Afghanistan (MNN) — Skirmishes that began Sunday continue today in southern Afghanistan, forcing an estimated 35,000 people to flee. They are the most continuous Taliban attacks since historic peace talks began last month, BBC News reports.
“For the first time in nearly 19 years, the Afghan government and Taliban leaders are meeting to discuss and negotiate the future of the country, to resolve the differences without violence,” SAT-7 PARS Executive Director Panayoitis Keenan says.
“These are very, very, very important talks, and we pray that they will end in peace.”
Though they face severe persecution in Afghanistan and many live as refugees in other countries, believers continuously pray for their homeland. Secret of Life, a weekly program designed for Afghan viewers, guides intercession for the peace talks.
“We are always advocates for peace and tranquility,” Keenan says, quoting the Secret of Life presenter, Pastor Shoaib.
“We pray that a godly peace will be established in Afghanistan, and that our people will no longer be harmed and killed; that no woman widowed, and no child orphaned.”
Peace process requires prayer
Decades of conflict and seemingly-endless war create a hunger for hope. “For the past 40 years, people in Afghanistan have been experiencing war and violence, and this has naturally had consequences on Afghan society,” Keenan says.
“Thousands and thousands of civilians were killed in cross-fires, bombings; thousands continue to suffer from mental health problems as a direct result of this conflict.”
SAT-7 PARS broadcasts the hope of Jesus to Persian-speakers in Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. More about the channel here. Although Afghans thirst for Living Water, delivering the Gospel is not always easy. “Afghanistan is very difficult to reach, especially with the Word of God,” Keenan says.
Your influence on the Afghanistan peace talks may be limited, but you know the God who steers world events.
Ask Him to intercede on behalf of His followers. “First of all, we pray that God will guide these talks; that He will guide them towards a peace beneficial to all Afghan people,” Keenan requests.
“Second, [pray] that women’s rights will be upheld; they have fought hard for these rights and are a vital and valuable part of Afghan society. It is important that they are recognized as such,” he continues.
Finally, pray for Afghanistan’s future. “Pray for the children, that they will grow up knowing peace, security, and that they would be able to flourish and grow,” Keenan says.
“The Lord says, ‘I know the future I have for you,’ so we pray that these children have a good future.”
In the header image, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Darren C. Rickettes (left), Lt. Col. Donn H. Hill (2nd from left) and Deputy Commanding General of Afghan Development Brig. Gen. John Uberti, 101st Airborne Division, talk with an Afghan National Army commander during Operation Overlord in the Naka district of Paktika province, Afghanistan, on April 14, 2011. Operation Overlord is a division-level air assault mission designed to trap Taliban forces in the province. DoD photo by Spc. Zachary Burke, U.S. Army. (Released)