This week, when it came time to pick something to pray for, I did not have to look very far. That is a sad statement. I think we’ve all seen the pictures coming out of Iran for the last week and half and none of them has made an impact like that of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman shot and bleeding to death in the street. In case you missed it – and shame on you, if you have – here’s an article from the LA Times by Borzou Daragahi, a classmate of mine at Columbia who has been doing excellent work from the Middle East for the last four or five years.
Neda’s story brings home the tragedy of what is happening in Iran in a way nothing else has to me. I have followed the story from afar, shaken my head at the audacity of the ruling party in Iran and worried for the protesters brave enough to stand up for their beliefs. But the death of this woman somehow made this story personal. She could have been any one of us.
So this week, as you use your prayer beads, I ask that you say a special prayer for Neda Agha-Soltan, who many see as a martyr to the cause of freedom. And let us all pray for peace so that young women who are guilty of nothing more than wanting their vote to count won’t have to lose their lives in the pursuit of it.
Here is a prayer, from Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers, to get you started:
God our father
You are the source of all truth and peace:
Look with mercy on your children
Purify our hearts from hatred, falsehood and prejudice
And so guide us by your loving wisdom
That peace a righteousness may be established among all people.