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Devotional: August 17, 2021

Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

Micah 7: 8

The sudden fall of Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban has been all over the news the past few days. It seemed to happen much more quickly than anyone had predicted. This takeover of the country is an ominous sign, particularly when it comes to women’s and children’s rights and safety.

My goal is not to offer political commentary on the situation there, or even domestic politics. I will leave that to others who have far more expertise. My aim is twofold: first, I want to lift up our hope in the Lord, even when enemies triumph at the present. We know that our salvation ultimately does not come from politics or any individual, but from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Secondly, let us pray for the Christian church in Afghanistan. The Christian community there is not large, but was allowed much more freedom under the last government than they will most likely be allowed under the reign of the Taliban. Thankfully, the scriptures have been translated into a couple of Afghan languages, for the estimated 8000 Christians in the country. Those who are part of the Christian community there worship privately, in their homes. According to some traditions, the disciple Thomas once spread the gospel in parts of Afghanistan.

While we do not know many details about the Afghan church, we need to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ in that country. As followers of Christ, we need to hold up in prayer all those up around our world who do not have the amazing freedom we do in America, to worship boldly and publicly. May we remember that when one part of the body of Christ struggles and is in pain, the whole body of Christ suffers. We ought to pray for God’s protection and healing process to happen.

Prayer

God of all comfort,

My heart is grieving, as I see developments happening on the world stage. I long for all people to be free, and to thrive in loving and supportive environments. I lift up all of the people of Afghanistan, and those around our world who suffer and are persecuted for loving and worshiping You. Protect them. Watch over them, and help them to know that they are not forgotten by their Christian sisters and brothers. I pray this prayer in Christ’s name. Amen.


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