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Prayers for Zabeen City, Egypt     From Ron Charles, State of Christianity in Egypt
Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.  —Hebrews 13

Lord Jesus,

We come to you with open arms. Not holding anything tightly, but seeking your love and care. As I look around this room, I see things that I've purchased, gifts, books, monitors, Bibles, posters, crumpled up notes, keepsakes, kid's art, posters, plastic, wood, paper, metal, rock . . . Every single item here will return to You, Lord. Men gave their lives for these things. Some literally gave blood (for Scripture, the copy of the Declaration of Independence, the governments won) but others sacrificed more slowly-one missed dinner or soccer game at a time-to bring together this motley collection of junk.

Someday, whether through death or disaster or carelessness or time, each of these Bibles and things will pass from my grasp.

But where do they go, Lord? You know. You've always known. Not a turned leaf escapes your gaze. You account for each and every piece of your creation. You know our way before we know it. You know where I'll fall and where I'll rise. You know, Lord.

I come to you with nothing to trade. In fact . . .

. . . I've been wrong. I've sought glory for myself. I've failed to live up to the gifts you've given me. I've spoken harshly and I've squandered Your great resources. I bring you nothing but the smallest of offerings, a veritable two turtledoves (Leviticus 12:8).

But there is something, Lord, so in need of Your care that I cannot let my weakness and poverty prevent me from entering Your presence. You know them, Lord, surely by name. We'd call them the Zabbaleen, but you know them as dearly as a child, don't you, Lord?

They're in peril, Lord. They have no place in this world. They have Your joy, Lord, but they're forced to live among the garbage. They find sustenance on what we have discarded. They feed themselves and even others on what I discard. And so, I ask You these six things, Lord:

  1. Give me one more day. Even today, I have no promise of finishing it. With one more day, I can affect change in this world to bring about Your great kingdom. I pray that one day I'll be able to see how this, even this is your great plan.
  2. Let me forgive those who have wronged me. I have released but still hold these things closely. I have had no injustice in comparison to others, but I still feel the sting. I release that.
  3. Let me share You with just one other person today. In relative ease, I might forget or put it off. We work hard to build bigger gates and longer driveways, but what if the Zabaleen's desperation is the catalyst to their greatness? What if my relative ease is my downfall. I beg for Your heart, Lord, to care for what you love and to prefer what is excellent (Philippians 1:10).
  4. Give the Zabbaleen one more day. Despite dirty water, being pushed off their land, removal of the sustenance they've developed, miserable conditions they have asked for one more day. We all see your coming, Lord, but give them just one more day to bring Your kingdom here. Because one day, we will no longer have that opportunity. One more day, Lord. And make that day the day when one more person reads this, Lord. I have nothing to offer you, but nevertheless, I request one more day.
  5. Let the Zabbaleen forgive those that have wronged them. Just like You, they have been taken outside the city and onto the garbage dump. They have been bound and hoisted, prodded and mocked. They feel that we are close to You because of blessing in our country, but how far am I away from You? I sit inside the city. My garbage is carried away. I am unbound, unhoisted, barely proded and only mildly mocked. Lord, just as You forgave those when You were outside the city (Luke 23:34), let these that walk Your walk forgive, too.
  6. Let the Zabbaleen share You with just one more person before they die. They have been set apart to walk the road You walked. How many people saw You carrying Your cross and believed? How many people saw You die and believed? Lord, this one, I offer thanks for an answered prayer, already. I have known you better because of the Zabbaleen. Each person reading this has had an experience with You because of their struggle. The Zabbaleen sought to share their witness, but their perseverance is a reminder to me that I must press on. Every single person with whom I share Jesus from here shall strengthened and more deeply known because I've now seen You not from the window of the tower within the city, but as One who came home, to the garbage pit to die. Thank you.

I love You, Lord. Amen.

 

Prayers for is a new series I'm starting where I will begin a prayer for something in our community. I'd encourage you to add your own prayer on the website, below, too. This prayer was born out of a talk that Dr. Ron Charles, founder of the Cubit Foundation, gave to our Family Ties PRUMC Sunday school class. If you'd like more information on this group of Christians that are in peril, reach out to Ron through of the Cubit Foundation website and listen to the audio lesson on the player, below or linked here-The State of Christianity in Egypt. They have an incredible ministry sharing Jesus with widows in Egypt that would certainly covet your prayers and support. As always, if you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to tell us that you're a Back Porch Friend.

Thanks, and l love you. 

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