in response to Iraq and more

This morning we were again interceding for the situation in Iraq, and other nations faced with conflict. Inspired by the story of this Christian family in Palestine who are determined to keep their hearts – as well as their actions – peaceful and by the truth contained in Psalm 30, we wrote these two new prayers as we wrestled through our response to all that is going on in our headlines:

middle east

A prayer that’s lost for words…

Lord Jesus come.
It’s about all we can manage to say this morning.
Please come.
We’re out of ideas and carefully worded prayers
Because of the shock peppered with a sense of half-expected
And the pain we know is a fraction of those in the midst of it;
In the horror and the fear unfolding before us.

And yet we look to you.
Lord Jesus, come.
There are few other words to cling to.
Lord Jesus, come.

Come to the peace-longers in Iraqi homes
And to the hardened hearts on its streets.
Come to the battle-weary refugees from Syria aching for home
And those on both sides defiantly determined to fight till the end.
Come to those still hiding in the bush in the Central African Republic
And to those hungry for power on whichever side.
Come to all hearts – soft or hard – in the Ukraine, Russia, Libya;
Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Colombia, Thailand, Egypt…

Lord Jesus I will miss some,
Even as my  heart heavy with them tries to list some
In this stumbled prayer for the nations
And for a billion hearts.

But you won’t miss any.
So I return to this.
I look to you
and change my perspective
close to yours and eternity.
And I pray.
Lord Jesus, come.
Simply this.
Lord Jesus, come.
Lord Jesus.

A prayer of peace-lovers and peace-makers thrust into conflict (inspired by Psalm 30)

I will sing praise to you Lord.
I will praise your holy name.
For your anger lasts only for a moment,
but your favour lasts a lifetime.
Your anger – though righteous – lasts only for a moment
but your favour – though undeserved and poured out in grace – lasts for a lifetime.
This is not the anger and favour of men that I am so often at the mercy of:
the long-lasting anger of hardened hearts and enemies
and the fleeting favour of those who flatter or manipulate.

I long to respond differently –
to be filled with your living water.
Bubbling up purely, consistently – no matter what.
I say in my heart, I refuse to be an enemy –
though others might seek to make me one.

Strengthen me Lord,
so that though the pain is great and the temptation to harden my heart is real,
I can continue to give – in my prayers and my actions
true, genuine and faithful love of others.
And when I am caught in anger or pain,
It can be fleeting like yours.

Use me to stand for peace, carry your peace,
even be your peace
in a world bent on power, control and conflict.

Strengthen me so I can stand.
So I do not despair and am not silenced.
Strengthen me so I can remain
with integrity before you
and as an effective channel of your transforming power
to those around me.

That even yet – even here –
we may see rejoicing when morning comes
and everything is made beautiful in your timing.
And that even now – even here –
I may dance and sing and praise
in the unchanging certainty of who you are
and the peace you alone can bring.


Comments are closed.