praying for Iraq again today

Ten years ago today marked the start of what became the Iraq war. The BBC has reported on a fresh wave of deadly car bombs across the country, but we know from the reports of people like Canon Andrew White – based in the country – that these are much more regular than our headlines tell us.

We pray for this nation often, and today was no exception… but today our time began with revisiting this liturgy we wrote last year, and asking again for God’s heart for Iraq: 

How many years now Lord?
How many headlines?
How many dead?

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down
With peace, and justice and a loud resounding
“NO MORE” shout
To sectarians, militants, politicians
And to me.

For I am one who sits by silent and passive,
Too faithless and tired to pray
Except on a day like today
When fresh violence explodes my apathy
And a nation I know is in turmoil most days
Captures my attention again.

Ten years on Lord and I still haven’t really caught your heart for Iraq;
A thousand headlines and I still haven’t fully understood
That you watch and weep constantly with every widow and orphan.
And you, unlike me, have never been idle.
You are working, transforming – if only I would ask you to show me how.

How long till I have your vision for this nation?
How long till my heart is found in constant prayer?
How many times will I be moved only to then forget
Before I learn, and change, and act? – with you.

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