Early on the morning of January 3rd, Iraqi time, a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad airport killed Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani. For decades, Soleimani has been the mastermind behind Iran’s involvement in armed conflicts and acts of terror across the Middle East, from supplying the terrorist organization Hezbollah, to attacking Saudi oil fields and international shipping, to targeting U. S. forces in the region. In fact, the Pentagon lays the deaths of over 600 U. S. military personnel directly at Soleimani’s feet.
Of course, the U. S. attack on Soleimani raises a whole host of questions. How will Iran respond? Will it expand its “proxy war” through Shi’ite militias? Will it dare take on the U. S. military directly? Will it unleash terrorist cells in the Middle East and even here in America? Is this a decisive step toward a wider, bloodier war in the Middle East and maybe even beyond?
That’s why we should take the most powerful action possible in the face of this volatile situation — pray.
Here’s how you can pray for the current rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran:
Pray for our leaders. Ask God to grant discernment to our government leaders as they navigate this tense situation and seek a solution that’s peaceful yet protects our national security.
Pray for our U.S. troops. With military bases being the most likely targets for retribution, we need to pray for the wisdom of our military officials and for the safety of every soldier on the ground.
Pray for the Christians in southern Iraq. Local Christians may also come under fire because of Christianity’s association with the U.S. and the West in the mind of local Islamic extremists.
Pray for the citizens of the Middle East. Airstrikes have become a constant occurrence in the Middle East, and this added tension will only cause them to escalate. Remember, also, the innocent civilians who are in grave danger.
Having spent decades working to deliver humanitarian aid to some of the most volatile corners of our world — including Venezuela, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria — I have learned that prayer is key for any effort to achieve peace. Prayer reminds us of our dependence on God and helps us see beyond ourselves to the needs of others.
Please continue praying for those affected and those who could potentially be in harm’s way in the coming weeks and months. May God protect us and help us find a peaceful way forward.