Five things to pray for in times of war – Johnny McClean, our UFM mission partner in Thailand

Five things to pray for in times of war – Johnny McClean, our UFM mission partner in Thailand

Growing up in Northern Ireland I have seen the effects
of war first hand. I knew that my father was a Roman
Catholic but it was as recently as last summer that I
saw a picture of my dad for the first time! My mum
found an old picture and told me that my great-uncle
had told my dad to leave or he would have him shot. So
he emigrated to New Zealand. Hatred, war, division,
broken lives, devastation. How can we pray for war-torn

1. The first thing I like to do is find out if there are
Christians in that area (did you know that about 1000
Christians are living in the Gaza
Strip?) Pray for our brothers and
sisters to be salt and light and share
their hope in Jesus even in dark

2. It is also good to pray for civilians
and vulnerable people. Pray for
protection, pray that help would be
given to them, that humanitarian
aid would reach them. Pray for
those who work for peace. Gordon
Wilson lost his daughter in the
Enniskillen bombing. His
forgiveness towards the IRA
terrorists had a profound effect and
led to the end of the troubles in
Northern Ireland. Pray for UN
peacekeepers, diplomats and
ordinary people like Gordon Wilson
as they work for peace.

3. Pray for the refugees who are fleeing war, that they
will find safety and a new start. We have been able to
support those who have fled to Bangkok, from the war
in Afghanistan. They are now free from their fear of
death, and free to practice their faith, but still have a lot
of pain.

4. Pray for those suffering the long-term hurt of
war. In Vietnam, where I was recently, there are still
people suffering due to the landmines and
chemicals used in war many years ago.

5. It is fitting that we should pray against tyrants
and totalitarian regimes around the world who
often bring immense suffering to their own people.
Many of the Psalms have prayers asking for justice
against the aggressor. But in the midst of justice
there can be mercy too! Mosub Yousef is the son of
the founder of Hamas, and he is a Christian. Pray
that wicked people would come to
know Jesus and have their lives
transformed. Churches in
Cambodia are growing much faster
than in Thailand. Their war, and the
Khmer Rouge murder of one
million people, meant that many
people were displaced, and it was
Christian charities that were
spearheading the relief effort,
which led to many Cambodians
hearing the gospel for the first
time. Pray for the Lord to build his
church – that as people see the
‘inhumanity’ exposed by war they
would turn instead to the good
news of the gospel.

We live in an increasingly fractured,
international situation. Whilst we
pray that mankind would see the
futility of war and turn away from it, we remember
that Jesus said ‘You will hear of wars and rumours
of war . . such things must happen’ (Matthew 24:6)
until he returns, and so we pray ‘Come, Lord Jesus!’
(Revelation 22:20).