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.
In the month of Christmas, let us use this resource to reflect on God’s heart for the struggling people in the Middle East and to uphold them in prayer.
May God be with them.
Jordan – Praying for Host Communities
Bible link: Moab
The region we know today as Jordan is resonant with stories from both the Old and New Testaments. The book of Ruth opens with Naomi and her family forced by famine to flee to the kingdom of Moab, an area now located in central Jordan.
Today, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have similarly fled to Jordan because of the desperate situation in their own country.
Read: Ruth chapters 1-2
Reflect: ‘She asked him, “Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?” ’ (Ruth 2:10)
Lord of the fatherless, the widow and the outsider, we thank you for the countries that have welcomed people in need of refuge.
We pray that you will bless these host communities, and that there will be sufficient supplies and services to meet both their own needs and those of the people they are sheltering.
We ask that love, compassion and respect will flow between different people groups as they mix together.
We pray for wisdom for those in authority as they seek a solution to the conflicts across the Middle East. Amen.
[Source: Tearfund UK]