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.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Interviews

God,

Who gets to speak? When a nation is suffering, to whom does it listen?

The powerful have a responsibility to communicate.

But by their words, they will be judged.

The prime minister, now only a caretaker, defended himself in the case of the blast.

Suspicion he spread elsewhere.

Only a portion of nitrate exploded. The rest had disappeared.

And a probe was authorized only hours before.

He painted a picture of official disfunction.

The central bank governor does not answer his calls.

But from talk in the media subsidies can continue—another six months if all ration well.

Meanwhile the head of a powerful militia boasted of weapons precise in their range.

Their number has doubled while enemies dither.

But be ready for conflict in the last days of Trump.

One speaks of troubles within the system.

One speaks of troubles the region around.

One projects weakness while trying to do something.

One projects strength while they wait with the world.

God, are these the words you desire?

Others suffer silently.

Three hundred Syrian families fled; their makeshift tents were set ablaze.

Corona facilities fill to capacity; a lockdown is looming post-holiday cheer.

God, there once was a time your voice filled not the earthquake.

God, send it again still and soft in the wind.

Let the powerful hear it: If only they listen.

Let it comfort the weak, and the lost in despair.

God, few of us will ever be interviewed.

But we all have words—fill them with wisdom, with power and hope.

Remind us the words you already have spoken.

To teach and encourage. To rebuke and correct.

We also have responsibility. We also will be judged.

Wherever we have influence, help us lead.

Through each with his own, God, guide Lebanon.

Promote every voice who looks to the whole.

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: Bats in the Palace

God,

There are creaks in the floor from Lebanon’s attic.

Wind rustles through broken windows below.

Lights from the Christmas tree maintain their luster.

But few are the presents, suppressed is the cheer.

Is Lebanon haunted?

Is Lebanon cursed?

Taking his children to school, he was murdered.

Unknown the motive, he worked at the port.

Another allegedly photographed weapons.

He disappeared briefly, then showed up unharmed.

Was one assassination?

Was the other a hoax?

God, you know.

God, please guide.

Lebanon continues to lack a government.

‘Bats in the palace’ are blamed for the leaks.

Prime minister and president trade accusations.

And patriarch asks every week that is lost:

Are they irresponsible?

Are they loyal abroad?

But maybe repairs are brought to the structure.

Parliament voted to open the books.

With penalties increased for sexual harassment,

Domestic violence is also deterred.

God, honor these efforts.

God, increase—the bats.

Contrary to lore they are noble creation.

They see in the dark where others are blind.

More agile than birds in mid-flight maneuvers,

They feast on the insects that nip and annoy.

Give Lebanon these virtues, God:

To find its way when all is dark.

To navigate where all are strong.

To eat the pests that plague its people.

To know the honor of its kind.

God, the house is standing.

The Christmas spirit still.

Your presence prevents haunting.

Inhabit it anew.

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: Tuition

God,

Must students pay for the sins of others?

The American University upped its fees. Rather, it upped their dollar exchange.

When the economy tumbled, their exchange rate held firm.

When their budget tightened, they laid off their staff.

Now they yield to reality to reflect the market—more than doubling tuition cost.

Will they yield yet to students?

Protest rallies pushed their anger. Riot police engaged the crowd.

Can the college do otherwise? Should they spend their reserves?

Would it mortgage the future for the sake of this class?

Meanwhile the parties continue to argue. Even the patriarch steps in the fray.

Sunni and Christian air their frustrations. Each of the other says they mislead.

And all accused leaders submit not to subpoena. What will the judge do, if the law is ignored?

Protesters gathered at his very residence, urging him on until justice is done.

The words are simple: Port. Blast. Lira. Debt.

Hope?

The world is complicated: Cabinet formation. Uniform standards. Dollarization. Sectarian balance.

Abandon, all ye who enter?

The sins of the fathers do plague the children.

Lebanon suffers from generations before.

What can be done if all this is your justice?

What if longstanding prayers result in your wrath?

May your mercy come quickly to Lebanon, God.

Cushion the needy. Spare the innocent. Preserve your remnant.

All those who labor for Lebanon’s good.

There are many—multiply them.

Find and promote within every class.

The students. The teachers.

The public servants who pull the strings.

But like the stringed puppets they have obligations. What can they do with the interests abroad?

God, you know.

Lead each uniquely. Lead each together.

Cleanse the heart and gird the loins.

Do not hold against them the sins of the fathers.

Your love settled the debt that none can repay.

Bless every soul and lead to repentance.

Let Lebanon live what you offer to all.

Your school has no tuition.

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: Charges Filed

God,

The judge said he is proceeding accurately and deliberately. May it be true.

Some said he is politicized. Spare Lebanon from this sin.

The prime minister said his conscience is clear. May it be true.

Some said he is a scapegoat. Spare Lebanon from this sin.

The victims’ lawyer said the charges were a step toward the truth. May it be true.

God, how do you read it all?

There must be accountability for the explosion in the port.

But when a system is guilty, who gets the blame?

The charges are sullied as unconstitutional. But parliament declined to take up the case.

The charges hit only one political grouping. They say that the standards must be unified.

The charges reach right to the top of the government. But they touch not the president, of similar weight.

Some say the charges design to divide, protecting all. Spare Lebanon from this sin.

Some say the charges may soon crack the whole.

God is this your righteous will?

The system needs cleansing from deep corruption. Let the law’s pursuit of justice mirror your own.

Judge each leader separately. Reward each for his good.

But all are guilty, for all have sinned, somehow.

Their pursuit of justice cannot match your own. All fall short of your standard.

So burden their conscience in these times of trouble. Let them not run from the errors they made.

Help them make things right.

Lebanon still needs a cabinet of reform. But the political parties continue to jostle.

Lebanon still needs exchange rate stability. But the top university just gave up the peg.

Lebanon still needs to preserve its subsidies. But money runs out with rationing soon.

Lebanon still needs to secure its borders. But airspace violations increase and offend.

The needs are great, and growing dire.

God, assist the people in day-to-day living.

Give them a government from the upright and able.

The accurate. The deliberate. With consciences clear.

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
Middle East Published Articles Schneller Magazine

When Parents Become Therapists

7-year-old Elias Saadeh sat on the floor with a bar of chocolate. It was all is his mother could do to get him back to his online studies, and prevent another violent fit.

Partly quarantine stubbornness, COVID-19 had shut down the entire Lebanese school system mid-March. But it was also autism. Diagnosed also with ADHD, this was the first time Elias was in the 24/7 care of his parents.

“I have to pray for him every day,” said Rebecca Saadeh. “It is exhausting, but it is a war we need to fight.”

Elias, a kindergarten student at the special needs-inclusive Lebanese Evangelical School (LES), would usually be with specialists. In LES he was in a mainstream class with a personal shadow teacher, pulled out six times per week for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and other therapy sessions as part of the cutting-edge autism support offered by the school. And during summers, he would spend time at the home of his shadow teacher and other speech and occupational therapists.

“Now, it has been three months without anything,” said Saadeh. “Today we tried to have a Zoom lesson, and he pretended to be dead.”

LES, like schools across Lebanon, scrambled to provide online learning options. From day one they recorded lectures for the student body of 1,700. The 125 with special needs received additional individualized lesson plans. But students like Elias—and their parents—needed something more.

“We work hard to include the parents in all decisions,” said Samar Rahme, coordinator of the LES Student Support Department. “And as a Christian, I have witnessed miracles in some families.”

With Lebanon going stir-crazy in quarantine, miracles would be needed now. Zoom calls were arranged for the parents. Special tips and videos were sent home, guiding how to work with their children.

And on April 22, Rahme shared them with the world.

At the 8th annual National Day of Inclusion conference, 1,400 participants from 17 countries joined in a Zoom call dedicated to crisis care for struggling parents. A ten-fold increase over past gatherings held in person, national coordinator Nabil Costa encouraged all to keep the faith.

“Amidst some of our nation’s darkest days … the simultaneous spread of the coronavirus and a downward spiraling economy is driving our families into a severe survival mode,” said Costa, also executive director of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD).

“However, a commitment to the rights and protection of individuals is not meant to be of service only when all the circumstances align well.”

LSESD, also known as the Baptist Society, launched the National Day of Inclusion in 2013, in coordination with the British Council and the Ministry of Education. Two years earlier Costa founded SKILD—Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences—to address a gaping need in Lebanon.

A handful of private schools like LES, and their counterparts in the Sunni and Shiite communities, offered inclusive education. But none in the public school system. It wasn’t until SKILD ran a national survey in 2014 that officials realized up to 13 percent of students had a potential learning disability.

The next year SKILD launched a pilot program with seven public schools. By 2018, there were 30, and their teacher training manual was adopted by the Ministry of Education.

“When I first started, principals would say we don’t have special needs students, and hang up the phone,” said Hiba Al Jamal, director of SKILD. “Now, they are calling us for help.”

There are an additional 50 inclusive private schools in Lebanon, and SKILD works with partner institutions to extend specialized care to as many as possible. While LES manages its own staff, SKILD provides teacher training and eight therapists in support of the 98 special needs students at Khalid ibn al-Walid school, part of the Muslim private education sector, under a reasonable contract.

“SKILD believes we are all in this together, and are very generous,” said Jinan Khaywa, director of the school’s Makassed Learning Abilities Center, who also shared tips at the National Day of Inclusion.

“And now during COVID, we are directing parents how they can be the therapists for their own special needs children.”

Another Muslim-led institution, ECIL, part of the Shiite Imam Sadr Foundation, is also seeking to expand training. The only Lebanese center serving special-needs children up to 3-years-old, the initiative to transfer their skills to other therapists is also driven by the crisis.

COVID-19 has worsened already bad economic conditions, and the Ministry of Health has yet to pay ECIL its budgeted share. Perhaps training workshops can bring in revenue, as they also seek online donations.

“Every little bit helps, and we trust God, of course,” said director Maliha el-Sadr, noting ECIL both employs and serves all religious communities. “The most important thing is that we support these children as if they are our own.”

But ECIL is not the only institution facing a shortfall. SKILD, which runs partially on donations, is operating at 30 percent capacity. LES had to let go all their full-time therapists, and 30 percent of their special education teachers. And some Makassed families must apply for whatever their Islamic philanthropic foundation can provide.

Special education is expensive. Jamal hopes it can continue. “Our mission is to reach out to the marginalized, and reflect God’s love,” she said. “God doesn’t make mistakes, so these children are here for a reason—and we must serve them.”

This article was first published in the October 2020 edition of Schneller Magazine, on page 8. Please click here to read it online, along with their other articles about Christian life in the Middle East.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Harbingers

God,

Lebanon keeps waiting for direction. But are there indications?

Some may be fading: The French president vowed again to return.

Some may be accounting: The state filed charges against army chiefs.

Some may be a warning: Someone brutally murdered a customs official.

Some may be shifting: Secular students swept the university vote.

God, what do they mean?

France again rallied their aid for reform. Help will come to the people, though bypass the state. Is this welcome commitment, or a desperate last gasp?

The army has long been seen as a bastion. Politicians will profit, but not men of the brass. Is this needed exposure, or selective resolve?

Security warned of assassinations. A Druze leader wondered if tied to the port. Is this mob-style messaging, or no link at all?

The students embarrassed political parties. They call for a future not tied to the sect. Is this youthful idealism, or hope for the flag?

God, you know.

And you will let Lebanon decide.

France has a heritage. France has the means. But let reform-led prosperity come from within.

The army unites. Corruption decays. Root it out everywhere and preserve the whole.

Secrets are many. Some know the truth. Let the nation have justice for the blast in Beirut.

Youth is naïve. Youth has a vision. Walk generations together with honor toward faith.

God, like all, it is your nation.

God, like all, it goes astray.

Nip in the bud any selfish ambition. Nurture the growth of each bloom that is good.

Once you placed your sign in the virgin. A message of hope to all who believe.

Make good the promise of Lebanon’s mountains.

Bring to fruition her bountiful fields.

Provide for the people in these times of trouble.

Hold strong their faith for your new dawn to come.

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
Audio

Audio Appearances

As 2020 draws to a close, many people are saying ‘Amen.’ Amid all the terrible events, much has been left undone.

That is an overly dramatic introduction to a catch-up post.

Thank you to everyone who keeps up with the articles I write. But over the course of this last year I missed sharing two audio appearances for my work.

I did post about one of them. See here for my interview about the situation in Armenia.

But back in May I was a guest on The Underground Sessions: Intersection of Faith, Culture, and Politics.

The podcast is hosted by Millington Baptist Church in New Jersey, and they asked me to share my thoughts on the situation in Lebanon.

Please click here if you would like to listen in to the 41-minute episode.

Of course, the situation in Lebanon grew much worse since then. In August, explosive materials detonated at the Beirut port, and things have still not gone back to normal.

The radio show The Common Good picked up on my article for Christianity Today, about how I explained the blast to my children.

They did not interview me, but engaged with the material and reflected upon it.

Please click here if you would like to listen. The link directs to minute 56 of the show, where the Lebanon segment begins.

Some people have a face for radio. Who knows, maybe I have a voice for newspapers. But as this year comes to a close, amid all the troubles, I can say ‘Amen’ for the life I have.

Thank you for learning along with me.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: All or Nothing

God,

The cry of the uprising lumped all together. ‘All of them means all of them.’

Maybe, this time, there might be proof?

In stunning reversal the parliament answered. Open the books, and count every dime.

For week after week the central bank dithered. Offering files while holding back some.

And now that the auditing firm has surrendered, lawmakers pledge a transparent probe.

Every single one.

Every single ministry.

From central bank to local council, the people will know where their money went.

If they keep their word.

God, hold them to it. God, honor their resolve.

God, clean Lebanon thoroughly.

God, have you answered prayer?

Perhaps a first step, but not yet entire.

Many are cynical. Many have cause.

And France renewed its efforts for humanitarian help.

They continue to say they will bypass the system. No national aid without proof of reform.

But donors will gather to assist the people. Bless every dollar to reach the right home.

May all of them mean all of them. Every poor, and every needy.

And every Syrian also.

A wayward one in the north killed a citizen. The Lebanese town then demanded all leave.

Over 200 families fled in their terror. Some ran from houses a mob set ablaze.

May they find shelter in time of displacement. May they find also return to their land.

Many in Lebanon have welcomed the stranger. But many remind Lebanese are now poor.

God, lift the burden that weighs down this nation. And rebuild the neighbor that lies to the east.

Syrians are not monolithic.

And neither are Lebanon’s judges.

The senior policeman called them corrupt. Only five in a hundred weigh justly the scales.

Is he right? Does all mean all?

God, you know.

Make clear your judgments. Set forth the truth.

And may it lead Lebanon to long for your grace.

All does mean all, for all have sinned.

Every judge. Every Syrian. Every citizen. Every lawmaker.

And yet you regard us as singular souls.

Apply your salvation to all who will seek it.

Give national rescue even if none deserve.

In your mercy, God.

With your justice.

Make things right.

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: Merchants and Criminals

God,

“Can a merchant truly be free?”

The Maronite patriarch issued the question. From antiquity-present the nation is known.

But a middleman serves both sides of transaction. His value comes chiefly in those who he knows.

And Lebanese politics has many clients. A balancing act between powers too large.

Somehow the shuffling killed off the audit. The Central Bank finances will not be known.

The frustration is uttered far beyond the cleric. A judge censures the council that does not its job.

Tasked with the probe into state corruption, they sit on the files of which she demands.

And as yet more explosives get tallied in storage, dueling state agencies study the blast.

Over 300 pages detail the failures, with the presiding judge livid it also lays blame.

 To date no official has been held accountable. The senior among them still haggle their posts.

The government languishes formless and void. The patriarch ponders: Is Lebanon lost?

God, you once shaped our world from chaos.

Your spirit hovered over the deep.

The mountains of Lebanon proclaim your glory.

The roots of the cedars recall merchants of old.

Days when their genius created an empire.

Built on foundations of sharing the good.

Can it return, God?

Can you make the government work?

Bless those afflicted with holy frustration.

Rebuke the many who cause it to be.

Burden their conscience and gird up their courage.

Awaken conviction to do what is right.

Let them count the pennies. Let them clean the port. Let them pronounce justice. Let them build a state.

Instead we see chaos breaking out further. Dozens of prisoners are out on the loose.

Five are dead – crashing the taxi they stole in escape.

Fifteen are caught – proving that many still honor their oath.

And four turned themselves in – repenting of how they just went with the flow.

What are Lebanon’s numbers, God?

Audit them in your wisdom.

Forget not your mercy.

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: Geography

God,

Lebanon has entered a ‘war of the maps.’

Let not the battles be fought within.

A strained round of talks continued with Israel. Each side drew their lines out into the sea.

The disputed middle is ever increasing. But both need agreement to extract from the deep.

God, give them good will.

Let law be clear and justice blind.

But regional politics also.

Syria hosted a conference on refugees. Lebanon said it is time they return.

The Western alignment gave it no credence. Must the leadership change before they go home?

God, give them welcome.

Let the stranger be honored, but not overstay.

Good fences—and borders—help make good neighbors. Let the two peoples be so once again.

And in Lebanon, let them remain.

An unclear assault struck an imam in Jbeil. Muslims protested in Tripoli north.

Leaders demanded a joint Christian statement. One called out France and religious insult.

God, give them clarity.

Let peace prevail. Let facts be known.

Let the spirit of unity drive out division. Thwart all who manipulate means to their ends.

For they are not two peoples, God. They are citizens.

And of Syria, they are brothers.

Even of Israel, they are made in your image.

You divided the nations to frustrate our arrogance. Instead we direct it to rivals outside.

And sometimes, within.

A map is a tool. A border is good. We are not the other.

It is not identity. It is not enmity. And the other is not independent of us.

But war is of the devil.

Lebanon has known this demon for too long, accommodating its spirit.

Drive it away definitively, God. In your holy name.

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: Crucible

God,

“In the Levant, we must carry our cross every day to remain.”

So spoke the head of Lebanon’s largest Christian party, hit by US sanctions.

Accused of corruption, many suspected are facing no penalty. Will they now fear?

Unstated, it may be because of his Shiite alliance.

Cabinet formation has lingered for months, perhaps awaiting the US elections.

God, is the crucible over?

It is not for many.

A Syrian refugee self-immolated, unable to afford medicine for his daughter.

Extreme poverty has tripled in one year.

And the accounts of the nation are still without audit.

Authorized by the state, the central bank did not yield.

Secrecy laws prevent sharing of files.

Three months have been given, to honor the contract.

Longer than subsidies are scheduled to last.

God, the crucible fires may only be stoking.

Lebanon may have more trials to pass.

Let the nation remain.

Clean up corruption, wherever it lies.

Provide for the poor, wherever they are.

Would doing the first, enable the second?

Would foreign aid come, if reform would prove true?

Let it not be needed, God.

Stand Lebanon strong, as a mountainous cedar.

Free from dependence on nations abroad.

Immune to their threats, unmoved by their favors.

Submitting herself to your cross alone.

A path of sacrifice. Service. Humility.

Repentance.

Give Lebanon leaders of upright conviction.

Forsaking their share in the national sin.

And after the crucible comes resurrection.

Only the penitent live to see you.

On their behalf, God, send your salvation.

Let Lebanon rise once again in Levant.

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.