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The Awesome Potential of Nation-Changing Prayer:

A Report on the Afghanistan Prayer Initiative and Election

Afghanvoting.jpgIt was a privilege for me to be part of an international team that spent five days in Afghanistan to pray for the nation (March 25-30) and its historic election that was about to take place on April 5. We arrived to the sound of big bomb explosions as the Taliban were trying to destabilize the election process by attacking polling centers and international observers.

On Friday afternoon, March 28th, when the international Christian community normally would have met for worship, five suicidal Taliban attackers blew up a massive car bomb outside the venue and attempted to rush in and kill as many of the believers as possible. Our team would have undoubtedly been there as well, but, by God's mercy, the meeting had been called off for that day. However, nineteen adults and children were there for a tea party to welcome the new pastor. As the weapons fire began, when armed guards next door fired upon the Taliban, those at the tea party hid in a bathroom until the Afghan special forces rescued them. A woman and five children across the street were also protected during the attack and escaped without harm. All five Taliban extremists were killed or blew themselves up in the process and unfortunately two other Afghans were also killed.

This incident gave extra impetus to our prayer and we stayed up until midnight interceding that day with an encouraging sense of the Lord's presence and guidance in prayer. We also prayed with NGO workers and local believers and had other strong times of prayer within our team as the Lord led us to focus on various issues--the growth of the church, the election, the development of women and their rising status, the new generation and children in prayer, and of course the overthrow of the Taliban and their violent extremism. It was an anointed and encouraging time! 

Subsequently, one prayer initiative participant wrote about the election on April 5: "There were no problems at all. I think only on the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. So to sum this up, the election went very well. I understand there are a few reports of ballot stuffing, but very few. The Afghans I know are excited about the election. In the 2009 election, I was here and there were [around] 2,000 explosions in Kandahar City. This election there were no explosions.

“Yesterday morning, as I was walking in the city, I felt like the Lord said it is a new day and that he was going to come and move mightily in this nation. I looked around and it was very clean air all day, no dust. I felt like this was a sign from the Lord for what he was bringing to this land. Interestingly, throughout the day, Afghans said that today was the beginning.

“About 40 years ago there was a Christian church in Afghanistan, and it was destroyed by the government. Within 24 hours the government of Afghanistan was destroyed and has been in war ever since. We believe that since the (former) Islamic government or Taliban attacked the church here, it will be destroyed as well."

Another expat worker wrote to say: "The elections yesterday went fine.  Huge turnouts, in spite of the threats by the Taliban, and in spite of the rain and cold.  And no report of any terrorist attack on election polls!  Some places ran out of ballots and had to look for more.  You and your team were here at exactly the right time!”

What an awesome privilege and responsibility the Lord has put before us in praying for the nations! He stands ready to answer even a few intercessors banding together to listen and pray out His heart for their nation (Matthew 18:18-20). He will use their prayers in the Spirit to bring new hope and change where things look desolate and discouraging.

--John Robb, IPC Chairman. Taken from the April 2014 International Prayer Connect

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