God of Compassion, God of Peace, God of Justice:
You, O God, are the One who
sees the forgotten
speaks with the Voice of the silenced
remembers and redeems those who are lost and without hope.
Hear our prayer for the people of Afghanistan, those fleeing for refuge, those left behind, those who cannot find a way out.
The faces of the people of Afghanistan, filled with desperation and fear, haunt us. The horrors the world has witnessed in the catastrophic collapse of a nation’s government take us to a place of sorrow beyond words. The scenes from the airport as evacuations continue, the cities and small communities, relentlessly overtaken, and the knowledge that we in the United States are a part of this story, are painful to bear.
We see the anguish of your suffering people and recognize a wrenching feeling deep in the pit of our own stomachs: for we know we share responsibility for what is unfolding and what is being lost. We have made choices as a nation to engage with Afghanistan, all these long years, and though we prayed it would be for good, we know that the legacies of nations with power have often caused harm when good was hoped for. We confess to you that our best efforts are still mired in sin. We ask for your forgiveness. Help us to learn, and to amend our ways.
We acknowledge those in military service in our nation, in Afghanistan, as well as in other places who gave their lives, their health, and their futures, hoping to be a force for the protection of the vulnerable and the well-being of the people of Afghanistan. We lift up their sacrifice, their trauma and their sorrow to you, O God who heals every wound.
Most of all, God of the refugee, God of the journey, Protector of the helpless, we lift to you the people of this fragile and wounded nation; those who remain at home, and those who flee. Guard them and shelter them under the shadow of your wings. Lead them to safe haven and give them the strength and hope to begin again. Give us the grace to walk alongside them. Help us, God of justice and mercy, to turn our own anguish into deeds of love and welcome.
Help us not to turn away, nor to forget. Open our hearts, our doors, our communities, our churches and neighborhoods to receive, to honor, and to bless. Make us instruments of your peace, for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, our Love and our Redeemer.