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Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Flicker

God,

As demonstrators gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of their uprising, they brought candles.

There were chants. There were flags.

But this time, no dancing. No celebration.

Instead they marched to the port. To commemorate not a movement, but a tragedy.

Honor this, God.

Much has been lost in this year of protest. The value of currency. The savings of families. The lives of dozens; the homes of tens of thousands.

And for many, the legitimacy of the political class.

Society cannot function without politics, God. Governance is of your good purpose.

Aid their renewal, their reform, or their replacement – as your good will determines.

A top Sunni leader offered his efforts. Rejected one year ago, he will try again.

But the top Christian parties refused him. They side with the French who demand specialist government.

Some say they side for a particular ministry. Same as the Shiites a candidate before.

Addressing the anniversary, the president says change must be constitutional. Within institutions reform must take place.

But can it? What is the message of this year?

Submit and stay silent? Let us represent you.

All are corrupted? Let us tear it all down.

The nation is powerless? Let us wait for America.

The nation is hopeless? Let us travel abroad.

God, governance is of your good purpose. Bless all those inspired to take up the cause.

Their numbers exploded back last October. Their stamina dwindled the year that has passed.

Hope flickers.

Let these remain with it: Faith. Love.

Like the companions of Moses, they hold up the arms of hope. In prayer. In lament. In expectation.

Faith, that the nation can still come together. Love, for the effort that might make it so.

These three are needed, God.

Your light is needed.

Lebanon is needed.

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.

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Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: On Hold

God,

Help Lebanon in the waiting. May it be a time of rest.

For many it is forced. The government put over 100 towns and villages in lockdown. One week entire, with nowhere to go.

And likely much more, without a government. Politicians spread blame when the French effort failed. It might get revived, but no signs are pending.

Some say Lebanon is on pause until American elections. Some say the country has no time to lose.

The Central Bank said that the worst is behind it. But the dollar exchange has renewed its fall.

Life continues, God. So does the suffering of many.

But could hope be pending? Might there be a line, finally drawn in the sand?

The maritime border is up for discussion. Lebanon and Israel will meet to divide.

A framework agreement is already decided. Each one their right to the natural gas.

Is there enough to revive the economy? Will it take too much time to prevent the collapse?

And will it be fair?

God, in this time of waiting, lead Lebanon to pray.

For transparent arrangements. For equitable share.

For warming relations. For a peace that is just.

And let this peace come also between the parties. Let them fight for their cause in support of the whole.

For national consensus. For strong institutions.

For a soon government. For thorough reform.

And to the degree necessary, American clarity. Set Lebanon’s path upon sovereign decision. Yet so much of the world awaits what will be.

It is not all America’s power of decision. Heal the earth of Corona, paralysis, fear.

For slowing its spread. For needed supplies.

For developed vaccines. For this plague to pass.

In all of these, God, there is little most can do but wait.

And trust.

And rest.

God, Lebanon needs it. Thank you for this pause.

If only on hold, then the pressure is building. Until resolution, the tension stays tight.

But there is life beyond lockdown. Play beyond politics. Love beyond lucre.

There is family. There is nature. There is you.

Things far more essential. Things far more secure.

Strengthen the nation to resume its struggle. Let no one grow weary in doing the right.

But now, give a sabbath.

Hold Lebanon close.

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: Hell

God,

Lebanon is not yet in the place of damnation. But the president fears it is not that far off.

Asked where the country is headed if no government forms: To Hell, he replied, as if it was clear.

And as if to prefigure—munitions exploded, of a Shiite militia which stored in the south.

For too many, hell is already here.

Food prices are rising 300 percent. Life savings evaporate. Fuel oil is rationed. Even an egg needs black market supply.

And then the prime minister-designate quit.

He insisted on experts to lead a small cabinet, with ministries rotating among all the sects.

But Shiites insisted on the file for finance. As long as some posts stay sect-based they must name their choice.

Government formation is back to square one.

Abandon all hope, as in Dante’s Inferno?

 The gnashing of teeth, as the gospels describe?

God, there is no hell where you are present.

Abandon not Lebanon, nor the people therein.

But will France?

Its initiative lies in tatters, though a Shiite leader still supports its content.

Will it sanction as threatened? Will it keep on hold contingent aid?

France warned that the nation risks disappearing. Will Lebanese citizens hasten this end?

Emigration. Obstinance. Rivalry. Greed.

Responsibility?

The world has its share, both East and West. Some see only a pawn in their regional game.

But God, strengthen your leaders to shoulder this burden.

Give vision to see the small glimmer of light.

And humility, to call for dependence on you.

Designate a prime minister to roll once more the boulder. A Sisyphus able to surmount the peak.

But with Lebanon snared in this form of perdition, hold fast the rock upon which they can build.

A city on a hill. A message to the nations.

A free land of liberty, welcome to all.

Let no one pretend, God. So few are hopeful. Hell is other people, so many despair.

You are a God of rescue, of ransom. What payment is needed?

Repentance. Confession. For each one, his own.

Grant your mercy. None deserve it.

Spare Lebanon, humbled, from righteous fire.

Bless all who serve it, wishing its peace.

Amen.


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

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

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

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


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: Rotation

God,

Is Lebanon simply spinning its wheels? Could success come instead by rotating portfolios?

A deadline to form a new government has passed. Agreed by political parties with France, France then said there is no deadline.

Will then the pattern of negotiation return? Will it be months until government forms?

Months in extension of Lebanese suffering.

Following US announcement to sanction their allies, Shiite parties insist on keeping the Finance Ministry.

Sunni parties say all ministries should rotate. No sect should have exclusive claim.

But finance is money, and money is power. Power to place or withhold a signature.

No government policy proceeds without it.

In possession do they dominate, God? In absence are they squeezed?

What is fair? What is right? What is good?

Not the paralysis that stymies formation. Not the insistence that prevents reform.

God, weigh the intentions of all foreign nations. Bless them accordingly, to the degree that they help.

But weigh also each sect in its various politics.

Do they seek domination? Do they need to be squeezed?

From abroad, from the people, from their consciences, God, help them find consensus.

For profit, for power, for patriotism, God, lead them to what is right.

Your principles of service, of sacrifice, of sharing.

Of salvation.

God does Lebanon run, only in circles? Is it only a gear, turned by agenda?

Plant her cedars, make them strong. May the birds of the air come and nest in their branches.

And may the people rest in their shade.  

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: More Fires

God,

Lebanon needs a government. Lebanon needs accountability.

In their absence, fires burn.

An alleged welding accident sparked the most recent blaze, retraumatizing many. They opened their windows, fearing a blast.

And in poured the smoke.

Every solution yields a problem.

Those who can, flee to the mountains. Those more able, take refuge abroad.

And some board a dinghy, desperate for Cyprus. Asylum seems their only hope.

But the West complicates also.

The French demand a capable cabinet. Their deadline is looming.

The Americans sanction accused politicians. Their reach is growing.

Every proposal undoes another.

Politicians jockey over portfolios. Donated tea is given to guards. Protesters rally against all complicit.

An audit of central bank finance begins.

God, the nation needs your cooling water. The nation needs your fiery rebuke.

Help Lebanon listen. Help Lebanon heal.

So many issues require consensus. Bring leaders together to do what is right.

They differ substantially over the vision. Keep sectarian interest from making them blind.

And of personal interest, God, hold them accountable.

Every sin compounds, corrupting the whole.

Be righteous. Be just. May the intersection spare the people.

But no one is innocent before you, God. Let each repent of their fair share.

Be merciful.

Let it not be too late, God. A fire consumes without discrimination.

You are a consuming fire.

Refine, but do not devour.

Remember the beauty here you have created. Remember your image stitched into each soul. Remember the freedom enjoyed by so many.

Let every heart burn, but only for you.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Many Consultations

God,

When there are crises, it is good to confer. In the abundance of counselors is victory.

But Lebanon has so many—crises and counselors—and Job was not helped by his friends.

Promote the friends of good advice, God. Establish the leaders of decisive discernment.

Men who understand the times, and know what Lebanon should do.

There are consultations on the border. The UN peacekeeping force will stay, with mandate to inquire of tunnels. But can they monitor infiltrations? Can they curb airspace surveillance?

Can they stop the conflict?

There are consultations on the outskirts. An Arab tribe versus Shiite elements. Can they quiet the friction of religious identity? Can they satisfy families for the blood that was spilt?

Can they forge a peace?

There are consultations on the cabinet. The French president comes with a possible roadmap. Can they distribute positions to honor their sects? Can they agree on reforms to unlock the aid?

Can they form a government?

God, when the world is swirling there is need for conviction. Not certainty. Not even consensus.

Lebanon needs men of courage. Of decency. Of character. Of insight.

Find a solution to the threats in the south.

Make humble relations between every faith.

Empower a cabinet to serve Lebanon’s interest.

Lighten the burden on the national soul.

God, in your mercy, hear the cries of the Lebanese people. In your sovereignty, call forth more.

Wisdom is proved right by all of her children.

In consultation, be fruitful and multiply.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Special Tribunal

God,

Fifteen years, waiting for justice.

A verdict: One guilty, three acquitted. No conclusion on the powers behind them.

Who assassinated the former prime minister? He did. But who else? Investigations proved a wide conspiracy.

And he is not talking. He is not even here. A Shiite party shields him from trial.

A Shiite party called it politicized, and would ignore the outcome.

A Shiite party—with Syria—were the powers of ‘no conclusion’.

So is it concluded? A Sunni party of the murdered prime minister vowed not to rest until the guilty are punished. Finally, there is a guilty.

They called on the Shiite party to make unspecified ‘sacrifices’.

Many in Lebanon have moved on, God. There have been numerous tragedies since then.

But what hope does the verdict in the last big explosion, give to this one?

Many are resigned. Many are leaving. Many say, ‘This is Lebanon’.

But is this time different? America says no aid until reform. Is it right to starve into solution?

Or is this time the same? Certain parties scuffled in political disputes. Is it right to scare into submission?

Fifteen years is a long time.

Thirty years since the civil war.

One hundred since existence.

What do you wish to summon from the Lebanese? Hope is hard to conjure.

Resolve? Fight? Wrath?

Is lament too passive? Is contrition too hard?

God, can you invite blessing? So many cannot even contemplate.

But so many are not needed. Let two or three agree.

Then loosen.

Shake free their chains, for three or four.

Let four or five plead on behalf of the nation.

Then five or six can pour out grace on them all.

Maybe six or seven can be healed.

Perhaps seven or eight can heal someone else.

Eight or nine could confront injustice.

Nine or ten could sweep the streets.

Ten or eleven might make a difference.

Eleven—or twelve—can change the world.

Even if one betrays. Even if one denies.

There are those who betray Lebanon, God. They choose their selfish interests. Restore them in repentance.

There are those who deny Lebanon, God. They trust only their own sect. Remove their fear, and reconcile.

Their numbers are many.

Let the few, bless.

And then multiply blessing, to draw many more.

God, twelve can be a tribunal. Lebanon is in the dock.

It is guilty, of course. All are, every nation. Evidence is overwhelming.

But your trial is not political. It is merciful.

Let these twelve proclaim your forgiveness.

Then God, loose in heaven.

Lebanon is a paradise of your creation. Let the people live it so.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: State of Emergency

God,

The nations encircle. The government falls. The army entrenches. The investigation begins.

Beirut still smolders.

There is great need for leaders, and Lebanon has many. Bless and guide them all.

The Christian president will not cede sovereignty, to allow outsiders assigning blame for the blast.

The Shiite speaker of parliament increases military jurisdiction, to quiet the streets.

The Sunni prime minister resigns his post, to protest corruption preventing reform.

But each sect has alternatives.

A Christian in opposition calls for early elections.

A Shiite in support accuses some of stoking civil war.

A Sunni in waiting backs an international probe.

There is another probe pending. A UN tribunal will soon give verdict on who killed his father.

While fallout continues over international peace. Two regional powers normalize ties.

God, the lines are sharpening. Too many crisscross the cedars.

Let truth be made known, whoever pronounces it.

Let order prevail, in each disciplined heart.

Let protest find outlet, till transparency comes.

God, shield the nation from foreign agendas. Welcome the aid, with all expertise.

But let every decision come from consensus. Let every decision conform with your will.

Hold accountable the guilty. Marginalize the manipulative. Redeem all repentant long given to cheat.

Lift up the nation through prayer and humility. Bring forth her leaders to do what is right.

At every level of leadership, God, give clarity. Give courage. Give conviction.

Give compassion.

Lebanon is truly a state of emergency.

Be its healer. Be its rescue.

Be its God.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Three Explosions

God,

The city is reeling. And with it the system?

Whether from negligence or sabotage, hundreds of thousands are hurting.

You are a God of truth. If the reasons behind the massive explosion are not yet known, reveal them.

You are a God of justice. If the people behind the terrible suffering are not yet identified, expose them.

But you have not been idle.

You are a God of compassion. Beirut is healing through an explosion of kindness.

You are a God of righteousness. Beirut is heaving in an explosion of anger.

To what end?

For neither has evil been idle.

Dozens are dead. Thousands are injured.

A spirit of paralysis grips too many. A spirit of division seeds mistrust. A spirit of destruction animates several. A spirit of accusation seeks protection from fault.

Manipulation. Self-interest. Revenge. Hatred. Greed. Fear. Sin.

Me.

Everyone is guilty, God. All can be redeemed.

Some are more guilty than others. Bring forth the men who will lead with repentance. Promote women of principle who honor their charge.

But beyond individuals, there is something that binds them.

Is it the system? Must Lebanon sideline its sects, or are they its strength?

You are a God of order. Keep the nation from chaos and guide to consensus.

You are a God of freedom. Inspire authority to let loose inspiration; create an environment that honors its gifts.

Let there be a fourth explosion, God.

An explosion of blessing—of hope and of life.

And then, let it settle in quiet humility.

Bandage Lebanon’s wounds.

Build up its strength.

Sweep up its glass.

Imagine the message if all come together.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Jocelyne Khoueiry

God,

May she rest in peace.

May her nation simply rest.

Compelled by civil war, the young woman took up arms to defend her people.

She later laid them down, as religion moved from identity to faith.

God, does Lebanon need the same?

Can faith demand arms? Is identity for sect or nation?

Which do you desire first?

The Maronite patriarch continued his call for neutrality. The Shiite mufti called it impossible.

Their evidence is the same: Lebanon is surrounded by regional trouble.

Trouble that again spilled over the border.

Claiming infiltration by a Shiite militia, Israel exchanged fire and launched cross-border shells.

The militia denied anything happened at all.

But it will. Their dead fighter in Syria demands retribution.

And if it comes, Israel pledges destruction of infrastructure. The price will be high.

Who benefits? Who wins? Does faith demand arms? Does fidelity to nation?

Does neutrality?

God, guide Lebanon in the necessary discussion.

Calm the region, with justice and peace.

Restore the economy, for fuel and food.

Reform the government, in all transparency.

Convict the heart, to make amends.

The courage of Khoueiry transformed to conviction. Her earlier certainty shifted to service.

Even as killing continued.

Honor her, God, both former and latter. Honor her enemies, who risked life for their cause.

And today honor all, as they repeat the cycle.

Until one day all swords become plowshares. And all men in fullness give honor to you.

May she rest in peace. May she inspire the same.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Rising Tensions

God,

Lebanon feels on the precipice. Perhaps it has already fallen.

Is there a cushion? What impact awaits?

And who will be there to pick up the pieces?

The Maronite patriarch continued his call for neutrality. The president shelved it for other priorities, while a Shiite sheikh said resistance is necessary.

The French welcomed his efforts, urging reform. They then promised aid to the French language schools.

An Israeli strike in Syria killed a Lebanese member of a Shiite militia. They then beefed up the border, following vows to retaliate.

An American fighter in Syria buzzed a civilian flight in route from Iran. Frightened passengers reported injuries from the sudden turbulence.

The government agreed on a central bank audit. An IMF source said officials are stalling, while a judge put a freeze on the governor’s wealth—in advance.

Coronavirus cases continued their steady tick upward. So did unemployment, and the rate of inflation.

God, what happens next? What should?

If a call to neutrality serves to divide, is it of you? Many meddle in Lebanon; do you also have favorites?

And inside of Lebanon, is there solution? If money dries up, what about medicine?

Some citizens weep. Others go dance.

You ask your people to be with them both.

God, bless this nation.

Give it wisdom to distance from regional tensions. Give it strength to support every cause that is just.

Give it discernment, to judge well its friends.

God, bless these people.

Give them commitment to weed out corruption. Give them repentance for personal share.

Give them your healing, in body and soul.

If tensions are rising, God, perhaps you are moving. Perhaps you’ll divide the wheat and the tares.

Be merciful. Be just. Be gentle.

Lift the nation. Unite it together.

Guide it to righteousness. Guide it to peace.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Patriarch’s Plea

God,

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

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

Since its inception Lebanon has struggled to craft an identity.

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

Is it free?

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

And many then trampled upon it.

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

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

And again. And again. Forcefully.

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

Is he right?

Should he speak?

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

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

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

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

Many answered. Far fewer than before.

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

Its original pact.

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

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

Its essential resistance.

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

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

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

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

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

Give Lebanon consensus. Give Lebanon sovereignty.

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

Amen.


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

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

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

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

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Current Events

Lebanon Prayer: Agricultural Jihad

God,

In times of crisis, luxury gives way to need. Give the Lebanese their daily bread.

But how?

The nation has long eaten its imports – up to 85 percent of all consumption. Even considered staples come from abroad.

May Lebanon thank you for years of plenty.

And now?

May Lebanon seek you in times of want.

Amid the political wrangling, a Shiite party proposed an agricultural jihad. In bitter rebuke of former financial policy, they urged an economic shift.

To the East, but also to the Earth.

But others refuse a turn in geography, asking instead for return of deposits. The life savings of many is frozen in banks.

And others remind that in mountainous Lebanon, only 12 percent of land is arable. Can rooftops and balconies be a true option?

Meanwhile, those who toil in the plains warn of a farming revolt. In this time of harvest, will they sell precious wheat to the state? God, there is so much distrust.

Replace it with equity.

It is good to grow food. You formed man in a garden.

Yet from our sin there is sweat. With our labor there are thorns.

In our gluttony dwells injustice.

God, there is honor in finance—wisdom in the creation of wealth. You have made us stewards of creation, necessitating many roles. Let each Lebanese serve you and his nation, with the gifts you have given.

But in this time of crisis, give grace to the grower. May he who scatters seed find good ground.

And for those in other sectors, give consensus. Guide Lebanon’s leaders to best policy.

If you feed the birds of the air, feed also the people.

And with daily bread, prompt daily gratitude. Call forth daily repentance. Inspire daily forgiveness.

Deliver Lebanon from evil.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

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Current Events

Lebanon Prayer: Where to Turn?

God,

Lebanon has many ills; where should its help come from?

International lenders hold promise of debt relief, if only Lebanon will help itself—and reform.

Western nations hold promise of investment, if only Lebanon will help itself—and reform.

A Sunni political power hints Lebanon could help itself—if he returns.

A Shiite political power hints Lebanon could help itself—if it turns East.

The US ambassador says Lebanon is all but unable to help itself—obstructed by a terrorist group.

The power she accuses of terrorism agrees—but obstructed by America.

An Arab nation offers to help with fuel—no agreement has yet been signed.

A Persian nation offers to help with fuel—no agreement has yet been signed.

God, there is little agreement on anything.

It is not wrong. Different citizens hold different visions. But in crisis, it is not helpful.

It is not best.

Where each vision is winsome, God, let consensus come between them.

Facilitate repayment of debt. Hold the currency steady. Let the economy thrive.

Reform what is necessary. Promote the right leadership.

Give Lebanon many friends. Free it from its many chains.

Unify the people on what this all entails. Let every solution come from within.

Lebanon has many hills—places of refuge, places of prayer. God, let the nation look to you.

Amen.


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

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

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

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

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Homeland Future

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God,

Give Egyptians their right representation. May they bear well the concerns of their district.

But in whose name?

Many MPs have publicly signaled their intention to switch parties, and the Future of a Homeland is poised to receive them. Doing so would make them the largest party in parliament.

Some are current independents, leaving a coalition that recently hoped to become the majority party.

Some are rival partisans, leaving parties they deem to be failing and riven by internal disputes.

But all have prompted a legal question. The Constitution and parliament bylaws appear to bar any change in status while seated in office. The penalty is expulsion.

God, guide Egypt in this formative period.

Mergers are sensible. Attrition is natural. Institutions are rebuilding and like will find like.

But are you pleased?

The president has expressed hope that the political scene will coalesce.

Are these movements healthy, or manipulating? Do they serve the people? Do they serve the nation?

God, guide each politician’s heart and conscience. Guide the judges who may have to decide.

But not all representation is inside the parliament.

A number of activists were recently arrested, under a variety of charges. They vary in their opposition, but also aim to speak in the name of the people.

Give voice to that which is healthy. Where charges prove true, hold accountable the manipulative.

Guide each activist to serve the people. Guide each authority to serve the nation.

Guide also the judges who have to discern.

God, Egypt’s future is not yet determined. Choices and foundations lay a path forward.

But if the future is open, the homeland is ancient.

Give Egypt peace, you have preserved her before. Give Egypt hope, you have prospered her prior.

Give her good representation, to multiply both.

In whoever’s name they speak, may your will be done.

Amen.

 

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Fasting

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God,

Bless those who deny themselves as they deny their stomach. Bless those who celebrate with others as they celebrate your mercy.

Bless those also, who push either to greater piety.

And if in their encouragement they lack piety themselves, God, bless them, too.

May they deny their pride. May they discover your mercy.

May Egypt’s fasting in Ramadan lead her along your way.

Not just her Muslims: Many Christians continue their weekly Coptic fasting. And they do not eat or drink in public, from respect.

So of them all, draw them closer to you in word and deed and being.

Ramadan often becomes a battleground. One critic questioned if fasting is even necessary. Others condemn the popular tradition of hanging lanterns.

Some defend their religious turf. Others hawk merchandise and gouge prices.

Some complain all day and eat all night.

And some—surely many—have a heart contrite and humble.

Bless them all, God. Honor their fasting.

Amen.

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Gaza Again

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God,

By now, the tragedy is well known. Dozens of Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli fire at the border separating the two territories.

Some were crossing illegally. Others were protesting.

Decide between the narratives, God. There is only one truth, however nuanced.

There may be guilt widely spread. There may be ample justification.

But there is blood. And the blood draws attention to another tragedy: the situation itself.

Gaza is suffering. God, give them hope.

But give them more. Give them consistent electricity. Give them clean water. Give them movement.

Egypt has opened its border with Gaza to allow some flow of people and goods, throughout Ramadan.

But afterwards, God? What future with Egypt? What future with Israel? What future with the West Bank?

What future at all?

Give wisdom to all. There are security threats. There are humanitarian concerns. There are issues of basic dignity.

It is likely the protests at the border will continue. It is likely that some will grow increasingly desperate. Some of these will give up. Some of these will act out.

Where there is power, let it serve humbly. Where there is need, answer it graciously.

God, Gaza is just part of a larger, intractable struggle. Unstuck it.

Bring peace to the people on all sides of divide. Help Egypt be a friend to many.

Amen.

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Uber, Iran

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God,

If the world is being remade, make it well.

Peace is pending in North Korea, while Iran is thrown in doubt.

Taxis fall out of favor, as private conveyance newly legalizes.

And metro prices have risen again.

Give guidance to Egypt in wading the waters.

The region has already been shaken. Will it shake further? Tehran and Tel Aviv. Damascus and Golan. A new embassy.

Let there be peace, God. Let there be justice. Right the past wrongs, without making new ones.

But change will always displace. Care well for taxis, even as new earnings—and costs—come to be. Does it make the world better? It does make it different.

Is Egypt prepared to change? Is she prepared to preserve? Discernment, God, and quickly.

May she know her friends. May she know her principles.

Remake her, God, in your image. Lest she be remade by others.

Amen.

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Return to Roots

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God,

Egypt strives to be a good neighbor. She was once also a good host. What future does she desire?

What do you?

Over the past many months Egypt has cultivated its relationship with the Mediterranean nations of Greece and Cyprus. The have a sea to share, natural gas to protect, and economies to integrate.

They have similar vision for their region.

But this week they recalled their past. Egypt invited the two presidents to ‘Nostos,’ which in Greek means ‘return to roots.’ Thousands of Greeks and Cypriots used to live in Egypt, Alexandria in particular.

There are far fewer today. ‘Egypt for the Egyptians’ discouraged their welcome; over time, so did declining economy.

But Nostos celebrated their heritage, and invited their families back for a visit.

Their churches still function. The monastery at Mt. Sinai is theirs. Egypt is still much Mediterranean.

It is a beautiful neighborly gesture. But is it an openness for return?

God, bless Egypt in her hospitality. She is still a good host. African and Syrian refugees in the thousands call her home – at least temporarily. They live, work, and are part of society.

Guide her also in wisdom. Egypt is for the Egyptians. But Greeks and Cypriots – and Italians, and Armenians, and Turks – were also Egyptian. Many still are.

God, if you prosper Egypt, perhaps more will seek her. Wealth often extends welcome.

But the reverse is also often true. Welcome brings material reward.

God, what of the spiritual? Does multiculturalism dilute authenticity? Does a mix of religions tepid them all? Does culture thrive? Do values change?

Alexandria is now known as a city conservative in its Islam. Yet Christians have their historic see.

May all believers be faithful. May all neighbors be kind. May all nations be friendly.

You determine the exact times and places for all peoples to live.

Honor Egypt for celebrating her past. Direct Egypt in treading her present. Bless Egypt in shaping her future.

Many do well in returning to roots. But from where there is strength, spread wide the branches. Allow the birds of the air to rest in their shade.

Uproot the evil, God. Root deep the good.

Amen.

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Current Events

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Internet, Puddles

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God,

It is hard to fix everything at once. Help Egypt prioritize well.

To boost the struggling economy, the government emphasized the importance of e-commerce.

Steps will be taken to promote the sector. A local company is poised to pioneer an Uber-like regional bus service. And Google offers free digital training in Arabic.

It is a wise move, God. But so few in Egypt are connected, and internet quality lags far behind world standards.

But honor the effort and multiply the gain. Spread it through society. Internet, and all.

Technology can rapidly transform an economy. It can also rapidly transmit vice. Give wisdom.

But if technology starts with the few, the rain is no respecter of persons.

It comes so infrequently sewers are left long-ignored. There is much else to do.

Yet after two days of downfall, the streets are aflood.

The government has by now cleared most. The president has pledged preventative action. Every few years, the problem repeats.

But even so, Egypt needs rain.

God, let it be your blessing. Pour out your mercy, soak deep your love.

Let not the promise of novelty distract firm foundations. From underneath, drain well the filth.

Cleanse Egypt, God, and fix right her flaws. Make repentance priority, that all may be well.

Amen.