Weekly Prayers

Pray with Israel/Palestine Sunday, December 15, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Matthew 11:2-11

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:  

God of Every Tribe, Language, People, and Nation, we remember John the Baptist in prison and all those who in their imprisonment—whatever its kind—wonder if the Messiah has come and, if so, what difference it makes. Continue to shape us in ways that our actions become the difference that others see. 

We pray especially for our sisters and brothers in Palestine—Christian and Muslim--who in their oppression cry out for peace with their Jewish (or Israeli) neighbors, a peace that is just and lasting. Awaken those in power to the truth that the earth is yours and all that is in it, the land, and all those who live upon it. Give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Guide their feet into the way of peace. In the name of the One Who is Our Peace.  Amen.

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Pray with Mexico Sunday, December 8, 2019

Mexico_Elena_Huegel_IMG_2119.jpgLectionary Selection: Matthew 3:1-12

Prayers for Mexico: 

In our prayers today, we hear the call to prepare the way of the Lord in southern Mexico.

We prepare the way of:

  • justice by binding the leather and old-tire sandals of the "campesino" (farmer) who wills beans and corn to grow, worrying if there will be enough rain this year.
  • hope by slipping on the flip flops of the children playing outside a bare cement school, feeling the joy of simplicity still unaware of the wear and tear of poverty.
  • dignity by buckling on the high heels of young women standing outside restaurants smiling to tourists while fighting the frustration and despair of low paying jobs.
  • peace by lacing on the boots of Mexican soldiers, police officers, and immigration officials, recognizing the corrupting pressure of "pax romana," peace of the powerful, so contrary to the humble path of the Lord.

With humility and love, we kneel before you, Lord, for it is you who makes us worthy to tie your sandals.

We prepare the way of the Lord by putting on our own shoes and walking faithfully in justice, hope, dignity, and peace. 

"Tsajtayame beel" - a Mayan good-bye blessing - "Take care of yourself on the way."

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Pray with eSwatini Sunday, December 1, 2019

Lectionary Selection: Matthew 24:36-44

eSwatini_Kahala_Cannon_IMG_9404.jpgPrayers for eSwatini:  

Gracious and loving God,

You are Lord! You are the Lord our God in heaven above and on earth below. We honor you, for you are the God of our Praise!

Thank you for your Word that is spirit and life to us. Let it saturate our hearts, minds, and spirits so that we may hold fast to your promises as we journey through the joys and uncertainties of life. Daily, we are reminded that our lives here on earth, and the things of this world, are fleeting. Guide us continuously. Let us seek to be alert and watchful, and set our hopes on those things eternal through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Ignite our hearts and open our eyes of understanding to know that it is imperative that we remain in the position of eSwatini_Kahala_Cannon_IMG_9388.jpgreadiness at all times because the Son of Man will come at an hour when we will not expect him.  

Please pray for:

  • Eswatini to continue to be a peaceful nation.
  • The economy of Eswatini to improve and those in leadership to prioritize funds to attend to the needs of the people, so that the economic burden on families, communities, and church bodies will be lifted.
  • Council of Swaziland Churches (CSC) obtains the resources to grow in influence and expand its reach in ministry and programs to meet the needs and expectations of the people.
  • Victims of forced evictions and that this injustice will cease to exist.
  • Elimination of violence against women and girls.

In Jesus name, we pray,

Amen

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Pray with Ghana Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ghana_Debbie_Colvin_IMG_9185.jpgLectionary Selection: Luke 23:33-43

Prayers for Ghana:  

God of grace. Today we give thanks for the many natural resources which you have provided in the nation of Ghana. We seek forgiveness in the ways we have exploited the lives of humans and natural resources. We pray for the wisdom of the Ghanaian people to continue to be fruitful. As the thief who confessed his sins, may we too, confess our past sins and be open to using well the paradise of resources.

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Pray with Morocco Sunday, November 17, 2019

Morocco_Emanuella_Loccident_IMG-20191021-WA0015.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 21:5-19

Prayers for Morocco:  

Yahweh Shalom, as we are lifting up in prayer our sisters and brothers in Morocco, we are thanking you for your overwhelming peace in the midst of troubled times, a peace that is available to us all, with no exception. Remind us that by standing firm in peace, we will win life.

Yahweh Yireh, we are praying for the Protestant Church in Morocco and all of the help they are providing to the least of these – surely they are contributing to the movement of wholeness in a fragmented world. Please provide the resources they need so that they can continue this important work of love, presence, and assistance for all. Remind them that by standing firm in their willingness to serve, they will win life.

Morocco_Emanuella_Loccident_IMG-20190302-WA0018.jpgAbba, we are lifting in prayer the new student pastors who are now serving in various churches all over Morocco. Please allow them to find strength and courage in this new era of their lives. Most of them are young and newlyweds, it will be hard to balance all of these new roles they will have to embody. Remind them that by standing firm in these new roles you’ve assigned to them, they will win life.

El Shaddai, we are praying for safety, health, and strength for all the dreamers who are looking for a better future, not only for themselves but also for those attached to them. We are praying for those who are risking all they have so that they can find access to a peaceful haven. Please guide them in their journey and give them the courage and strength to face what is ahead. Remind them that by standing firm in their dream, they will win life.

Allah, as a new school semester starts for most students, we are praying for those who have recently arrived in Morocco. Many are lost, faced with a new reality in a new country and community, but we are praying that they find balance and peace in you, loving Parent. And remind them that by standing firm in their projects, they will win life.

Thanking you in advance for our answered prayers, we are giving you praise!

In Jesus’ name, we pray,

Amen

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Pray with Lebanon Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dear friends,

Since this prayer and worship moment were written, Lebanon has experienced protest demonstrations and the resignation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The churches in Lebanon issued this joint statement during the protests in October.  Please keep Lebanon in your prayers during this time of social and political change.

Lectionary Selection: Luke 20:27-38

Lebanon_Maria_Bakalian_Haigazian_Desert_Streams_Club_renovating_a_school.jpg

Prayers for Lebanon:  

Almighty God, today as we pray for Lebanon, we trust in your wisdom, patience, and authority. We open your Word and we read this message again and again.

While teaching in the temple, you were questioned and tested numerous times by those trying to trap you, not to trust you. But you took the time to show them that your message was about life and living.

When we come to you, help us to trust you and not to doubt your wisdom or your plan. You know each of us, you know our questions and our needs. Grant us peace in this place where there is so much unrest and turmoil. As the country faces economic uncertainty and hardship, encourage us and give us hope. Help us to be confident in the certainty of your sovereignty and authority over all. Guide us to stand firm and focus on the living Word.

Hear us O lord. Listen to our cry. Turn your ear to us and hear our prayer, for our hope is in you. Amen.

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Pray with Lesotho Sunday, November 3, 2019

leshotho_knowles_01.jpegLectionary Selection:  Luke 19:1-10

Prayers for Lesotho:  

O God, we pray for rain here in Lesotho. I don’t know if you do or don’t work like that—causing rains to come, responding to our petitions for it. I’ve heard some people I love and respect who say you do, and some who say you don’t. But that doesn’t matter in this prayer. What matters is the rains are long past due, as they have been for the past several years, and it’s causing a heartbreaking dryness that is felt here in this beautiful land. And so we, with all your people and creation here, need to say this to you.

The same thing, O God, is true of prayers for justice, prayers for peace, prayers for prosperity. Khotso, Pula, Nala. (Peace, Rain, Prosperity; Lesotho’s Motto.) We need to say it, God. Saying it doesn’t absolve us of our role in any of it. Zacchaeus had to admit his injustice and the injustice of the system he benefited from, as well as his plan to make things right. But first, he had to climb the tree to see Jesus and get a sense of the salvation coming that way. So for us, O God, we simply say these things in this prayer as our way of climbing that tree: to get a glimpse of your salvation. What comes next—from you, from others, from us—I don’t know.

But I hope it’s rain.

Amen.

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Pray with Colombia Sunday, October 27, 2019

Colombia_Michael_Joseph_Nueva_Venecia_Pedro_copy.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 18:9-14

Prayers for Colombia:  

Loving God,

Today we pray for the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. As they work for the full implementation of the peace accords that seek to bring fighting to an end, may they feel your guiding presence. Encourage them even as they feel like a voice in the wilderness calling for peace. Give them stamina when others become discouraged at the slow pace of peacebuilding. Show them a way forward even when others return to violent confrontation.

May your justice, oh Lord, be known through the work of our partners as they minister to the millions of internally displaced persons in Colombia, as they work for the reintegration of former combatants into civilian life and as they speak out for restorative justice and reconciliation even in the midst of ongoing violence. May your healing touch be felt in their lives and seen through their ministries.

We thank you, God, for the witness of Justapaz and of the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia. Watch over them and give them strength as they witness to your peace with justice in Colombia.

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Pray with Japan Sunday, October 20, 2019

Japan_Martha_Mensendiek_wedding_party.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 18:1-8

Prayers for Japan:  

Dear God,

Today we remember those in Japan who, like the widow in today’s gospel lesson are pleading for their rights.

We remember those who still suffer from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima 8 1/2 years ago - those who still are unable to return home to their beloved communities due to dangerous radiation levels. We stand with the plaintiffs who are deeply hurt and dejected by the recent court decision that ignored their voices and failed to bring justice to those that suffer at the hands of the powerful.

We remember the many migrant workers in Japan who are working long hours, and for refugees waiting for amnesty, anxious about their future. We pray for the rights of foreign workers and refugees in waiting.

We remember those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. May they find the hope and will to live.  We also lift up the families of those whose illness led them to take their own life. May they be comforted and be freed from the blame that families often face.  We pray that all those who struggle with life may be embraced by love and understanding.

In Jesus Christ, we pray,

Amen

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Pray with Kenya Sunday, October 13, 2019

Kenya_Phyllis_Byrd_11.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 17:11-19

Prayers for Kenya:  

God of hope, we pray for the work of The Mission of Hope School - the work they are doing in the community and country as a whole. We pray that quality education would be accessible for all of the young people of Liberia. Amen

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