Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

President Obama has announced the official end of U.S. military actions in Iraq. 50,000 troops will remain behind because Iraq hasn’t yet formed a coalition government and the threat of violence from insurgents remains high. We’re leaving having spent blood and treasure to free a nation. Iraqis themselves must now spend their own blood and treasure to secure that freedom.

 

It’s not a time to announce “Peace!” Peace isn’t what we have in Iraq. What we do have is a shift of responsibility. And if history is any indication peace will elude them. Let us pray otherwise.

 

“God, bless Iraq with peace. Show them the path to your blessing. Apart from you we humans can do nothing. We can do nothing but so the seeds and reap the harvest of our own destruction. Knowing this, accepting this, we recognize that there is no hope for peace without you. We ask for a miracle… Bring peace to Iraq, in Jesus.”

 

 

 

President Obama addresses the nation this evening from the Oval Office to announce the official end of the combat mission in Iraq. He will also discuss the United States’ future strategy in the Iraq.  After seven and a half years of war the U.S. military officially ended its combat operations today and has handed management of the nation to the Iraqis. 50,000 U.S. troops remain in the country to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces.

Still the work in Iraq is far from over. No stable government yet exists in the country and pockets of violence continue to disrupt the establishment of peace.

“God, we pray for Iraq and the Iraqi people. We pray for peace in this ancient but troubled land. We know that you have a destiny for this nation and her people. We know you have a purpose and plan to show your love and power and glory there. We humans can make a mess of the gift of life you give us. Still, you can work your goodness and blessing. In spite of the human-caused traumas in Iraq, we ask you would work your purposes there. Show these people your love and favor and the hope of eternal life with you! In Jesus…”

Hurricane Earl is lashing the northeastern Caribbean today. Presently Earl is a category 3 storm, but it is gaining strength as hit heads on a course that could threaten the eastern United States later this week.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Earl, which formed on Sunday, was already a major hurricane with sustained winds of 120 mph, and it was likely to keep gaining force. Coastal states from North Carolina to Maine system are eying the system.

According to most computer models, the storm’s track will likely run north of the Caribbean, then bend straight to the north, roughly parallel to the U.S. East Coast. It is much too early to definitively predict the direction of Earl’s path, or the effect it will have on the U.S.

“God, we pray for those in the Caribbean currently impacted by Hurricane Earl. We pray for safety and protection of people and property. We pray too that the path of the storm would steer it away from creating great destruction and harm. Nature is your creation and hurricanes are part of the grand balance you have formed. Our lands need the rain of these storms. Still, we pray that the benefits of the storm would come without the destruction. Keep your hand upon this storm. Let your will be done, in Jesus…”

 

Two Roman Catholic groups are playing tug-of-war atop the Empire State Building – with Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday. The iconic building’s management team decided weeks ago not to honor the soon-to-be saint by bathing the skyscrapers tower in blue and white floodlights. In refusing, they stand against the Church’s official stance against abortion. In response, the Catholic League is mounting a rally today to protest the decision and Catholics for Choice. Countering this, several other liberal lay Catholic organizations are staging a counter protest in favor of the building’s management team.

So what would Mother Teresa do? She was adamantly and vocally pro-life and against abortion. She lived her entire life for the dignity and sacred value of the least and lowest and weakest human beings, all, she said, created in the image of God. Yet she never advocated militancy or even political posturing. Where she here, what would she say to this?

What do you think?