A Prayer From Iraq

I recently returned from Iraq, but my heart remains there with the displaced Iraqis who fled the violence of ISIS, and with my friends at the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC) who walk in solidarity with them. This weekend I emailed Jeremy Courtney, founder of PLC and my host in Iraq, to ask how he, his wife Jessica, and the PLC staff were praying during this Lenten season. I wanted to join them in prayer. As you read Jeremy’s response below, imagine you’re standing in a small town in the Kurdish area of Iraq, looking up into these snow-capped mountains, as I did not long ago.FullSizeRender 2 From Jeremy:

Quite frankly, our team here is full of sadness and joy. Joy for all we get to experience here each day in Christ. Joy for the thousands of Muslim, Yezidi, Shabak and Christian friends who managed to escape ISIS and the militias, who we get to live alongside and benefit from. Joy for the chance to live in community and ‘on mission’ and with a vision for the world that is as big as the open arms of God in Christ on the cross. So, our prayers are not purely supplicant or intercessory, but prayers of gratitude and amazement.

Still we are sad at all the brokenness we see around us, including our own hearts. I need to be made new as much as the world around me does. I’m praying more and more (again) that I can “crucify the flesh” and experience resurrection life much like I see the mountains around us blooming with life as we enter Spring.

So you can join us in prayer in that way—we know we are broken. And broken people tend to break other people. So we want to be made well, be made whole, and be empowered by God’s Spirit to bring that “nowruz” (new day) to all around us.

I am deeply moved by this prayer that acknowledges that we all, through our own brokenness, contribute to the world’s brokenness. I join the PLC team in praying for the grace of healing—of wholeness—that I, too, might be a channel though which God’s loving Spirit can work.

I’ve provided a few brief glimpses of some of the lovely people I met in Iraq on Twitter: @lynnehybels. And Instagram: lynnehybels.