prayer-handsLast night I received a prayer request for the situation in Iraq. A situation that has seen the Islamic State (IS) kill Christians and other minority groups if they do not convert or pay a tax. The email I received indicated that the IS had captured the city of Queragosh where food aid was being smuggled into. At the same time that I received the Email my NY Times App sent through a notification advising me that Jim Parsons and Julia Loius-Dreyfus had won the Emmy for best actor/actress in a comedy. 

Clearly in North America we know where our priorities are. We love our distractions, perhaps we even need the distractions because we do not know how to deal with the knowledge and information that Christians and other minorities are being systematically killed in a way that is truly horrifying.

Perhaps this is the real problem. We feel powerless and in many ways we truly are powerless. There is no clarion call to arms to fight the evil, we give thanks that we live in a safe part of the world and we carry on with our lives. Our powerlessness feeds our apathy. We don’t know what to do, so we do nothing and eventually feel nothing.

Except that as Christians we are not powerless. We have access to prayer, to conversation with God. So we pray to God for power and for deliverance.

Gracious and loving Creator, we pray today for the people of Iraq. For the people of Gaza, South Sudan, the Ukraine and all other places which know violence and destruction. We pray for your deliverance. Deliver us we pray from the evil which consumes the human spirit at this time. Free us from our apathy, create in us hearts which long to provide aid and comfort for those in distress. We give thanks that we can enjoy our relationship with you in peace, but we do not want such a peace to alienate us from the very real evil that faces Christians in the world today. Gracious God, grant us your peace. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.