Open Doors – Praying With Your Heart in Iraq

map of Iraq - religions

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.
(Psalms 119:50)

Located in northeast Iraq, somewhat removed from the mainstreams of war, the mountains of Kurdistan are used by many as places of refuge.

Makruhi, a Christian teacher and servant of the Lord, knows the roads through the mountain passes well. But this year an early storm has made the trek more difficult. As her humble vehicle traverses the muddy ruts, she works hard to arrive on time.

High in a mountain village, 30 women are assembled, waiting for Makruhi to arrive. Some are ethnic Kurdish; others refugees, displaced from various cities in Iraq. All have suffered the ravages of war. Some are widowed, having lost not only their husbands, but also the provision they provided. Some have lost children. War is no discerner of persons. All suffer.

Arriving late, Makruhi quickly begins the Bible lesson with prayer. The women join in by repeating a rote prayer. Unaware they can talk to God directly from their hearts, Makruhi realizes what she needs to teach first.

“At home, some women kiss their Bible and put it near their pillow, but they don’t read it” Makruhi says. Demonstrating how to learn God’s Word, Makruhi picks up her Bible, and together they read several verses. Realizing the value of scripture, many women said that they wanted to pass on Bible stories to their children. Makruhi happily adds, “After several lessons some are now bringing their Bible to class.”

As Makruhi prepared to end the session, a woman approached showing her hand; on it was a small ring. “I rescheduled my engagement party so I could be here to learn from you today.” Another stood up saying, “I was going through depression, but I was encouraged to read the Bible. I will go back to my church and teach the children.” One student quietly added, “Please end our time with prayer. We love it when you do that!” Makruhi was delighted to show them how to pray… with their heart!

One With Them

Become One With Them by praying for these beautiful servants of God, in Iraq, to be enriched and enlightened deeply by God’s Word and His Spirit; that they may continue to carry it forth with boldness.



Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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