Prayer for Beirut

Prayer for Beirut

IntroductionDestruction from explosion in Beirut

On Tuesday 4th of August 2020 an explosion shook Beirut and all of Lebanon. The tremor of the explosion was felt in Cyprus, some 240Km away. Everything within a 10 Km radius was damaged, houses, buildings, shops, cars, etc. The explosion was a chemical one and what followed was a toxic pollution of the air.

Churches, mosques, schools, hospitals in addition to homes and shops in the area were all destroyed. The affected area is home almost 1 million people, in one of the denser population areas in Lebanon. Over 135 people have been killed and over 5,000 people injured. This is not counting the people who have not yet been found.

I was born, grew up and lived most of my life about 1.5 Km away from the location of the explosion, seeing the pictures of the destruction brought memories, and much loved places that broke my heart. My church, my school, the street I used to play on and the hospitals I went to when needed, all destroyed. I have not yet seen any pictures of my house. My family and my friends are all in that area. The picture is one corner of my school and church.

Below is a prayer for the situation in Beirut and the people who are in need of our prayers. There is a long and a shorter version of the prayer. I prefer the longer version be used, but you are welcome to use the shorter version. UnitingWorld has launched an appeal to help with the rebuilding of the city infrastructure. The Middle East National Conference, is running a parallel appeal to assist with the immediate needs of the people of Beirut. I ask that you be generous in showing your love and care for the people of Beirut.

Prayer (full)

God of darkness and light,
Beirut waits in darkness longing for your light.
In the centre of darkness, rekindle hope.

As we pray for families to be reunited,
Let your Spirit be with us.

As we pray for the injured to be healed,
Let your Spirit be with us.

As we pray for those who have lost loved ones,
Let your Spirit be with us.

As we pray for homes to be rebuilt,
Let your Spirit be with us.

God of creation,
You create the Cedars of Lebanon and give them their majesty to withstand all tribulations for your own pleasure. You exalt them to represent eternity, strength, and endurance. Yet we have cut them down and destroyed them for our own personal pleasures. As we remember the Cedars of Lebanon, we also remember the people of Lebanon in their diversity of cultures and faith.
We pray for your healing where there is injury,
We pray for your comfort where there is death,
We pray for your hope where there is despair,
We pray for your light where there is darkness,
We pray for your joy where there is sadness and
We pray for your love where this hatred.

God of Love,
Welcome into your arms the victims of the explosion in Beirut:
Those who have lost their homes, those who have been injured and those who have lost loved ones.
Comfort their families and all who grieve for them.

God of explosions and pollution,
Out of the depths we call to you; in the face of incomprehensible anguish and sorrow, we lift the cries of our distress and implore you to show mercy upon those who are suffering from the destruction of the explosion in Beirut and the ensuing chemical pollution. Give protection and wisdom to emergency service personnel, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and all those who assist in elevating the pain and suffering of those affected. Encourage our generosity to those who suffer loss. In your mercy restore your creation and heal our land.

We pray for those who have been injured in body, mind or spirit and ask you to heal them;
We pray
for those who are left homeless and wandering,
for those who breath the toxic air,
for those who are devastated,
and for families torn asunder and ask you to shelter them,
Strengthen the hands and hearts of those who assist in relief efforts
Grant us all firm resolve to stand with our neighbours who are in need, to love them and to offer our generous support of them in this their time of trouble.

So, guide and bless your people,
that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth
and give you thanks with grateful hearts,
Father, we pray that you will bless us
with the gift of strength when endurance is needed,
for imagination and initiative when action is called for,
for wisdom in times of confusion,
for compassion for those who suffer,
for faith in Christ’s saving action,
for hope when the situation seems desperate
and for charity in all things.

Amen.

Prayer (Short)

God of creation,
You create the Cedars of Lebanon and give them their majesty to withstand all tribulations for your own pleasure. You exalt them to represent eternity, strength, and endurance. Yet we have cut them down and destroyed them for our own personal pleasures. As we remember the Cedars of Lebanon, we also remember the people of Lebanon in their diversity of cultures and faith.

God of explosions and pollution,
Out of the depths we call to you; in the face of incomprehensible anguish and sorrow, we lift the cries of our distress and implore you to show mercy upon those who are suffering from the destruction of the explosion in Beirut and the ensuing chemical pollution. Give protection and wisdom to emergency service personnel, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and all those who assist in elevating the pain and suffering of those affected. Encourage our generosity to those who suffer loss. In your mercy restore your creation and heal our land.

We pray for those who have been injured in body, mind or spirit and ask you to heal them;
Grant us all firm resolve to stand with our neighbours who are in need, to love them and to offer our generous support of them in this their time of trouble.

Amen.

8 Comments

  1. Jon 4 months ago

    Amen

  2. Tony Robertson 4 months ago

    Heart wrenching news that cries out to heaven like the Psalmist. Your words are balm and I pray in solidarity.

  3. Graham Perry 4 months ago

    Thanks Levon, I remembered Lebanon in my worship prep for Sunday and particularly my Armenian-Lebanese-Australian friends. Will continue to pray and support the people to stand tall like cedars as they challenge their leadership and build a new nation from the rubble. Graham

  4. 'Oto V. Faiva 4 months ago

    Many thanks Levon for sharing your grief and hope with us at this challenging time. I will commit to uphold you in my thought and pray including the Lebanese community in Australia and back in Lebanon specially those who are directly impacted by the devastating explosion.

  5. Ian Conabere 4 months ago

    I’m sure you meant alleviate the pain in your prayer. It is indeed a terrible time for this to happen. I would add a word for the children.
    Dear Lord,
    As the suffering continues
    As the hurt goes deep physically, emotionally and spiritually
    Give your children hope,
    Give them strength,
    Give them the warmth of your love
    As they huddle under your wings
    Not sure why this destruction of their homes has happened or when the misery around them will end,
    Give them faith and perseverance to face the days and years of rebuilding ahead
    Show them they are loved
    Give those responsible for them what they require to face the struggles ahead and wisdom to rebuild their lives, their homes and their futures
    In the name of Jesus Christ,
    Amen

  6. Doug Hewitt 4 months ago

    Thank you Levon, for sharing a very powerful prayer for the people of your birth place. They have been victims of too much suffering over the years. We have great memories of time in Beirut as part of a visit to projects of the Middle East Council of Churches which were supported by the Christmas Bowl appeal. The hospitality of our hosts was deeply appreciated. A highlight was a birthday celebration for one our group at a harbour-side restaurant, close to the source of this horrendous explosion.. We can pray this prayer with strong feelings for the victims of the disaster.

  7. Tom Bourke 4 months ago

    May the God of love and mercy hold the people of Lebanon in the palm of His hand.

  8. Rev. Heng Sure 4 months ago

    Levon, people all over the world are broken-hearted at the news of the destruction in Beirut. Beyond the dead and the injured, the 300,000 people left without a roof overhead, torn from their safety and necessities, what bitterness they must be suffering. Your prayer goes a long way to building an invisible but real bridge between hearts and we in the Buddhist community, will transfer merit and blessings to bring some emotional healing to those whose lives were so suddenly impacted. I am certain that port authorities and warehouse owners world-wide are frantically checking their cargo and inventory to see whether or not they are also sitting unawares on a potential bomb. If there is any upside here, let it be the new awareness of the need for mindfulness and vigilance at all times.

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