Weekly Prayers

Pray for Lesotho on Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017_lesotho_mark_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 24:13-35

Prayers for Lesotho:

Dear God,

Today we lift up in prayer the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA). We give thanks for their efforts in working for peace and reconciliation to bridge the political divisions within the country. We give thanks for the success of their annual Synod meeting 2017_lesotho_mark_02.jpegand pray that your blessing will be upon the newly-elected Executive Committee and Moderator who will lead the church for the next four years. May your love, the power of the risen Christ and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit be with them as they shepherd your people. We join ourselves in spirit with the LECSA as together we walk by faith with Jesus on the roads and paths that open to us. May we follow wherever you lead us. Open 2017_lesotho_mark_03.jpegour eyes to the reality of your presence and the power and truth of your Word. May the Good News burn in our hearts so that we, like those on the road to Emmaus, never hesitate to proclaim, “The Lord has risen!”

We pray this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Pray for Nicaragua on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lectionary Selection: John 20:19-31

Prayers for Nicaragua:

2017_nicaragua_magy_01.jpegDuring the time of reflection that brings Holy Week, we remember the many paths that Jesus walked in his journey; trails and stories that maybe many of us will never know or imagine. On this day of prayer for Nicaragua, I would like you to reflect on a moment when you have felt alone, a moment where you saw no way out of their problems, a moment where darkness invaded your life. Maybe that moment is never going to 2017_nicaragua_magy_03.jpeglook like the thousands of situations that Nicaraguans face in their lives every day, like the poor and vulnerable neighborhoods and communities where I serve. It is for this reason, dear brothers and sisters, that Jesus continues to remind us, especially today, that he is present in every situation of our lives, even if we do not see him or touch him. We feel him and we do not need to put our fingers in his wounds to know that 2017_nicaragua_magy_04.jpeghe has been resurrected and accompanies us. On this day, let us pray for every brother and sister, citizens of this beautiful land that enjoys the sun of a new day throughout the year.

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Pray for Japan on Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lectionary Selection: John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

Prayers for Japan:

2017_japan_jeff_m.jpegLoving God,
On Easter morning, we gather in anticipation of the newness that you will bring into our lives. Like Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved disciple who stood before the tomb of Jesus, it is hard for us sometimes to take our eyes off of the pain, loss and despair so prevalent in our world today. We bow our heads as we remember all those who have suffered on account of natural disasters such as the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster which happened in Japan six years ago. It is hard to believe that your newness will break forth out of such destruction. And yet, we also know that your love for this world is never ending. We see flowers blooming in the desert, and hope bursting forth out of darkness. We pray for the church in Japan. We pray for the children, young families and the elderly in Fukushima. We pray for all those who struggle for the sake of peace and righteousness. May your love renew the earth, sustain those who are weary, and strengthen communities who serve as signs of your hope in this world.

This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Pray for Israel/Palestine on Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017_Jerusalem_palm_sunday_loren_mcgrail_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 21:1-11

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:

Who is this?

The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet…” (Mt. 21:8-11)

It’s a scene of jubilation; full of shouting and singing and street theater like the conquering king riding in on a donkey while the Roman representative across town rides in on a war chariot. Self conscious of fulfilling Zechariah’s prophesy, our Messiah chooses to enter on the same humble beast he rode out on when he was a baby in his mother’s arms fleeing genocidal Herod.

If we truly wish to hail this new king we must prepare the way by throwing off our cloaks, by divesting ourselves of all the things that stand in the way of peace. We must be prepared to have our temples, our churches, examined.

To welcome the nonviolent Christ, the Messiah, we have to be ready to withdraw our support for making the tools that support injustice and violence.

2017_Jerusalem_palm_sunday_loren_mcgrail_01.jpegBlessed is the one that weeps
for us and with us
when we have lost our way.

Blessed is the one that comes
towards us in majesty and humbleness
down that ancient twisted path
straight into our gated cities,
locked up hearts.

Blessed is the one that hears
our shouts of joy
then endures our chants of betrayal

Blessed is the one that
knows our limitations,
who pours out his love for us,
into us so we can be
guardians of truth
protectors of justice
architects of peace.

Hosanna in the highest
we are inspired by your passion
ready to follow.

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Pray for South Africa on Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017_south_africa_ons_plek_01.jpgLectionary Selection: John 11:1-45

Prayers for South Africa:

God of Grace.
God of love, peace, and everlasting healing,

We thank you for the hope that you enrich us with on a daily basis. Even for the new mercies that we see every morning.

Bless us with the energy and the resolve to proclaim and live your love and your justice throughout all of our experiences and encounters. By your grace and mercy, make it possible for humanity to feel your holy and healing power through our collective ministry. We pray that through our ministry your redemptive love will restore broken lives in every corner of the world, and particularly among the women of Ons Plek in Cape Town, South Africa.

We know that your love will overcome fear and your mercy can restore life and hope to every segment of the world where people live in squalor and in misery. We ask that you restore broken lives and mend fragmented families through the work of Ons Plek. Give continued strength and wisdom to the staff of Ons Plek that they may be agents of transformation and joy for the young women of Ons Plek and their families.

We ask these blessings in the beloved name of Jesus, Amen.

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Pray for East Timor on Sunday, March 26, 2017

east_timor_2017_monica_01.jpegLectionary Selection: John 9:1-41

Prayers for East Timor:

A Man Blind from Birth Receives Sight

“The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.”

Dear God,  

Each day in Clinic Immanuel Lospalos, as we address people’s health concerns, continue to help us provide any physical healing that we can. But people also come to our clinic seeking spiritual healing. God, continue to help us provide patients with another way of “seeing” illness, helping them understand that illness is not just something that someone else, living or passed, makes happen to them.

This way of seeing also holds people accountable, and so help us as we teach people each day how their behaviors directly affect health.

For the mind-body-spirit medicine that is reaching people every day in our clinic in Lospalos, we pray. For the possibility to continue the teaching and healing that happens here, we pray. And for the vision of our partners, the Protestant Church in East Timor, to see how best to support the continued work of Clinic Immanuel, we pray.

Amen.

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Pray for India on Sunday, March 19, 2017

India_Mungeli_CD-staff_Evan_Golder_2.jpgLectionary Selection: John 9:1-41

Prayers for India:

Our heavenly Father, we gather before you on this Sabbath day and praise your holy name for you are the greatest healer of all. Your almighty power has given sight to many who were born blind. Blind, not due to their parent’s or their own sins, but blind so that Your power could be shown in them. Let us remember Lord that in every handicap or disease or calamity, it is your healing power that performs miracles. We are just the hands that do the work but the healing comes from you alone O God, your Holy name be praised! We thank you for the week of Feb. 12-19th when we celebrated the ‘Healing Ministry Week’ and ‘Healing Ministry Sunday’ together as one, all over India, remembering and upholding all those who work in various capacities and our partner institutions involved in this ministry of healing. Thank you Lord, for making us instruments of healing through prayer, faith and togetherness, in partnership with the church.

We also pray for those of us who have chosen to be ‘blind’- blind to the sins of this world, blind to the needs of others, blind to our brothers and sisters in Christ. You came into this world so that the world could see, O God of Light, we pray that You give us the power to see and be sensitive to the cries around us.

We pray for India as she is going through a phase of change and is working towards a clean and transparent economy. We pray that the government’s efforts bring fruit so that corruption and inflation are reduced and the marginalized population is benefited.

In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

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Pray for Korea on Sunday, March 12, 2017

korea_tuesday_group_02.jpegLectionary Selection: John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9

Prayers for Korea:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your unfailing love, grace, mercy, and gift of salvation. For you loved us so much, that you gave your one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. By faith, we receive this gift and know that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus.

Lord, we honor you. For you are the master and we are the clay. Mold us and let your Spirit continue to guide us, and touch our hearts that we may have the zeal to walk in the light of your presence each day. Purify and renew our hearts that, from the depth of its abundance, we can speak words of love, not hate; trust, not fear; peace, not discord; inclusion, and not exclusion; encouragement, and not destruction. Enable us to empathize with the plight of others and see them with the heart and mind of Christ.  

In the name of Jesus, we pray,

Amen

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Pray for Honduras on Sunday, March 5, 2017

honduras_01.jpgLectionary Selection: Matthew 4:1-11

Prayers for Honduras:

Dear Lord,

The lesson that you taught us in Matthew offers us a guideline for how to deal with temptation. Help us to adapt your teachings to our modern-day lives. Help us recognize the temptations that we are faced with every day. May we always remain vigilant not to put temptation in front of others.

As Maryjane and I leave our post in Honduras, we pray that someone can be found to continue the relationships that we began. There is much work to be done. We ask your blessings on all our partners and friends that we leave behind in Honduras. Keep them safe from harm. Help them feel your presence and guiding love every day. Also, be with the students as they struggle with the temptations that can lead to life or death decisions.

We ask all these things in Your Name.

Amen y Amen.

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Pray for Thailand on Sunday, February 26, 2017

IRCP_PYU_Mae_Hong_Son_Refugee_Camp_1_image_2.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 17:1-9

Prayers for Thailand:

God of change,
When our life gets tangled by the mess of darkness we look to you for a vision of freedom.

Help us take responsibility. Empower us to do your work in the midst of injustice, death, failure, and defeat.

We ask that you hold the people of Thailand who grieve the loss of their former King Rama IX in October 2016 closely and give them the grace of the Holy Spirit to move through a time of uncertainty and transformation with love.

Accompany the people of Thailand who experience the long term reality of refugee plight and seek ways to provide aid to situations all hoped would be temporary.

We pray for your mercy and wisdom for all of these things through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, whose power uplifts us. Amen.

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