Weekly Prayers

Pray for the Dominican Republic on Sunday, December 18, 2016

20161117_100218.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 1:18-25

Prayers for the Dominican Republic:

Holy Creator,

You have given us many ways to receive your messages and love your creation better. Open our minds so that we receive dreams the way Joseph did. Soften our hearts so that we act with empathy in our relationships the way Joseph did. Strengthen our courage so that we accept the challenges you present to us in this life.

We lift up the developing partnerships of Caminante. Bless them as they journey into new projects and communities. Keep us ready to learn of new and challenging ways to honor them as our partner in mission.

May their deepest need be met by your unending love. May they continue to choose us as a companion in this work of making things on Earth as they are in Heaven.

Amen.

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Pray for Hong Kong on Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016_hong_kong_van_voorhis.jpg
During a field visit to the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), the participants of the ICF human rights workshop learn about the hundreds of people in Laos who are still killed or disabled each year by unexploded “bombies” dispersed by cluster bombs by the United States during the Vietnam War.

Lectionary Selection: Matthew 11:2-11

Prayers for Hong Kong:
Lord, during this season of Advent, this season of waiting and expectation, we tell ourselves that you, indeed, are the One we are waiting for, that we are looking for no one else. But is this really true?

During your time among us, you restored the life of those who were blind, were lame, were sick, were deaf, were dead, were poor. In short, you gave fullness of life and dignity to those who were marginalized by society and who felt scorned. With the renewal of their lives and their spirits, you transformed them. These examples and teachings are what you have passed to us.

You also blessed those “who take no offense at me.”

We again would proclaim that we take no offense toward you; but when we survey our world today, we do take offense to you and the fullness of life you brought to us and your message of love, compassion, justice and peace to be shown to all people. We must confess that we do treat with contempt those who are a different race, a different nationality, a different faith; we sow divisions among ourselves even though we are all created in your image and are all children of God.

In our scripture passage today, you asked the crowds what did they seek when they went out into the wilderness with John the Baptist. We could ask the same question of ourselves: What do we expect to see in the wilderness of our world today? What are we looking for? Why? Will we know it when we find it?

In Hong Kong, we are not exempt from this message, for our society is fractured between the haves and have-nots. We have one of the world’s greatest gaps in income distribution between those who control the price of our daily necessities and the rest of us; our housing is among the most unaffordable globally so hundreds of thousands of our neighbors live in so-called coffin cubicles or caged homes or are McRefugees sleeping overnight in 24-hour fast food restaurants; migrant women who clean our homes and care for our children are viewed as second-class workers; asylum-seekers and refugees are perceived as merely economic migrants; and racial minorities, even those who are born here and speak Cantonese, feel the pain of discrimination.

Lord, we are in need of your message as much, or even more, than the people 2,000 years ago. We pray for your love and peace to fill us, your wisdom to guide us, in Hong Kong and the world today. Transform us, Lord, so that we can transform others. Amen.

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Pray for Mexico on Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016_mexico_jerri_handy.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 3:1-12

Prayers for Mexico:

Spirit of God, thank you for your love that includes the people in Mexico. Thank you for churches like the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and Iglesia Discipulos de Cristo de Mexico who work together to spread the news of your radical inclusive love. Spirit of God you move in us and through us and we are grateful. Your love changes things; it continues to change hearts and lives.  Thank you for people, who are home and yet believe supporting the work of accompaniment is important. Thank you for love that is inclusive.

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Pray for South Korea on Sunday, November 27, 2016

kore_2016_kahala_cannon_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 24:36-44

Prayers for South Korea:

You are our strength and our song. Thank you for each day in which you allow us to experience, trust, and receive your unfailing love. From the depths of our hearts, we sing praises unto you. God of love and peace, guide us by the wisdom, power, and truth of your word.

kore_2016_kahala_cannon_03.jpegLord, quietly whisper in our ears and give us a gentle nudge to remind us to take time out to reflect on your truths throughout the course of our day. Speak to our consciousness, so that we will never forget to remain watchful because no one knows the day or hour of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ. Ignite our hearts and minds to always be in the state of preparing so that we will be ready for the day of His return.

Let us not fall asleep on our duties thinking, “Oh, I have plenty time.” Empower us to be purposeful in spending time in your presence, walking in obedience and in our purpose, loving our neighbors as ourselves, living out the Great Commission, standing against every form of injustice, and being the voice for the voiceless.

Lord, we thank You and honor You. In Jesus name we pray,

Amen.   

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Pray for Colombia on Sunday, November 20, 2016

Colombia_2016_Michael_Joseph_Asamblea_Copla.jpgLectionary Selection: Luke 23:33-43

Prayers for Colombia:

Loving God,

Today we come before you to lift up the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. This is an exciting time in Colombia. After 52 years of war, the Colombian government and FARC rebels have recently signed a peace accord. We pray for peace in Colombia and we pray for violence to end all over the world.

Our Global Ministries partners, Justapaz - the Colombian Mennonite Colombia_2016_Michael_Joseph_Entrevista.jpgCenter for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action and the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia have actively engaged with the peace process through the Interchurch Dialogue for Peace – DiPaz. We pray for Colombia's peacemakers, may you guide their work.

Christ, you were crucified with criminals at a place called Golgotha, the place of the skull, outside Jerusalem's walls. In death, as in life, you drew close to the outcasts of society, showing them transforming love and inviting them to join you in God’s kingdom. We thank you for the transformational, kingdom-building, peace-giving work of our partners in Colombia.

Colombia_2016_Michael_Joseph_Ni_un_paso_atras.jpgHelp us to walk with them, the paths of peace. Amen.

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Pray for Kenya on Sunday, November 13, 2016

DSC00043.JPGLectionary Selection: Luke 21:5-19

Prayers for Kenya:
Lord, have mercy on us. Help us stand together in the fight against violence. We are all Africans and we share the same destiny. As we approach elections next year, we pray for peace and love to one another. Destroy the sins of division and the hatred within us. Heal the wounded hearts and grant peace to our people.

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Pray for India on Sunday, November 6, 2016

India_2016_Sarah_Williams_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 20: 27-38

Prayers for India:
Dear God of hope, we are grateful for your presence in our lives today and always. We know that as you are with us now you will be with us forever, we are your children and will dwell with you for eternity no matter what our gender, race, or background. We pray the equality and love you view us with can be reflected in our own eyes and in the eyes of our brothers and sisters on Earth.

India_2016_Sarah_Williams_04.jpegIn India the prevalence and acceptance of gender inequality is profound. Often woman are deemed as lesser than men from birth, and once married their beautiful spirits are not given the ability to grow and be nurtured. Usually girls in rural India know they are inferior to boys at a young age and are not given similar opportunities for education and basic well being.

Lord of grace, please help our brothers and sisters in India and across the world see with eyes of equality and love. That all people are respected and given equal opportunities and not viewed as inferior for any reason. Please grant us all grace and never let us forget that we are your children, all family, and all equals.

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Pray for Lesotho on Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lesotho_2016_Mark_Behle_praising_God.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 19:1-10

Prayers for Lesotho:

Dear God,

We give you thanks and praise your name for the story of Zacchaeus! We give thanks for showing us how the love of Jesus can transform us: from being greedy to being sharers; from being consumed with ourselves to being concerned for others; from being alone to being Lesotho_2016_Mark_Behle_walking_for_peace_and_justice.jpegpart of a community; from being lost to being found! Touch our hearts to share the extravagant love of Jesus with others so that they, too, will feel welcomed into your family.

We pray for the people of Lesotho. Having just celebrated 50 years of independence, divisions run deep caused by the politics of self-interest and factionalism. We pray for leaders who will rise above personalities and partisanship and instead work for bringing peace, reconciliation and prosperity to the nation.

Lesotho_2016_Mark_Behle_only_some_of_have_desks.jpegWe pray also for the leadership of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa as they, together with the Christian Council of Lesotho, continue to mediate in trying to resolve the political tensions within the country. May their efforts be blessed by your transforming love.

We pray this in the name of Jesus our Savior.  Amen. 

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Pray for East Timor on Sunday, October 23, 2016

East_Timor_School_Jim_Moos_2.jpgLectionary Selection: Luke 18:9-14

Prayers for East Timor:

This is a prayer in the time of transitions.

God, be with us as we walk through this world, doing the best we can, wherever we are. Help us to see ourselves for who we are. Help us to take off the blinders we wear that keep us from seeing our arrogance, our insensitivity, our self-righteousness.  Help us to see ourselves in the way that YOU see us: with compassionate eyes. Remind us not to be ashamed of who we are, ever.

For our partners in the Protestant Church of East Timor, in a time of transition, we pray for the synod, for guidance in leading the Church forward. For Fusona, the Church’s mission branch, we pray for good leadership. And for us, help us to always  be compassionate and humble as we accompany our partners in the daily walk of life. God, hear our prayers.

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Pray for Haiti on Sunday, October 16, 2016

mountaintop_women.jpgLectionary Selection: Luke 18:1-8

Prayers for Haiti:

In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
The Lord heard my voice out of the Lord’s temple,
And my cry for help before God came into God’s ears. Psalm 18: 6

Lord of all that is good, we find comfort in being able to call upon you and to know our words fall on ears that hear with love and compassion. We are grateful for your mercy and your righteousness which reveal that you will act on behalf of your people when those whose hearts are hard and self-focused seek to harm or denigrate.

We desire to please and honor you with our lives and ask that you help us to stand strong and confident in a world that seems more and more chaotic. So often it seems the only time we can make sense of our surroundings is when we take our thoughts off of ourselves and set our sights on being the salt and light you call us to be.

We embrace your call to encourage one another and to bear one another’s burdens as we pray for our sisters and brothers in Haiti.
O God of all tenderness we ask that you will be with the people of this island nation as they seek to elect leaders who will advocate on their behalf in the areas of employment, education, agriculture, and health care.

Lord of all that is good, we find comfort in your promises and your love.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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