Eugene Cho

prayers for the iraq war – five years

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq.  [Five Year In – NY Times | Bush Addresses Iraq].

Did we ever imagine we’d be in this situation – five years later?   Approximately $720 million dollars are spent daily.  The war may likely cost the country 1.2 trillion dollars – 10x the pre-war predictions.

The number of American military casualties in Iraq will pass 4,000 any day .  There is wide disparity of the number of of Iraqis who have died because of the war; estimates vary from 81,000 to nearly 1.2 million .

The purpose of this entry is not to debate the war.  The purpose of the entry is two fold: 

  • Invitation to prayer.
  • Invitation to share your stories.

PRAYER.  If you feel led, would you take a couple moments to write and share a prayer?

  • pray for our soldiers who risk their lives every day
  • pray for the people of Iraq
  • pray for strength, courage, and wisdom for President Bush, the US administration, and other world leaders
  • pray for the various peacemaking teams in Iraq
  • pray for peace

STORIES.  If you have a story to share – of yourself, your family or loved ones, the Iraqi people, peaceworkers, or others stories…please consider taking a few moments to share those stories here.

O God,
Speed the day
when bows are broken,
spears are shattered,
weapons are dismantled,
war is no more
and peace prevails throughout your world.
Speed the day.
Guide us to work for that day.
In Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Filed under: religion, ,

9 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    Thanks for sharing this Eugene. I’m sharing a prayer from the Book of Common Worship.

    Righteous God, you rule the nations.
    Guard brave men and women
    who risk themselves in battle for their country.
    Give them compassion for enemies
    who also fight for patriotic causes.

    Keep our sons and daughters from hate that hardens,
    or from scorekeeping with human lives.

    Though they must be at war,
    let them live for peace,
    as eager for agreement as for victory.

    Encourage them as they encourage one another,
    and never let hard duty separate them
    from loyalty to your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

  2. My father was in the United States Army. I was born on Fort Lewis and I went to high school with army brats from Fort Lewis. Many of those kids are in Iraq and I wonder what has happened to so many of them. I have a student in our college fellowship that has come back from fighting from Iraq. It’s one thing to see and hear about things on the news and on the blogs and it’s another to actually talk to and see people who come from the frontlines. I am extremely thankful for the brave men and women who serve in the armed services.

    Dear God,

    Please have your blessing over the brave men and women of the armed forces, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Keep their spirits high and protect them from evil. I pray that they continue to work in unison with the Iraqi government and people to make the nation a better place. Please create a spirit of cooperation and peace between the various factions in Iraq. I also pray that the conditions of the Iraqi people improve. Please console the families of both the American soldiers who have been killed or injured and the families of Iraqis who have been killed or injured in the war. As much as I am not a big fan of President Bush, I pray that you give him the wisdom to do what’s right. May your grace and glory be felt in Iraq and beyond.

    Amen.

  3. Kacy says:

    It was only because of the news this morning that I realized it had been 5 years. UK journalist John Stapleton flew out to Iraq and was faced with problems before landing where the pilot had to take different measures to ensure all those on board their safety. John was also seen interviewing two young lady soldiers of which one stated that she missed her family and friends and that of wearing a pink frilly skirt, well let us pray that it will not be long before you can do this.

  4. Angelina says:

    My older brother is in the Army Reserves as a helicopter mechanic. His civilian job is doing the same thing for the company the Army contracts out. He has been passed up four times, to go to Iraq. FOUR TIMES! Once because a fellow member of his group volunteered to go. Others because of crazy military stuff. He recently got his pilot license and is going training to be an in-flight Medic. Next time they call, he IS going. The thought of this makes me tremble. He is young and has a family. His three year old little boy worships him, he adores his beautiful wife and cherishes his 15 year old daughter. Even if he comes back alive he will forever be changed. I don’t want to imagine life without him.
    Please pray for my brother, his company, family and friends. Please pray for my family. But ultimately pray for peace is this fractured world.

  5. Rebekah says:

    My husband is in Iraq right now. He was deployed recently. I’m just praying every second of the day for his safe return..but I am very proud of him. I hope all of you understand the sacrifices these men and women are making to keep us and our world safe.

  6. Aaron L says:

    Tonight I was hookah-ing with a good friend of mine at the Holyland Cuisine in north Lincoln. I got to talking with the owner, Yahya, a native of Iraq who moved to the U.S. in 2000. After talking with him for a while, I asked him if he would share with me his feelings on the war. With much pain, he shared with me the terror and fear that ruled his country under Hussein. “If you even thought bad things about the government, they would find out.” He said that the U.S. invasion was no surprise to his people. He said that they expected it – perhaps even welcomed it. But no one ever thought that the bloodshed would get worse. He said that he dearly misses his 6 sisters back home and often fears for them, but he is hopeful that things will get better as the new government continues to get stronger with time. Please pray for Yahya.

  7. sdl says:

    last week, i read a children’s book to my class of 2nd/3rd graders. the book is called the librarian of basra by jeanette winter.

    before reading, i asked my students what words come to mind when they hear the word iraq. here’s what they came up with: bombs, nuclear, poor, death, terrorists, missiles.

    after reading, i asked them the same exact question. their answers: books, sad, friends, library, scared, help, peace, hope. and air conditioners.

  8. Evan says:

    I find it interesting that no one brought up the 5 year anniversary of the campaign in Afghanistan, nor do you hear any new from there. I served there for 15 months and it just seems puzzling that 25,000 troops seem to have been forgotten there and news from their daily battles and triumphs aren’t being reported.

    Lord, I pray that the men and women that have been called to service
    You keep a shield of protection over them.
    Watch over them and help them keep their focus on you in times of trial.
    You bring goodness out of brokenness Lord and we pray that out of this brokenness, there be good in the world.
    Watch over your children and bring them safely home.
    Amen

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One Day’s Wages

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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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