Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: The Right Intervention

God,

The French foreign minister suggests intervention,

With Lebanon bent toward “group suicide.”

He offered the carrot, now threatens the stick.

France showered its love; now lambasts them all.

It is rather erratic – just like Lebanon.

Maritime talks are now off again, as the president balked at America’s stance.

Corruption probes widen their scope to respond to political pressures suffered at home.

Vegetable drug smugglers.

Money exchange.

Turkish power supply boats.

Bank asset freeze.

Is this evidence, God, of extensive self-harm?

Or convulsions as interests all turn on themselves?

A fight for position and warning to foes:

Don’t push this too far; I can injure you too.

God, you know.

But let all be true.

Let France’s ambition be only to help.

Each investigation, expose the corrupt.

Let every crusader be of pure heart.

Each maritime line, for Lebanon’s good.

God is it suicide? A nation no more?

Or the birth pangs of something, greater to come?

A cleansing of house or rearranging of chairs?

Exorcising the demons, or will others come?

Intervention is helpful, God.

Let it come from within.

Have every citizen cry out in prayer.

Uplift the nation and fill it with hope.

No carrots. No sticks.

No sanctions. No aid.

Just friends and good neighbors.

Justice and strength.

These come from you, God. But have us pursue it.

These come from within, God. But we give you the praise.

In advance.

In faith.

In prayer.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: The Produce of Achan

God,

Bless the poor farmers who now see their crop

Sold in the market at half of its price.

Good for the public is Saudi’s decision

To ban produce imports that smuggled in drugs.

Surely the guilty are found at the border,

And secret facilities stuffing the fruit.

They go unpunished, at least for the moment –

A moment that many have watched their whole life.

Will the increase in suffering press politicians?

Along with the entry bans given by France?

What of the shame over waters polluted

Where dead fish lie rotten in piles on the shore?

At least the bananas can now be bought cheaply –

Is some silver lining worth insult and hurt?

God, you know.

God, you fume.

Your anger abounds at corruption in government.

You rage against nations who sanction the whole.

You seethe at the Achan who cheats for his interest,

And damns the whole country by chasing his greed.

So much beauty in Lebanon, treated as trifles.

So much freedom and liberty, sold for a song.

God, have mercy.

God, preserve.

Root out the wretched who laugh in their luxury,

Safe in a system where none can be judged.

Reform the many who latch on and profit.

Though less responsible, they still go along.

God, who is left?

God, call them forth.

Equip them. Empower them. Promote them. Protect them.

May the wrath upon Achan not come to pass.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Method Acting

God,

There is courage in the public eye.

Yet all the world’s a stage.

You urge us hide our works from men,

Yet shine upon a hill.

Which one is Lebanon? When falls the curtain?

Stars love the limelight. Servants, the towel.

Which one is the judge?

Linked to the president she raided a firm

Accused to be linked to the president’s foe.

Dollar exporters they could be the one

Who sent out the money depositors lack.

Why was she then removed from the case?

A political judge saved political friend?

Or shelving the circus she made of the courts

He brought her in line with the right rule of law?

But if only distraction, then why would her aim

Go next to the ally of president’s term?

The Shiite community’s Syrian meds

And interest-free loans are also immoral?

Is she the maverick defying the norms

That keep corrupt leaders from public account?

Or acting in step with another corrupt,

Abusing her power in political games?

God, you know.

Bless her. Rebuke her. Whatever is right.

Which one is the PM designate?

A Sunni locked in a match with a Maronite,

He went to the boss of his strong Christian foil.

He brought back a message: Pope Francis will visit

With pleasure, once only a government forms.

Upstaging the president and taking his card

Of Christian defender, he seized full the stage.

A powerful performance that will break through the impasse?

Or a sideshow of vaudeville that sullies his host?

God, you know.

Bless him. Rebuke him. Whatever is right.

Which one is the deputy speaker?

The Greek Orthodox leader allied with the president

Called for the army to takeover power.

Does he fear for the state and its institutions?

Or read the political winds as they blow?

God, you know.

Bless him. Rebuke him. Whatever is right.

But God, also reveal.

Give your discernment to people confused.

For Jesus would also play to the masses.

Like prophets before him he acted his words.

Some loved him, some hated.

Some followed, some left.

With even disciples perplexed ’til the end.

But he prayed for your guidance.

He withdrew from the crowds.

His method: Foot washing.

His climax: The cross.

Steeped in sincerity, his message was true.

Bathed in compassion, his power was strong.

Give Lebanon such leaders, God.

Bless those it possesses,

And give them your grace.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Maritime Gad

God,

The border has changed, stretching into the sea.

The border has changed, but only it hasn’t.

The decree is signed, awaiting a signature.

The decree is signed, awaiting a government.

Lebanon is in limbo, and so is the gas.

Talks are suspended, as leverage accrues.

God, give the nation wisdom.

Give the nation bread.

Exploration, extraction – all will take time.

But none can commence if there is no accord

With the Zionist entity that also stakes claim.

The caretaker prime minister enlarged the region

Disputed with Israel, in defense of its rights.

Disputed also is his authority:  

Can a caretaker cabinet redraw a map?

The president meanwhile ramped up the rhetoric,

Demanding support of the US diplomat.

But his executive mandate was not executed.

He signed not the paper. The question is: Why?

Does such a decision need a full government?

Or is it a card for discussions to come?

God, you know.

This, though, is not Lebanon’s sole dispute.

Border contentions also lie east.

Syria seeks out the gas moving northward,

And an envoy alleged they claim still Shebaa Farms.

God, make Lebanon like Gad:  

Bless the one who enlarges its land.

A nation in weakness is squeezed from all sides.

So bless the ones also who heal the sickness

That rots from the inside—Lebanese know their sins.

Yes, have leaders, like lions, fight for their country.

And have them, like Gad, seek out your righteous will.

Does this demand a central bank audit?

Neutralizing the nation from conflict abroad?

Raiding exchange firms for exported dollars?

Fighting corruption no matter the sect?

God, let the Lebanese people overcome their divisions.

Consensus must form, and rivalry cease.

And if this is impossible, except in your kingdom:

Then your kingdom come.

Your will be done.

In the end, all the nations labor for nothing,

For the earth shall be filled with the glory of God,

Just like the waters cover the sea.

Then, God, no borders will be needed.

Now, God, give Lebanon its rights.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Cutting Ties

God,

When will the Lebanese get back their money?

And how much is left, after drawing it down?

Dollars to lira exchanged for a pittance.

A lifetime of savings became daily bread.

Is there a lesson, God?

If so, it feels cruel.

Yes, birds of the air are fed by their maker.

Flowers of the field are clothed like a king.

But what sin of the people brought on this calamity?

The bankers, the leaders – they shifted the loss.

Instead they all bicker, blaming each other.

“The money returns when the government pays.”

Thus said the banks, washing hands of the crisis.

“Dollar peg, debt, corruption – all political woes.”

Meanwhile the president pressed on the governor,

The Central Bank head once lauded as wise.

Now subject to lawsuits he slow plays the audit,

Privy to secrets that none want exposed.

Expose them, God.

But only for justice.

Reform them, God.

Build a system that works:

Transparent, accountable,

Inclined to the poor.  

But now foreign lenders are giving their verdict.

Cutting ties with a nation that once made them rich.

Lebanon, isolated, will struggle with imports.

It produces so little to eat of its own.

Is there a lesson, God?

If so, it is kind.

Too many bank accounts were just bigger barns.

Storing up interest at 15 percent.

Putting their trust in a future of comfort.

Spending their profit on luxury goods.

In your parable, God, the illusion was shattered

Only when death took the life of the fool.

God, Lebanon has your attention.

The people are humbled.

Their false hopes exposed.

Innocent of the crisis, they rage out in anger,

Or stir in frustrations beyond their control.

Political leaders, international powers,

Some favored, some hated –

But God, bless them all.

For all are guilty, God.

We trust not in you.

Cut our ties to the vices that keep us in deception:

Self-righteousness, pride, and hardness of heart.

Our barns have been broken, and also our spirit.

But not yet the soul that you still can redeem.

With it, God, rebuild the storehouse.

Fill it with blessing,

With all that is good.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Crucify Them

God,

There are corrupt officials who abuse their post.

The crowd calls, “Crucify.”

There are others ready to take their place.

The crowd calls, “Crucify.”

There are activists who slash and burn.

The crowd calls, “Crucify.”

There are some who carry foreign interests.

The crowd calls, “Crucify.”

God, the crowds may be different. And maybe they are right.

But it is not your spirit.

Are there innocents among them?

Are there pure of heart?

There is no one righteous.

But are there sincere?

Does the president mean it when he despaired of his job?

Does he really prefer his grandfather’s grove?

Does the president mean what he said to the patriarch?

Does the government form when the PM returns?

Does the patriarch mean it when he names the militia?

Does the video leak come from his command?

Does the militia mean it now urging a government?

Does their deal with Christians deadlock the whole?

Does the Shiite head mean it of Lebanese unity?

Does ‘preservation of Christians’ mean citizenship?

Does the minister mean it: No Syrian trouble?

Does the deal with Russia have maritime threat?

Does the Germany offer come with conditions?

Does their real interest lie in bumping the French?

God, you know.

You sift the wheat from the chaff.

You sort the sheep from the goats.

But this does not come ‘til the end of the age.

Until then we are left in confusion.

Those who cry, “Crucify,” are only half right.

Better the whisper that groans out, “I thirst.”

In truth it is Lebanon hanging in anguish.

But is it the criminal, on right or on left?

Will it join in the mocking of sinners despondent,

Waiting for death that will come to us all?

Or seek out the blessing that hungers for righteousness,

Pleading for mercy for sins of its own?

There are officials with integrity.

There are activists with grace.

There are diplomats with principles.

And they, too, must repent.

There is no cry of “Resurrection,” God.

It comes at dawn, with most asleep.

It is found by the faithful, ministering quietly.

Tending the dead, hopeless in grief.

Bless those who toil, without ambition.

May they see their reward.

May Lebanon rise.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Oxygen

God,

Syria sent oxygen – Syria.

Syria in civil war. Syria in disarray.

Syria helped Lebanon.

Bless them for it.

But some say Damascus is behind many ills.

Smuggling in medicine, dollars, and flour.

Sending back refugees while Cesar Act smothers;

The least they can give is a few tanks of air.

Syria also needs prayer, God.

Raise up intercessors.

But so do the COVID sick struggling to breathe.

Their numbers keep rising, striking down Easter.

As restaurants open, the churches are squeezed.

Permission is needed to enter for worship

With gatherings nixed and a lockdown imposed.

It is reasonable, God.

But where are the vaccines?

Amid stuttered rollout, private sector takes over.

Many say Lebanon runs better through them.

But who can afford even 38 dollars?

As politicians distribute in areas of support.

The political class that cannot form a government

Finds it way with the patronage voters demand.

Bless them, God.

They take care of their own.

But give Lebanon better.

Take care of the whole.

For now, far too many are flooding the hospitals.

Preventative care is neglected when poor.

Meanwhile ambassadors shuttle through nations.

Are deals being cooked, and at whose expense?

So what can be done, God?

Where is the hope?

Or is Lebanon destined to just trudge along?

It could be worse.

It could be Syria.

But even they find ways to give.

God, let not generosity be lost in Lebanon.

Even in poverty grant fullness of heart.

Destroy not its character, neither the nation.

Rebuild the foundations upon what is good.

Lebanon is good, God.

Help the people remember.

But may they turn to you—for justice, righteousness, and forgiveness.

This is true oxygen, sustaining the soul.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Deep Desperation

God,

What happens if the threats hold true?

Pharmacies strike and food markets close.

Gas stations ration and subsidies shrink.

Was it just a bubble?

The lira draws back after plummeting further.

What made 10,000 so soon prompt 15?

“Manipulation,” some say. “Fear,” said the others.

But no one can claim any semblance of health.

The banks will make efforts to rein in the dollar.

Exchange houses given more leeway to work.

After new rounds of rancor, the leaders give signals:

Maybe on Monday a government forms?

Meetings with Russia. Egypt-Turkey come closer.

Will a semblance of peace settle Lebanon too?

From deep desperation a new hope emerges?

Could this be the reason the lira has gained?

God, may it be.

But what if on Monday the impasse continues?

Already the signals are starting to chill.

Politicians are needed, said the Shiite militia.

The world refuses, hinted Sunni PM.

Head of state keeps his office, said the top Christians.

So back where we started, the people may groan.

What will happen to the lira?

What will happen to the food?

Medicine. Gasoline. Banking reserves?

A loan for electricity – the power stays on.

But for how long, God?

Where is our hope?

In all the above Lebanon has experience.

And also in faith; you have tried them before.

In Hussein, and in Charbel – their icons inspire.

In Mary so many of all sects converge.

It is good, God.

But you are greater.

People find their peace in you.

This is a truth Lebanon must remember.

But it is also a truth they have known before.

In war and in famine. Amid slaughters and strife.

But can you fix what is broken?

Can you make right the wrong?

Here, God, there is little experience.

Here many conclude you are no help at all.

So plans by the thousands are offered by think tanks.

Civil society offers so much.

But still nothing changes while brain drain continues.

The nation is emptied of brightest and best.

How do Lebanese live like this, God?

Bang your head against a wall. Or: eat, drink, and be merry. What else can be done?

But now the head is bloodied. Merriment, no more.

God, come and rescue.

God, fill the void.

In our spirits.

In our systems.

In the hopelessness surrounding.

Be our help.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Christianity Today Middle East Published Articles

Why a Shiite Martyr’s Funeral Was Surprisingly Christian

From Lokman Slim’s funeral, at his family home.

A Protestant mother. A Shiite son. A plea for vengeance on his killers.

But unlike many responses to political martyrdoms in Lebanese history, she yields it to God.

Last month in the Hezbollah-controlled south of Lebanon, unknown gunmen shot Lokman Slim in the head. It was a targeted assassination of a man dedicated to the hope that his small Middle Eastern nation might overcome sectarian divisions.

He was his mother’s son.

“I will not go and kill them, but ask God to avenge him,” said the grieving 80-year-old, Selma Merchak. “This comes from my faith in God as the great authority.”

But her next response reflects the family’s—and Lebanon’s—complex religious identity.

“And as it says in Islam: Warn the killer he will be killed, though it tarries.”

Born in Egypt, Selma’s Protestant lineage traces back to her grandfather in Syria, who found Christ through the preaching of the first wave of Scottish missionaries to the Middle East. As a child, she attended the American School for Girls—now Ramses College—founded in 1908 by American Presbyterians.

The family attended Qasr el-Dobara Church, located in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And Selma continued in the Protestant educational heritage, graduating with a degree in journalism from the American University in Cairo, which by then had become a secular institution.

The Merchak family mixed freely in an Egyptian upper class that was open to all religions, vacationing often in Lebanon’s mountains. But in the chaos of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalizing of the Suez Canal, in 1957 Newsweek relocated its regional headquarters to Beirut, and Selma went with it.

She reconnected with Muhsin Slim, her childhood friend from the family vacations. The Slims were an influential Shiite family known for its good relations with the Lebanese Christian elite. Muhsin’s father served as a member of parliament in the 1960s, and during the civil war advocated against the use of Lebanon as a staging ground for the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel.

Now a lawyer, Muhsin married Selma shortly after her arrival in Lebanon. Her Egyptian accent was the toast of the town, aiding the political career of her parliamentary husband.

While Muhsin would only “pray in his heart,” Selma said, she worshiped on-and-off at the National Evangelical Church in Beirut, the oldest indigenous Protestant congregation in the Middle East.

Lokman, their second of three children, was born in 1962. Registered as Shiites within Lebanon’s sectarian system, Muhsin and Selma raised them to be moral, but to make up their own minds about religion. Statues of Buddha were part of the décor of their 150-year-old home. On property located in what was once known…

This article was originally published at Christianity Today on March 15, 2021. Please click here to read the full text.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Total Darkness

God,

In darkness no one knows the sin. Every criminal can hide.

Lebanon is not there yet.

It is the lowest level of responsibility to say: I cannot do my job.

But it is responsibility still.

Honor them for it, God.

But give the nation men who can.

The army cannot feed its troops.

Police equipment goes to rot.

In two weeks, the lights go out.

The lira falls in market black.

But a color cannot be arrested, God. Darkness cannot be shouted away.

It is creeping ever closer.

Even the hope of some is eroding. The World Bank loan nets them half of its gain.

Fresh dollars delivered will help out the bankers. While oversight monies are slashed in the fray.

At least it is something?

For even the hope of others is poisonous. Burning tires pollute the air.

When roads shut down all are impeded.

Save for those who do not move.

It is hard to move in darkness, God.

But it is not here yet: Why is there no government?

Are they blind already?

Perhaps they cannot sense the region. Which way will the powers pull?

In darkness, the frightened will latch on to anything.

They grab and they squeeze and they clutch what they have.

Meanwhile surroundings are trampled to pieces.

All huddle together, bound by their sect.

The job becomes protection.

Even this has honor, God. We must keep safe our own.

But Muslim and Christian are both pushed to poverty.

The price of bread has risen for all.

The lowest level of responsibility: Can they say that they have failed?

Some call them criminals. Some call it: sin.

But still, all are guilty.

The people love darkness, rather than light.

Is there a glimmer?

The pope said he’s coming.

Some grimace. Some strengthen. Some hope beyond hope.

At least it is something.

It is less than you.

And you are needed. Your light must shine.

Let it come through our blessing of others.

Let it come through embrace of the good.

It profits not to curse the darkness.

Those entangled must be saved.

This is our lowest level of responsibility, God.

For the sake of Lebanon, please do the rest.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Ten Thousand

God,

Your promises are put to the test.

The songs we sing ring hollow.

Are there truly “ten thousand reasons,” with the lira the same to the dollar?

And what of your scriptures, God?

“Ten thousand will fall at your right hand,

“But it will not come near you—only the wicked.”

Are we the wicked, God?

My uncle has fallen from COVID. My money is stolen from banks.

My nation is falling to pieces.

Maybe a different verse calls out instead:

“How could two put ten thousand to flight,

“Unless their Rock had sold them?”

Have you washed your hands of Lebanon, God?

So many others appear to.

There are riots in the streets. There are sanctions in the air.

And the caretaker head might stop working.

An aged King David once went out to war,

“No sire,” they said, “You are equal

“To ten thousand men. If they fall by the sword they don’t matter.”

Too many in Lebanon view themselves so.

And their subjects are left to lie fallow.

Which one am I, God?

A servant to all?

Do I search out the one from the hundred?

But what when the hundred need so much help?

What when they become ten thousand?

“Still my soul will sing your praise unending?”

But there is little for my heart to find.

So what now, God?

So be it?

Some will fight – they are in the streets.

Some will push – they need a government.

Some will pray – they hold to your promises.

Bless them all, God, in their efforts.

But…

Maybe the lira will never recover.

Likely the money is gone.

Maybe your justice will find out the guilty.

Likely the worst is to come.

It is hard to find a word of hope, God.

As we brush aside our blessings.

But we have life. We have love. We have truth. We have beauty.

We have you – if only we seek you.

Are you enough?

Please be so.

For the one.

For the ten thousand, four hundred, and fifty-two*.

Amen.  

*For non-Lebanese, this number equals Lebanon’s area in square kilometers.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Proper Power

God,

Lebanon struggles to keep on the power.

Lebanon struggles with power.

Yours is the sovereignty, God. You delegate some.

And Lebanon struggles to keep it.

“Do not stay silent,” the patriarch urged, proposing a path of neutrality.

Hundreds arrived to his place in the hills, as he invites the global community

To act where the nation is stuck in its ways

And cannot form even a government.

Illegal arms. Unfaithful judges. And plots to passport Palestinians.

Stalled reforms. Dishonored martyrs. His list was long and passionate.

It was bold—the Shiite militia had warned it was war.

It was clear—the Lebanese knew his full meaning.

But was it of you?

Some say the patriarch is being political. Some say clerics themselves are at fault.

The sectarian root poisons all, they proclaim. Religion should not have power.

Maybe. But it does, God.

The question is: How is it used?

Will it lay down its life for its friend?

Politicians have power, and are also accused.

Some cut to the front of the line for vaccines.

Maybe they need to. By rights they serve. They shepherd the state of the nation.

If they fall ill who will rise to their place? Things fall apart if they fail.

So many wish them ill, God. So many say they are failures.

But not you.

You will judge them, yes. Their power is from you. They will answer for what they were given.

Yet still they are human, bearing your image.

We all fail you, in our sin.

You want our redemption. You long to restore.

Your grace invites even the evil.

So what of politicians?

Bless them.

We pray for them. We need them to do well.

We need—electricity.

And what of the clerics? Only the same.

We need their prayers—from humility.

God, pick and choose. Sort the wheat from the chaff.

Shape Lebanon how you desire.

Yet well said the patriarch in his command:

Speak out.

Each one has his share.

Give wisdom, God.

Help each one find it.

Help Lebanon find it.

Help Lebanon find itself—and with it, proper power.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: A New Judge

God,

Six months. Starting over. Sort of.

The Beirut explosion now has a new judge.

A young man, respected, dares enter the fray.

First he must scour the thousands of notes

Left behind by the judge tossed aside for his work.

Then he must weigh if those efforts were true.

Were figures indicted the right ones to fall?

And are there still others, and how will he know?

Is there a trail that pinpoints the guilt?

Or if everyone shared in a system corrupted

Is any one person a scapegoat for all?

All this takes time, God.

Victims’ families have no closure.

Damaged shops await their claims.

With the nation stuck on neutral

People say: Its by design.

But Lebanon has other frustrations also.

Still no government. Still no aid.

Parliament questions exchange rate equations,

While the needy are suffering, someone else gains.

The Maronite patriarch pleads to the world:

Let the UN guide our path back to health.

The Shiite militia rejects this agenda.

“Our problems are here. We will solve them ourselves.”

There is honor in both answers, God.

But they also called it: War.

Judge between them, for the good.

Judge.

Judge.

But God, let us fear your judgment. You are righteous, we are not.

And your verdict is eternal.

Can the young man solve the mystery?

If pressured, can he walk this path?

Give him courage. Give him wisdom.

Protect his heart. Protect his life.

Too many have been killed already.

And what of the others, God?

Do they serve the nation? Do they serve their friends?

And what do we pray for? That our side would win?

Judge them, God.

They deign to speak for the country.

We do not know their hearts.

Expose the ones of selfish interest.

Promote the ones who fear your name.

And make us like them—faithful to the right, committed to the true.

Humble in assessment of ourselves.

Yet firm in conviction, where in line with yours.

Teach us to balance:

Judge with right judgement.

Judge not lest you be judged.

God, there is a way forward.

Let Lebanon find it.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Christianity Today Middle East Published Articles

Interview: The Middle East Church Must Resemble Salt, not Rabbits

Image: Courtesy of The Middle East Council of Churches

Pope Francis will make the first papal visit ever to Iraq in March to encourage the dwindling faithful. War and terrorism have hemorrhaged the nation’s Christians, but he hopes they might return.

Meanwhile in Lebanon, Michel Abs, recently selected as the new leader of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), agrees with the pontiff. But in an interview with CT, he said that schools and hospitals have distinguished Christians, who he hopes might even increase in number—and quality.

And Protestants, he said, have a lever effect that raises the whole. Representing only 7 percent of the regional Christian population, they have a full one-quarter share in the council.

The MECC was founded in 1974 by the Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox denominations. Catholics joined in 1990 to complete its diverse Christian mosaic.

According to the Pew Research Center’s 2010 Global Christianity report, Orthodox believers represent 65 percent of the Middle East’s Christians, with Catholics an additional 27 percent.

But it was the Protestants who helped give birth to the ecumenical movement that joined them together. The 1934 United Missionary Council became the Near East Christian Council in 1956, and the Near East Council of Churches in 1964.

It was renamed the Middle East Council of Churches when the Orthodox joined 10 years later. Today it includes Protestant church associations in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan, Iran, Kuwait, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Council leadership rotates between the four denominations. Last September, Patriarch John X. Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church nominated Abs for the Eastern Orthodox four-year term. (Protestants are next in line.)

“Despite the difficulties we face today, being one is the solution,” Abs said in his acceptance address last October.

“This vine that the Lord planted two millennia ago will continue to spread, to include ever-growing areas of the planet.”

A Lebanese Orthodox, Abs represents the ecumenical diversity of the Middle East. His father was educated by Protestants, and married a Catholic. An economist and sociologist, he is a lecturer at the Jesuit St. Joseph’s University in Beirut.

CT interviewed Abs about the regional influence of Christians, the nature of persecution, and the witness of the gospel in the Middle East:

Congratulations on your election as general secretary. From this position, how do you describe the current situation of Christians in the Middle East?

It has been a difficult decade. The emerging movement of fundamentalism has harmed both Christians and Muslims. Everyone is in danger. We have to deal with turbulent times with much wisdom and solidarity. We need a long-term vision.

But I don’t think we will be eradicated from this area. Maybe we will diminish in numbers, or increase later on, but numbers are not the most important thing, despite their importance and their psychological effects.

The quality of their presence is important too. Christians are known for the quality of what they do. With respect to others, they developed efficient institutions, like universities, schools, and media. This helps, but I am still concerned with…

This article was originally published at Christianity Today on February 19, 2021. Please click here to read the full text.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Vaccine Doubt

God,

The vaccine is here, and yet people doubt.

What should be hope is cynicism.

But why should it be otherwise? Our lives are full of conspiracy.

Our lives are full of sin.

Some trust not the Western make. Others reject Russia.

Even in medicine rivalry reigns. A zero-sum game of interests.

But much of the questioning hits closer to home.

“Lebanon: corrupt and incompetent.”

Can it keep the vaccine cold?

Will it distribute fairly?

God, you know.

Few others do.

At the main COVID hospital the head figure urges.

And his overworked staff deserves first in line.

But less than a third signaled solid acceptance.

A full four-in-ten will not take it at all.

What then of the nation?

The lockdown makes the cases fall. But with it the economy.

Another week. And then two more. And still two stages evaluating.

But now: A prick. And then one more. Eventually four million.

Herd immunity.

Or are we sheep?

Or are we rats—trapped in a lab?

God, you are our shepherd.

You lead us beside still waters.

But through the valley of death.

COVID has taken many, conspiracy or not.

Corruption has taken many—but that death is eternal.

And it has poisoned Lebanon far more than any virus.

It has ruined trust.

So what now?

Take the vaccination? Wait it out and wear a mask?

See if others fall ill first?

But if no trust in Lebanon, what of the world?

Are scientists, chemists, complicit?

Errors are possible. Money is made.

But is the whole world out to get me?

All we know, God, is you are not.

And yet, in the end, I will die.

You control the times and seasons.

COVID, somehow, is of you.

But so is grace, and faith, and love.

So is trust—which we must give.

Help us build it ever slowly.

One-to-one, where friendships lie.

Then let us risk to trust the stranger.

Maybe, even, rivals too?

Trust demands we become vulnerable.

As, in fact, we always are.

COVID has reminded us. Death has no escape.

And love leads to a cross.

Do we trust you, God?

The vaccine is here, and some will doubt it. Who can say if they are wrong?

Bless them. Bless us.

Walk with us to unknown future.

Give us wisdom. Heal the sick.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Lokman Slim

God,

By all accounts, a brave man died. But some dispute if he was good.

Yet all condemn his murder.

Suspicion falls on those who doubt. All his life they marred his name.

A Shiite in the south, the militia let him be.

And now most think they killed him.

But no one says so. None accuse. In truth they do not know.

Unknown gunmen pulled the trigger. His family says they beat him first.

He spoke against militia arms. He criticized its foreign ties.

But this is not all that Lokman did. He built an archive for the war.

Every sect contests the history. With documents they now can fight.

And maybe Lebanon can know.

Maybe Lebanon can heal.

Maybe Lokman now can rest?

The nation does not have the luxury. Politics will take no pause.

Christian allies signal distance. Their Shiite partnership has failed.

Helpful here, successful there—”It did not build a state of law.”

Do they tie this to Lokman? Do they tie to the port?

Germans uncovered a stash of explosives. Authorities busted a shipment of drugs.

Six months from the blast there still is no justice.

But two others were killed who had snooped around.

God, the nation hangs its head in horror. Resignation fills the soul.

Add to the list of targeted killings. Another assassin will never be known.

All authorities promised otherwise.

Like they promised for the port.

God, what do you want from the Lebanese people?

Will this time be different? From faith, must they hope?

Or does faith permit only the hope in hereafter? That one day, injustice will all be put right?

Shallow comfort for his family. Little help to fix the state.

So should the nation rage in anger? March again to Martyrs’ Square?

That hope, also, has faded.

Some look to Washington, Riyadh, or Paris. Others to Ankara, Damascus, Tehran.

Hope not in princes, your scripture says.

Then the Lebanese mountains? Lift up your eyes. Help comes from their maker.

To rest in their glory. To reside in their shade.

For refuge from virus. For reminder of you.

Ah, but God, it does not settle. Our lives are left disquiet here.

Already you can give your comfort. Not yet does it assuage us whole.

And Lebanon is left in the lurch.

Your kingdom coming. God, we long.

May we work on its behalf.

May we not confuse your aim.

We honor you in common good. Order, justice praise your name.

But something more is all eternal: The soul that now is in despair.

If Lebanon rises it may fall tomorrow.

The kings of the moment the next one will pass.

Yet the life you redeem is kept everlasting. The joy you bestow is abundant and true.

Give this to Lebanon—all those who seek it.

And with it: Hope.

For Lokman. For justice. For love.

Amen.

Note: The family has since conducted an autopsy, and accepts the result that no signs of torture were found on his body.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Tripoli Protests

God,

The week started with cows. Humiliation and farce.

It ended with death. Tribulation and rage.

Lift Lebanon from its misery.

Somehow the livestock are now held by Israel.

Crossing a border no human can pass.

One more offense lodged amid violations.

And poor farmers suffer ‘til promised return.

But the tragedy is elsewhere, God.

And only you can interpret it well.

The people of Tripoli are pushed into protest.

The poor pummeled further as all is locked down.

Their anger exploded in riots and arson.

They stormed public buildings, besieged the elite.

Policemen were injured. One protester died.

And all of the airwaves are filled with conspiracy.

Hidden hands that will hijack the cries of the weak.

Oh God, heal.

Hold back the spirits that seek out destruction.

Help the rich of the city reach out to their kin.

But balance the powers that govern the nation.

Give leadership equal to crises at hand.

They are only getting bigger, God.

The cases of COVID are not abating.

Lockdown continues and vaccine is pledged.

But few have a confidence all will go smoothly.

Registration beginning: Will corruption select?

God, yet again, we beg of your mercy.

We humble ourselves in need of your grace.

We confess the sins that we hide and we nurture—

That rob us of power and access to you.

But Lebanon’s troubles go beyond our foibles.

They are baked in a system, the region entire.

There is only so much one can do to improve things.

So we fall to our knees, and ask what it is.

God, help the poor farmer get back his livelihood.

Comfort the family of the man who has passed.

Put food on the tables of Tripoli and elsewhere.

Mark men of integrity to lead every post.

Bless this nation, God.

Bless its people.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Breathe

God,

What do you pray for when nothing is happening?

When all that is happening is getting worse.

The nation is suffering while locked down entire.

The hospital cots trade the dead for the sick.

But with everything shuttered the other pain rises.

If no one can work, then fewer can eat.

In the north and the south some are driven to protest.

The lockdown extended, with no hope in sight.

Meanwhile the nurses are brought to exhaustion.

When doctors fall ill, demands surge for the rest.

God, there is no rest.

But yet, there is boredom.

Perhaps rather—paralysis.

What is there to do, if naught can be done?

The caretaker prime minister made his best effort.

He went to the head of each ruling sect.

He sought to encourage the forming of government.

Dismissed as “utopian,” no breakthrough was made.

Might outsider stimuli shake up the system?

A new US president takes up the helm.

And a Switzerland inquiry hits central bank leadership,

While Syrian linkage is probed at the port.

At least before long the vaccines will be coming.

The World Bank funding will help with supply.

God, please ensure equitable distribution.

Many voice fears nepotism will reign.

So in the pause, God, let Lebanon pray.

Against the spirit of corruption. Against the spirit of defeat.

For renewal of the nation. For renewal of the heart.

Breathe into Lebanon hope, love, and mercy.

Blow winds of justice, divide wheat from chaff.

Give an awareness that all are united.

COVID is killing regardless of sect.

Both Christian and Muslim are locked in their houses.

The church and the mosque—and the bar—all are closed.

Soon things will open.

Life must go on.

Help Lebanon find the life that is truly life.

Eternal, good, and giving.

Redemptive, and of you.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Solomon and Kipling

God,

How do you pray for those who accuse each other of lying and cheating? One of them must be right.

Maybe both?

These are the leaders you have raised up for Lebanon.

These are the leaders who raised up themselves.

God, in the first, we lift them ourselves. We ask that you bless them and give them success.

Join them together in all solidarity. Grant them discernment to chart the best course.

Knit the nation united and give it a government.

The people will perish if no vision found.

And God, in the second, you curse not ambition. You honor the servants who risk and who lead.

But selfish ambition you toss on the dung heap. Mix justice with mercy; expose every wrong.

God, they are many.

They may not all be Lebanon’s. They may not all be clear.

A shepherd was snagged on the border with Israel. Accused as a spy, does he just do his job?

“Violate not our borders,” shouts out from the south.

Drowned out by the din of their jets overhead.

And even as aid finds the poor of the nation, the banks make a profit off foreign exchange.

A vaccine is coming to combat Corona.

But only once lawsuits get pushed to the state.

Yet the slightest of hope emerges from Syria. A plane from Aleppo arrived in Beirut.

Dozens of passengers came for some reason. Let trade and exchange increase week-by-week.

But even now wrong is attached to Damascus. An explosive report links regime to the blast.

Meanwhile the people sit home under lockdown. Yet COVID is filling each hospital bed.

God, what to do?

One of the accusing hurled the insight of Solomon.

“Wisdom dwells not in the soul sold to sin.”

But he also took refuge in the poem of Kipling.

“Keep your virtue with crowds; be authentic with kings.”

God, of the first, guard the hearts of these servants.

Let your scriptures inspire and reproach and transform.

And God, of the second, discernment diffuses. It found in the sages and artists and scribes.

The politicians?

Maybe.

It can be, God.

If one is right, then vindicate.

If both are wrong, rebuke.

But raise up the leaders who seek out your wisdom.

For the sake of the nation, spur zeal in the good.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Peg to Iran

God,

Lebanon has long lived in days of opaqueness.

Everyone knows, but no one will say.

It is not a good way to run a country. Truth must be told.

Maybe it is starting to change?

An Iranian general took credit for missiles.

Resistance to Israel flows from Tehran.

Meanwhile the Christians all spoke out in protest.

“No partners in sovereignty, we have our own state.”

But the top Shiite cleric made clear his viewpoint.

“No sovereignty at all, without Soleimani’s gift.”

Completing the image, his statue was raised.

God, the Shiite militia is a check on its neighbor.

Their weapons are held apart from the state.

Their influence in government is a fact of the matter.

Their people are citizens, with all rights therein.

But some things remain opaque.

Do they kill their opponents? Do they launder their cash?

Some accuse. They deny. Some defend. Others sanction.

Terrorists or patriots? God fearing or corrupt?

The Druze politician thinks he sifts through to the essence:

“Nothing is left but a missile launching pad.”

“Let their bloc end the pretense, and govern themselves.”

Meanwhile in finance reality is spoken.

The central bank governor buried the peg.

The era is over, once bailout is managed.

The dollar economy will soon simply float.

Good or bad, God – you know.

But national wealth will soon be what it is.

God, let the national heart ache.

Comfort in part through international good will.

But make the societal response resolute.

After the individual repentance of all.

A man cannot come to you in pretense.

Our sins cannot stay opaque.

The truth must be told—and in crisis it can be.

The truth also hurts—but from humility, health.

Reveal all parties engaged in deception.

Let everyone know, and everyone say:

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

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.