It’s about a year since villages across the Ninevah Plains in Iraq were liberated from the so-called Islamic State – and while there is cause for hope and celebration, the country is still in the grip of war, terror and instability. Here’s ten current prayer points to focus on this week:
1. Pray for the referendum that is seeking the independence of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq – happening today (25th of September). Many are worried that the result might spark more conflict. Pray for peace and pray for God’s wisdom for the people who are invited to vote.
2. The schools in the Nineveh Plains will open again for a new term on October 2nd. Many schools will be reopening in the liberated areas. Pray that all will be set before the start of the new schoolyear. Pray for wisdom and love for the teachers and pupils.
3. Thank God for the Muslims and Christians who are willing to work together towards peace. Thank God for the Muslim man who recently came to Archbishop Yohanna Petros Mouche and offered to finance the rebuilding of a destroyed church. Continue to pray for a peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians.
4. Thank God for the growing faith among many Christians in Iraq. Archbishop Yohanna Petros Mouche reports: “Three years of displacement have shaken the faith of the Christians. But I see that many have come closer to God; their faith has become stronger. You can see the churches are full.”
5. Thank God for the positive roll the Church is playing in the Christian community: “The Church gives us the will to be back. We are lost without the Church.” Says believer Youssif.
6. Pray for Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq. Violence is continuing, and recently, a bomb attack killed 12 people. The Church in Baghdad is shrinking as many are leaving due to violence. Pray for those who aren’t able to leave or don’t want to leave. Pray for their priests and other leaders and that the Christian community will be a light in the darkness.
7. Pray for the 1,400 women and children that are being held by the Iraqi authorities because they are related to IS fighters. Pray that they will find mercy and will get to know the Lord.
8. The fight against IS is entering its last phase, according to local sources. Pray for peace in Iraq.
9. Thank God for the rebuilding work that can be done through our partners. An inhabitant of Bashiqa proudly shows the new windows, electricity and doors he could put into his house with the help of partners. Pray that he and his family will feel at home again after IS members have occupied their house for nearly three years.
10. Pray for those who are trying to pick up their lives in their old villages and those trying to earn a living again. Those like Hathem who has taken up building gates and restoring water tanks in his family’s workshop after returning to his village.
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