FeatureMissionary Life

4 Ways to Pray for Afghanistan

When God rebukes the nations, we must pay attention.
It was a Tuesday.

My fourth-grade teacher came into our classroom mid-morning and announced that the Twin Towers had been attacked. As the day unfolded, we learned Osama Bin Laden had orchestrated the attack. Me and my classmate Jeremiah raged to each other, dreaming of torture tactics to punish the terrorists that only schoolboys can invent.

“I’d tie him to a pile of bricks and sink him to the bottom of the ocean,” said Jeremiah.

It’s astonishing to realize that twenty years later, Afghanis are falling from C-17s as desperate hordes flee the Taliban. I’m heartbroken and driven to my knees in prayer.

There are innumerable ways we can pray for Afghanistan and all the Christians there. Here are just four.

Pray for Perseverance

Missionaries in Afghanistan are facing near-certain execution this week as Taliban forces claim control. As a comfortable Westerner, I have difficulty imagining myself in their shoes. Yet Scripture commands us: “Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies” (Heb. 13:3). It also tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).

Let us pray fervently for Christians in Afghanistan and their miraculous deliverance. Knowing the tests they’re certain to face, let’s also pray for their perseverance. A crown of life awaits those who lose all to gain Christ.

Pray in Repentance

Americans should not be surprised by our apparent defeat. God is bringing low our pride.

We thought of ourselves as the world’s saviors, but we have our own sin to address. We have shed the blood of innocent millions through abortion, desecrated marriage, idolized self and identities, stoked grievances, and given the place of God to the state and our favorite political movements. “[F]or my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

Of the 38 million people in Afghanistan, .02 percent call themselves evangelical Christians. The secular West and ravaged South Asia both need the gospel.

For these reasons and more, we aren’t the world’s saviors—Jesus Christ is. He’s the one who can “nation-build.” Yet rather than exporting the gospel to the world, we sought to export our political system merely. But ultimate peace is impossible apart from the lordship of Christ.

As we repent, let us renew our efforts to bring the gospel to the world, leaving behind our political idolatries. Of the 38 million people in Afghanistan, .01 percent call themselves evangelical Christian (source). The secular West and ravaged South Asia both need the gospel.

Pray for Judgment

The Greek word for judgment is where we get the English word crisis. What do the ideas of crisis and judgment have in common? Both divine judgments and crises tend to reveal things. They show who belongs to God and who does not.

As crisis unfolds, it’s biblical to pray for judgment on the evil, oppressive Taliban forces. In Revelation, the martyrs pray, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10).

The Bible is full of imprecatory prayers calling down judgments on the enemies of God. Yes, we are commanded to love our enemies. But as those who yearn for God to be glorified, it is right that we should long to see his justice against the wicked displayed in the world.

Pray for Opportunities

Let’s pray for opportunities to share the gospel with the Muslims around us.

Chances are that wherever you live, there are Afghans or other Islamic diaspora peoples within reach. If you’re from Fremont, California or Northern Virginia, both areas boast the largest concentrations of Afghans in the US (source).

Has your church ever considered what it can do to identify the unreached people groups in your own community? God is bringing the nations to our own backyard. He’s committed to expanding his kingdom even when missionaries can’t easily go. We can cross cultures without crossing borders.

May the Lord grant us faith to fight on our knees until the Prince of Peace fully displays his kingdom in this world.

Editor's Note: If you are willing to partner with us in praying for Afghanistan, then visit Prayer Focus: Afghanistan!

About the Author

Alex Kocman is the Director of Advancement and Communications for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. He was also Director of Long-Term Mobilization for ABWE from 2016-2020. Read his blog or follow him on Twitter.

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