'Baghdad Prayer Patrol' to provide spiritual support to U.S. troops in Iraq


BAGHDAD, Iraq — A new Christian Web site dedicated to prayer for Iraq has been launched to coincide with the recent surge in U.S. military forces in Baghdad.

Prayercentral.net founder Wayne Dillard launched the "Baghdad Prayer Patrol" to enlist Americans to pray for troops stationed in and around the Iraqi capital.

"It's not right to send more troops without sending more prayer," Dillard said. "We are asking Christians to join us for just one minute a day to stand with our troops over the next six months."

According to the ministry Web site, Baghdad was once called Madinat Al-Salam, or city of peace.

"Did you know that maybe it's God-given destiny, maybe if we agree with God, we can change history," the Web site says while suggesting several scenarios.

"What if Baghdad were a city of peace? What if the impossible happened and it became a beacon of hope for the region? What if we prayed, and God answered, what could happen?" the Web site asks.

Ministry officials said the next few months are critical for the future of Baghdad.

"Forces of both good and evil are locked in battle for Baghdad," the Web site said. "Just a few short months will determine the fate of that city, its six million inhabitants, and its on-going influence in that region and the world.

"The good people of Baghdad have stepped up to put their lives on the line as leaders for democracy and freedom. Soldiers from around the world are laying down their lives, and the Baghdad police are spilling their blood to see their countrymen live in peace."

Still more intervention, Dillard said, is necessary.

"This is not enough, and the tug of war for Baghdad will be lost if believers like you and me don't step up to our spiritual responsibility and join the battle. Others are doing all they can. Are we doing what we can?

"If you are a believer then you understand that political, military and humanitarian efforts are only part of the picture. Rees Howells, a prayer leader that impacted the outcome of WWII, once said, 'History belongs to the intercessor.' If that's true, then the future also belongs to the Intercessor."

The site's organizers proceed to issue a challenge.

"How about it? Will you stand with us on the mountain of prayer as Moses did in the day of battle (Exodus 17:8), making your mark on history and seeing God's will be done in Baghdad?"

Those joining the Web site's prayer project receive a daily e-mail assignment specifying a geographic and spiritual need. Participants also receive a satellite map with closeup views of Baghdad neighborhoods designated as hot spots for prayer.

Dillard, an ordained minister of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, said his project is to emphasize the spiritual, not the political.

"We all want this conflict to be over," he said. "Through prayer we can make a difference. We can help our soldiers accomplish their mission so that they can come home."

ACTION POINT: Visit the Web site, prayercentral.net/baghdad, to view prayers posted by participants for the troops in Iraq and to sign up for the daily e-mail.