Prayer of Intercession April 27, 2008

Prayer of Intercession April 27, 2008

We ask you today, Lord, for peace in our world addicted to war; a world where we believe that might makes right, where we think that war will resolve our disputes. Gaza, Darfur, Baghdad and Afghanistan are some of our battlefields that have proven these beliefs to be wrong. How many more years, how many more deaths, how many more destroyed lives must the people of these lands endure, Lord, before we no longer rush to war to pick winners and losers that merely plant the seeds of the next war?

Kowloon Union Church

We ask you today, Lord, for respect for those who are different than us in our world that constantly creates walls of separation, a world where we never cease to find ways to divide ourselves by our race, our ethnicity, our nationality, our religion, a world where we regularly strive to find the differences in our identities instead of how much we are alike.

We ask you today, Lord, for sanity in our world that consumes the environment you created to support us, a world where we defile the pristine water and the pure air and call it development.

We ask you today, Lord, for nourishment in our world fighting for food, a world where we can afford to go to the moon but far too many people cannot afford to go to the market, a world where immense wealth can reside next to immense poverty.

In this world of our making, Lord, our world of war, discrimination, environmental degradation and hunger and poverty, we ask you to guide us out of our present state of confusion with its misguided priorities and values. Teach us again, Lord, the lessons of love and compassion that we continue to stubbornly reject.

It is in this spirit that we pray today, Lord, for the Burmese asylum-seekers and others unjustly detained in Malaysia. May they soon know freedom. We pray too for the asylum-seekers detained in Hong Kong and for the asylum-seekers in our midst who have patiently been waiting for years to know their future. Be present in their lives, Lord, and quiet the anxiety that they feel. Give them all good news soon.

It is in the spirit of love and compassion that we pray today, Lord, for China’s farmers who watch their land and livelihood greedily snatched from them by corrupt officials and businessmen. We pray for the success of land reform and the efforts of China’s farmers and the activists who support them to keep their land and preserve their rural way of life.

It is in the spirit of love and compassion that we pray today, Lord, for the elderly and the poor in our community who suffer most from the rising tide of inflation. We pray for assistance for them and for inflation to soon subside in Hong Kong, especially the price of food.

It is in the spirit of love and compassion that we pray today, Lord, as part of the ecumenical prayer cycle for our brothers and sisters in Eritrea and Ethiopia, people who have known too much war and too much poverty. May more dialogue be the path chosen by these two countries to resolve the animosity between them. We especially pray for Aime, our brother from Eritrea. We ask that he will soon be resettled and can begin a new life.

As we remember our own Christian family at Kowloon Union Church today, we give thanks for our new members who have formally become part of our church. May they find Kowloon Union Church to be a source of spiritual nourishment for them, and may their gifts enrich our church community. We give thanks too for the gifts of our African brothers and the joy and spirit of music they share with us. As we prepare for our annual congregational meeting in a few weeks, we ask for your wisdom and love to guide our deliberations. May we discern your will from that of our own. We ask too that you will be present in the lives of the members of our new council and trustees as they wrestle with the issues before our congregation.

Now in silence we lift up to you the joys and concerns in our hearts (silence). Amen.

Bruce Van Voorhis
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.