12 Prayers | Iraqi Christians
In the last few days I have watched social media explode with posts about the genocide currently underway against Iraqi Christians. I was feeling heart broken, sick, and burdened for these people, but I also felt helpless to do anything about it. What could I do from way over here in my safe little, white, upper-middle-class, suburban neighborhood? Then I saw my friend, Windy, using Facebook to call on some women at my previous church to pray and fast for Iraqi Christians and it dawned on me that there is something I can do. I can pray. We can always pray! So I did! But I didn't want to say just one prayer last night and leave it at that. I wanted to really labor in prayer for the Iraqi believers, so I decided to fast and pray for 12 hours today. I chose a new scripture to pray over our brothers and sisters every hour from nine in the morning until nine at night. At about eight thirty, after getting kids to bed, I sat down with my husband and prayed all 12 prayers again, ended my fast. It was such a worshipful day of searching through scriptures to pray and it was an honor to be able to come and raise these beautiful Iraqi Christians before the throne of grace. I also decided to invite others to join me by sharing my prayers on Facebook and Instagram. So many people did, that I wanted to compile them here so that others could take a day and pray these scriptures over the Iraqi family of God.
Let's storm the throne and ask Jesus to be near the broken-hearted, to free the captives, to defend the oppressed, and bring the wicked to their knees.
2 Corinthians 4:14: "Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us into his presence."
1. Father, I pray that Iraqi believers would remember the gospel in the midst of such great suffering. I pray they will remember that Jesus experienced shame, pain, and death on the cross, just as they are experiencing now. I Pray they will also remember that Jesus was resurrected and would cling to the promise that they also will be resurrected with him in death.
Jeremiah 17:7-8: "But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
2. Lord, I Pray for Iraqi believers to trust in Christ. I pray they will stand strong in their beliefs even when believing means losing their jobs, money, homes, and even their lives. Oh God, help their unbelief!
Isaiah 40:8: "The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
3. God, I pray for Iraqi Christians to turn to the Word of God for sustenance. If they have lost their Bibles, I pray you will help them recall scriptures they've heard and memorized through the years, spiritually feeding and refreshing them.
Psalm 57:1: " Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed."
Matthew 19:14: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
4. I pray for the children of Iraqi Christians who are undergoing such evil against them, I cannot write it here. Oh Jesus, be near to them. Put your angels around them. For those who are alive, guard and protect them physically, spiritually, and mentally. Oh Jesus, hold these children in your arms. Hide them in your wings. For those who do not survive, may your angels carry them into your beautiful presence.
Acts 7:55-60: "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.' At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' When he had said this, he fell asleep."
5. I pray that, by the Holy Spirit and by Gods grace, Iraqi Christians will forgive those who persecute them. I pray that those who persecute them will see Christ's light figuratively and literally shining through them.
Romans 8:26-27: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
6. Oh Jesus, I pray for the Christians of Iraq, for the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to kidnapping and death. I pray for those wives and daughters who have been assaulted and given to other men in marriage. I pray for children who have been orphaned and woman who have been widowed. Oh what can I pray; what can they pray during such unthinkable grief? Oh Spirit, intercede for me. Intercede for them.
Matthew 6:26: "Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
7. Father, I pray for the Iraqi Christians who are displaced from their homes. I pray for water, food, clothing, and shelter to be provided. I pray for our country and others to provide aid and asylum to these people.
Acts 9: "As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?''Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked.
'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. 'Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.'
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength."
8. Lord, if your turned my heart of stone and you turned Saul, a murderer of Christians, into one of your greatest missionaries, then Lord, you can change the hearts of these evil men. Remove the scales from their eyes that they will see what they are doing. I pray they will repent and believe in Christ. I pray for Iraqi Christians to share the gospel even as they are facing death, in the hopes that the eyes of these blind men will be open to the truth.
9. Let's Pray for miracles! Guns that don't go off, eyes that are blind when people are escaping, food appearing out of nowhere. Heavenly Father, we ask that you would miraculously meet the needs of your people as you have done over and over again throughout history. In 2 Kings Elisha prays that his servants' eyes would be open to see the armies of God on their side. Then you opened their eyes to see what was invisible: Chariots of God surrounding them on every side. I pray your people in Iraq would see God's army surrounding them on every side! I pray they would see God's power.
Amos 5:24: "But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
10. Lord, I pray for the Iraqi government, our government, and other democratic governments. I pray that they would fight for justice and righteousness. I pray they will help bring an end to this genocide.
Philippians 2:9-10:"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father"
11. Father, I pray that the Iraqi Christians will call on, cling to, and cry out to the name of Jesus. I pray that through his name they will find what they need for the battle. I pray his name will wash away fear, be sweet honey to their lips, water to their parched tongues, and a light in the great darkness. The name ofJesus is powerful. May they call upon his name!
Revelation 7:13-17Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”
12. Just as the church grew like wildfire after Stephen was martyred and the church was scattered, I pray that the church today will grow through the persecution of our brothers and sisters. I pray that within Iraq and around the world, the light of the sacrifice of these martyrs will shine into the darkness. I pray that an untold number will come to faith through the faithful living and dying of our Iraqi family of God. I pray they will cling to the promise in Revelation that they will come before God's throne and he will wipe away every tear from their eye.