Weekly Prayers

Pray with Mexico Sunday, February 2, 2020

mexico_melel_prayer_1.jpgLectionary Selection: Matthew 5:1 - 12

Prayers for Mexico:

God of love, today, in our beautiful and broken world, we pray for softness. In this world where gentle is often synonymous with weak, and where unfeeling is equated with strength, you bless the poor, the meek, and the merciful. Though our society tells us that wealth and power are markers of success, you bless those who strive for righteousness, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers. And so we pray that we too might be soft, tender, and open to your love.

We pray for Mexico, and we pray that we might be good neighbors to our sisters and brothers here – in word, action, and politics. We pray for Melel Xojobal, and that each and every child that comes through this organization feels strong and protected. We pray for the educators that work tirelessly and selflessly to empower and support the children and adolescents of San Cristóbal and the surrounding communities. And we pray that we might really listen to and learn from the children around us, whose voices are tender and too-often silenced.

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Pray with Hungary Sunday, January 26, 2020

Hungary_2004_Evan_Golder_02_copy.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matthew 4:12-23

Prayers for Hungary:

Redeemer God,

We lift up our sisters and brothers in Hungary and those in the refugee integration ministry and the Roma mission of the Reformed Church in Hungary. 

There are many times when we are so caught up in our lives that we forget to look around at the people around us. Today we confess our cold and neglectful nature: We tend to ignore the people who are alone, we run away from those who are sick, we invalidate people according to our own standards, and we refuse to lend a hand to those sitting for 38 years, day and night, alone, waiting to be helped.

There are many people fleeing their homes in search of a safe place to live. However, passages are becoming narrower and harder to pass, and families are being separated along the journey. In Hungary, we pray for the individuals and families who are being neglected and pushed to the margins of society, for those who are being persecuted for their beliefs, for those who have come in search of a better life and a better education for their children.

We are called to do something. We are called to act, to look around at those who are close to us, to those who are hurting.

Give us peace to look around at our hurting neighbors, humble our hearts so that we may do what You are calling us to do, and courage to act as Jesus did.

Amen.

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Pray with Guatemala Sunday, January 19, 2020

Guatemala_home_Paul_Pitcher_copy.jpgLectionary Selection:  John 1:29-42

Prayers for Guatemala:

Supplication by Brayan Alvarado, General Coordinator of the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala:

Lord, today as yesterday, the economy and governments betray the people, putting themselves at the service of those who pay, kill, criminalize, and disable those who defend the law and life. Many, out of fear or blindness, slavishly accommodate the bleak order. We ask you, God, to open the eyes and ears of those who do not see or hear the suffering of your children. Make us sensitive to pain, that we understand that aggression against them is aggression to you. We beseech you, clarity, and courage to do justice to the little ones of this world and guarantee a dignified life.

Supplication of Father Hugo Padilla, Pastor of the San Bautista Episcopal Church:

We beg you to have compassion for the brothers and sisters of San Juan Sacatepéquez who are being victims of the blatant ambition of the cement company, supported by national and international circles of power. Father, they are depriving your people of their lands, regardless of life and legitimate ancestral rights over the territory. Powerful Father, in your compassion, preserve them from the evil that boils in the heart of this ungrateful company, and strengthen the just struggle of the communities of San Juan. Give them the wisdom to face and overcome this evil. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

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Pray with Indonesia Sunday, January 12, 2020

Indonesia_John_Campbell_Nelson_IMG_4735.jpgLectionary Selection: Matthew 3:13-17

Prayers for Indonesia:

O Blessed Creator, You have spread the seas of Indonesia with thousands of islands, each a place of beauty and abundant life. And yet every day our cities pour out pollution, and the sea level rises higher. The burning of forests for palm oil plantations fills the air with carbon and darkens the sun, while your people struggle to find enough clean water to drink, cook, and bathe.  Corruption subverts our best efforts to restore the beauty of Your creation. Baptize Your world once again—clean our air, clean our water, clean our politics and our economy, clean our hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who was baptized in order to share all our burdens. Amen.

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Pray with Israel/Palestine Sunday, January 5, 2020

Lectionary Selection: John 1:10-18

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:  

O Son of God, begotten of the Father before all things began, God of God, Light of Light, we praise and glorify you for taking upon yourself our human form and coming to live among us. We thank you for your light that shines in our dark and troubled world. We rejoice in the promise that your light has forever overcome the darkness of sin and evil. May this be fulfilled in our land that we may again see your glory. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

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Pray with Hong Kong Sunday, December 29, 2019

Flight_to_Egypt_2.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matthew 2:13-23

Prayers for Hong Kong:  

Dear Lord, we remember today all those who must flee their homeland because of threats of violence, persecution, and death. Just as the baby Jesus and his parents fled from King Herod’s wrath, millions of refugees and asylum seekers around the world are seeking security and protection in a foreign land. Who are the angels who will watch over their perilous journey? Where are the wise men and women who will thwart the evil powers? O, God, we remember the thousands of asylum seekers in Hong Kong from faraway lands in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Though most have little hope of mercy from the Hong Kong government, they live and move and have their being among us. Many come from countries experiencing civil unrest, human rights abuse, military crackdowns, and war for longer than we can imagine. You know their names even if we do not. Give us a heart of compassion and a spirit of justice so they might live in dignity while in Hong Kong. Console all the weeping mothers and fathers whose children are no more. Receive into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love, and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

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Pray with Colombia Sunday, December 22, 2019

Lectionary Selection: Matthew 1:18-25

Prayers for Colombia:  

Loving God,

Today we pray for the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. Their resolute commitment to work for peace and the victims of violence has put them in harm's way. We remember today that you came to us in the fragility of a newborn baby, and we pray for all life around the world. May the prince of peace accompany our partners in Colombia and all countries that face the challenges of war and violence this Christmas season.

Today we are reminded that you have come to be with us, oh God, Emmanuel. May your presence in our lives and in the lives of our friends from Colombia push us toward justice and peace. Your love can overcome all division, can heal all wounds, and can restore all those who have suffered harm with loving justice.

We thank you, God, for the witness of Justapaz and of the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia. Encourage them and give them strength this Christmas as they share your love in the country of Colombia.

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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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