As our nation mourns the loss of 13 marines and the lives of other innocent individuals, I invite us to pray today to the Lord of all the world. I thank Tiffany Curtis, the Faith Editor of Crosswalk.com, for sharing this prayer at https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers-to-lift-up-for-afghanistan.html
A Prayer for the People of Afghanistan
Lord, we lift up the people of Afghanistan to you right now. We pray that you would take hold of them and help them walk through this fearful time. Protect them under your wing and help them feel the comfort and peace that only comes from your powerful presence.
So many people who have called this place their home have been displaced because of this event. Remind them, Lord, that their true home is in Heaven with you. Give those who believe in you the courage to stand strong in their faith and be a strong witness for you. Also, be with those who do not believe in you – help them to see the peace in your followers and allow the Holy Spirit to stir in their hearts as they witness this.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. (Isaiah 41:10-12)
A Prayer for the Troops and Their Loved Ones
Lord, we lift up the military troops that are in or being deployed to Afghanistan right now. Protect them as they give up their safety to protect us. Thank you that we live in a free country, where the choice can be made to fight for this freedom. Thank you for every single person who has dedicated their own lives to protecting this nation and people, as well as the people of other nations. Help them evacuate people with safety and be a source of hope to those feeling trapped and afraid. We thank them for their sacrifice – a sacrifice that you are so familiar with.
Nearly every person knows someone or has a loved one in the military, and so many are fearful for their loved ones being deployed at this moment. Cover each one with a blanket of peace, knowing that you guide each of us to your ultimate victory. Comfort every veteran, family member, friend, and loved one who feels fearful or uneasy right now.
No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
A Prayer for the Leaders
Lord, we lift up our leaders, both here and abroad, who are tasked with making difficult and quick decisions. Give them the clarity to approach each decision with wisdom and care. We know that being a leader in this situation would be no easy task – give us understanding and patience for their decisions, even when we may not agree with them.
Each leader was placed in their position for a reason, and we pray that you would guide them to choose what is best for the troops helping, as well as the citizens looking for help. Give our leaders humility and knowledge to negotiate and deliberate. Help them ultimately look to you for guidance, and allow the Holy Spirit to nudge them to pray over each decision that is made.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
A Prayer for Missionaries and Those from Other Countries
Lord, we pray for the missionaries as well as those visiting Afghanistan right now. We thank you for the brave men and women who leave their comfortable homes here to minister and serve lost people in other countries. There is always a small risk in doing anything outside of your comfort zone, but these missionaries stand up to those risks in order to further the gospel.
We pray that you would not only protect them but that you would do amazing things through them in the midst of this. Help them to be a light in the darkness for you – to spread your comfort, peace, and assurance to those who are afraid. Let their witness spread to everyone around them. And if need be, give them the courage and strength to defend your name under persecution.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. (Psalm 34:7-9)
A Prayer for the Taliban
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.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-44)
We know that ultimately, God is sovereign over all things. No matter what wars are being waged, won, or lost here on earth, God will have the victory in the end. It’s so hard for us to see this reality while we live through fearful and uncertain events. But by turning our eyes to God and lifting up our fears and desires to him, we can truly know that he is in control.