Culture

How can we pray for Afghanistan?

by Gabriel Ong // August 17, 2021, 5:02 pm

Taliban - Featured 3

Image source: Reuters

This sentence took hours. Honestly, I didn’t know how to begin this article.

Have you seen the images and videos of Afghans falling from the sky? They had clung on to aircraft, even though those planes were taxiing and taking off.

Can you imagine the fear and desperation behind such an action? That even the impossible would be preferable to being left behind in Kabul? I can’t. 

Screenshots from a netizen on Twitter

I felt such anger too at the Taliban, the militant force that has seized control of the country. And I’m supposed to pray for these guys? 

The days we live in are truly dark. For many Afghans today, it’s probably pitch-black.

Which is why now, more than ever, we need to pray. 

PRAY FOR AFGHANS

38,000,000.

That’s how many people live in Afghanistan. Each one is a person. Each one has a name, dreams, fears and anxieties.

They may be far removed from Singapore, but they are people just like us — worthy of love.

So let’s lift them up in prayer. Pray for:

  1. Peace and protection from violence, especially for those who have worked for the previous government 
  2. The displaced as thousands have fled from rural areas to urban centres and are sleeping in the open
  3. Miraculous provision in the face of impending hunger 
  4. Aid (e.g. shelter, medicine) to reach those who need it
  5. Freedom – women and girls, in particular, fear a return to oppressive rule and to be stripped of opportunities for education, employment, etc

As Western forces pull out of the country after 20 years of war, pray earnestly to the God of peace for this nation.

Screenshots from a netizen on Twitter

PRAY FOR BELIEVERS

According to Open Doors’ World Watch List, an annual ranking tracking the persecution of Christians worldwide, Afghanistan is No. 2 on the list — right behind North Korea.

“It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan,” the report begins. “Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed.”

It is hard to number how many Christian Afghans there are today. But whatever the number, each one is a brother and sister to us.

So let us intercede for our Afghan brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for:

  1. God’s protection over their lives and property
  2. Strength and encouragement despite their circumstances
  3. Christian fellowship that is safe and secure
  4. The Word of God to persist in and permeate the country
  5. Revival throughout Afghanistan

Beyond prayer and intercession, Open Doors also has an option for people who want to give to Afghanistan.

Image source: CNN

PRAY FOR THE GOVERNMENT 

When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they were known for their brutal regime that enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

But before we dehumanise and demonise another person, let us remember that the Apostle Paul once persecuted Christians too. 

If there was hope for the man who stood by at the stoning of Stephen, there is yet hope for anyone who has a change of heart. So, pray for:

  1. Peaceful transition of power now that the civilian government has collapsed and the president has fled the country 
  2. Justice to be restored in Afghanistan
  3. God to miraculously turn hearts to Him

If He can transform a murderous zealot into one of the greatest writers of the New Testament, who can know what he might do in Afghanistan today through prayer? All we can do is look to God for hope. 

Finally, in all this, if you are unmoved or numbed to the perpetual pains of this world — pray for empathy.

Ask God to melt your heart for His people. Pray for love that comes from Him, to flow in us, through us and out of us to those in need.

Look at your skills, talents and gifts. How else can we be a blessing to the people of Afghanistan today? Please let us know, and share with others in the comments section of our social media platforms.

In word and deed, may we be known as a people of love as we glorify God in these tumultuous times.

About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.