Weekly Prayers

Pray with the Dominican Republic on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lectionary Selection: Mark 1: 9-15

Prayers for the Dominican Republic:

DR1.jpgGracious and loving God,

We thank you for the hope and guidance you show us every day. Your forgiving love was shown through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit appearing in purity as a dove. We pray that you continue to guide us with this purity and love, where we can spread this blessing to every person that we encounter. We are sent to be light unto this world, so when we are tempted, like Jesus was in the wilderness, give us the strength to persevere and find Light through the darkness.

Today we lift up the shared mission of the churches and the work of Caminante Proyecto Educativo. Bless churches around the world to be guided by love and unity. I specifically lift up prayers for the people working here in Dominican Republic. Provide this staff with the vision and knowledge to continue our amazing work with these children and guide them to a better, more sustaining life. Give us the words and wisdom to reach these children and provide the security and safety they are longing for. Pray for these children that are trying to survive on the dangerous streets, and keep blessing the ones that have come through Caminante and are living blessed and more peaceful lives now. Help these street children find their ways back into schools and get the education and support they need to achieve their dreams you placed in their hearts and minds! Continue to unify the world and guide us all with the Holy Spirit to spread your loving kindness to every person that we meet. 

In your heavenly Name, 

Amen!

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Pray with the Philippines on Sunday, February 11, 2018

philippines_lauren_robinson_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 9: 2-9

Prayers for the Philippines:

Lord, thank you for the beautiful image of friends bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus in Mark 2. Like the paralyzed man, we often need help in attaining spiritual and physical wholeness. God, you have made the whole world interdependent and in need of each other's support. Right now, we give praise for the Republic of the Philippines. A beautiful country filled with bountiful philippines_lauren_robinson_03.jpegnatural resources and people with generous hearts. Yet, the people's generosity is taken advantage of by outside invaders and even their own neighbors. Help the church in the Philippines stand strong against the abuse of the people, including theft of indigenous land and extrajudicial killing as a tactic in the drug war. Please pray for the leadership of this country as they struggle with many of the similar temptations that we see politicians struggle with in the US, including corruption and neglect of the poor. May we be like the friends of the paralyzed man and help our brothers and sisters here in the Philippines get the restoration that is due to them. 

More specifically, please pray for the UCCP (United Church of Christ in the Philippines) as it is in a time of transition and in a position of potential growth.

philippines_lauren_robinson_04.jpegPlease also pray for the two NGOs that I work with: Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA) and Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE).

Both organizations seek to empower the Filipino community and are doing incredible work. Pray for their ability to continue doing so. GWAVE specifically asked for prayer for the approval of the next phase of our proposal and for co-funding as well as smooth turn over when there are staff changes. For clients, especially those with filed cases, that they may attain the justice they deserve and that the truth will prevail always.

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Pray with South Africa on Sunday, February 4, 2018

South_Africa_2016_susan_valiquette_inanda_school_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 1:29-39

Prayers for South Africa:

Gracious God, by your power, make the Gospel message universal. Teach us through the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Word, that the Gospel is ‘good news’ and not ‘law and order.’ Through the Holy Spirit, provide us an epiphany that alerts us to the fact that the Gospel is not determined by national borders made by humans. May you, our God, the Son and the Holy Spirit awaken us to a spirit of mission, that deprioritizes parochialism and emphasizes a diverse and Pentecostal Church. Inspire us to connect with those less privileged, for what a pity it would be to allow our privilege to merely protect itself. May you bless your followers, so that we may use all the tools at our disposal to pray, to connect, to listen and to respond when needed. In doing so, may we emulate your son, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Amen.

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Pray with Mexico on Sunday, January 28, 2018

don_lauro_con_jóvenes_edited.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 1:21-28

Prayers for Mexico:

Father and mother God,

We ask for your guidance in listening to the voices of those who, like Jesus in the temple, speak from their own authority, those who carry the authority of their people, those who may see parts of the world differently than the way we see them. We ask you to open our eyes to the achievements of those who surround us and to teach us to share what we have learned.

We thank you, today and every day, for teaching us what it means to be seekers of the light in the world.

In this dire time of discomfort and discord between the U.S. and Mexico, we ask that you guide our steps and the steps of our leaders towards building relationships and breaking down walls and towards a better understanding of our neighbor country.

In your heavenly name we pray, amen.

 

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Pray with Thailand on Sunday, January 21, 2018

worst-traffic-bangkok.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 1:14-20

Prayers for Thailand:

We give thanks, O God, for the knowledge that the people all around the world are our sisters and brothers. We thank you for your faithful people in every land who pray for those on the other side of the world. Open our hearts, we pray, to remember the sister or brother Yannawa__Bangkok__traffic_-_03-12-15.jpegwe have never met and may never meet. Help us to remember that human struggles are similar everywhere; that we all long for moments of peace and hope, and the people of Thailand long for it just as we do where we are. We ask for your strength and grace for those in Thailand who minister in the name of Christ, and who work to share the Good News of abundant life with those who are weary and tired. In the words of the Psalmist, let us all trust in you, for you are our refuge. We pray through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Pray with Sri Lanka on Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lectionary Selection: John 1:43-51

Prayers for Sri Lanka:

sri-lanka-1.jpgGod of all people and of all hope, we give thanks that you created us to be love, hope and peace for and with each other. 

You trust us all with mighty work in a world of mighty needs. 

Were we to trust only ourselves, we would fail.  We would invite the future we fear most – war and injustice, destruction of resource, possibility and beauty, slaughter of God-created life for our amusement. When we place our faith in you and your presence in us and each other, we become hands, heads, eyes, ears and the possibilities you created us to be.

Open our senses and thoughts to the wonders of being human and of being in this world, our home. Give us courage to dare to be our best when we fear what others will think or say. Inspire our imagination to dare to live a vision of a world when we will all celebrate each other’s gifts and possibilities.

Fill us with a peace that resists angry words, cruel jokes, threats of punishment and pain, violence as entertainment ...  and grant us a sense of justice that seeks not to punish, but to calm, to educate, to understand gentleness as strength.

May these be our weapons against war, hatred, prejudice, our protection against the violence of ignorance and fear. May you be the shield and armor that leads us all to respond with love and hope.

As Jesus taught and lived, so may we ... Amen

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Pray with Lebanon on Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:4-11

Prayers for Lebanon:

lebanon-weekly-prayer.jpgGracious and loving God, 

In this holy season of renewal and rebirth, may we be made new through reflection and repentance. 

In this holy season of hope for a better tomorrow, may we be charged with the fire of the Holy Spirit and resolved to be active participants in building a peaceful world.  

In this holy season of your love made real in our world through the birth of a tiny babe in Bethlehem, may we too engage in the difficult practice of loving each other, putting aside our regard for creed, nationality, politics, race, class or gender. 

May we have the wisdom needed to make difficult choices and the courage to risk our own comfort or interests for the sake of realizing God’s vision for our world. May we always remember that we are one body in Christ. May we relish the role that you call us to play. 

We begin this new year knowing that with it will come trials and obstacles, sadness and disappointments. As we move through it, day by day, help us recognize and celebrate the joys that will come as well. Give us the strength to carry on with the work you have called us to do. To love fiercely, to hope undauntedly, to act for peace always, and demand justice for all your people.

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Pray with Lebanon on Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lebanon_2017_Maria_Bakalian_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 2:22-40

Prayers for Lebanon:

Praise the Lord (Hallelujah!).

We come before you, joining all of creation, and praise your name. Praise to you, the Creator of all in the universe, the Giver of life, the Provider and Sustainer of us all.

We at times are not aware of your unending love for us, and yet you continue to love us with unconditional love. At times we are impatient in our waiting for peace, security, better living conditions, better finances, and yet you patiently gather us in your arms and bless us to the fullness of your glory, mercy, and grace.

Lebanon_2017_Maria_Bakalian_02.jpegHelp the people of Lebanon to have eyes to see your presence in the darkest and most uncertain moments of their lives.

We thank you for blessing us with the precious gift of the promised One. Through the Holy Spirit help us all to recognize and praise the sovereign Lord, and know that the divine, newborn Gift will raise those who believe in him.

God of hope, fill us all with joy and peace as we trust in Christ, and so overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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Pray with Mexico on Sunday, December 24, 2017

Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:26-38

Prayers for Mexico:

There I was:          small, defenseless, alone    
                            without any understanding of the magnitude of the damage.

There You were:    powerful, loving, and in a strange, incomprehensible way,
                            full of compassion.

 You saw me, You loved me, years went by...     and,  today, You keep loving me.

There I was:          growing in pain, in sadness, in anger;
                            clinging to You, to your mercy, to your grace.

There You were:    gently tending to me, healing me, restoring me.

I ran away, terrified.

You kept close, chasing me, wrapping me in love.

Me, unknowing. You, knowing all.

Me, without understanding. You giving me purpose.

There I was:          with my story...
                            my trampled dignity, my loneliness, my absurd existence.

There You were:    with your story...
                            your dignity, your company,  your true being.

You gave me life, a new story, a dream, a hope, a vision.

You changed my existence, readjusted my world.

Here I am and here you are, present.

I am always yours, and You, You infinite You, oh joy! You will always be mine!

(Prayer by Pastora Noemí Santiago Anzueto, México, 2017)

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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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