Weekly Prayers

Pray with Colombia on Sunday, December 17, 2017

Lectionary Selection: Luke 23:33-43

Prayers for Colombia:

colombia1.jpgLoving God,

Today we pray for the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. Over the past year they have been actively engaged with the implementation of the peace accords between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas that brought an end to fifty years of war. We pray that their calls for peace and justice may be heard.

We also pray for the ongoing peace negotiations with the ELN guerrillas and for an end to the continued violence that has claimed the lives of dozens of human rights workers and community leaders over the past year. We pray for the safety of our colleagues and for the protection of all Colombians.

At times we all feel like voices crying out in the wilderness. Again this Advent season we long for the cleansing waters of baptism and for winding paths to be made straight. Help us to walk your paths with eager anticipation of the coming kingdom at each turn in the road, from Colombia to the United States and around the world. Amen.

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Pray with Kenya on Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:1-8

Prayers for Kenya:

weekly_prayer_1.jpgGod of hope, you raised up John the Baptist as a herald who calls us to conversion. As we joyfully await the glorious coming of Christ, I pray to you for the needs of the Church and the nation of Kenya. We thank God for the peaceful ceremony of the inauguration of the President of Kenya. .  Show the people of Kenya how to love one another the way you love them. We resist against the spirit of division and ethnic factionalism in the land of Kenya. Guide your people in the way of your mercy, forgiveness and peace.  Hear our humble prayers and let the people of Kenya serve you in holiness and faithfulness. Lord, in this time of struggle give your people boldness to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life, while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns for ever and ever, Amen

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Pray with Hong Kong on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hong_Kong_Bruce_Van_Voorhis_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 13: 24-37

Prayers for Hong Kong:

On this first day of Advent, Lord, we are watching and waiting to celebrate your birth and your life among us. We are in much need for your presence and your teachings in our world today. We already feel like the days of tribulation in Mark 13:24 have arrived, that the sun and moon are already dark and lifeless, that the stars in Mark’s next verse have already tumbled from heaven. As we survey our world today, we are witnesses to wars in the Middle East, to divisiveness and intolerance in the United States and Europe and to corrupt leaders everywhere. In Asia, we sadly watch the persecution of the predominantly Muslim Rohingyas in Burma and violence in the name of faith in India, Indonesia and other parts of the region. As for here in Hong Kong, we feel nervous about our future, that our rule of law, our rights and freedoms, our political autonomy, are slowly eroding and are being defined by the Chinese government.

It is in this environment that we yearn for the leaves of the fig tree in Mark 13:28 to sprout and to feel the warmth of summer again. We thus wait, watch and welcome the return of the Master to our slumbering world. You are the Hope, the Love, the Joy, for which we are waiting. Amen.

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Pray with Sri Lanka on Sunday, November 26, 2017

sri_lanka_lindley_kinerk_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 25:31-46

Prayers for Sri Lanka:

Gracious God, we thank and praise you for the many ways you offer us to be your people – hands and feet, listening hearts and inventive minds - to bring your love and creative spirit of help and healing to your people. In a world that seems increasingly to find reasons to solve problems with threats and anger and violence, we cherish your gift of quiet hope of undoing our most complicated reasons to disagree.

We pray for your soothing touch in our hearts and heads when differences begin to define our relationships. Help us with your love and view of each of us, the possibilities of all of us, and your vision of a world of peace and appreciation, love and sharing for all.  Lead us to live as Jesus taught us to do. May we live for you, for each other, for all your people and all our possibilities. May all come together in your love to shape the world as home and hope for all. We offer our prayer in the name of Jesus, Messiah, teacher, bringer of good news. Amen

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Pray with Thailand on Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thailand_Anne_Gregory_Wattana_Church_outdoor_mourning_banners_-_King_Rama_IX.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 25:14-30

Prayers for Thailand:

We give thanks, O God, for the late king of Thailand, who practiced mercy and inspired the love and respect of millions, of every religion. In a day when so many use their power for abuse and corruption, we thank you for a true human example of kindness and compassion. And now, we pray for the gifts of wisdom and stability in a nation thrown into uncertainty in the present moment. Let us turn to you and to your mercy, we pray through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

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Pray with Lebanon on Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lebanon_Nishan_Bakalian_Childrens_summer_camp_IMG_1454.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 25:1-13

Prayers for Lebanon:

O God who calls us to be ready at all times to meet you, help us to be good stewards of the lives, resources and institutions you entrust to us, so that we would not be counted among the thoughtless, the haphazard, or the foolish.

Yet we indeed fool ourselves into thinking that we have everything under control, that we are clever enough to handle life’s twists and turns, that we deserve our personal pleasures and pastimes. We forget how crucial it is in these days to focus on what we must do, with your help, in order to be counted among the wise. Forgive us, dear Lord.

Lebanon_Nishan_Bakalian_Ashrafieh_Sunday_School_program_IMG_3263.jpegYou have entrusted your work to us, and although it seems as if our resources are running out, leaving us unable to continue being your witnesses and your joyful servants in this place, yet somehow you enable us to go on, even if only for a step or two.

Help us to trust you, filled with the joy of those at the wedding feast, knowing that your presence and your grace is sufficient to help us continue to joyfully minister to the least; in your precious name we pray. Amen.

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Pray with Kenya on Sunday, November 5, 2017

Kenya_Phyllis_Byrd_Jerusalem_Girls_School_05.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 23:1-12

Prayers for Kenya:

Dear God, we lift up our sisters and brothers in Kenya this day. We pray that Kenya's scheduled elections for October 26 bring peace and reconciliation to the country. Be with the people of Liberia, as they, too, hold runoff elections. We pray for children in Kenya facing severe malnutrition, especially in West and East Pokot, Samburu, and Mandera. God, be with the ministry of Dini Ya Roho Mafuta Pole Church as they work and minister in their community. Finally, we pray for the Jerusalem Girls School, as it stands as a light and hope for girls in the community. Be with all who work to make these ministries realities and for all who struggle. Amen

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Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, October 29, 2017

sri_lanka_andy_jepson_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 22: (34-46)

Prayers for Sri Lanka:

Gracious God of all of us, we give you thanks for the many people you have created, each with gifts to offer to the rest of the world. Some of us become famous with the way we help many people. Most of us live according to our best understanding of what we can do with and for each other. We give you thanks for the many gifts we have found among our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka – joy, sympathy, help, a listening ear, humor, patience, song and celebration, knowledge, laughter, quiet acceptance, respect, a kind word. Remind us that the gifts we can offer need not be spectacular. The love with which the gifts of Sri Lanka are offered makes them precious – and blessed. We give thanks for the One who taught us in your name that we each have something special to give that our world needs. In the name of Jesus our Christ, we pray for our Tamil sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka in the joy and challenges they have in their homeland. Amen.

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Pray with Israel/Palestine on Sunday, October 22, 2017

Israel_Palestine_2011_David_Long_Higgins_009.JPGLectionary Selection: Matthew 22: (15-22)

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:

O God who, in Christ, walked the hills of Palestine and the streets of Jerusalem, accompany each of us as we seek to be faithful followers of your way. Through solid preparation and sound consideration, let us be guided in life and work by your example to desire what is beyond the superficial. Inspire us as we seek to deepen our faith; strengthen us physically and spiritually as we try to follow you; fill us with the inspiration of your Holy Spirit as we do justice and seek peace. Give us hearts of love to embrace Israeli and Palestinian and embolden us to speak words of truth as we seek freedom for all who are occupied by military force or destructive ideology. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

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Pray with Kenya on Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kenya_Eale_2017_02.jpgLectionary Selection: Matthew 22:1-14

Prayers for Kenya:

God of life, lead Africa to peace, justice, and dignity.

We know that you can do it, you can use us, for peace, justice, and dignity.

We are deeply saddened at the turn of events in South Sudan since its independence, including the killings and unrest leading to a continual displacement of populations inside South Sudan and across borders to neighboring countries – the consequence of which is a dire humanitarian crisis – the failure of the successful peace agreements, the struggles faced by the national dialogue process, etc.

In the midst of all this, and because you are still seated on your throne and are still sovereign, we want to continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who walk through this painful journey.

We continue to pray for the determination of church leaders in South Sudan on maintaining unity against all odds and for continuing to raising their prophetic voices towards the political authorities and the population at large. Give them boldness. We strongly believe that you do not forsake your own. Everything you allow has a higher purpose. We hope to rejoice with our brothers and sisters on the day you would stand on their behalf, turn things around, and make South Sudan a strong and stable  nation.

Kenya_Eale_2017_03.jpgWe also come before you with the nation of Kenya. As the presidential election was nullified, there is political tension in the country that is threatening peace. On the other hand, the threat for a terrorism attack is permanent. We pray that you protect your people from any kind of evil and bring about peace in the land.

God of life, we raise from our hearts the concern we have for the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in Kasai province where thousands of people lost their lives and property was destroyed. As we pray, there over three million Congolese who fled as refugees in Angola and thousands internally displaced. Many are living without shelter and children are exposed to all kinds of illness. We pray for your providence and protection over them. We also pray for the political situation of the same. Since the second and last term of the head of state was over on December 19, 2016, an election has not been organized for a peaceful transfer of power. Tension is now rising for possible trouble in the country at the end of December 2017. We pray that you give wisdom to political leaders to solve the problem in a peaceful way and maintain peace in the country.

We lift up the Church in Eritrea. As the country is going through difficult time economically, socially, and politically, let your Church give hope to your people. Reinforce interfaith dialog among different groups of faith and peaceful coexistence between people of Muslim, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic faiths.

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