Like many, I find the news of the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan deeply disturbing. The emotions range from profound sadness, extreme anger and a deep disbelief at the apathically slow response of much of the international community.
It can be even harder to know where to go with these emotions, and what we can do.
But in the upset and outrage, we cannot become paralyzed in our faith.
Here are just some of the ways I’m trying to channel my emotions into prayer for that nation right now.
1. Praying for Peace
Prayercast.com are calling on Christian to pray for: “appropriate and expedient solutions to ongoing threats of violence.” The international community now faces impossibly difficult decisions in how to relate to the Taliban and the Afghan people – let’s pray for divine wisdom and God’s grace in abundance.
He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
2. Praying for the Church
There are no church buildings in Afghanistan and many Christians are cut off from underground networks of believers. They feel isolated and unsure whom to trust. Pray that the secret church there would grow in unity and in numbers.
Afghanistan is No. 2 on the 2019 World Watch List for good reason. Christians are extremely vulnerable. Their families feel compelled to save the family honor by forcing believers to reconvert to Islam. If these efforts are unsuccessful, Christians may be disowned, banished, abused, kidnapped or even killed. The authorities and extremist groups form another threat to the lives of Christians. Pray for the safety of Christians and for strength to remain faithful in the midst of their persecution.
I’m praying that the Lord will move mightily in this situation, and protect the church leaders and missionaries that are left in the land.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
3. Praying for the Displaced
Countless droves of people are fleeing Afghanistan – many with no real idea of where they are going. Some countries are opening their borders, while others seem to be strengthening their defenses against their arrival.
Let’s pray for softening of attitudes in people’s hearts and minds towards this refugee crisis.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
4. Praying for the Women
Women and children remain the most vulnerable under the Taliban’s extreme regime. We must pray for freedom and justice, and for those who feel forgotten and neglected by the international community at this time.
A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God is His holy dwelling.
5. Praying for Damascus Road encounters
As hard as it is, the Lord commands us to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us. Ultimately, love is stronger than hate, and hope is stronger than fear. What the Taliban need are life-changing encounters with Jesus. As crazy as that sounds, that was God’s plan in the life of the Apostle Paul and was willing to meet him in the dust of the Damascus Road in order to do it.
I’m praying for encounters today.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life.
1 TIMOTHY 1.16
Sometime it is hard to pray, or even to find the faith or the will to. Crosswalk.com have written a prayer, that you may want to use as a guide/catalyst for your own:
Lord, even when it doesn’t make sense to our earthly selves, you call us to pray for those who persecute (Matthew 5:44). We lift up the Taliban to you today. We pray that your Holy Spirit would work in them and soften their hearts.
Only you truly know their hearts, Lord. Just as you created us, help us to remember that they are your creation as well and you love them deeply. Help us to desire the restoration of their hearts and welcome them with open arms into the family of Christ when their hearts are changed. You alone can work in their hearts and minds, and we pray that through this process we see a transformation and revival. Let us continue to lift them up to you in love, knowing that you came to save each and every one of us.