Corporate Prayer for the Persecuted Church - a response to the crisis in Afghanistan
And literally, body-destroying.
The events in Afghanistan weigh too much for me to bear, and I'm 7,000 miles away. The thought of actually enduring the Taliban take-over is unfathomable to me. How would I mother there? How would I protect my girls?
And since I'm asking questions, why was I born in America with the freedom to raise my girls in relative safety? Why am I able to worship with freedom? To argue with my government? To have access to clean water and bountiful electricity?
The questions could go on and on, but the gist is:
Where is the justice?
Where is justice?
I read Psalm 10 several times this week. The author also wonders where justice hides. I needed his perspective, because he exalts the Lord. He reminds himself, and me, that God will bring about justice. God sees Afghanistan. Weeps over the people. Hates the evil abounding there.
And one day, He will bring about a new kingdom, where there will be no more death and no more destruction. Where He will reign in perfect righteousness.
In response to my time in Psalm 10, I put together a choral reading or prayer. The people read from Psalm 10 and the leader from Matthew 24, where Jesus instructs his disciples about the end times.
I will paste it below, and also attach it as a PDF if you'd like to print it to use with your family or small group or congregation.
May you be blessed in the reading of God's Word.
A Corporate Prayer
Lord, why do You stand so far away?
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue the afflicted;
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
LEADER: (Matthew 24)
Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.”
PEOPLE: For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings;
the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord.
Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth;
trouble and malice are under his tongue.
He waits in ambush near the villages;
he kills the innocent in secret places.
His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless;
he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket.
“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.
Rise up, Lord God! Lift up Your hand.
Do not forget the afflicted.
But You Yourself have seen trouble and grief,
observing it in order to take the matter into Your hands.
The helpless entrusts himself to You;
You are a helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evil person;
call his wickedness into account
until nothing remains of it.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days:
The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not shed its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the celestial powers will be shaken.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the peoples of the earth will mourn; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
The Lord is King forever and ever;
the nations will perish from His land.
LEADER: (Revelation 11)
…. there were loud voices in heaven saying,
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their hearts.
You will listen carefully,
doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed
so that men of the earth may terrify them no more.
(Revelation 12) …the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been throw down.
They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death.
ALL: (Revelation 15)
Great and awe-inspiring are your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
And worship before you
Because your righteous acts
Have been revealed.