Worship Leader Releases ‘Pray for the Saints: A Song for Afghanistan’

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on September 5, 2021

“My heart is breaking for Afghanistan and what is coming to the Church there,” Phil King, a songwriter and worship leader with Gateway Church, wrote on Instagram last month as he released his new song “Pray for the Saints: A Song for Afghanistan.”

“It is time to cry out and ask Jesus to do His wonders, His miracles,” his post continues. “To my brothers and sisters that I love in Afghanistan, this song is for you!”

Pray “That Jesus Would Be Glorified” and for Protection

King wrote his song for two audiences, he told The Stream: the global church and the church in Afghanistan, which is the second fastest growing church in the world. He starts the song from the perspective of Afghan Christians, seeking to evacuate and “knowing this could be the end.”

The chorus is a response to the verse, starting with the line, “Pray for the saints, that we bring glory to Jesus name.” He explained, “We need to pray. And we need to pray what I believe they would want us to pray. That Jesus would be glorified.”

The chorus also encourages believers to pray for protection with the line, “Pray for the saints, that we’re surrounded by heaven’s flame.” King said the phrase “heaven’s flame” is a reference to the account in Exodus of the pillar of cloud and fire that God used to protect the children of Israel from Pharaoh and to guide them through the desert.

The third verse says, “We run to the mountains and there we will hide. We’re longing to meet with the Man Dressed in White.” King said “the Man Dressed in White” is Jesus. It’s a reference to the many stories of Middle Eastern Muslim-background Christians who met Jesus in a dream or in person, seeing him as a man dressed in white. “I really wanted to put that reference in and make it personal for them while singing it in reference to … their experiences with God directly,” King said.

Pray “For All Believers Everywhere”

King referenced Ephesians 6:18, which says to “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” The song title references translations that read “saints” instead of “believers.”

King said the verse has been “a huge reminder for me with this song. And I just hope that what the Lord is doing in the global church’s heart — bringing awareness to Christians who are being persecuted — is something that’s just gonna not go away. Something that’s gonna stick forever.”

“That People Get Saved”

“It’s just different when you’ve seen the text messages from people who are sending you their last text message,” King said. He was referencing screenshots Robbie Dawkins posted on social media of Afghanis texting him to ask for help evacuating.

He wrote the song to encourage “prayer, intercession, weeping and that people would give.” His “biggest hope” for the impact of the song is “that people get saved” from the dangers now facing them in Afghanistan.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on Twitter @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg. Her previous article wasAfghan Christian: Do Not Abandon Us.” 

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