If you’ve read the news recently, it will not have escaped your attention that there is an enormous amount of conflict across the world right now – much of it fuelled by religious or ethnic tensions.
In our service on Sunday 3 August, we took a moment to highlight a few of the most pressing situations and to spend some time praying for God to bring peace and restoration.
As you pray this week, you may find it helpful to use our prayer to fuel your own.
In Gaza, Israeli and Palestinian forces continue to fight. In the past month, almost 1700 people, many of whom are civilians, have lost their lives and UN attempts to call a ceasefire have not yet been successful.
We pray for the crisis in Syria, where fighting is now into its fourth year, and the death toll is estimated to be somewhere around 140,000, whilst more than 9,000,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. Particularly shocking is the way in which children have been involved in the conflict.
We also think of the ongoing conflict between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists, and all the unanswered questions around the unrest and the shooting down of the Malaysian airlines flight. We want to pray for wisdom for all involved in the investigations, that they would find answers and be able to work towards a swift solution.
We want to pray for Iraq where the radical group ISIS continue to inflict violence and terror. In the second largest city – Mosul – churches have been burnt to the ground, and many Christian families forced to renounce their faith, pay a tax, or be put to death. Countless Christians have fled the city and many have lost their lives.
We bring before you the many conflict situations in our world right now: in Gaza, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and many more. Would you hear the cries of those experiencing great suffering and would you intervene.
We pray for the wounded and injured; for the bereaved and displaced; for those separated from family members and those living in constant fear; for the hungry, the homeless; refugees and exiles. We ask that you would be a source of comfort and peace to them. And would you bring healing, wholeness and restoration to their lives.
We ask for those providing humanitarian aid and medical assistance, that you would give them safety, resources, and the ability to deliver care to those in deepest need.
For those seeking to negotiate diplomatic solutions; give wisdom and guidance. Help them to bring new life through patient diplomacy, determined mediation and courageous peace-making.
We long for the day that the Bible promises, when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, will return to make all things new. When swords will be no longer needed, and will be beaten into ploughshares. When nations will worship alongside one another. And we ask for a foretaste of that day.
Would you bring an end to hostility, bitterness and hate. Mend broken relationships and bring reconciliation.
In the name of Jesus,
Image: Midnight Prayer by Kristian Niemi used under CC