11 By the blessing of the influence of the upright and God’s favor [because of them] the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. (Book of Proverbs, Chapter 11, Amplified Version)
This passage made me think of Cairo this morning. The city surely was exalted for a period as happy crowds rejoiced. Now, it seems that wicked mouths have plunged the city and the nation into chaos. I pray for Egypt, the one-time home of Jesus and Moses. I pray especially for the families there with small children as violence and want threaten the fabric of the society.
Likewise, I pray for the other cities rocked by violence in the recent weeks, months, and year. Istanbul and Ankara come to mind. So do Damascus and so many other cities in Syria. So do Baghdad and cities throughout Iraq. So do Kabul and communities throughout Afghanistan. Mali comes to mind.
Let us all join in prayer for those who are suffering in all those cities and nations and others across the world. Let us pray especially for the very young, the very old, the families, and the ill and wounded. Oh, God, help them. Oh, God, let us take their plight to heart. It is not just theirs. It is ours. There but for Your Grace, Oh God, go we and our cities and this nation. Let us humble ourselves and repent as did Daniel and Nehemiah among others who knew how to pray for their country. Teach us, Oh Lord, how to pray for our country and for all others. Give us, Oh Lord, a heart for the poor and oppressed at home and abroad.
We in this blessed nation can be so calloused. Yes it is very sad that a dog is run over in the street. It is infinitely sadder when innocent children are gunned down in their schools or when runners are mowed down by shrapnel. But let us also remember that others suffer throughout the world horrors that we can barely comprehend. Let us face into our problems and theirs. Let us pray. Let us work. Let us sacrifice for those less blessed than we, next door and around the globe.