It's been a tough couple of weeks.
We are facing a continued and invigorated battle with COVID-19, even among our children, which is particularly distressing to me as a pediatrician. We watched Haiti torn apart (again) by a devastating earthquake. Many are dealing with the aftermath of a storm called Fred… and waiting for the arrival of Grace.
And now, we are utterly shaken and grieved by what we see happening in Afghanistan.
This is not a political post, but rather a call to prayer. Honestly, I have been so distracted and have been hurting so deeply for the Afghan people that even my prayers have been jumbled. I can't even imagine a scenario in which my despondency would extend so far as to pass my baby over a wall into the waiting hands of strange men in uniform in a desperate attempt to save them.
Yet, mothers are doing just that.
This is why I wanted to write out a few things I'm praying for in particular related to this current international crisis. Maybe it will help you to pray for Afghanistan as well when you get overwhelmed.
NINE WAYS TO PRAY FOR AFGHANISTAN
1. Physical protection and provision for the innocent. Pray especially for the women, children, and vulnerable men who will be left behind. They are at particular heart-breaking risk.
2. Spiritual strength and peace for believers, who are standing strong in the face of persecution and probable death. May they hold tight to the gospel and keep their eyes on the One who has already rescued them.
(https://www.9marks.org/article/afghan-pastors-ask-for-prayer/ and https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/afghanistan-afghan-pastors/ are two good articles for more specifics on this)
3. US civilians and other foreigners, as well as the US supporters who have risked their lives and families to aid the US through this war. They are desperately trying to get out of the country. Pray for wisdom for their maneuverings and mercy for their exit.
4. American troops on the ground working tirelessly to quite literally save lives, some who are inevitably feeling the burden of accepting those precious children mentioned above. Pray for their physical health and strength as well as emotional endurance.
5. American soldiers currently stateside who have served these people and the families of those who have lost loved ones in that land over the course of these past 20 years. They are now hurting in ways we can’t understand from this dreadful loss of a war they have faithfully fought.
6. Our children and teens as they are dealing with the news of this tragedy on top of Haiti, hurricanes, and a pandemic. Even though it's distant geographically to us, it is affecting us. Pray for our kids.
7. The hardened hearts of the Taliban. Pray that they will have mercy on the weak and that God's power washes over them. I'm not sure whether I am praying more for God's grace or his judgment but my feeble heart can at least cry out in petition for their actions toward others.
8. Protection from future terrorist attacks that may come due to this world-altering event. We can't live in fear but we can openheartedly pray for protection for those we love and peace for what may come.
9. And most earnestly, we can and should pray for the advance of the Gospel for a dying world. This event in world history that we are watching in real time, just like so many others we have witnessed, did not take God by surprise. And we can join together and pray that even through this tragedy, he will be glorified and the life-giving message of the redeeming truth of the cross of Calvary will be poured out over a barren land.
God is still sovereign.
God is still good.
And you are not helpless.