In the wake of escalating tensions and civil unrest in the Middle East, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders today have issued a call to prayer for the peoples and nations of the Middle East, as well as PC(USA) partners.
The Moderator of the 219th General Assembly (2010) Cynthia Bolbach, General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, and General Assembly Mission Council Executive Director Linda Valentine called Presbyterians to pray with these words:
“Hundreds of thousands of people have staged protests in the past few days in different parts of the Middle East, particularly in Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Today, clashes between protestors and the police have intensified to dangerous levels. Lebanon has been in a precarious situation since the collapse of the coalition government earlier this month. Iraq continues to be the target of suicide bombers and other forms of violence. The failure of Israeli-Palestine negotiations is causing many to lose hope in a political solution for this decades-old conflict.
Please remember all the peoples of the Middle East in your prayer. Please remember those whose lives have been disrupted and those who are afraid during this civil unrest. Please also pray for the governments and political leaders that they might govern fairly, wisely, and with sensitivity to the peoples’ lives and dignity.
Please pray in particular for the Christian minorities in the Middle East, as they often become the scapegoat in the midst of conflicts. Although most of the Middle East inhabitants are Muslims, more than fifteen million Middle Easterners are Christians who trace their Christian heritage back to the apostolic era. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has partnered with Middle Eastern churches for most of the last two centuries. Please join your hearts in prayer for our sisters and brothers with whom we have been made one in the Body of Christ:”
A prayer for the nations and peoples of the Middle East
God of every blessing,
hear our prayers
for all the nations and peoples of the Middle East:
Guide the people to express their concerns peacefully
and government leaders to respond peacefully;
Inspire all to listen to one another carefully;
Lead all to pursue justice together.
Bless the poor in spirit ...
give them the gift of abundant life.
Bless those who mourn ...
comfort them with your healing presence.
Bless the meek ...
keep them in peace and safety.
Bless those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ...
feed them with justice and every good thing.
Bless the merciful ...
pour out your mercy upon them.
Bless the pure in heart ...
show them a vision of your peaceable realm.
And bless the peacemakers ...
support them in their holy calling.
We ask all these things in Jesus’ name.
A prayer for our partners in the Middle East
you make us for each other.
Redeem us to live together
and give us gifts to share with one another.
We pray that the people of the Middle East
might know your presence in these troubling times.
We pray particularly for our partners,
those with whom we share in ministry.
Watch over them,
remind them of our care,
and keep them in our hearts;
in Jesus’ name we pray.