An appeal by the General

Our hearts fill with anguish and grief on hearing the news reports of events in the Middle East in recent weeks. I am appealing to all Salvationists to turn to God in prayer for the peoples of the nations involved.

The politics of it all is immensely complex, yet the human suffering and the devastation caused by violent actions are visible for all to see and comprehend. It is the suffering of the innocent that moves us deeply. It is the killing and maiming of the children, with the terror-filled faces of parents, that cause us to cry out.

Though we are powerless to impact the political factors, we are not powerless through prayer. The Holy Scriptures tell us that prayer is a powerful weapon for good in the face of evil. Let us therefore come to God as a global Salvation Army to implore Him to bring a cessation to the violence and relief to the suffering of both sides.

Let us plead with God in the sacred Name of Jesus, Prince of Peace, that the leaders of Israel, of the Lebanon, of the Hezbollah, will repent and seek the will of God for a peaceful solution.

Let us also bring to God the United Nations and the leaders of those other nations holding strong influence over the warring parties. They can, if they find the political will for it, be brokers for peace and a new stability.
Please pray too for me and for my colleagues at International Headquarters as we seek to determine what role The Salvation Army might play in bringing help to the victims. Other agencies doing such work also need our prayers.

My appeal is to the worldwide Salvation Army to be in prayer until the warring ends, but especially to make the next two Sundays, 6 and 13 August 2006, occasions when our prayers will focus on the needs of the peoples of the Middle East.
God bless you all.
Shaw Clifton, General
4 August 2006

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