My brothers and sisters, faithful readers and visitor alike, I beseech you, pray, right now, for peace among Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iran. Pray that the situation over there calms down. Pray for the safety of all people, especially those with no blood on their hands. Pray that the Lord's hand will be outstretched over His people there and guide them in the paths of peace. I find I am chilled by what is happening, chilled to the bone and I don't know why. I pray this is not as I fear it will be, that is to say, getting worse before it gets better. I find that some of my prayers are selfish. I have friends in the war zones. I have friends for whom I fear. And I pray no ill or harm comes to them. But I also pray for the area, for the leaders, for the people who speak for the righteous, the religious. For the people who truly have the word of God on their lips and in their hearts; for the prophets, may they be heeded.
Why do I feel so called to pray for this Lord? It is so far away? Why do I fear you may send me over there yet again? Why am I, as I sit here in the safety and comfort of my own home, afraid? Lord, lift up thy hand and stretch it out over the people of those places embroiled in bitter, bloody strife. Stretch out you hand with your chastening rod and bring them back to the way of peace, which is your will for your beloved creation. Help us all to know, deep in our souls, our hearts, our minds, that the path of violence is not the path you would have us to take. Comfort those who mourn this night, O Lord, and on the morrow. Be with those who are sorely wounded. Heal them, Lord. Bring reconciliation. Come, Lord, come. Your people need you desperately. Pray, Lord, come.