PRAYER FOR LEBANON
Written by Rev. Dr Krikor Youmshajekian
Minister, St. Andrew’s Uniting Church Longueville, NSW
Treasurer UCA Middle East National Conference
On Tuesday August 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm a powerful explosion in the port area of Beirut shook the beautiful city. This unprecedented explosion left behind hundreds of dead, thousands injured and over 300,000 people homeless in just a matter of seconds. Many lost loved ones, family members, friends and colleagues. The blast was so powerful that it was felt miles away, leaving behind destruction, devastation and debris.
Lebanon has suffered multiple waves of conflict and disaster in the past. Fifteen years of civil war and 30 years of political, social and economic turmoil has been compounded by the strain on resources caused by the Syrian war and an influx of refugees. That Tuesday’s explosion came at a time when the country is already gripped by an economic crisis and reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. This massive explosion not only shattered buildings, property and hundreds of lives, but took away the hopes of the people, who were struggling to survive and looking for answers for the prevailing crisis. For some, this massive explosion was the final blow.
Today, after a month has passed, the international community has responded with generosity and compassion, as many countries, nations, governments, organisations and individuals around the world are offering their help and support. Countless calls for aid and assistance have been given to help the people of Lebanon. Needless to say, that already some aid has arrived, but the pain of the suffering people is still there, who need our care, love and compassion. Our obligation and task is to unite with people around the world, to hold in our hearts and in our prayers the people of Beirut, Lebanon.
Let us pray to the God of compassion who is the strength of those who suffer and comforts those who grieve for the people of Lebanon.
Let us embrace those who have lost loved ones and are grieving in pain and agony.
Let us pray to God to fill us with compassion, so that we reach out with love to those who are broken hearted and anxious.
Let us pray to the God of love and refuge as we hold the people of Beirut in our hearts:
Loving and gracious God, we pray that Your Spirit of healing and protection be with the suffering people of Beirut and Lebanon at this time as we remember the catastrophe after a month.
May the good news of peace, healing and loving care be with all, especially with those who are suffering as a result of the disaster.
In Your mercy, we pray, bring comfort to those who are still in pain and are in tremendous trauma.
We pray for those who are healing and for those who are homeless and are looking for shelter.
We pray for those who are hungry and looking for sustenance to survive.
We pray for those who are working hard to find the means to rebuild their shattered lives as well as the destroyed buildings.
We pray for the thousands of the volunteers, who offered their services to anyone in need in the days immediately after.
We pray for those who organised and followed up with the cleaning and were there for those who needed their personal touch.
We pray for the medical staff, who did their best to care for the injured.
We pray for all the churches, organisations and institutions, who mobilised to extend a helping hand to reach out in love and care.
We pray for the worldwide efforts for lifting up the spirit of the people of Lebanon.
We pray Lord, please give hope to the hopeless, shelter to those who are homeless, give food and nutrition to those who lack it, give patience to those who have lost everything.
Loving and generous God, You promise that You will never forsake Your people. Be with all who feel shrouded in darkness, fear and anxiety: all who are anxious about what the future holds, whose pain brings them close to despair. May Your light shine in the dark places.
Generous God, You bring hope and new life. Be with the people of Lebanon. May Your hope fill their hearts and give them rest.
Our loving, merciful and compassionate God, we pray all these in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and refuge.
To whom is the glory now and forever. Amen!