Since anyone can remember, there has always been some form of conflict in the Near East. From civil wars to political unrest, terrorism, and suicide bombings, tensions within the Near East (a term used interchangeably with the more popular Middle East) have rarely ceased and only continue to worsen with the times.
Such unending strife should explain why Pope Francis decided to dedicate his prayer intentions for the month of November to the Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East, “that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together,” as explained in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
Surely, Filipinos have been praying for peace in the war-torn region for the longest time. Who doesn’t know of or have a family member, friend, or loved one who is working or has worked in Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arad Emirates?
This November, be among Lolo Kiko’s prayer warriors and ask the Almighty Lord to finally put an end to all the turmoil in the Near East.
Don’t know what to say? Try this prayer from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network:
You have come to us and you have chosen a specific land
where you have shown everyone who you are,
revealing the Father’s love for all his children.
We pray for all those who live the drama of war, division and persecution
and are discriminated against because of their faith
in the Promised Land and in the countries where your Apostles announced the
Gospel for the first time.
May your Spirit touch the hearts
of those who are capable of making the big decisions,
to advance the path of dialogue and peace.
“Far too many wars, political divisions, conflicts and hostilities between the diverse religious communities within the Near East have left populations scared and crippled in moral, financial and spiritual ways,” said Srs. Trudy Nabur and Bernadette Lynch of the Sisters of Sion Community, Jerusalem. “This race to dominate has led to vicious murders that have little regard or respect for one’s neighbor.
“May enough people in the Near East be sufficiently open and committed to practice repentance or teshuvah, working towards a change of attitude in order to encounter ‘the other’ who is different. We pray with Pope Francis for a spirit of openness, for compassion and respect towards those we see as different; may this lead to eventual peace between different communities and diverse religions.”