Weekly Prayers

Pray for Philippines on Sunday, July 9, 2017

Philippines_Eleazar_Fernandez_UTS_Students_Summer_Immersion.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Prayers for the Philippines:

Our troubles and tears are overflowing. Compounding the so-called “acts of God” that destroy lives and properties are acts of humanity that are appallingly destructive. The most recent fighting in Marawi City (Mindanao) that resulted in lives lost and properties destroyed as well as a groundswell of internal refugees is one of the symptoms of our deep social malady. Happening almost at the same time was the violence that killed many at Resort World Manila. This is happening against the background of the “war on drugs” that has destroyed many lives.

When will know we know the way of peace? When will we choose the way of life against the way of death? When will we know the way of healing and liberation? Is there any hope?

We come to you, o God, because we believe that you can help us find our way to healing.

We come to you, o God, because we believe that you are the wellspring of our hope. Let your Spirit come and dwell among us that we may acquire active hope: hope that says “no” to death and says “yes” to life and a hope that takes courage to live differently while we have life. And, when the enormity of the situation seems to overwhelm us, help us to realize that we are not called to do everything but to do something, which is to sew our piece into the larger quilt of our planetary concerns.

This is our prayer. Amen.

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Pray for Nicaragua on Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nicaragua_2017_Jeanette_Salley_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 10:40-42

Prayers for Nicaragua:

Oh Lord our God how excellent is your name in all the earth. You are the first and the last and everything in between. When we see the sun, the moon and the stars, we see YOU. When we feel the cool breeze on a hot day, we see YOU. When we exhale the challenges and frustrations in our lives and inhale your love, grace and mercy, we see YOU. When we see our sisters, our brothers and our children suffering from lack of food, Nicaragua_2017_Jeanette_Salley_02.jpgshelter and clothing, we hear YOU. When we see peace, we know it’s YOU.

Therefore, Dear Lord help us to be and to continue to be in Your image. The image of love, passion, fellowship, righteousness and justice. As we, the Central Moravian Church of Managua, do the work you would have us to do, and as we share Your image with others, let your Holy Spirit keep the fire under our feet and in our spirit. When we become overwhelmed with the challenges of a volatile and unjust society, remind us to take a moment to drink from your cup of life. Because we see YOU and hear YOU, we joyfully say, Oh Lord our God how excellent is your name in all the earth! Amen.

 

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Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sri_Lanka_2017_Lindley_Kinerk_07.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 10:24-39

Prayers for Sri Lanka:

God of all, we give thanks to be in Sri Lanka with people whose origins are deep in the past, and we are grateful for what their past teaches us all.
 
We cherish our shared story of education, healthcare, faith and friendship.  We give thanks that we work with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM) to continue our shared story. Today the UCC Sri_Lanka_2017_Lindley_Kinerk_03.jpegcelebrates its 60th birthday – and the CACM is celebrating the 200th year since the American Ceylon Mission began! With joy we celebrate the ways our churches change and work to meet the needs of a challenging future.
 
We pray for what is needed and what is being done to help Tamil people recover from the war that followed years of discrimination against them. With faith in you, O God, the CACM works to reclaim homes and Sri_Lanka_2017_Lindley_Kinerk_04.jpegbusinesses and to prepare tomorrow’s adults for progress and success.
 
As the world grows smaller and more crowded, we pray for meaningful connections. We need your guidance, O Holy One, and the strength and creativity to adapt to a changing world. Help us to judge well what is important for our future and what to leave in history as lessons.
 
We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen

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Pray for Lebanon on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lebanon_2017_Bethany_Waggoner_03.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 9:35 – 10:8 (9-23)

Prayers for Lebanon:

Christ has no body but yours….
Bind us together, O God of grace and mercy, as the one body of Christ. Heal the fissures and wounds which keep us apart.

No hands, no feet on earth but yours...
Lebanon_2017_Bethany_Waggoner_01.jpegLet us head the lesson offered to your disciples — to give freely of ourselves as we have freely received from you, despite the many dangers, challenges and uncertainties which lie ahead.  

Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world...
Show us ourselves in “the other”. Reveal to us your face in that of our adversaries.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good...
Help us stay true to the path of peace and reconciliation.

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world...
Let us be builders and sustainers for the common good, not merely for ourselves and our own people.

For we are your body now on Earth.

Ours are the hands. Ours are the feet.
Ours are the eyes. We are your body.

Adapted from “Christ Has No Body” by St. Teresa de Àvila

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Pray for Honduras on Sunday, June 11, 2017

Honduras_2017_Maryjane_Westra.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 28:16-20

Prayers for Honduras:

O God of Truth and Love, hold up the people of Honduras in their struggle for justice in a world of impunity. Embolden us as together we seek solutions to difficult problems. Hold us together in your arms as we seek safety in a scary world. Your love is not constrained by geographic location or language. Your wisdom is not limited by skin color or economic barriers. Help us, we ask, to follow your son’s example in his ministry of care and inclusivity. Though we tire, though we stumble, though we doubt, walk with us, O God, as we walk, run and sometimes skip alongside our neighbors in Honduras. In Jesus’ name we ask it, Amen. 

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Pray for the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tuner_drc_worship_03.jpgLectionary Selection: John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39

Prayers for the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

“Breathe on me, Breadth of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do”.  (Edwin Hatch, 1878)

Lord, thank you for pouring out your spirit on all who receive it, all over this world. The Holy Spirit is a gift from you sent to help, comfort and guide your church in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We thank you for the freedom that accompanies your Spirit, and for the Spirit Tuner_drc_worship.jpgof Christ that dwells within us. Holy Spirit, continue to empower our mission of witness and service to all people, to truly exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. And may the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of us. In the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit…Amen!

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Pray for Hong Kong on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Refugee_Kitchen_Dinner.jpegLectionary Selection: John 17:1-11

Prayers for Hong Kong:

O God, when your Son prepared to return to you, he prayed for his disciples. He didn’t pray that we be protected from pain and suffering. He didn’t pray that we be taken out of the world. No, Jesus asked that we be protected from sin and division so that we might witness to your glory here on earth. Dear Lord, as a new government prepares to take over in Hong Kong, we commend our city and nation to your merciful care. Take away our love of sinning. Bind up the deep divisions in our society and church. May all be allowed to live securely in peace and enjoy the abundant life that you promised. Help our leaders remember that they are called to serve the people as lovers of truth and justice. Help the church to remember that we are called to serve the world as lovers of Jesus Christ. When our hour comes, protect us in your name so that we may be one, just as you and he are one for eternity. Amen.

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Pray for Indonesia on Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017_indonesia_01.jpgLectionary Selection:  John 14:15-21

Prayers for Indonesia

O Holy One of Truth and Love, we long for the Advocate that embodies a Spirit of Truth. We are so often confused by claims about truth and falsehoods, facts and fake news, that we forget our mission to love and care for all. May Your acts of love and compassion inspire us to nurture our local communities as well as national and international ones.

We pray for the many small churches in rural Indonesia who seek an Advocate to stand by them in their struggle to protect the mountains, forests and streams you have entrusted to them. Strengthen our bonds in the spirit of partnership so that there will be no orphans in the Family of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Pray for Hungary on Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hungary_2017_Kearstin_Bailey_03.jpegLectionary Selection: John 14:1-14

Prayers for Hungary:

Loving God, Creator of the heavens and earth, we come before you today in awe and thanksgiving knowing that you are always present with us. Despite the hardships that our world faces, we know you are with us as we strive to embody your radical love. As we struggle at times to discern our path in life, may we always turn to you for guidance.

The winds of change are blowing through many places – in Hungary, refugees begin new lives, Roma families integrate into wider society, those in power do what they can to keep it, and society speaks out against injustice. In the midst of all this, the Reformed Church in Hungary aims to be a witness in the world, fulfilling a faithful mission and striving to live as an ever-reforming church.

Hungary_2017_Kearstin_Bailey_01.jpegToday we pray for the church’s range of ministries that seek to help those on the margins of society. In the current context, this work is not always easy, but Christ calls us to follow in His example of radical inclusion and love. We also pray for those who work for justice as they seek to transform the world into a more peaceful and welcoming place.

As we go forth into the world, may we be reminded of Your constant guiding presence as we live out our faith in authentic ways.

Amen.

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Pray for Paraguay on Sunday, May 7, 2017

Paraguay_2017_Amelia_Casillas_01.jpgLectionary Selection: John 10:1-10

Prayers for Paraguay:

We give glory and praise to the God of open doors and abundant life for the Paraguayan people. Thank you, God, because we have witnessed your intervention with the indigenous communities, where you have been refuge, safety, and salvation. Thank you for the believing people who hold this Ministry where we can reach a town that needs medical care, support, and food security. Give us your understanding so that the daily journey is one that blesses and cares for this land and this people. Protect them from thieves and evil-doers who harm, hurt, and corrupt in pursuit of their own interests. Provide this beloved people their daily bread and may they experience your peace. Amen.

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