There are no words to convey how deeply our hearts are aching for our neighbors in Afghanistan. We grieve with and pray for our brothers and sisters who have had their lives turned upside down overnight.
As the Taliban have taken over, there are no commercial flights in or out of Kabul, and the country borders have been shut to innocent civilians. The Taliban has a history of killing Christians, kidnapping children, and enlisting women into sex-slavery. Many are trapped, abandoned, and have nowhere to find refuge – but in God.
“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.” Psalm 57:1
Believers continue to stand strong in the midst of overwhelming uncertainty.
Here is a message from an anonymous member of the underground church:
“We have been left in the field by ourselves, but we are not leaving the field.
We will fight harder and will continue God’s work. If we are no longer with you, remember this word from our unbroken hearts and remember the great difficulties we now face. If any of us remain, if our children remain, I have a request: please do not leave them alone.”
Even in the face of death, local believers in Afghanistan refuse to compromise and remain faithful to God.
Their unwavering faith continues to remind us of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
As you probably know from the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone in Babylon to bow down to a golden statue made in his image and anyone who refused “shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:6).
Even in the face of death, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to worship the idol and remained faithful to God. When threatened they declared:
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Enraged, Nebuchadnezzar raised the temperature of the furnace seven times hotter than before to the point where it even killed the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego inside of it. Yet, soon there were not only three, but “four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire and they [were] not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Daniel 3:25).
God was with them in the midst of the fire and protected them completely to the point that “the hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them” (Daniel 3:27).
Not being able to deny the presence and power of God, King Necuchadnezzar declared, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshash, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him” (Daniel 3:28).
Not only did God protect His people, but He also revealed Himself to the very person trying to harm them.
And He can do it again!
Will you join us in praying that, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, believers in Afghanistan will have the strength to stand strong and be completely protected in the name of Jesus? Let’s also pray for miraculous heart transformation in leaders of the Taliban and as they see God’s undeniable presence to respond like Nebuchadnezzar:
“How great are His signs
How might are His wonders
His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom
His dominion endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:3
We pray that the Taliban will fall on their knees worshipping the One true God: The God of Abhraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Please join us as we intercede on behalf of the Afghan people:
- Pray for protection of the underground church
- Pray for local believers to be a voice of hope in the midst of fear
- Pray for healing from trauma and injury inflicted on innocent civilians
- Pray for safety over women and children
- Pray for God to be near to the brokenhearted and provide a way out
- Pray for miraculous change of heart in the leaders of the Taliban
- Pray for people to come to know Jesus in the midst of crisis
Something of this magnitude happening in the greater Middle East will produce ramifications stretching across our entire region and impacting generations to come. As the work of two decades has been dismantled in days, we know that our trust must be in Jesus alone. And today, we weep with those who weep. Have mercy, O God.
This article originally appeared on FIRM, August 18, 2021, and reposted with permission.