The situation in Syria demands saturation in prayer. In a conflict that has grown from so-called “Arab Spring” protests in early 2011 to what is now an all-out civil war, activists estimate that more than 20,000 people have died. That’s an average of nearly 40 deaths per day since the protests began, though if anything the violence has accelerated in recent months, with as many as 1,600 deaths in the past week alone.
The conflict originally stems from Syrian protesters’ demands for an end to the rule of the Ba’ath Party, which has been in power for nearly five decades, and for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. Civilians and army defectors have since unified under the banner of the Free Syrian Army and have become increasingly organized in their efforts, but the Syrian government has been able to use a more structured leadership and an expansive supply of military resources to suppress opposition.
Perhaps most tragically, civilians who are not a part of rebel forces, including women and children, have been caught up in the violence and destruction. As it becomes harder to obtain food and water and to escape areas where fighting is taking place, living conditions for these civilians are expected only to worsen in the foreseeable future.
Thus far the international community has shown an unwillingness to become involved in the civil war. While external assistance may eventually be necessary to bring the conflict to an end, as followers of Christ we can and should take part in the resolution process through prayer. So how can we pray for Syria? The following are a few points recommended by TWR’s Arabic ministry team:
- Pray for the church in Syria, where many Christians are being killed and thousands are fleeing or attempting to flee. Pray that they would be protected and that the peace of the Lord would fill their hearts. Pray for church leaders, as many are in danger and some are missing.
- In the midst of the chaos, pray that the Lord would touch hearts with his love, care and peace so that they might come to know him and their lives might be transformed in Christ.
- Many humanitarian missions have Christians among them. Pray that they would be touching the needy with the hands of Christ and that through them the Holy Spirit would reveal His love.
- Pray that those who have lost loved ones would experience God’s peace and hope.
- Pray that Christians, instead of yearning to flee Syria, will boldly choose to remain and be a vibrant witness and influence for good in this nation’s time of great need.
- Pray that God would bring about the resolution to this conflict according to his perfect plan, in such a way that he might be glorified and that the lost and needy might come to know him.
- Pray for TWR's ministry in Syria. Pray that people would look to Jesus as their hope in the midst of turmoil because of programs they hear from TWR.
We hope that you’ll join TWR in intentionally and continually praying for Syria. If you’d like to comment on this article or write out a specific prayer for Syria, visit our page on Facebook.
For more on the state of the church in Syria, check out this recent Wall Street Journal article. (Note that this article does not necessarily represent the views of TWR and is provided here only to give a deeper perspective of the situation.)