News Articles

FIRST-PERSON: We can’t forget to pray

Carpets made in Kabul, Afghanistan.

My heart ached as I asked God for help when the last evacuation plane left Afghanistan one year ago. News reports showed an end to America’s longest war — 20 years — but I know Afghans have been in conflict or war since the 1970s. I prayed for a people marked by unrest their entire lives.

I watched as thousands of refugees, mostly children and women, sought refuge in the United States and other ally countries. Churches and other organizations responded to the need. We joined and prayed for their safety and transition. As reporters pondered what might happen next in Afghanistan, we felt compelled to pray. 

Then, there was silence … for almost an entire year. 

Our visual prayer prompts from news reports were gone. We didn’t hear from aid workers because most were evacuated. During this silence, life went on. The Afghan people struggled in their daily lives but still celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. Laws and expectations changed around them. It’s something most of us will never understand. And yet … 

We can’t forget to pray.

Southern Baptists, we must be persistent and steadfast in our prayers for global needs, long after the media greets us with silence. When the flood waters of Pakistan recede, we must still pray. When we don’t read as much about Ukrainian refugees, we must still pray. When a people group in South America is wiped out without known believers, we must pray all the more that we will reach the ones left on this earth. Our persistent prayers on behalf of warring tribes in Africa and for underground churches in Asia must keep coming.

We can’t forget to pray. 

Prayer is not something we do because we can’t do anything else. Our Lord says to “pray constantly.” Prayer is the before, during and after of daily life. It is a gift that honors God. We know the prayers of the righteous have great effect. 

So we must be persistent in our unwavering prayer for these places and people. God has and never will leave or forget and He sees every person every day in these circumstances. He wants us to come to Him consistently and passionately to bring these places and people before His throne. He listens and sees

We can’t forget to pray. 

Staying mindful of so many people may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. The Holy Spirit is ready to direct your prayers. Daily prayer requests like the ones you find on imb.org/pray will keep you from forgetting precious people. Media can certainly be used to direct your prayers, but don’t let it be your only source of prayer requests. The needs still remain, when news coverage fades.  

Your IMB missionaries are serving around the world, taking the gospel to those without hope day after day after day. The needs of the lost are never far from their minds. They don’t need news feeds to remind them of hurting people. They are a great source of prayer requests. As you pray for them, pray for those they serve. Whatever prayer we offer in faith, according to His will, He will answer. What a promise! 

Right now, you are seeing reminders of Afghanistan in the news. You will probably also see stories from Pakistan or Ukraine today. When the media forgets, we can’t forget to pray. A powerful God is still working in the silence.  

Take a moment to pray with Lisa Farrell.

To get up-to-date prayer requests from all over the world, download the IMB prayer app available for iPhone or Android.