This morning at my church, we prayed this prayer for the people of Afghanistan and all those involved. As we were praying, I could not help but be moved to tears thinking about how I would feel, as a mom, if I had to throw my baby into the arms of someone I did not know and have no idea if I would ever see my child again. I couldn’t help but think how I would feel if I was in a cave waiting for someone to find me and possibly beat or kill me for being a Christian.
This prayer quickly brought into perspective how easy it is for us in America to forget the freedoms and blessings we take for granted every day, and how many of our “hard times” are trivial compared to the “hard times” people live with every day in other countries. I was so moved by this prayer I wanted to share with you and ask that you would pray as well, and pass this along.
A Prayer for Afghanistan
Dear God, your eyes see the images our eyes see—of falling bodies, of desperate mothers, of children tossed over razor wire. You see. You know.
Dear God, your eyes see the violent and vicious, the evil and barbarous, who roam now through neighborhoods in places we, in the West, like to put out of our minds.
Dear God, you see your church in Afghanistan, hiding now in closets and caves, courageous and faithful, who not only wonder if they’ll meet again, but if a simple sign of devotion—a cross, an app, a pamphlet—will indict them in the eyes of their persecutors.
Dear God, you see the little girls who once walked to school who will now be dehumanized and disfigured, abused and subjugated. You see them.
Dear God, you see the weary soldiers who wonder if their sacrifice was in vain. You see the brave Afghans who fought for freedom, now having to scramble to board planes to escape. You see the journalists, who risk their lives bringing us the images, the video, the stories from which we cannot, we must not, we will not look away.
God, we are overwhelmed by the sheer scale of evil, the depth of the world’s brokenness and we feel powerless. We are angry. We are helpless. And yet we trust that you are a good God who sees, who fights—a God of perfect justice, whose heart breaks at the single drop of innocent shed blood.
We pray for rescue for the many thousands in peril right this moment. We pray for the soldiers who work daily to evacuate the vulnerable. We pray for true wisdom—not the world’s fickle and feckless wisdom—for those who make decisions at every level. We pray you would work to turn the hearts of Presidents and Prime Ministers, of powerful pundits and pastors, toward policies that champion the dignity of your image-bearers, however that may look. And we urge you, we beg you, for a gospel work in this, the seeming darkest of places, that you might even turn the heart of terrorists.
We know you understand suffering. You saw your son unjustly executed, pinned naked and lonely on a cruel instrument of torture outside the city gates. We know Jesus wept at the sight of death, the work of that serpent.
Lord, empower your church to meet this staggering human need. Give us open hands and restless hearts. Help us put aside our petty complaints and move toward a world in need. Help us live out our calling to both deliver the good news that God has reconciled sinners to himself in Jesus Christ and to live out the ethics of the kingdom by serving those most in need.
God, you see every last person—you crafted them in the womb with care, created them in your image and for your glory. You see and you act.
We pray that your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.