Weekly Prayers

Pray with Ghana Sunday, September 27, 2020

Ghana_Larry_Colvin_image004.pngLectionary Selection:  Exodus 17:1-7

Prayers for Ghana:  

As we offer our gifts to you, O God, remind us that they are but gifts you have provided to us for our daily needs. Often we grumble, particularly in this time of Covid-19 that has brought us to a wilderness full of questions and concerns. Yet, you remain among us, faithful and plentiful.

We remember those who heard your call to leave homes and comfort behind to journey to a land we now call Ghana. There they encountered hardships but in the Peki Valley, you led them to water. Here your Word flourished as living water to those who came seeking and asking to quench their thirst. 

Ghana_Larry_Colvin_image001.pngAs we return our gifts, with thanksgiving, we also offer our prayers of thanks for those who continue to prepare new generations for ministry.  May they bring the Word of living waters to the cities and villages of Ghana.  Amen

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Pray with Mexico Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mexico_Elena_Huegel_DSCN9091.JPGLectionary Selection:  Exodus 16:2-15

Prayers for Mexico:  

Our God, heart of the sky - heart of the earth,
we who live in the birthplace of corn, who eat thin wafers called tortillas that fall not from the heavens but are a rich gift from mother earth, we ask your Spirit to transform our complaints into a joyous passion for abundant life.

As we complain about conflicts: shape our collective strength,  resistance in the face of corrupting forces, and capacity to find just solutions for all.

As we complain about the regulations and limitations due to the pandemic: mold our behavior with consideration for others.

As we complain if there aren't any tortillas or if there are only tortillas to eat: send us reminders to appreciate the food on our tables, care for our soil and native seeds,
respect for those who toil in the field, the hospital, or the market.

We recognize that complaining is the default response of an oppressed people,
             a people whose identity is trapped in the pain of victimhood.

Give us wisdom to find the grains of truth hidden in our complaints and strength to heed your call action:  claiming freedom, naming injustice, affirming dignity, and caring for all your creation.

Amen

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Pray with Fiji Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fiji_RJ_Howard_5.jpegLectionary Selection:  Exodus: 14:19-31

Prayers for Fiji:  

In the darkest of times, the Lord is there with us. While the Egyptian army pursued the Israelites on their trek to a better life, God was ever-present and assisted the refugees all along the way. In the final desperate hour, intervening through the natural world, God played a pivotal role by acting as both a protector and ultimate defender of the Israelites. This intervention can be viewed as a balancing of the scales between two peoples that had long interacted with one persistently holding an advantageous position. In our world today, there is a need for people to recognize the incidents where a measure of intervention is necessary. Many are struggling for freedom, independence, they and their children's future, and even more efforts that may not ever be recognized. 

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I would bring to the table the people of the Pacific Islands working to live through the impact COVID-19 has had on their livelihood, those who are impacted by the changes in weather intensity and sea level, and also those working to free themselves from injustice be it institutionalized or maintained by force. May blessing and prayers be with the people that work to bring stability and equality to themselves and others particularly in the trying times of today as we struggle to find a balance in our lives. With the idea of normal shifting, it is important to look outwards to the people that do not have the luxury of having the security of a known future with the changing of climates and loss of economic opportunity. Prayer for those who feel lost in their efforts, and may all find the strength to move forward. Let tomorrow always be better than today and may the world advance to a brighter future. Amen.

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Pray with Indonesia Sunday, September 6, 2020

indonesia_john_campbell-nelson_IMG_4046.JPGLectionary Selection:  Exodus 12:1-14

Prayers for Indonesia:  

God of Life and Healer of All, in this time of plague, we pray your protection for the people of Indonesia, for those crowded in city slums and unable to escape the virus; for those who must expose themselves daily in their work, especially medical staff; for those whose daily bread depends upon their daily labor; for the children of the poor, who fall farther behind in school because they cannot afford to study online; for those who sicken and die unnoticed and uncounted. Give your grace and strength to Indonesian pastors and church elders, who from a distance speak behind a mask of your loving care for all the people. Amen.

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Pray with Hong Kong Sunday, August 30, 2020

Hong_Kong_Judy_ChanCandlelight_Vigil.jpgLectionary Selection:  Romans 12:9-21

Prayers for Hong Kong:  
O Lord, in the face of so much evil in our world, guide us on the noble path in obedience to Your holy commands. When facing overwhelming odds, we remember that You only call us to be faithful. “Success” in the world’s eyes is not guaranteed. We leave the final judgment to You, our just and merciful God. May the Church and the people of Hong Kong be Your faithful witnesses to the truth: Love is stronger than hate, Good is stronger than evil, Hope is stronger than despair. Protect all those on the frontlines in Hong Kong and China fighting for justice, especially the young who have risked so much so that all may live with dignity and freedom. God of grace and glory, grant us wisdom, grant us courage for the facing of these difficult days ahead. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.

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Pray with Lesotho Sunday, August 23, 2020

Lesotho_Mark_Knowles_MTS_2019_Graduates.jpgLectionary Selection:  Exodus 1:8-2,10

Prayers for Lesotho:  

God, in troubling times you raise up talented leaders, those set apart and trained to do your work, to confront oppression, to care for the hurting, to respond to crises. As a new group of pastors and lay leaders graduate from Morija Theological Seminary this August, we pray for them. We pray that, though they will not have a graduation ceremony, they still feel your blessing and the support of many. We pray for the uncertainty of where they will go. We pray for the countries they will one day serve (Lesotho and South Africa) that are suffering in this global pandemic. We pray that you equip these new leaders personally, professionally, and spiritually, for whatever lies ahead – prepare them to not only be able confront challenges, but also to be able to embrace beauty, to connect with church members, and to continue to grow and enjoy life in all its complexity. We pray for churches that are not open, for parishioners who still need community, and for a world that always needs your love.

Lesotho_Mark_Knowles_MTS_2020_Graduating_Students_with_GM_textbooks.jpgLord we pray a blessing and thanksgiving over these lives, and the lives that will be impacted because of them. We pray that they may make the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa stronger, more loving, and better living. We pray, as we always pray, for your presence.

Amen.

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Pray with Italy Sunday, August 16, 2020

Italy_Fiona_Kendall_Piobbichi_-_Exploitation_(oranges).jpgLectionary Selection:  Genesis 45:1-15

Prayers for Italy:  

Loving God,

At times things seem bleak and we cannot fathom your purpose. Yet even painful experiences can strengthen us, reveal new truths and engender change. When Joseph was sold into slavery, things were desperate. Yet he was enabled to alter the lives of many, govern wisely, and bring healing and hope for all.

So we ask for confidence in your purpose and perseverance in our walk with you.

We pray that Italy’s leaders would act wisely in responding to COVID-19’s effects on the nation’s health and economy.

Italy_Fiona_Kendall_La_Pianta_dello_Sfruttamento.jpg

We pray for those in Italy who have shown strength of character, discipline, and concern for others, that they might continue to do so, keeping Italy safe and communities strong.

We pray for those on the margins, for whom hunger, homelessness, or exploitation are a reality. We pray for those arriving in small boats across the Mediterranean, exposed to danger, poverty, and hostility. We ask you to strengthen those working to uphold their right to claim asylum and their struggle for dignity.

May we not close our eyes to the needy nor, through our actions, perpetuate their vulnerability. In all that we do, may we change lives for the better.

Amen

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Pray with East Timor Sunday, August 9, 2020

Screen_Shot_2020-07-20_at_11.36.04_AM.pngLectionary Selection:  Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Prayers for East Timor:

East Timor has so far navigated the viral pandemic with ZERO deaths. Pray that the country’s leadership in government, health care, and education, can continue to guide the people through the coming months with continued safety and health for all. Pray for Indonesia, which is East Timor’s next-door neighbor, who is suffering with over 85,000 cases and 4,000 deaths. Indonesia creates a real threat to East Timor because they share this single island, and there is a lengthy land border, which can be porous. This means that sick people who may not be detected and quarantined appropriately may enter. Pray that the Timorese people will continue to support each other, as families and as communities, through the coming months of the pandemic, come what may. Pray for the health care workers across this half-island nation, especially the staff of Clinic Imanuel Lospalos, that they may continue to do their critical work, and have all the tools needed to keep their communities safe and healthy in the coming months.

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Pray with Nicaragua Sunday, August 2, 2020

Nicaragua_Violeta_Rocha-Areas_sindespedidas.JPG

Lectionary Selection:  Matthew 14:13-21

Prayers for Nicaragua:  

Oh Father, sad news arrives today, as it arrived to Jesus, about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist, and he looked for a solitary place in order to feel his grief. Today, like Jesus, we too look from afar at the burials of our beloved dead because of the pandemic. We look from a distance, we cannot even live the human and cultural ritual of saying farewell to our deceased. As in our world, so also in Nicaragua, we ask for health, for medicines and health equipment, and for sufficient care centers in the face of this pandemic, and we also ask in prayer for the medical personnel who are exposing their lives. We beg for the indigenous and black Nicaraguan populations, for their more distant communities, that they might be able to be reached by health care personnel and receive what they need for the affirmation of life in abundance.

Oh Father, you teach us that in sharing what we have with others, solidarity grows. With your blessing, love is multiplied in order to satisfy us with the bread of peace and of justice in this threatening economic situation and unemployment. Thank you for reminding us daily to show your image and likeness in this world from which we clamor for unity in your church, in order to multiply our actions together to attend to the needy.

Amen!

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Pray with Korea Sunday, July 26, 2020

Lectionary Selection:  Matt. 13:31-33, 44-52

Prayers for Korea:  

Father and Holy Spirit,

Your power and love are beyond reckoning.

In such a time when fear grips humanity, we seek the comfort that only You can provide; so that we may endure our difficulties and stand with our siblings.

In the blessed name of the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray, Amen.

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