Eugene Cho

let us pray

Read the daily updates on the hostage situation in Afghanistan. 

The hostage situation in Afghanistan has reminded me [again] of our deep human brokenness.  There is indeed both beauty and depravity in the human condition.  I’m also [again] reminded of my narcissicm – my personal depravity.  It’s so easy to think of just me, myself, and I.  May we all be reminded to think beyond ourselves to reflect, pray, and advocate for much that goes on around us. In the midst of human depravity and brokenness, may we be instruments and embodiments of God’s beauty.

I am simply cutting and pasting a prayer that “Cat”, a frequent visitor to this blog [and Quest congregant] posted earlier on the post about the hostage situation in Afghanistan.  It’s such a moving prayer. Please take a moment to read and pray through it.

**********************************************************

Abba Father,

We bow down before You and give thanks that You, in Your triune being, are faithful and compassionate. We are blessed and comforted by your omniscience, your omnipotence, your salvation. We do not understand the choices that You make as You carve out a path of righteousness in the midst of our human garden and water it in the blood of martyrs and the sweat of the oppressed people of our planet and the tears of those who love You.

We are deeply flawed in vision and understanding, but we see Your Son and we read Your Word and we believe that you desire to hear from Your people on behalf of these helpless victims in Afghanistan. We thank You for the trials that we have faced in our own lifetimes, though few of us have known the kind of fear and danger that these young people are facing. We thank You because You have been there when we needed You most and we know that You will be with these, Your children, as well.

We are asking you to strengthen them in body, soul and spirit. Bring Your Word into their minds for comfort and guidance. Pour out Your grace so that they will be able to speak peace to one another. Put Your general commandment for mercy upon the hearts of their captors and grant that their simple human needs may be respected. Heal those who are ill, in Your regenerative power. Provide clean water and proper waste treatment in their environment, Lord. Nourish them with simple, healthful food. Cause Your Love to flourish in their hearts and Your truth to grow strong in this trial.

For those who desire to stage a test of strength between human ideas of “god” that are different, show Yourself True, Lord. Your messenger tells us that God is on God’s side and doesn’t take up a human cause on command, yet when Elijah acted out his drama to debunk the false gods in his culture, You supported His efforts and You came down with power to dethrone the posers. Come down with power now, Lord, and cause Your free people to remember these and ALL those who are held in captivity because of bad ideology. Bind us together in the will of Your Spirit and bring us to the place of intelligent prayer. Pass our prayers through the mind of Christ and accept our passionate pleas according to His blessed will for humankind and this generation.

Let these prayers be a benefit to those captors who are also captive to an ideology that cannot heal. Let any legitimate cause they have be heard and considered thoroughly. Help us all to amend our ways and expedite our understanding that violence is NO solution.

For those who defend the land and people of Afghanistan, who place themselves in harm’s way because the cause is both good and desperate, be their defender. Protect them from injustice and untimely loss. Be faithful to their families and loved ones. Let their tactics and strategies be effective in every possible case without bloodshed. Let none of Your beloved children suffer blood-guiltiness. If shots must be fired, let Your judgment rule in all the outcomes.

Counsel with the perpetrators and the governments that make the decisions in these matters and give grace for obedience to your counsel. The good that we desire to accomplish escapes us, so make us servants of Your Good Will and peace on earth…

In the unfailing Love of Christ, we ask these things, Amen…

Filed under: christianity, prayer, religion

12 Responses

  1. […] prayer for hostages in afghanistan – day 14 Update [August 2]  I awoke yesterday morning to hear purported breaking news of a military rescue mission.  But as folks already know, it was an error.  There was no military action.  If anything, US and Korea agree to rule out military action – for now.  Perhaps, this incredibly important face to face meeting between the Taliban and South Korean diplomats will pave the way for a peaceful resolution.  In some fashion or another, the message must be: “Let my people go.” [Read this prayer]. […]

  2. T. Ahn says:

    What a beautiful, loving prayer! I pray in agreement with you also for everything mentioned in this eloquent prayer.

    You lift up those who could be labeled “enemy” with godly love, compassion and dignity. Thank you for the example of how to pray blessings for those who mistreat those who carry the name of Christ with them.

  3. Stephen says:

    Amen and amen! Many thanks for the continuing updates on this situation. I can’t help but think that this episode will have a significance and symbolism far beyond the immediate circumstances. God is speaking. Will we hear him?

  4. learnpashto says:

    Hi
    I also pray for the releasing of the hostages kidnapped by the Taliban terrorists. I am Afghan and Pashtoon and I condemn this act of terrorism. I assure you that Afghans and Pashtoons never kidnap people. The kidnappers are a group of most hated, in fact foreign, thugs and killers. We condemn then and pray for safe release of the Korean health workers.
    Abdulhadi
    Afghanistan

  5. maliha11 says:

    May ALLAH bless you for posting such a beautiful prayer, Inshallah everything will work out in the end. May God strengthen those children because they affected the most!!
    AMEEN AMEEN , a prayer is going out from my heart to all the people in Afghanistan.

    Maliha

  6. kashifalvi says:

    i dint know about the hostages kidnapped, still not sure if its done by the taliban. well anyways after reading it, i will also pray for the release and the betterment of the hostages and may God help them out from whatever trouble they are in inshallah .

    kashif alvi

  7. narziss says:

    a prayer of supplication indicates wanting; which indicates that thing not being present. So if you tell God that this thing is not present, you are in essence saying that he hasn’t already provided you with it. Thus doing this, what you really end up asking God via your prayer, is the experience of not having anything.
    Prayers of supplication are what indicate for me depravity of souls: prayers of wanting, and supplication are prayers of doubt and mistrust; they are prayers doubting the very core of the essence of God. Of course, you people have instilled depravity in the very definition you attribute to God. Prayers of supplication are prayers of selfishness.

    The only true prayer; the only prayer to say to God (not that he needs your prayers anyway, is a prayer of thanks: of sincere thanks; thanking God for the experience you want to have, because you know that whatever it is you need will be supplicate by God anyway.

  8. One of the most powerful things I read was a letter from a church in Turkey that faces prosecution. They didn’t ask for us to pray for the persecution to stop, but instead asked that we pray that they had the strength to stand firm in their beliefs. Amen.

  9. aaa says:

    inshallah Allah bless all muslims

  10. […] talked are delayed until after theUS Summit [August 5 and 6], people are now just waiting and praying which may be the most difficult things to do at this point. I just cant imagine what the […]

  11. […] talked are delayed until after the US Summit [August 5 and 6], people are now just waiting and praying which may be the most difficult things to do at this point.  I just can’t imagine what the […]

  12. titus2woman says:

    How beautiful! Even has me in tears…. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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