With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I sat and read today’s headlines on Al Jazeera – headlines of yet more atrocities in Aleppo, yet more innocent lives lost, children orphaned and traumatised, medical centres bombed, people left without food water, medical care or homes.
Even the most basic of requirements for life are slowly being drained out of this city that has become the centre of the power struggle in Syria.
Yet, as I read the news, I also found my heart turning to prayer for this city and nation, calling out to God on its behalf, that He would hear from heaven, intervene on behalf of this city and heal this war ravaged land.
And I believe that for every tear we shed over the atrocities, His heart grieves so much more, not just for the tragedy and futility of war, but for the millions dying and desperate who have yet to hear of His restoring love and grace.
Thankfully, in the midst of the trauma, there are also glimmers of light – news trickling out of the Church growing as they reach out to the hurting and hopeless, of many encountering Jesus through dreams and vision, of restored lives and hope in those who come to grasp a hold the hand of the One who loves them with an everlasting love.
Today, let our hearts cry out to our God on behalf of the city of Aleppo – Cry out for an end to the air strikes, for compassion for the people trapped in this hell on earth, for healing for the generation of traumatised children, for light to shine in the darkness – a light that will never go out – the light of the knowledge of God that comes through Jesus, that alone can bring hope to this shattered land.
And let us declare over Aleppo that our God reigns over darkness, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and can and does turn around for good and for life what was meant to kill and destroy.
As we pray today for this city and the nation of Syria, let us include the words of this beautiful song by All Sons and Daughters:
You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken
Great are You Lord, Great are You Lord.
Isaiah 58 vs 8 – 9: “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.“