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Lectionary Selection: Luke 6:17-26
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O God, You are the Great Physician, the healer of body, mind and soul. Continue to pour out your healing grace upon the sick and suffering so they may find relief from pain, recovery from illness, and peace in their hearts. We especially remember the urgent medical needs of Hong Kong’s people and hospitals. We are grateful for the high level of care in the public health system, but there are simply too many patients and not enough doctors, nurses or facilities. Resources are sometimes stretched to the breaking point. May the Hong Kong government and medical community handle this critical problem with wisdom and resolve. May those serving and ministering in the medical sector be given strength to cope with the day’s demands. Just as Jesus must have been overwhelmed at times by the great crowds, may we draw upon divine compassion and power to transform broken lives through Your healing touch. Amen.
Lectionary Selection: Luke 5:1-11
Prayers for Sierra Leone:
O creative God, we are amazed by your awesome ability to transform everyday human functions into sacred acts of hope that draw people closer to you while infusing them with your vision of peace, love and justice.
We ask that you inspire us and give us the courage to move past our fears, limitations, and frustrations that we may trust you with our whole lives and become fishers of people.
Today we pray for our families in Sierra Leone as they continue to strengthen their country and fight for the rights of women and girls. Assist all of us in letting go of troublesome societal norms so we can follow you whole-heartedly, knowing that you will make our lives meaningful and productive. We pray for strength to those who advocate for equality, so all may have long-term, transformational impact.
In the name of our loving and transforming Savior we pray, Amen.
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Lectionary Selection: Luke 4:22-40
Prayers for Lebanon:
God of grace and acceptance, show us how to welcome all we encounter as you have welcomed us into your family. May we receive the newcomers in our communities with open arms as we seek to love the stranger like Jesus. Remind us also of the great needs in our hometowns, as the people closest to us often need care as well. We open our hearts to see each individual as you would see them, looking for ways to show your grace wherever we can.
Master Physician, we look to you as we seek to heal our world from oppression, injustice, and conflict. We see that, even amidst the many challenges facing our world today, there are many hands reaching out and bringing your hope and comfort to those in pain, including those uprooted from their homes or displaced in their own countries as victims of conflict. May we continue to move forward, inspired by the progress we see and determined to bring peace to each of our communities.
We pray for Lebanon and the other countries of the Middle East region, that their leaders would be moved to find peaceful solutions in this evolving context. Would those in power see the inherent value in each human life and work toward societies in which each human life is honored. And would all who seek peace in the region know that your justice will be its foundation.
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Lectionary Selection: Luke 4:14-21
Prayers for Germany:
Lord, our brother Jesus was rejected by the people who thought they knew him best – his hometown folk. They couldn’t believe that one of their own could have anything of worth to say to this tiny village. Freedom from poverty, oppression, illness? What nonsense; what audacity. Seventy-four years ago, you called Germany, decimated by the moral atrocity of the Holocaust, back into life. Clear-headed leaders, former enemies, came together to create a democracy with a socially just mandate. Now, though only a fraction of the size of the United States, Germany’s just society is unraveling as increasingly fewer people take over the resources of the land. Fear of and hatred for the stranger is on the rise. The numbers of children and elderly living in poverty increase yearly. We call on you, God, to help this nation restore its mandate of justice for all. Help us to take seriously our responsibility for each other’s welfare, knowing that in you, there are no national borders; that we are all one in your eyes. Help us, as US citizens and witnesses to the same ills in our own land, to be sisters and brothers together in the work of creating a just world for all; help us to be servants in building up the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Lectionary Selection: John 2:1-11
Prayers for Democratic Republic of Congo:
We thank you for answering so many prayers on December 30, 2018, Election Day in DR Congo. A day spared from widespread violence and upheaval. We thank you for protecting all of the volunteer election observers serving under the Churches of Christ in Congo (known by its French acronym, ECC), one of three Global Ministries’ partners in DR Congo. We are grateful that most ECC election observers were mostly young adult leaders in the church, a sign that you are raising up a generation ready to embrace peaceful change and transformation in DR Congo.
We pray for resolution of the ebola crisis in DR Congo’s eastern provinces, now the second most deadly outbreak of the disease on record. May the violence that continues to hamper the response cease so that health workers can reach villages cut off by armed militias.
We praise you for pastors in the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) who labored for decades teaching and preaching the Gospel and also worked to bring improved healthcare, clean water, food security, and other development priorities to their faith communities.
Finally, we thank you for the example of Dr. Mugweli, a Congolese obstetrician and recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, for his transformative work with women traumatized by sexual violence. May his call for unity and democracy be heard in DR Congo and the world as well.
In Jesus name, Amen
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Lectionary Selection: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Prayers for Greece:
Loving God, Creator of the heavens and earth, we come before you today with hearts filled with hope for the New Year – one more just and loving than the last. Despite the chaos in our lives and our world, we know you are with us as we work to embody your radical love.
Things are constantly evolving in our world: people seeking refuge continue to flee their homelands, neighbors are reaching out to help however they can, political systems continue to fail those in the most need, and brave individuals relentlessly speak out against injustice. In the midst of all this, the Evangelical Church in Greece seeks to be a advocate for those who are pushed to the margins of society, working together with entire communities to build a stronger world.
Today we hold the Evangelical Church in Greece in our hearts as they work to be faithful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday, for all God’s people. This is not always easy work, but You call us to be daily examples of Your radical love in the world.
As we go forth in the world today, may we continue to hold our global Christian family in our hearts and minds. Help us, O God, to turn this sense of connection and inspiration into practical action in our local communities.
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Lectionary Selection: Matthew 2:1-12
Prayers for Mexico:
Mother and Father God,
Today, we thank you for the gift of the wise men, who showed such courage not only in taking the steps to begin their journey but also in deciding to not return to Herod. Let these wise men be our guiding star this holiday season as we attempt to continue to discern what is good and right in the world.
Dearest God, help us to continue to do what is right and not what is easy. We ask for your blessing as Mexico goes through this time of transitioning to a new president. We also pray for Melel Xojobal and the educators there who tirelessly fight for the rights of children in Chiapas.
Thank you, today and always, for giving the wise men, who listened to your voice and followed their hearts.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Lectionary Selection: Luke 2:41-52
Prayers for Kenya:
The restoration work of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) in the restoring the earth in a massive tree planting throughout Africa and giving communities alternative cooking sources so that trees are not cut for charcoal.
The restoration work of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as the reach out to Anglophone Cameroon and offer Church leadership a room in their guesthouse to come and rest/reflect/rejuvenate.
The restoration of a staff member of the Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa who is from Anglophone Cameroon. Her brother waskidnapped a week ago and they had to pay a ransom to get him back. (He was not been retuned) Pray for the people of Cameroon.
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Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
Prayers for the Philippines:
God of mercy and steadfast love, incline your ears to the cry and anguish of your suffering people. They have suffered so much from the hands of the haughty and the mighty, and many of them are dying before their time. Many are without bread and hungry even as they labor day and night in the fields and factories, while others are wallowing in wealth and affluence. The farmers, such as that of Lupang Ramos, have given their sweat and labors to till the land, but they are under threat of eviction. The Lumads, the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, and other indigenous communities around the world, have been displaced from their ancestral domains in the name of development. Many lives have been wasted, especially the lowly ones, in the name of the war on drugs and in the name of peace.
Knowing your mighty acts of liberation and your steadfast love, we come to you to with our prayers and hopes. As in the past, we trust that you will bring down the mighty from their thrones, lift up the lowly from the mire of misery, and fill the hungry with good things.
With your ever-present Holy Spirit, comfort your people in their hours of tribulation that they may not waiver in their hopes and empower them to conspire with others in the work of helping usher your peaceable and livable world.
This we pray in the Name of the One who was crucified and resurrected with the people. Amen.
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Lectionary Selection: Luke 3:7-18
Prayers for Ghana:
Spirit of compassion, Spirit of giving, Spirit of change, on this Third Sunday of Advent we hear the message of John calling us to change our lives from self-serving to compassion.
This day as we lift-up the people of Ghana, may we learn from them the willingness to freely be giving of ourselves, to be open to the hospitality of others, and to learn that together we can make God’s world a better place. May we learn the joy of going out of our way in the service to others. We give thanks for the people of Ghana to teach us.
We also pray for our partner, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, especially, the faculty and students of the seminary at Peki. May their ministry of compassion and caring continue through their service to the people in Ghana.