Pray with Sri Lanka, July 7, 2024

Pray with Sri Lanka, July 7, 2024

Lectionary Selection:  Mark 6:1-13

Prayers for Sri Lanka

Heavenly God, we pray for unity, as Jesus prayed for us to be one in him. We acknowledge our deep unity as Christians, professing our common faith in Christ Jesus. May we grow together in peace, in the name of Jesus, and in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

God of mercy and compassion, pour your power upon all your children in Sri Lanka – Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope, oppression to freedom, and occupation to liberation. May violent encounters be replaced by loving embraces, and peace and justice could be experienced by all.

God, in your wisdom and love, you surround us with the mysteries of the universe. Send your Spirit to these teachers and children, filling them with wisdom and blessings. As the source of all knowledge, guide teachers and students to devote themselves to their studies and become ever closer to you through education.

God, we praise You and thank You for the privilege of serving You through mass media and for the magnificent tools You’ve provided for us to communicate, educate, and inform. We pray for your blessing and favor upon all who minister the Gospel through broadcasts, the internet, and print media. May You continue to utilize their God-given gifts to draw the disciples unto Yourself and edify the saints until the day of Your return.

Dear God, NCCSL works to lift marginalized communities, particularly children, women, and youth, by overcoming discriminatory beliefs and providing resources. We pray for their value and fulfillment, ensuring they are valued in the image of God. We ask all these in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Mission Moment from Sri Lanka  

The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) is a prominent ecumenical organization that represents the Christian community in Sri Lanka. Established to promote ecumenical witness, NCCSL seeks the unity that our Jesus Christ prayed for in being coworkers of Christ toward the fullness of God’s reign here on earth.

We, as member Churches and Ecumenical Organizations of the NCCSL, confess our common faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the Holy Scriptures and together seek to fulfill our common calling in obedience to the Triune God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, affirming that we are all part of the one body of Christ, commit ourselves to faithfully strive to become the one visible Church fulfilling the High Priestly Prayer of our God “That they all may be one.”

NCCSL members include mainline communions and ecumenical institutions, and we serve the Sri Lankan communities through six commissions.

Commission for Ecumenism

Christians rely on essential components such as prayer, worship, opportunities for discipleship, individual and communal renewal, learning, and edification to experience God’s reign. Ecumenical formation and leadership promote ecumenical unity, focusing on specific sectors like children, youth, women, men, clergy, and professional groups, fostering Christian unity and witnessing.

The Commission for Ecumenism is documenting its common ecumenical journey, publishing an Ecumenical Lectionary, Lenten Reflection Booklet, and revising the Sinhala/Tamil Lyric Book. They are also working on reprinting the Ecumenical Tamil Hymnal. They organize regional councils, clergy symposiums, and consultations for church leaders. They hold Unity Sunday Services and operate a Mobile Prayer Network. They have established guidelines for interfaith relations and engage in dialogues to promote understanding and cooperation.

Commission for Justice and Peace

Justice and peace are crucial aspects of the Biblical and Christian worldview, requiring Christians and churches to promote peace with justice and reconciliation. This ministry aims to address social injustice, hatred, inequalities, and discrimination, restoring unity and promoting mutual understanding. Justice is perceived by NCCSL as the precondition for peace, leading to healing, reconciliation, and transformation.

Commission for Christian Education

Christian education in schools and Sunday schools is crucial for ecumenical witness and addressing religious freedom issues. The Council aims to strengthen Christian faith and commitment among children, enhancing their knowledge of scripture and witnessing to God’s reign. This process encourages students to grow in scriptural knowledge, facilitating ecumenical witness and church unity. The focus areas are Sunday schools and State schools, requiring time, resources, and personnel. The goal is to enable children to face contemporary challenges while growing in faith.

Commission for Development

The commission tackles various issues, including women’s and children’s rights, youth empowerment, poverty alleviation, disaster risk reduction, social advocacy, and counseling services. Its mission is to positively impact society’s most vulnerable, promoting social justice, equality, and human rights. It encourages individuals and communities to overcome challenges and build a better future. Join us in our efforts to make a difference and create lasting change.

NCCSL, in collaboration with DOC and ERD, has established 12 Regional Committees comprised of both Clergy and Lay Workers. Their primary focus is to engage with community participants and work towards developing their respective communities. Since 2016, these committees have made significant contributions to various aspects of community development. Their dedication and commitment to improving the well-being of their communities are commendable and reflect the values of service and collaboration.

Commission for Mass Communication

The NCCSL produces radio and television programs in all three languages to communicate the Gospel and its values. Over the past year, they have produced 555 radio programs, covering over 100 hours of airtime. The Council appreciates the contributions of over 150 volunteers and has received significant interest from churches.

Commission for Children, Youth, and Women

The Council aims to transform exploitative economic, political, social, and cultural structures into a just society by promoting awareness, education, and transformative thinking. It motivates churches to address vulnerable people’s needs through synergies and partnerships. NCCSL contributes to reconstruction, rehabilitation, and development efforts, reducing vulnerability and improving living conditions for affected populations. It strengthens social and economic capacities by rebuilding community structures and social organization. Social, Economic Rehabilitation, and Development projects challenge poverty and inequality, offering new opportunities and empowering people to make significant changes.

Prayer and Mission Moment written by Rev. Sujithar Sivanayagam,
General Secretary of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka.

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