Call to Prayer
Anyone who has spent time in a predominantly Muslim city will have found themselves tuning-in to the call to prayer from innumerable minarets – the songs of the muezzins from the high point of the mosques sounding across the city. Obviously they are calling faithful Muslims to prayer, but while working in Dubai I found the call to be a valuable prompt for a short prayer or reflection during the working day.
Events in Afghanistan over the past week are a deafening call to prayer sung out to the whole world. For those outside Kabul Airport killed or injured in the bombing. For the hope of escape lost. For families separated. For women and girls fearing the loss of opportunity and education. For those at risk of reprisals.
Much energy has been and will be spent in debating responsibility for this desperate situation. But Christians must surely respond in prayer for those suffering the consequences. Christian Aid has offered this prayer:
O God of mercy and of peace,
We hold before you the peoples of Afghanistan.
Be living bread to those who are hungry each day
Be healing and wholeness to those who have no access to health care amidst the ravages of pandemic
Be their true home to all who have been displaced
Be open arms of loving acceptance to those who fear because of their gender, ethnicity, religious or political views
Be peace to those engaged in armed conflict and those who live within its shadow.
Turn our hearts and minds to your ways of just and gentle peace,
Open our eyes to see you in all acts of compassionate care
Strengthen our hearts to step out in solidarity with your suffering people and
Hold us all in your unfailing love.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself of all but love in order to bring life in all its fullness.