Thank you for your prayers – they really do make an enormous difference for our church family
Since the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan last year, it has never been more dangerous to be a secret Afghan believer – and our persecuted church family there are crying out for us to join them in prayer. It can be hard to know how to pray, but we serve a mighty God who hears our prayers and draws near in the darkness. Join with the church in Afghanistan as we pray through four of God’s names in the Bible – El Roi, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Jireh and Jehovah Nissi – throughout the month of February.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Jehovah Shalom – The God of Peace
With Afghans in diaspora, the opportunities for the church all over the world to come together and welcome them have multiplied.
Tuesday 8 February
Today, pray for all the church communities reaching out to Afghan believers, that they will receive the refugees with genuine warmth. Pray that the refugees will assimilate well into their new lives, and that through the testimony of the church, they will know and accept Christ’s gift of salvation.
Since the Taliban came to power, the extremist group ISIS-Khorasan (IS-K) have launched several bomb attacks in public spaces – for them, the Taliban is not ‘extremist’ enough. However, the Taliban themselves are known for their brutalities and their terrifying brand of Sharia (Islamic law).
Wednesday 9 February
One believer from the region says, “How we survive daily, only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”
Ask God to put a stop to the violence that has become the norm in Afghanistan.
Living in such a hostile environment has made fear and anxiety a constant companion for Afghan locals. Aside from the relentless violence and threats of extremist attacks, secret believers face much higher stakes: their faith in Jesus alone can have them killed.
Thursday 10 February
Pray for secret believers to find rest in Christ. Pray that they will surrender their worries to Jesus, and fully entrust their future to him.
Islamic groups across Asia have been inspired by the Taliban’s victory. And extremism, especially in South East Asia, could be on the rise. Muslim hardliners in Bangladesh have also been strengthened in their resolve; so much so that they’ve publicly declared that they’ll travel to Afghanistan to join the Taliban’s ranks.
Friday 11 February
Ask the Lord to confuse their plans – pray that extremism will not spread as a result of the Taliban’s newfound rule.
“The [Taliban] soldiers are not committed to human dignity,” says local believer Fatimah. “Their eyes are looking all the time at how to have power and how to demean anyone who wants to think and dream.”
Saturday 12 February
It may seem unlikely that members of extremist groups could ever turn from their ways, but nothing is impossible with God!
Ask the Lord to transform the hearts of the Taliban and IS-K today. Pray that they will be reconciled to Jesus and will finally find God’s peace.
The trauma of war and sudden change can be difficult for children to adjust to. “The children are our hope,” says a local Open Doors partner. “Now they are at a loss, they have no schooling, and their future is unknown.
Sunday 13 February
“Pray that they will know Jesus growing up. Pray for God to fill the hole in their hearts left by war, and that they would be made whole in Him. Pray for opportunities for them to continue with their education.”
Monday 14 February
After the Taliban takeover, local journalism dwindled in Afghanistan. Because of the lack of reliable news sources in the country, fake news has been proliferating around the world about what goes on inside the country. Much of this unverified information also concerns Christians, causing undue panic and alarm.
Pray that only the truth about what goes on in the country will come out. Pray against censorship and misinformation and ask God to preserve the stories of His people.
*Image credit: IMB.org; representative image used.