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Prayers for Kabul

Well God, here we are.

We are gathering again in quiet chaos—

Watching violence and heartache from across the globe, miles away.

Our street corners are calm.

Our neighborhoods going about their usual hustle and bustle.

But it’s our hearts that beat with well worn trauma as we watch, once again, bloodshed in Afghanistan

Somehow, after all this time, it cuts even deeper.

There are no words that explain our feelings.

No one emotion fully encapsulates the range of what we are grieving and all that we’ve been through.

And yet— as we pray for our brothers and sister of Afghanistan, and our own American servicemen and women, we realize, we have endured so little in the great well of human suffering from this war.

We have suffered from watching it all unfold and feeling helpless in the process.

Relieve us, God, from the trauma of being the onlooker— the powerless but culpable citizen of a nation that tried so hard but failed so miserably.

We aren’t sure what we need more from you in this hour of lament, comfort or mercy. But we come crying all the same for the countless people suffering from the the violence today in Kabul.

For the innocent families that were targeted today,

For the men, women, and children who lost their lives while trying to save them— we do not know their names, but we ask you blanket their loved ones in their hour of despair.

For the United States Servicewomen and men who were killed today while valiantly serving and protecting the innocent— we are so grateful for their bravery while our hearts break for their families.

For the countless who are injured, for the medical staff, and first responders, we ask that you steady their racing hearts. Direct their focus of surviving and provide them safety and healing amidst all that lies ahead.

For the leaders of our nation and theirs— we plead and ask you to grant them the fruits of your spirit. We ask for wisdom and mercy, but also kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

Finally God, we pray for tomorrow. We pray for all that has yet to happen— for all the funerals to be planned, the dead to be counted, the survivors, civilians and soldiers alike, to be evacuated. We pray for the nation of Afghanistan and what her tomorrow will look like after 20 long years of fighting.

We pray for our own tomorrow, too. We pray for peace. Oh God, hear our cries for peace.

We pray for the endurance required to continue the fight for justice. We pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of getting a tomorrow. May we never take it for granted.

Amen.