Weekly Prayers

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.

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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

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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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Pray with Mexico, Sunday, July 19, 2020

mexico_cindy_moraga-selva_IMG_20200314_175818123.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43

Prayers for Mexico:  

Thank you, God, Father, and Mother of creation, for allowing us to be participants of your kingdom of justice, mercy, and faithfulness to you.

Thank you for revealing the mysteries of your kingdom through your Gospel that reveals the good news of life and liberation.

Thank you for the communion and solidarity that unite us like wheat from the same sower, recognizing us as the same body, a sign of your presence in the world.

Thank you for your Gospel that reminds us that your kingdom of life and justice has arrived, that it is a reality in this world wounded by personal and social sin.

By reading your Gospel, we want to affirm our commitment to your work, as is it presented to us in the parables as a precious gift. We want to collaborate in your mission to promote and defend life, living like Jesus, passionate about life. We want to be like the grain of wheat, which must die to bear abundant fruit and be reborn to a new and full life. We want to become bread that is broken and shared as a sign of justice and mercy.

We pray that your kingdom will come to us, and the world can enjoy a time (Kairos) of blessing, health, and renewal. May your realm come! And with it, a time of conversion, a time of profound and radical changes so that peace and justice can be reborn. May your kingdom of life encourage us to follow the example of Jesus, who came to bring us full and abundant life, who opposed everything that denies presence, and who gave himself for the love of the world. Amen.

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Pray with Kenya, Sunday, July 12, 2020

nairobimg4.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23

Prayers for Kenya:  

Almighty God, who shows love to all creation, we come before you in this very difficult time to ask for your mercy upon us. Matthew’s message to early believers was to comfort them in their faith and to give them boldness, knowing that a faithful life is always rewarded.

As we read the gospel of Matthew, we understand that soil represents those who hear the word and our hearts are the centers that embrace the good news. We fight against the devil who tries to distract us from listening and keeping your word in our hearts. We endure difficulties and persecution, but you always stand by our side.

Just as a planted seed starts to grow, your word does the same by taking root within our lives. Most of the time, our lives are not pleasing to you because we sometimes focus on things that distract us from following your ways. We humbly come before you to ask for forgiveness. The uncertain future due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a life of despair and worry. We ask for your comfort as we seek ways to live with the pandemic since no solution has been found yet.

We come before you asking for intervention as the number of infected people is still growing in Kenya. We pray that your healing hand be upon those who are infected. We pray that an effective medicine to combat the sickness be speedily found. We pray for the relevant governments and health authorities, that they take appropriate steps for the good of the people. Look upon us in your mercy and forgive us our sins.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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Pray with Puerto Rico, Sunday, July 5, 2020

Lectionary Selection:  Matt.11:16-19, 25-30

Prayers for Puerto Rico:  

God, Creator of what we see and what we cannot see, we praise your name and give all glory to you. As we serve your calling in Puerto Rico, many only see what is missing, and are blind to your mercy and grace. Thank you for your call to serve in ministry and mission partnership at the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico. The call was made based on what you have prepared us to do and not on what we or others wanted to be done.

Today, we serve a community recovering from hurricanes, earthquakes, financial distress, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that the strength, willingness, and eagerness to provide comfort, shelter, and food and to share your loving gospel was not ours but only yours. And through them, you made us a living testimony of your mercy, your love, and your blessing to all people in Puerto Rico.

We ask for the steady stream of your overflowing grace to be poured over “The Enchanted Island.” As we continue to serve this portion of your kingdom, may our words be light to condemn but strong and heavy to comfort. Amen.

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Pray with the Philippines Sunday, June 28, 2020

Philippines_prayer.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matthew 10:40-42

Prayers for the Philippines:  

Wellspring of Life and Love, we come to you with hearts grieving, tears flowing, voices trembling, and hands shaking. We are overwhelmed by torrents of life’s challenges: natural (and not so natural) disasters compounded by human actions that destroy our life support system as a whole and by those who feed on the flesh of the most vulnerable members of our society.

Of the many challenges that we as a people in the Philippines are facing and in solidarity with others around the world, we are raising our laments and questions. Help us, dear Spirit of Wisdom, to find some answers to our anguished questions:

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Pray with Israel/Palestine, Sunday, June 21, 2020

Palestine_IMG_1402_copy.jpegLectionary Selection:  Matthew 10:24-39

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:  

Jesus, when you spoke of times of trial to come, you didn’t mince words: hatred, betrayal, persecution, hidden secrets revealed, sparrows falling, hairs counted, a sword, and family division. During this time of trial—pandemic threat, political divide, created chaos and violence around the world—calm our hearts and clear our minds as you open our ears to hear you say again, “Be not afraid.” 

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Pray with the Dominican Republic, Sunday, June 14, 2020

Lectionary Selection:  Genesis 18:1-15
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Prayers for the Dominican Republic:  

Dear Heavenly Parent,

In this time of fear and uncertainty, please hear our prayers. In this time of the pandemic, where we feel separated both physically and emotionally, let us handle your presence. Remind us also of the importance of loving and caring for our neighbors. In times of social distancing, enlighten us with new ways to pull our neighbors in and break with them our finest bread. Teach us new ways to wash our neighbors' feet when we are focused on washing our own hands. 

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Most of all, Lord, we pray for strength. Give us the power to live in your plans for us. When we laugh in the face of dreams, teach us to see ourselves in the manner in which you see us. Remind us that we are created in your image, and there is no task too big for us to accomplish with Your divine counsel. As we long for a return to normalcy, allow us to envision a new normal that better cares Your kingdom on Earth and all of your children who inhabit it.

Be with us in all we do in Your Heavenly name,

Amen

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