totally transform this region. The ambitions of the Neom megaproject include Trojena, a ski resort; Oxagan, a floating industrial global trade hub, and The Line, a linear city 170 kilometers long. The impact on the way of life of the people living here will be enormous.
- Lord, prepare my heart to pray in accordance with Your Spirit as I pray for Midian.
- Lord, please work in the lives of the people of the Bani Atiyah tribe and the other people living in Midian, preparing their hearts to receive Your Spirit – the Spirit of Truth.
- Lord, please push back and defeat the forces of spiritual darkness that will keep the Bani Atiyah people and others in this area from coming to salvation through understanding the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ
- Lord, use the accelerating changes in culture and society due to the Neom megaproject to make the people here more open to receive the Gospel.
- Be glorified Lord, by bringing worshipers to Yourself from these people currently living in Midian.
1,300 years elapsed after Abraham sent Midian “away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country” (Genesis 25:6) until the Book of Isaiah was written. During this time the Midianites are found in sacred scripture at various times and in different places. Approximately 100 years after Abraham sent Midian and his other sons away from Isaac, Midianite traders sold Isaac’s grandson Joseph into slavery in Egypt after lifting him out of the pit where his brothers had thrown him (Genesis 37:28).
Midian – God’s Revelation in the Land
Joseph rose to the second highest position in Egypt and moved his father and brothers to Egypt, to the land of Goshen. 400 years later all the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt. At this time, Moses fled from Pharaoh and left Egypt. He went to the land of Midian where he met Jethro, the priest of Midian, and married his daughter Zipporah (Exodus 2:15-21). The fact that Jethro was “the priest of Midian,” suggests that the Midianites retained knowledge of the God of Abraham.
During his 40-year sojourn tending sheep in Midian, Moses was being prepared by God to meet Him. Here, Moses could have learned more about the God of Abraham from Jethro. The life of Moses as a shepherd in Midian certainly humbled him: “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).
After God had finally prepared Moses to meet Him, God revealed Himself in a bush found throughout Midian. Only this particular bush “was burning, yet was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2). It was here that God revealed to Moses His divine nature, “I AM WHO I AM”, revealed His divine name of Yahweh (the LORD) and began to work through Moses to rescue His people and lead them out of Egypt (Exodus 3:1-23).
- God, You revealed Your name in Midian. Lord, will You reveal Your name to all the peoples currently living in Midian.
- Lord, prepare their hearts to meet the True and Living God, the God of Abraham.
- Meet them through commonplace things as well as divine dreams, visions, signs, burning bushes, miracles, and wonders.
- Send laborers into this harvest field to be Your witnesses. Give Your witnesses the words to speak as You gave Moses and Aaron words to speak (Exodus 4:15). Confirm Your Word with signs and wonders as You did for Moses (Exodus 4:17).
- Reveal Yourself to them as “I AM WHO I AM”, Yahweh and Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
- Humble them, as You humbled Moses.
- Raise up leaders like Moses from these humbled ones – leaders, pastors and shepherds who will lead and care for God’s flock in the Arabian Peninsula.
When God met Moses in the burning bush he said, “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12). And so, after the Lord delivered the people of Israel from the Egyptians, they traveled to the “mountain of God” in Midian where God had first revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 18:5, 24:13).
Midian – God’s Revelation at the Mountain of God
At this mountain God made a covenant with the people of Israel, giving them the ten commandments, the laws, and instructions for the building of the Tabernacle (Exodus 19 to 31).
While at the mountain the people sinned against God by worshiping the golden calf (Exodus 32). God was angry and judged them. However, God affirmed that His presence would go with them after Moses interceded for the people (Exodus 33:14-17).
In response to Moses asking, "Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18), God proclaimed His Name to Moses as he passed by where Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:18-34:9). God renewed the covenant and promised to go with them and bring them into the promised land (Exodus 34:10-35).
Finally, the tabernacle was constructed, and “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34). The first tabernacle, where God was present in the midst of His people, was located in Midian.
- Lord, will You make Your covenant of peace through Jesus Christ with the Bani Atiyah and the other people now living in Midian.
- Lord, may those now living in Midian know and follow the Ten Commandments.
- May they honor the Lord God who gave the Ten Commandments.
- Will You convict them through the Holy Spirit “concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) so that they might not be consumed by God’s wrath.
- Lord, will You declare Your names to them, including “our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).
- Lord, You dwelt with Your people in Midian. Will those currently living in Midian dwell with You.
- Will You send witnesses to them, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).
- Lord, as Moses interceded for the Hebrews, we will do so for the people living in Midian, asking for them to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Midian – God’s Judgment
In Midian, God judged the Hebrews for the worship of a golden calf. They could literally see God’s glory on the mountaintop yet they worshiped a man-made young bull. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:8 that 23,000 Hebrews died that day because of false worship.
After leaving the Mountain of God and wandering in the desert for 40 years, the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land when the Midianites were involved in the plot to bring Balaam to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22:4-7). As a result, God ordered Moses to, “Harass the Midianites and strike them down”
Prior to taking possession of the Promised Land, the Israelites were attacked by a group of Midianites who were allied with the Moabites. God ordered Moses to punish them and the Midianites were utterly defeated alongside their five kings (Numbers 31:2-18).
Approximately 250 years after Israel was established in the Promised Land, God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites who had been oppressing them for seven years (Judges 6:1 – 8:28). As a result of Gideon’s victory, “Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they raised their heads no more”
(Judges 8:28). Allusions to God’s victory through Gideon are found in Psalm 83:9, Isaiah 9:4, 10:26 and Habakkuk 3:7, but otherwise there are no events involving Midianites in sacred scripture until 450 years later when Isaiah writes,
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.
- Lord, please show the Bani Atiyah and the other people now living in Midian that unless they come to You through Jesus Christ in the way that You command, they will be judged (John 8:24; 14:6).
- Pray that they will see that just as You previously judged the people who once lived in Midian, one day You will judge the whole earth, “He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness” (Psalm 96:13).
- Lord, reveal to them that, “the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22) and they are to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to escape divine judgement. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
The people living in Midian, for whom we have been praying, are to be part of the great ingathering of God’s people of whom Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23). Large numbers of worshipers will come to Jerusalem from Midian, so many that Israel will be covered with “a multitude of camels”. As true worshipers, they will bring the very best they have, precious gifts befitting their King. They bring valuable “young camels,” the most prized of their herds. They bring “gold and frankincense,” their most treasured material possessions. They bring “good news, the praises of the LORD,” singing with thanksgiving and joy, rejoicing in their salvation and in their Lord. These are true worshipers, who love the Lord Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).
Midian – The Gifts They Bring to the Lord
The Midianites are not recorded in scripture as being involved in any other events after Isaiah 60:6 was written, which was approximately 700 B.C.. The prophecy of Isaiah 60:6 concerning the people of Midian bringing gifts and praises to the Lord awaits fulfillment. We look forward in faith to that day. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
- Lord, we agree with Isaiah 60:6 and pray that the Bani Atiyah and the other people living in Midian will bring their gifts and praises to You, their King. “A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD” (Isaiah 60:6).
- Lord, we pray for the three W’s:
• Your Word and Your Truth to run through this area, to every city, town and village.
• Your Workers and Witnesses to be in the land sharing Your Truth.
• Your Wonders (dreams, visions, signs, miracles) to confirm Your Word and Your Truth.
- Lord, we know You have said, “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him,” (John 4:23). We pray that You will hasten this hour for these people.
- Lord, we know in the future they will willingly bring their gifts to You. Lord, may they come to know You today, making their hearts ready for this future day.
Thank you for praying for Midian. May God bless you for praying for these people living in what was once known as Midian. May those for whom we have been praying come to know why we have been praying for them:
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15).
All scriptures are ESV unless otherwise noted. Some bolding in the scriptures is done to bring emphasis by the writer.