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.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Rachel Weeping for her Children


An Invitation to Prayer
The Christian Peacemaker Team in Baghdad, Iraq invites you to join with us every Tuesday for a day of prayer, fasting and action that will continue until Easter week. Participate as you are led either by fasting (the team will do a bread and water fast) and/or participating with us in a time of joint prayer. At 9AM Eastern Standard Time (1400GMT) on Tuesdays the team will gather for an hour of focused prayer. You are invited to join with us for the entire hour or for as much time as you can. Please also note the Action Steps connected with the week’s sacred passage that is the focus for the prayer time. If you are so led, the CPT Iraq team asks that you take the suggested action between Tuesday and Thursday so that we can be working together.

Website for posting now available: CPT in Iraq has begun a web log found at We encourage you to post any insights that may have come to your during your times of prayer and action, so that we may encourage each other’s spiritual growth.

To post a comment on our web log, follow these steps:
1) Scroll down to the bottom of the posting you wish to comment on.
2) Click on the place that shows the number of comments made on the posting.
3) Scroll to the bottom of that page and click where is says, “Post a comment.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Day of Prayer and fasting: “Rachel weeping for her children”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children of Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”

Matthew 2: 16 – 18 carries the pain of this season. There is the joy and celebration of the birth of Emmanuel, but the season also encompasses exile and sorrow. Last week the day of prayer focused on exile. Today the scripture carries the reader into the sorrow.

This region of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers may hold the birth site of the human story in Eden at the juncture of the rivers, but today it tells a tale of sorrow. Iraq now is a country ravaged by war. In war, the women carry much of the pain.

The fighters from both sides hold women hostage. The U.S. forces have a women’s prison in Erbil. Some of the U.S. forces are women who carry the trauma of war. But more broadly, women are the mothers, wives, and children of those who go off to war. They are the ones left to weep when fighters die in the conflict. There is “wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refus[es] to be consoled.”

Women’s Will is an Iraqi human rights organization. The group has tried to get permission from the U.S. and interim Iraqi authorities to hold a vigil to express the pain of women on all sides of this conflict. They have been refused. They ask you to do this vigil on their behalf.

Suggested Actions:

Be a stand-in for Women’s Will.
1) Gather women in your community for a public vigil to demonstrate the pain that mothers, wives, and children of Iraqi civilians, Iraqi resistance fighters, and U.S. soldiers carry because of this ongoing conflict.

2) Preach a sermon or write a letter to the editor of your local paper sharing the pain of women as a plea for an end to this conflict that damages and destroys everyone, especially the women in this world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you very much for organizing this effort online. i participated in your fast and hour of prayer and hope to do some of the action steps as well. i am praying for your ministry and for peace!

January 18, 2005 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

With your suggestion, I wrote my first ever letter to the editor about the pain the women suffer in times of war. Putting words to paper helped me clarify my own feelings. Thank you.

January 20, 2005 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

This is a letter to the editor that was published as a result of this week's action.

I do not have a son or daughter or a husband or a brother or sister who is in Iraq. I am not an Iraqi woman whose husband or child has been killed or injured in this war. I am not the mother or sister of an insurgent in Iraq. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish of women who are left to weep when fighters die in this conflict, or when their loved ones are damaged in mind, spirit and body.

We get such a sanitized view of this war. Our government does not want us to see what is really happening. As a woman, I have a hard time imagining trying to pick up the pieces of my life after my town has been destroyed by another country, and I have no house, no market, no library, no place of worship. And where is my husband, my son, my daughter? Why? Why?

Or the women in our country whose sons and daughters, husbands, brothers and sisters have died, or who are broken mentally and physically. I weep for them. I weep with them. And I cry . . . why? Why? Why?

And the mother or the wife of an insurgent? From my place of privilege and distance, I don't understand fully how desperate it must be!

In war, the women carry much of the pain. This war was not necessary and this war is not just. When will we decide that enough is enough? Enough killing. Enough bombing. Enough arrogance and enough telling other people what is good for them. Enough consuming more than our share of the world's resources. Enough of this war and the pain, utter devastation and anguish to women, men and children in the United States. Enough of this war and the pain, utter devastation and anguish to women, men and children in Iraq.

Enough. Enough.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your subconscious mind is a powerful force. It can be an un-defeatable ally or a dangerous foe! It is a powerful force of nature that can be harnessed and made to work for us or it can be a wild beast that runs riot with our lives.
How powerful is 'powerful'?
Take the first Atomic Bomb - it could lay waste to an entire city in seconds. Or the gravitational pull of the Sun which stops our tiny planet from hurtling into space. Imagine the power of a black hole - that region of spacetime from which nothing can escape not even light travelling at 186 thousand miles a second. The Universe is full of powerful forces. Yet, all these wondrous things pale into insignificance when compared to the power of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious part of your mind is that part which regulates your heartbeat, lungs, digestive system and everything else in your body. It directs the inner workings of your body and such things as (what biologists call) 'machines' - tiny living cells that are composed of motors, drive-shafts and propellers - seriously!!! There is mounting evidence that the cells in our bodies have memory and that our very DNA is coded with memories of our ancestors. As well as having full control of all these functions and more your subconscious also retains all the thoughts, experiences and emotions you have ever felt. It regulates the most complicated mechanism in the unknown Universe - your body - and it can calculate the trajectory of multiple moving objects while supplying you with the words necessary to debate an issue while controlling a complex task of activities such as driving a car!
These tasks alone show how powerful the subconscious mind is. But it is much more powerful than that!
The truth is: No-one knows the limits of the subconscious mind's power!
Tell yourself that you will wake up at 6 a.m. and chances are you will awake. Go to a crowed party and through a mass of voices you will hear someone at the other side of the room mention your name! Set a problem aside and miraculously, out of nowhere, the answer comes while you are involved in another task. It recreates situations in your life that correspond to your beliefs. Time and time again you find yourself in the same situations, with similar partners, in almost identical jobs. Like a wheel your subconscious mind creates situations that bring your life back to the same spot.
Likewise it can totally transform your life - even overnight! It can bring you new situations, life experiences, luxuries and even people.
However, it is like a na�ve child or a better analogy is that of a computer. It believes everything that you tell it. Your conscious mind is the gatekeeper. Anything you think with complete faith is immediately past to the subconscious mind - which it then takes as literal fact. There will be no arguments because it has no discriminating capabilities.
Although your subconscious mind is more powerful than you can possibly imagine it is a mere servant. It is at your disposal. YOU are in charge. It acts just like a computer and like every computer it needs software to run. So if you do not program it then someone else will! You are constantly being bombarded with software programs for the mind every minute of everyday. Buy this product and you will look slim, drive this car and you will seem sexy, drink this potion and you will feel more vibrant about life. You are told what to buy and when to buy it, when you are too young to do a thing and when you are too old. You are told what is possible and what is not. Snap out of it!
Take back your control over mind and body. You were born with the most powerful computer system known to man - a bio-computer that regulates a sophisticated, highly flexible, changeable, self repairing vehicle. You are amazing, a true miracle. If you bought a new top of the range diesel Mercedes would you let Joe or Sue down the road fill it up with petrol?
Begin to think for yourself. Who told you that you could not achieve your dreams? Do you believe it? Who told you that you were too fat, too skinny, too stupid, too smart, too young or too old?
Does it matter?
No! Because you are and always have been in total control. Change your thinking and you will change your subconscious beliefs. Change your subconscious beliefs and you will change your life.

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