Breakthrough is a monthly call to pray for the Arab world. In each edition we focus on a different country of the region, praying for breakthrough over a particular stronghold.
Welcome to Breakthrough and thank you for praying. This month, we lift up the country of Iraq. Even though it doesn’t feature so much in the news these days, we know it still needs lots of prayer.
As a change, let’s begin by looking at this image of Qadisiyah, Baghdad, taken by NASA.
What do you see? How does it make you feel? Is God speaking to you through it? Please take some time looking at the image and answering these questions before reading further.
I found this image very striking. The first thing I saw was a heart shape where the river bends through the (invisible) city. I also noticed the absence of borders, of dirt and of war. It’s my hope that God will use this image to speak to you and direct your prayers.
Country focus: Iraq
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:4 ESV)
The Republic of Iraq is a large Middle Eastern country bordering Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran. It also has 36 miles (58 kilometres) of coast along the Persian Gulf.
Although up to 80 per cent of Iraqis are Arab and 10 to 15 per cent are Kurdish, there are at least nine other ethnicities represented in this nation. These include Assyrians, Turkmen and Yazidis.
Accurate figures are difficult to obtain, but officially, 99 per cent of the population is Muslim. Shia Muslims outnumber Sunni Muslims by almost two to one. Just over one per cent of the population identify themselves as Christian. The Christian population has shrunk drastically due to persecution. Most Iraqi Christians live overseas and are unlikely to return.
This month, we pray against the stronghold of instability. Iraq has experienced too much violence over the past three decades. Three wars and continuous sectarian violence have ravaged this country. Christians, who once represented eight or nine per cent of the population, now make up less than one per cent. Sunnis fight Shia Muslims for fairer representation and, now that ISIS is largely defeated, the Iraqi army fights the Kurdish in the north. It seems impossible that Iraq can prosper and its people live in peace, but that is what they yearn for. Let’s pray.
- Pray for peace in Iraq. Pray that those with power and authority would wake up to the futility of fighting and put a stop to it.
- Pray for those who have been uprooted by war and violence. May they find stability through employment, homes, schools for their children and community with others.
- Pray for the young people of Iraq, who represent almost 60 per cent of the population. May they be determined to break free from Iraq’s violent past. Pray that they would stand for peace and unity in their country, crushing the boundaries that currently stand between ethnic groups.
- Lift up our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, praying for their protection and for continued faith as they live in their ancestral land. Pray especially for the fifteen Iraqis who have come to faith in Christ with one of our responders this year. May they be a light in the darkness to their families and friends.
You could also watch this beautiful video, which Prayercast has generously allowed us to share…
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team