Itâ€™s hard not to weep with frustration at the relentless suffering of children in Syria. Tears can seem a sign of helplessness â€“ but perhaps theyâ€™re more powerful than we think.
Itâ€™s easy to feel helpless faced with the barrage of appalling statistics coming out of Syria.
Five million Syrian children are in urgent need of help, according to Save the Children â€“ including 1 million who have fled to neighbouring countries. Some 7,000 children have been killed. Countless millions more have been scarred, traumatised, in ways that defy the reckoning of even the most dogged statistician.
Three years of fighting have displaced 9.5 million Syrians and killed more than 100,000 people â€“ mums, dad, grannies, granddads, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers.
The second round of peace talks in Geneva has offered no fresh hope of a permanent ceasefire. And all the while, children in Homs are eating grass to survive.
BCT doesnâ€™t have partners in Syria â€“ but its children are included in our vision, which is to see every child in every nation loved, nurtured and free to reach their God-given potential.
So we weep for the children of Syria. Not out of a self-regarding helplessness but out of deep compassion. And perhaps weeping is the most important thing that we can do, caring enough about their plight that it rocks our world.
Lamentations 2:19 says: â€˜Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger.â€™
Weeping is the deepest kind of intercession as our tears mingle with Godâ€™s. Jesus wept when he saw suffering and pain â€“ and he does not change. He must surely be weeping over Syria.
But he is also Lord over that nation and the highest authority in this world. He has the victory over sin and death.
This is the hour of greatest need for Syriaâ€™s children. Letâ€™s not abandon them. Letâ€™s cry out to God on their behalf and take heaven by storm until we see them set free from oppression, and until we see the light of Christ dawning in Syria.
God has brought fresh hope and new life out of Syria before. After Stephen was martyred, the believers fled to Syria (Acts 11) and it was in Antioch that the Holy Spirit first commissioned Paul and Barnabas to spread the gospel to other nations, sending them out from Syria (Acts 13).
Now itâ€™s our turn to seed new life back into Syria, through prophetic prayer and intercession, for the glory of God and for the sake of her children.