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Lebanon Prayer: Patriarch’s Plea

God,

Lebanon is a small state. Yet it is full of many peoples.

Sects—to be fair. They are one people. Or are they?

Since its inception Lebanon has struggled to craft an identity.

Is it European? Is it Arab? Is it Syrian? Is it Phoenician?  

Is it free?

So to be free they struck a pact. West and East, a bridge between.

And many then trampled upon it.

God in these times of trouble, strengthen Lebanon’s foundations.

The leader of one sect put forward his vision. The Maronite patriarch called for neutrality.

And again. And again. Forcefully.

And then he labeled a culprit. A Shiite party holds hegemony, pulling the nation East.

Is he right?

Should he speak?

The Shiite cleric says they defend the nation from the South. They have no objection to help from the West.

Others in Lebanon say sects are the problem. Let men of religion stick to their faith.

Two politicians of a Christian sect formed a national salvation front, calling for more protests.

And from the original protest movement, several formed a national civil front, urging the same.

Many answered. Far fewer than before.

God, bless the patriarch. He calls to what he believes is Lebanon’s founding.

Its original pact.

As a cleric, honor him in defense of his sect. And direct him as he seeks to transcend it.

Bless the Shiite party. They call to what they believe is Lebanon’s interest.

Its essential resistance.

As a cleric, honor him in defense of his sect. And direct him as he seeks to transcend it.

And for those who find ill in the sects to begin with, or those who condemn the political class, or any in public who work for their nation—bless them also.

Where their cause is just—rally them in peace and unity.

Where they find a better way—commit them to paths of inclusive reform.

God, many in Lebanon have a plea. Most call out for the common good. Some—with daily increase—are in dire need of individual rescue.

Give Lebanon consensus. Give Lebanon sovereignty.

Span the gulf between the peoples with the bridge of your favor. Make them one, as you are one.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

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