As we wait for the anniversary of your birth, Lord Jesus,
we are waiting for peace in Afghanistan.
We have created a war that goes on and on;
military operations come and go,
bombs get dropped or planted,
hospitals fill up and empty,
graveyards in Afghanistan and around the world
are visited by those who mourn.
And we have not found peace.
Saviour, where is your relief?
We need your strength and consolation.
We need release from fear and sin.
We require a rest from war.
And so today we ask for deliverance.
Deliver us from a mindset that takes war for granted,
that is unaffected by casualty figures,
that gives up hope for an end to conflict.
Deliver us from corporations that make billions
selling arms and armaments to countries at war,
profiteers who would like to see this war go on and on.
We pray for Afghan civilians,
who have endured too many foreign occupations.
We pray for Taliban fighters,
who believe in the cause for which they risk their lives.
We pray for foreign troops,
who also believe in the cause for which they risk their lives.
We pray for political and military leaders,
for religious leaders and diplomats on every side.
Open every heart to a longing for peace,
not just for themselves, but for their enemy.
Taliban, American, Canadian, all nations in Afghanistan
holding the bodies of their dead,
weeping together and saying, “Enough.”
Afghani people standing up to govern themselves,
providing justice for men and women.
This vision of peace is monumental and seemingly impossible,
but we know that you are the Prince of Peace,
and we ask for this gift in your name. Amen.