By Rev. Rick Sample
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am,” John 14:3, NIV.
Heavenly Father, the events during the summer of 2021 in Afghanistan were devastating for the Afghan people just as they were heart-wrenching for all of us who watched them unfold in real time, televised live for all the world to see. Even as I prayed daily during the actual evacuation from Kabul Airport, I knew that many of those same Afghan refugees would end up in my community here in Fremont, California.
I thank you, dear Lord, for preparing Lita and me for the arrival of those refugees through our 20 years of presence among Afghan refugees in the San Francisco Bay Area. When Afghan refugees, embattled from fleeing a war zone and bewildered because of uncertain travel issues, began arriving last fall in California, I thank you that we were ready to meet them—ready to be the welcoming presence they so desperately needed and ready to meet some of their overwhelming needs.
Even now, I pray for them.
I lift my prayer for the families who left behind loved ones, including those who had to leave behind spouses, parents or even children. I pray for those Afghans who have already lost beloved relatives and for those who are frantically worried about loved ones who remain trapped in Afghanistan with an uncertain future and dwindling hope of ever making it out to join them here in America.
I lift my prayer to you for the families whom I know that were actually on the tarmac that terrible day as bombs exploded at the airport—as they witnessed the carnage which they cannot forget and for the PTSD that stays with them day-after-day.
I pray for the children, now struggling in school to make up for lost learning and trying to master the English language; I pray for their parents who are muddling through the first year as refugees in America while trying to create a happy new life for those dear children. For the Afghan church, small as it is, I pray for growth; and I pray that many Afghans will come to faith in Christ. I pray for this Afghan church’s pastor and its leadership as they work tirelessly to bring the gospel to their compatriots.
Lord, bring healing. Bring physical healing for those suffering medically and bring emotional healing to the many Afghans who are suffering mentally, particularly the children. Bring social healing to a people group fractured by distrust of each other and by gossip about each other. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open many Afghan hearts to receive the love of Jesus in whose name I pray. Amen.
Rev. Rick Sample serves as a CBF Field Personnel in Fremon, CA.
This prayer appears in the 2022-2023 edition of Prayers of the People, the annual prayer guide of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, edited by Rev. Meg Lacy Vega. Download the digital version or order free print copies of Prayers of the People at www.cbf.net/pray.