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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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