Across the Middle East, millions of people have been forced to abandon their homes and flee for safety. Most of them are frightened, grieved and in desperate need of help.
Many of the places mentioned in the Bible are held in the grip of conflict today, and many others are hosting refugees fled from their neighbouring countries.
The ancient kingdoms of Moab, Edom and Ammon are part of modern-day Jordan, to which many flee for safety. Tyre and Sidon are in present-day Lebanon, which is currently a host to more than a million Syrian refugees. Damascus in Syria and the Iraqi province of Nineveh have seen terrible violence and bloodshed in recent months.
Please use this resource to reflect on God’s heart for the struggling people in the Middle East and to uphold them in prayer.
IRAQ – PRAYING FOR PEACE
Bible link: Nineveh
In the book of Jonah, the reluctant prophet was sent to Nineveh – once the most populous city of the ancient Assyrian Empire.
Nowadays, its ruins lie across the river from the Iraqi city of Mosul, where fierce fighting and intense persecution have forced many to flee their homes. For hundreds of people, this means sleeping in tents under temperatures that are scorching in summer and bitterly cold in winter.
Read: Jonah chapters 1-4
Reflect: ‘ “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” ’ (Jonah 2:2)
Heavenly Father, thank you that in the book of Jonah we know you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.
We bring before you the people of Iraq and the wider Middle East in the knowledge that you love and care for them deeply.
We ask you to pour out your comfort and healing on all who are grieving, fearful and traumatised, and bring peace to their countries so that they can start rebuilding their lives.
Thank you that you hear our cries for help. Amen.
[Source: Tearfund UK]