By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller
You will not see a “Pray for Isreal” image on my social feed. Don’t get me wrong, I am praying for the victims of violence and peace in the middle east but I feel our prayers need to be much bigger and broader than for one single country. This is war and the devastation ripples across borders. Many innocent citizens on both sides of the conflict are ruined by the actions of the vengeful few. And while our attention is arrested by this recent assault, wars in Myanmar, Ukraine, Mexico, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Sudan have each generated casualties exceeding 10,000 over the past year.
The ongoing horrors of a protracted war matter as much as the horrors of a new one. We should be on our knees and lifting hands in prayer more than ever with Biblical counsel to guide us; “Is anyone among you suffering? Then pray” (James 5:13). “I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions and give thanks on behalf of all humanity (1 Timothy 2). Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44) and prayed for the forgiveness of those who didn’t fully understand their actions (Luke 23:34).
Let’s pray for safety and peace now but don’t neglect to pray for knowledge of Jesus who offers eternal sanctuary and salvation. Thank God for the courageous calls for peace rising from those on both sides of political conflict. Pray in repentance of hatred finding harbour in your own heart. Confess to abuses of personal power. Pray for your own increased generosity to aid organizations. Pray for the perpetrators of violence and oppression here and abroad, against individuals and populations. May the agents of evil realize there is a God who shows no partiality when it comes to divine justice.