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Prayer of Intercession July 18, 2010

July 26, 2010

God, our Creator, we thank you for the gift of a new day to be your children in this beautiful world with which you have blessed us and to be witnesses of your love.

God, our Sustainer, we thank you for giving us all we need to be whole human beings, for blessing us with your teachings through the gift of your Son and the scriptures, teachings that instill in us your values of love, compassion, justice and peace, values on which we can build the foundations of our relationships.

God, our Redeemer, we thank you for the gift of your presence among us, for being one with us, for showering us with the love of forgiveness when we ignore you and your teachings and your Creation, for blessing us with your unconditional love when our egos stand between our being and your being.

It is in this spirit that we offer up to you our Creator, our Sustainer, our Redeemer, the prayers of your people today for all of those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, the loss of their homes and businesses, the loss of their livelihoods, in China and the Philippines after the recent devastating floods in these countries. Comfort the victims, Lord, and help them to rebuild their lives. Because this is only the beginning of our typhoon season, Lord, we know that there will be even more victims in the coming months. Thus, give us the wisdom and skills to be better prepared for future violent storms and to respond more rapidly to the needs of those affected by these natural disasters. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

We also pray to you, Lord, for the victims of our own man-made disasters. We especially remember today the people of Kashmir as they once again return to the streets in large numbers seeking justice, their dignity, their rights. We ask for your wisdom to be with the leaders of Kashmir, of India, of Pakistan, to find a just solution for the grievances, the hardships and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people through a peaceful process. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

We offer as well our prayers to you, Lord, for the workers of China, especially those who are now striking to more equally divide the immense wealth their labor has helped to create in the past few decades during China's rapid development. May your wisdom and justice once again prevail, Lord, so that those who labor so long for so little can enjoy a better life. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

For workers in Hong Kong, our hearts are full of joy this morning that the government and legislature have finally enacted legislation for a minimum wage. We pray that in the months ahead a just minimum wage will be set that permits our workers who work the most for the least, like those in China, will receive a wage that allows them to support themselves and their families comfortably without working such long hours. While we rejoice that a minimum wage law has now been passed in Hong Kong, we are saddened though, Lord, that our domestic workers, who contribute so much to our economy, were not included in this legislation. May the community soon come to realize and appreciate their contributions and their sacrifices of living so far away for so long from their families in a foreign land, sacrifices that make the lives of our families better. May these sacrifices and contributions, Lord, be financially rewarded through their inclusion in the minimum wage legislation in the future. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

As we lift up to you, Lord, prayers for the workers of China and Hong Kong, we also remember the people of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in the ecumenical prayer cycle today with other Christians around the world. We especially pray today for the working poor of these lands and for those who have known the injustice of human rights violations. Make your churches in these countries a beacon of hope and of justice for those who see little hope and who know only injustice. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

In our own Christian family, we remember those who are ill or who are facing long-term health concerns. May your healing and comforting presence be with them and fill their lives. We also offer prayers of thanksgiving for our Asylum-Seeker Ministry and Peacemaking Program in the community. May your love and wisdom continue to guide this work. While we give thanks for the joy, energy and commitment that our African brothers contribute to this ministry, we also pray that their dreams and hopes to be resettled in another land where they can begin a new life will soon come to pass. Make us your hands in this world, Lord.

To our Creator, our Sustainer and our Redeemer, we offer these prayers this morning. Amen.

With Peace,

Bruce Van Voorhis

(Bruce Van Voorhis works in Hong Kong for Interfaith Cooperation Forum [ICF], a regional network of young Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and indigenous activists working for justpeace at the grassroots level in South and Southeast Asia. ICF is a joint program of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs [APAY] in Hong Kong where Bruce is based and the Christian Conference of Asia [CCA] located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.)

Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCA's in Hong Kong.  He serves as the Coordinator for Interfaith Programs.

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