How To Pray For The Situation In IraqBrian Heasley - 12 Aug 2014

'The persecution here in Iraq cannot be described...massacres, crucifixions, rapes. The most horrendous...since Holocaust'

Canon Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad

In Iraq militant fighters from the Islamic State, widely known as IS (formely isis), have rapidly advanced through large areas of the country creating chaos.

Earlier in the year this cruel, extremist group, declared the establishment of a "caliphate" - an Islamic State - across parts of Iraq and Syria. People of other religions were given 3 options:

1) Convert 2) Leave 3) Pay a tax 4) Die by the sword

They then began a systematic regime of persectuion and terror; Christians and other minorities are being executed, evicted and exiled from their homeland. Evil appears to reigning in that area of our world, death and mayhem are creating orphans, widows and martyrs. 

Many of us sit here watching the news or hearing the latest updates via social media and in many ways we can feel powerless, and the reality is we are powerless!

But there is another reality, the God we believe in is not powerless, he is not powerless to intervene and change this situation. So in our moments of powerlessness we must turn to Him in prayer.

Prayer changes the course of history, intercession affects the unpleasant realities of suffering. We live in a sin stained world and in Iraq people are feeling the pain of sin through death and danger. 

Their world has been taken from them, evil has changed it.

How do we Pray?

“I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD. Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work…”
Isaiah 62:6-7

  • Get informed: gather the basics of the story. Check out reliable news websites, follow Canon Andrew White who works in Baghdad and is providing pretty regular updates about the reality of the situation on the ground.
  • Pray for people: Pray for those who have their lost families, homes and hope.  Pray for those who are still in danger.  
  • Pray for those in power: Pray for the president and prime minister of Iraq, pray for the international community and any response it may be bringing. Pray for the leaders of IS.
  • Pray for the Church: Pray for pastors, churches and non-government organisations that they would be equipped with all they need to bring aid. 
  • Motivate others: Call your church to prayer. Share stories, find photos ask your pastor for 5 minutes on Sunday.
  • Share your voice: use social media to share your prayer and inspire others to add their amen.

Other Ways to Help

Check out our friends at Open Doors who have up to date information on all that is happening, plus ways in which you can give to help bring relief in this area.

If you are a UK citizen you can also sign this e-petition to lobby our government to do more to help. (Do let us know if you know of any petitions outside of the UK in the comments section below).

There are also lots of Facebook groups organizing prayer we urge you to join one, 'Stand Up Global' is a good one 

We need to make our voices heard. We primarily need to call out to God and have Him hear our voices. Then we need to act, we need to call others to prayer, we needs to petition our governments and we need to give our money to those who need it.

Feature image is a derative of "AFP PHOTO / HO / WELAYAT SALAHUDDIN"

Brian

Brian Heasley

International Prayer Director

Brian Heasley is the International Prayer Director for 24-7 Prayer, and is part of 24-7’s international management team. Brian also works at at Lambeth Palace as International Ecumenical Lead for Thy Kingdom Come.

Before this, Brian and his wife Tracy pioneered the work of 24-7 Prayer in Ibiza, Spain, where they developed rhythms of prayer and mission. Brian’s book, Gatecrashing, tells the story of 24-7 Prayer in Ibiza. He is a gifted and passionate communicator with a real heart for prayer, mission and justice. Brian is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and now lives in England. Brian and Tracy have two adult sons

Meet Brian
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