Prayer of Intercession - August 10, 2008September 25, 2008
We pray today, Lord, that your peace will replace the violence that dominates our world, that your love will unseat hate, that your compassion will touch our pain. We seem to be a world without direction, without a conscience, without a soul. Armies still invade, a trip to the market results in death, people are physically and mentally tortured, corruption steals the resources needed to lift people out of poverty. It is into this void of brokenness that we ask you Lord to restore the wholeness of our minds, our bodies, our spirits.
Lord, may your peace, love and compassion touch those living in lands of war. We lift up to you especially the peoples of Georgia, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq. We ask for these conflicts to be resolved through dialogue and mutual respect for all positions, that the innocent lives destroyed by the hostility of war are remembered by those seeking solutions, that the violence will end.
Lord, may your peace, love and compassion touch those living in lands with repressive governments. We lift up to you especially the people of Burma who have just commemorated on Aug. 8 the 20th anniversary of the student-led uprising for democracy and human rights in their country in 1988. To decades of poverty and repression have come the devastation of Cyclone Nargis for millions of people in the country. We ask that your strength, wisdom and guidance will be their companion as they struggle in the days ahead. Bless the people of this imprisoned land, Lord, with the rights they deserve and a democratic political system in which all may participate.
Lord, may your peace, love and compassion touch those living in lands where there is not enough food or where people cannot afford this most essential need of life. We lift up to you especially the people of Ethiopia who are facing a widespread famine that is afflicting in particular the young and the old. We ask that their food needs will soon be met, that they will soon enjoy a full stomach and know hunger no more.
Lord, may your peace, love and compassion touch those living in Aotearoa, or New Zealand, and Australia that are being remembered today around the world as part of the ecumenical calendar of prayer. We lift up to you especially the indigenous peoples of these countries, the Maori and Aborigine peoples, who have lived lives defined by poverty and discrimination as second-class citizens, or worse, although they were the first inhabitants of these lands. May government leaders, politicians and the dominant ethnic groups come to respect them as members of the human family and to recognize their wisdom and spirituality that connects them to the land, water and air—a wisdom and spirituality that may rescue us from the destruction of our modern technological development.
As the world now meets in Beijing to compete at the highest levels of sport, we pray that people around the globe will come to see their oneness instead of their differences at this international sporting festival. Regardless of our nationality, our dress, our language, our religion or our race, help us to see our unity, Lord, which dwells in our common humanity. It is this wisdom that we have lost, Lord, that we ask your help to restore. May the Olympics open our eyes and our hearts.
Among our own Christian family at Kowloon Union Church, we give joy for those celebrating their births or their weddings or other significant dates in their lives. We pray too for those who are ill. We ask for your healing and comforting spirit to touch their lives. We especially remember the youth of our church who have recently received their exam results. We celebrate with those full of joy and suffer with those who are disappointed. Regardless of their results, may they still feel our love and respect for them as people of God.
Now we pray in silence to you Lord the joys and anxieties inside of us (silence). Amen.
Bruce Van Voorhis
(Bruce Van Voorhis is a staff member of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong whose work often focuses on the Philippines. In addition to working at the commission since 2000, he is also a co-convener of the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, a coalition formed in April 2005 to respond to the upsurge of extrajudicial killings in the country.)
Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asian Human Rights Commission located in Hong Kong. He serves as a writer and editor with the Commission.
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