A Prayer in Reaction to the War in Syria
Words do not seem like enough. My soul aches as I see photos of bloody, ash-covered children sitting on gurneys. The pain is too overwhelming and yet I am so removed. I am sitting in a safe, cozy coffee shop, sipping my mocha and taking my cinnamon roll for granted. Lord, I confess that my privilege can be blinding. As I consume myself with my own stresses and problems that privilege dole out, it is easy to forget there are people around the world who live death every day.
The American church has lost the art of lament. We are so preoccupied with our American dream and prosperity gospel that we’ve forgotten that pain and suffering is guaranteed and that wailing to you in our pain ushers in healing. Instead of turning to you, our wailing turns to whining and complaining. We seek to fix our own problems with money, power, and comfort. We barricade ourselves from pain inside our white picket fences. Forgive us. Forgive me.
Lord, teach me how to lament for those suffering war in a way that glorifies your Name.
I confess that my privilege can be paralyzing. I feel the pain and compassion, but what do I do? Right now, I will pray and seek your face. Some say that’s not enough-they say it is an easy cop-out to soothe my conscience. I confess that it can be, but it is not today. I earnestly seek you-pleading on behalf of the suffering, asking how can I be your hands and feet to those who desperately need relief from the evils of war?
I will not claim to understand how you work. I don’t why you allow this terrible suffering-allow evil to prevail. But, I do know it is only for a short time and one day, you will make all things right and end evil for good.
The ones who always suffer the most in war zones are the poorest of the poor and the weakest of the weak. Though no one is born innocent, children are a symbol of innocence. When we see them lying dead in the streets, we know there is great evil present.
But, you are also there-in the tears, in the ash, in the blood and pain. There are always people who rise to be helpers and healers. You are in their midst. They are your presence. Thank you.
No one understands their suffering better than you, the Savior who suffered ultimate pain, torture, and death. The God who watched His own son suffer and die slowly. You know their pain.
Please, please move in their midst, Lord. I plead with you on their behalf. Vanquish the evil, show Yourself to these broken and hurting souls, come in the mighty power that I know you possess and destroy the plans of the wicked.
Please call and empower more believers to go and help the wounded-to see them, not as a project to be converted, but as humans in need of love and help, despite their differing beliefs.
When your feet tread our soil, you reached your loving hand out to the most marginalized. Help us to do the same.
You are their only hope. Come quickly, Jesus.
I am a firm believer that prayer is powerful, but I also believe action is necessary. A great organization, who is currently helping the victims of the Syrian war, is Preemptive Love Coalition. Please check out their website for more information on how you can help them help those suffering.
One thing I love about this organization is their philosophy to help a nation succeed on their own. They aim to work themselves out of a job. For example, instead of simply sending in western medical teams to help victims, they instead have better educated doctors train their national doctors so that they can keep helping people long after the short-term teams leave.
I also love that they are on the front lines-helping rescue people out of the city while bombs are being dropped, providing beds and food to those who escape, and helping refugees once they make it into Iraq.
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