Beauty for ashes: You have promised, fulfill.
Praise for despair: Once a dream – now awake.
Joy for those mourning: How can it be,
When suffering and pain mark the world as it is?
“Death to …” whomever your heart aims to loathe.
Some truly deserve it.
Some swept alongside.
God, can we ask for a trade more attainable?
A virtue for which we can rally, in hope?
Something that lets us hold on to humanity,
While holding still harder to that which is right.
Hatred for justice.
Grudge for resolve.
This is hard enough, God.
Can your grace make it real?
For with it must come a true sense of humility.
A knowledge that I and my group have done wrong.
It was not on purpose. We still cannot see it.
But I know I am fallen.
I need help.
God, you hate robbery. Make me match your zeal.
God, you love justice. Through me, make it real.
One day, said Isaiah, your vengeance will come.
But Jesus, that day, did not quote that verse.
Good news for the poor.
A year of God’s favor.
Bound up brokenhearted.
But these too are elusive. Are they spiritually meant?
The blessed poor in spirit?
Release from my hate?
I like my hate. It gives me something you do not.
If you will not kill them, I’ll do so inside.
I’ll torture and mangle and tear limb from limb.
As they did to me.
As they did to my loved ones.
As they do to your goodness at work in this world.
As they do to my heart.
As I do to my heart.
Let the spirit of the sovereign Lord be upon me.
Help me get this right.
Make us oaks of righteousness.
Make Lebanon’s cedars strong.
Let it feed on the wealth of the nations.
Let it rebuild all destroyed.
Freed from the labor of everyday trial,
Make us as priests doing only your will.
Sharing your healing with every downtrodden.
Heaping coals on the heads of our every foe.
Ashes to beauty, God.
How can it be?
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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.
Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.
If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:
1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.
2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.
3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.
4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.
5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.
I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.