Prayer and Action for Iraq

Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq invites you to join us in a day of prayer and action. Every Tuesday until Easter we will have a focused day of prayer and a subsequent action. Our time of prayer will be at 1400GMT and the action taking place between Tuesday and Thursday. Please consider posting any messages related to these prayers and actions on this site so that we may all encourage each other’s spiritual growth. Please refer to the main website,, for more on our organization.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"A Mother's Story"

Luke 1:38
Then Mary said, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

The story of the birth of Jesus is also the story of Mary. This simple, faithful woman from Galilee accepted the task of being the mother of Jesus, knowing from the beginning that it was going to be difficult. Her own engagement at the time was enough reason to decline. She ran the very real risk of becoming an unwed mother and possibly being stoned as an adulteress when Joseph discovered she was with child. Yet her heart told her it was right.

The rest of the story had more trouble for Mary. Emperor Augustus called for a census, which meant that Mary and Joseph had to travel, in the late stages of her pregnancy, to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem to register. While they were there Jesus is born in a very humble manner, and sometime after the birth the family had to flee to Egypt to avoid the wrath of King Herod who was determined to kill Mary’s child. Of course, Mary didn’t know all of these things would happen to her, nor did she know that she would eventually witness the agonizing death of her son. She simply accepted motherhood with all its joys and perils.

Right now in Iraq and in the United States there are mothers (and fathers) who accepted this same labor of love and who are now concerned for the well being of their children, whether their children are babes in arms or soldiers in uniform. Families on all sides of the conflict are experiencing the absence, injury and sometimes even death of their beloved children.

Suggested Action:

*Make a special time of prayer this week for the mothers, fathers and children who are impacted by the conflict in Iraq. Pray that those who perpetrate the violence will recognize their own humanity and will be led to stop making war on families. Pray by name for those you know who are affected personally.

*Support a family who has a loved one in the conflict, be they from the United States, Iraq, the United Kingdom, etc. Be supportive as you feel led to their needs—share Christmas treats, visit, drop a card or an e-mail, or simply let them know you remember their loved one.

*Remember the Iraqi families who are suffering now, many who have experienced great personal struggle and loss. Post your message on our web log for us to relay to Iraqis. To post a comment there, follow these instructions:
o Go to
o Scroll down to the bottom of the posting you wish to comment on.
o Click on the place that shows the number of comments made on the posting.
o Scroll to the bottom of that page and click where is says, “Post a comment.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your action suggestion, I believe you have been God's voice encouraging me to reach out to the three families I know at my Catholic parish who have sons in the Marines in Iraq (2) and the air force in Honduras (1). I just mailed them each a "Spiritual bouquet for the 12 Days of Christmas", promising that my husband and I will pray for their families at our Christmas season Masses and times of daily prayer.
I also joined you for most of the day in bread and water fast.
Thanks for your faithful presence.
Mary Ann Holtz, St Petersburg, FL

December 22, 2004 at 4:49 PM  
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