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Prayer of Intercession March 30, 2008

April 2, 2008

Our concerns today, Lord, are for those who live in fear in today's war zones, for those who feel the inner pain from the barriers of discrimination and intolerance, for those who struggle to escape poverty and its symptoms of hunger and homelessness, for those whose lives are empty with loneliness.

We thus pray for the people trapped in the wars in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and the conflict in Palestine and Israel, wars and deadly violence that never seem to end. Help us to see ourselves in those we think are our enemies. May our oneness shine through our differences.

We remember the unrest in Tibet and pray for dialogue to replace repression and riots. Comfort those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods, heal those who have been injured, be present with those confined by prison walls. May your wisdom guide those seeking a peaceful and non-violent resolution of the long-standing issues dividing the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

We give thanks for the recent elections in Malaysia, Pakistan and Taiwan and their peaceful transfer of power. May the new political leaders work for the common good of their people rather than their own narrow self-interest.

We also pray for the leaders of our nation, China. May they have the courage to embark on genuine political reform to accompany the decades of economic reform, political reform that is democratic, transparent and accountable. We also ask that all the rights of all the people of China be respected by all those who wield power. May corruption that saps the energy of the nation rapidly become a practice of the past.

In our own community of Hong Kong, we need your wisdom and guidance as we discuss and debate how to finance our health care system in the future. We pray also for the sailors who recently died on the Ukrainian tugboat and their loved ones back home as well as for Hong Kong's sex workers, especially for the families and friends of those who have been murdered in the past few weeks. May all sex workers be able to work without fear, and may our community give them respect instead of view them with contempt for the way they seek to make a living.

On the global ecumenical calendar today, we lift up to you with others around the world the people of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. We ask that a deeper understanding and appreciation of life guide their lives and decisions, that the spiritual dimension of life will be as equally valued as the economic dimension.

Among our own Christian community at Kowloon Union Church, we give thanks for the leadership of our ministerial team and the variety of talents that they share with us. May we enjoy and nurture our oneness among our diverse Christian family. We pray too for your wisdom and strength to be faithful Christians as your messengers, as your servants and witnesses, in the world.

We now pause and in silence share with you in prayer, Lord, the joys and anxieties within us (silence). Amen.

With Peace,
Bruce Van Voorhis

Bruce Van Voorhis serves with the Asian Human Rights Commission located in Hong Kong.  He serves as a writer and editor with the Commission.

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