'This Week in Prayer'

World News This Week In Prayer: November 11, 2016

Posted on 19. Nov, 2016 by .


What’s God going to say to my questions?
I’m braced for the worst.
I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon.
I’ll wait to see what God says,
how he’ll answer my complaint.

And then God answered:
“Write this.
Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way.
It will come right on time.
Habakkuk 2:1-3 (The Message)

Advent is coming. It is almost time for us to remember the pangs, the anticipation, and the seeming interminable pause before the birth of Jesus. But in this broken and hurting world we don’t need special celebrations to remind us of what it is to wait on the coming of your kingdom. Our hearts cry out with the words of Revelation, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

God help us to open our eyes, to see your presence, to work for wholeness and healing. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to care, and the strength to work toward your beloved kingdom of grace and mercy. Help us to write what we see, when we see your presence. Spur us on to write it out so that it can be read on the run.

The past few days have been a mixture of potential and grief around the world. Even as the events around me tempt me to close my eyes off to the world at large, help me to see beyond myself to the cares (and joys) of a bigger world. Guide me to pray:
* for the women and girls who survived the violence of Boko Haram in Nigeria, only to find themselves vulnerable again. Now there are reports that many of these brave women have been sexually abused by leaders in the camps where they sought refuge,
* for the authorities in Peru who are diligently working to save the yellow-spotted Amazon River turtles by releasing 500,000 baby turtles back into the wild by mid-November ,
* for the people of the United States where a deeply divisive election has lead to fear for some, and joy for others,
* for the families of the victims of Rurik Jutting, who was recently convicted of the 2014 murders of two Indonesian women,
* for the people of South Korea where president Park Guen-hye recently removed the country’s prime minister in the midst of an ongoing political scandal,
* for the millions in Yemen who are at the risk of starving as the food crisis deepens in the war-torn country,
* for those who are grieving the deaths of friends and family,
* for those who are celebrating the promise of new life,
* for those who have served in their country’s military and carry scars that can be seen, and those that cannot,
* for children around the world who desperately long for the love of their parents,
* for my neighbors down the street, and my neighbors around the globe.

Help me to see the work of your hands in the most unexpected of places, and to cherish that work in the places where I anticipate your grace as well.

Remind me, O God, that your kingdom is on the way, that it will come right on time.

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World News This Week In Prayer: November 4, 2016

Posted on 14. Nov, 2016 by .


“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”  Romans 8:38-39, NLT

Recognizing the effects of fear and anxiety in our lives, we look at the world and ask, “Where is God?” More and more situations provoke our worry and wreak havoc on our societies – terrorism, wars and conflicts, natural disasters, persecution, crime and violence, economic uncertainty, unemployment, divisions, illness, death, bereavement, and even social media encounters can trigger fear in us, bringing debilitating anxiety for some and daily worry for many.

As Americans across the USA face the final days of a close presidential race, we pray that the result might bring hope and promise for the country both at home and abroad.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

As severe droughts continue in countries around the world including India, Brazil, Puerto Rico, North Korea, and the USA, we pray for farmers, crops, and cattle, for those who thirst and for those who work tirelessly to bring life-giving water to suffering communities.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

In the aftermath of a fatal bus crash in Baltimore, USA and the fatal shooting of two police officers in Iowa, USA, we pray that the families of those lost may be comforted by the memories of their loved ones and by your loving presence.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

As the death toll in the dispute over the Kashmir region between Pakistan and India reaches nineteen, we pray that tensions can be quashed and a peaceful negotiation can ensue before more lives are disrupted and lost.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

In the wake of another earthquake that rocked central Italy, we pray for those injured and the thousands left homeless, especially those still struggling to rebuild from previous quakes, and for the emergency services personnel who are already stretched thin but are working hard to cope with the aftermath of the quake and continuing aftershocks.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

As the last shelters of “The Jungle” in Calais, France, are dismantled, we pray that the migrants, many of whom are children, will be accommodated and find a safe, welcoming, and warm place to live.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

As millions of displaced people continue to struggle in the wake of Boko Haram’s violence in Nigeria, we pray for the vulnerable women and girls who escaped from the violence of the Boko Haram camps only to be sexually abused by Nigerian officials in camps set up to protect them.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

As men and women around the world risk their lives daily working in dangerous environments and conditions, we pray for the families of the miners in China who died in a gas explosion.

Lord, comfort and protect us in the shroud of your loving arms.

We ask you, Lord, to rid us of our anxieties and help us to cast our fears aside. Let the dark shadows of our souls be borne into your perpetual light, so that we might walk with the courage of your holy guidance and spirit. Amen.

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World News This Week In Prayer: October 21, 2016

Posted on 22. Oct, 2016 by .


Once again, Lord, the voice of the prophets remains strikingly relevant through the centuries.  Joel 2:24-25a reminds us that:

The threshing floors shall be full of grain,

the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

I will repay you for the years

that the swarming locust has eaten.

As we pray for people who are victims of atrocities in Mosul, Iraq, Aleppo, Syria; and in Yemen, these words reveal the potential of these lands.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for the people of Thailand, mourning their King and awaiting a new leader; for the people of Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, having elected a new Bosnian Serb mayor; and for the people of the US, awaiting their chance to elect a new president.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for rescue and relief for those caught in floods in central Vietnam, the Iberian Peninsula, and Tenerife, Spain following prolonged droughts; for those being hit by typhoons in the Philippines; for those dealing with the aftermath of hurricane Matthew in Haiti, the US, and Canada; for those affected by damaging winds on the west coast of the US and Canada; and for those in areas of the US and South Africa where record high temperatures are causing record-breaking droughts.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We give thanks for our imagination:

For the rescue and repair of a Kiwi egg, using just masking tape, to help save and support this endangered species in New Zealand; for the jungle school for rescued orangutans in Indonesia; and for gleaning feedback initiatives – collecting food rejected or wasted by supermarkets and farms and redistributing it to people in need – which are occurring throughout the UK, the US, and Spain.

These remind us that however much WE have caused the problems of warring nations and environmental destruction, YOU, O Lord, have given us the imagination and creative skill to start repairing the damage, allowing the environment to heal and our human generosity to overcome our greed.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

And let our cry come to you.  Amen

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World News This Week In Prayer: October 14, 2016

Posted on 17. Oct, 2016 by .


Pray without ceasing…Becoming more infused with the nature and Spirit of God as we pray… Taking on the attributes of God as we become one with him beyond our earthly limits of time and space…

Lord as Jacob (Israel) struggled and demanded a blessing from his opponent at Peniel, may we persist and demand your gifts for all who suffer including ourselves. With broken hearts we uphold the terrified, traumatized children and people of Aleppo, Syria being bombed, starved, and deprived of food, medicine, and safety. We pray that our political leaders will find the backbone and determination to confront and stop the inhumanity of this internecine civil war.

Prince of Peace, let your peace vanquish the evil let loose in your world on your people.

Violence takes so many forms, whether trolling online, sexual harassment daily of women in Morocco; in fact, throughout your world even in schools in the UK and USA; the denigration of anyone who is different from what the abusers claim is ‘normal,’ when even a US Presidential candidate could boast of sexual assault on women. We pray for those too who are threatened and even killed because of their sexual orientation.

Loving God, your merciful love is wider and deeper than we can ever imagine. Free us to be channels of that love where we are.

We pray for the millions of silent marchers in Maharashtra, India over the past 6-weeks highlighting the need for equality of opportunity and an end to cronyism and corruption depriving the Dalits and Tribal people of justice and freedom.

We give thanks for the $5 a month health scheme in Kenya offering the chance of medical treatment formerly beyond most Kenyans.

We give thanks for those working to alleviate the suffering of millions from the hurricanes ravaging Latin America, the Caribbean, and parts of the USA;  the starvation and destitution and lack of medical care in so many countries from Venezuela, Yemen, Iraq and millions of refugees throughout the world. We pray for those children struggling to survive in refugee camps and avoid being sold into child marriage or sex trafficking. Let us cry out loud that the hundreds of children who could be reunited with relatives settled in countries like the UK can be moved quickly from the ‘jungle camp’ in Calais, France, before it is demolished at the end of the year.

Risen Lord Jesus, who came to your friends when all their hope was gone: come to us in the dark times. Come to those who despair, that they may feel your risen presence in their hearts.

Give light to those who sit in darkness. Cast down those who perpetrate violence and evil. Forgive our weakness and fear and help us remember you have given us a spirit of courage. Guide our way into the way of peace making and peace brokering.

Help us to live our faith, and express your love in our lives in all we do.  AMEN.

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World News This Week In Prayer: October 7, 2016

Posted on 12. Oct, 2016 by .


At the time of the Mexican war, often viewed as a practice war for the United States shortly before the American Civil War, the poet James Russell Lowell penned lines that still speak to us:

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

We open our hearts today to your wisdom and to your inspiration, loving God, recognizing in ourselves many problems surrounding “a moment to decide”.
* We pray that we not artificially construct moments of decision that threaten more harm than good. In Columbia there has been a half century struggle between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) and the government. Just when it seemed a peace accord had been successfully negotiated, Colombian voters ever so narrowly rejected the proposal. As I write this prayer, serious efforts to preserve peace and to redesign a process they can be accepted by the country as a whole are underway. Oh Lord, in this moment of decision, we pray for your understanding of the importance of peace to all your children. We pray for your wisdom to design a way of living in peace that can endure, even unto generations yet unborn.

* We pray for the United States at its quadrennial moment to decide who shall lead our government for the next four years. May voters not founder in a cowardly discouragement that refuses to make a decision. We pray for a vision inspired by the best in humankind and by the best in ourselves. We pray in deep gratitude for the memory of Shimon Peres. Surely his example of dedication to his country Israel and to his world that we all share can bless our call to citizenship. Be with each of us in our personal moments to decide.

* We pray for refugees being relocated away from the Colima volcano erupting in Mexico and for all those suffering the impact of hurricane Matthew. We pray for strength to rebuild after the storm has played itself out.

* In Syria where children huddle wherever they think they may survive, we pray that the leaders in the United Nations, in the United States, in Russia, in Syria itself, and wherever your spirit may bless someone to act may end this senseless, shameful, destructive war. Show us the way, we pray, to peace and prosperity, yes, even in Aleppo.

The poet ended his poem with a vision beyond a single moment in ways both bad and good:

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

Dear God, it soothes us to know that we will never have to walk into a shadow, either as a person or as a society, where you will not be standing. Stand where we need you. Lead where we must go. And forever, we pray, keep watch over us. Amen.

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