A Libyan woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy, burst into a restaurant in Tripoli where Western journalists were eating on March 26 to tell them that she had been taken from her hometown, confined, beaten, and raped by 15 men from Muammar el-Qaddafi's militia. Although some of the journalists tried to interview and protect her, she was quickly restrained and taken away.

This is not an isolated incident. In all wars, some soldiers see women as objects for their own use and use rape as a way to exercise power and vent their rage.

And so we pray this news. We pray for Eman al-Obeidy and for all women and girls in war zones. This is a Christian prayer but it could easily be adapted to use the language of another tradition. A Prayer for Women in War and Poverty

Almighty Savior Jesus,
as war continues to consume motherhood,
as strangers invade homelands and rape girls,
protect the women of war-torn countries.

Stop the bullets and bombs that create impoverished homeless women.

Send your guardian angels to watch over runaway teenage girls
who seek to escape being sold and bought as merchandise.
Protect young women from sexual abuse and the temptations of drug abuse.

Sweet Lord, remind the women of war-torn countries
how precious each woman is in your creation.

Let us remember to cherish women of every culture,
whose bodies birth nations,
whose bosoms feed countries
and whose knowledge and wisdom grow leaders.

We pray in your mercy, Amen.

— Lynn A. Collins, Hempstead, New York
in Lifting Women's Voices: Prayers to Change the World

Next Post: A Prayer for Victims of the Japanese Earthquake and the Pacific Tsunami