“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9 KJV
Happy 9-9-09! In honor of 9-9-09, and because it’s so close to 9-11, and because we’re STILL at war in Iraq, I say it’s a good time to pray for the people of Iraq.
With me?! Ok, to set the tone, read this song of lament, written by an ancient Mesopotamian (the location of modern-day Iraq). It was written thousands of years ago, but could have been written by a heart-broken Iraqi today —
Dead men, not potsherds
littered the way.
In the wide streets
where the crowds once gathered and cheered,
the corpses lay scattered.
In the fields where the dancers once danced
the dead were heaped up in piles…….
This is my house:
where food is not eaten,
where drink is not drunk,
where seats are not sat in,
where beds are not made,
where jars lie empty,
and cups are overturned,
where harps no longer vibrate
and tunes no longer sing.
This is my house:
without a husband,
without a child,
Let’s pray…..I’ll put some facts in bold, followed by a prayer. (All verses are links to full passages on BlueletterBible.org.)
“Oh Father in heaven, thank you for this day, this special day, 9-9-09. Thank you for putting it on my heart to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq….”
Iraq is located in Mesopotamia, “the land between the waters”, the waters of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. “As the people there depend on those waters for life, may they learn to depend on your spirit for eternal life.” (John 3:5)
Adam and Eve gave birth to mankind here in the “cradle of civilization”, “Mmay the Iraqi’s that know you be “fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:7) spiritually; “children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:13)
Iraq is part of the “Fertile Crescent”, the ancient “agricultural heartland” out of which rose “the world’s first civilizations”** “Oh, may the hearts of the Iraqi people be fertile soil for your Word —“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so [may Your] word [be] that goes out from [Your] mouth [to the people of Iraq]: [May it] not return to [You] empty, [may it rather] accomplish what [You] desire and achieve the purpose for which [You] sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Father, thank you for all the ancient history preserved in Iraq’s museums, cemeteries, ancient buildings, and ruins; a beginning point in history, some of it, for all modern civilizations. May the soldiers sent to protect the people, also protect and respect their heritage and ours, an important part of fulfilling their mission there.***
And, finally, please protect the moms, dads, grandparents and children of Iraq. May they have food, water, roads, and homes. Peace and safety in their streets, In Jesus’ name, amen.
*** “…according to a Training for In-Theatre Cultural Resource Protection fact sheet. “In military operations where winning hearts and minds is a critical component of success, protection of cultural property becomes vital to the success of the mission.”