Weekly Prayers

Pray with East Timor Sunday, October 6, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 17:5-10

Prayers for East Timor:  

Loving God, in our fractured world you have brought us together with partners all over the world. You call us to unity and make us one in the sharing of bread and cup, the water of baptism and meditation on your Word. You ask us to be your people wherever we are. We are thankful for all that we learn from all our global partners. On this day we pray for the Protestant Church of East Timor. We ask that you lead and guide them in their ministry of the Word. Bestow upon its ministers wisdom, patience, and courage. Strengthen the faith of its members. Bless the clinic workers, teachers, and young people. May their ministries in your name be salt and light for all your children in East Timor. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Pray with Nicaragua Sunday, September 29, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 16:1-13

Prayers for Nicaragua: 

Dear God, help us to be faithful to you and our siblings in times of need. May your grace give us strength and commitment to serve your cause and to do it with honesty, transparency, and a sense of justice. Deliver us from intentions that move away from your will and teach us your path of peace, love, and hope. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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Pray with Hong Kong Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hong_Kong_Judy_CHan_protest_at_airport.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 16:1-13

Prayers for Hong Kong:  

O God, we know one day each of us must stand before you to give an accounting of our lives. How did we manage the responsibilities you entrusted to us? How did we handle the resources you placed in our hands? What did we give back to you in return for all you have given us? Whether we have little or much, may we be faithful in all things. O Lord, during this time of protest and unrest in Hong Kong, pour out your grace and wisdom on both sides of the political divide. Help everyone to seek the common good, rather than insist on their own way. Open their hearts and minds to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and a just outcome for the city’s seven million residents. In the midst of the anger, fear, and exhaustion, show us the way forward. For truly, we cannot serve two masters. Only you God are worthy of our total devotion. Only you God can provide eternal answers for our earthly troubles. May we put our trust and hope in you alone as we serve all your people in the name of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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Pray with Italy Sunday, September 15, 2019

Italy_Mediterranean_Hope_Aboard_Open_Arms.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 16:1-10

Prayers for Italy:  

Loving God,

We live in confusing times when we often crave simplicity and black and white thinking can seem attractive. We can be slow to get informed, slow to think for ourselves and slow to express an alternative view.

Italy_Mediterranean_Hope_Open_Arms.jpgYet we are called to live by kingdom values and not to take the easy way out.

So we pray for ourselves, and for the people of Italy, who are faced with momentous choices about the direction their country should take, to act with integrity. We pray that, notwithstanding the current political crisis, Italian leaders would work to make the best of a difficult situation, and would be careful stewards of the country’s fragile economy. Italy_Mediterranean_Hope_Aboard_Open_Arms_(2).jpgWe pray for strong alliances, however uneasy, whose success does not depend on trampling on the rights of the weakest.

We pray for our partner, the Waldensian Church, working in tandem with the Methodist Church and Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, and its vital work to relieve the situation for migrants traveling to and settling in Italy. We thank you for the example it has set in developing humanitarian corridors through which vulnerable migrants can safely travel. We pray that the corridors might extend across Europe, and that sister churches would feel called to participate by hosting migrants and by lobbying their own governments for change.

We pray that our siblings in Italy might continue to stand up for the rights of the marginalized. We pray for courage and tenacity when criticism is fierce. We pray for constructive dialogue with those who are most hostile. We pray that, through the witness of those working to improve the lot of those on the fringes, others might know the compassion and love of our Lord.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

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Pray with Thailand Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lectionary Selection: Luke 14:25-35

Prayers for Thailand:

Thailand_Anne_Gregory_The_Beloved_Community_-_visiting_a_member_in_the_hospital.jpeg

You ask us, Gracious God, through the words of Jesus, to “count the cost” of the holy journey. Help us to appreciate the freedom that comes from placing our life and our hopes in your hands, God of mercy. Let us, like the Christians in Thailand, be brave enough to appreciate “sacrifice,” and to trust that the Way of Jesus brings new life and beloved community. Then let us be that community for others, through Christ. Amen.

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Pray with Lesotho Sunday, September 1, 2019

Lesotho_Danielle_Murry_Knowles_02.jpgLectionary Selection: Luke 14:1, 7-14

Prayers for Lesotho: 

O God, we pray for Lesotho, a country that holds both spectacular beauty and stark challenges within its borders.

We are grateful for the magnificence of the mountains and the alluring austerity of the lowlands in mid-winter. We thank you for the richness and goodness of life lived, from the chaotic hustle and bustle of marketplaces to the isolation and solitude of expansive grazing lands. We are grateful for your presence in us and among us.

We pray for farmers who painstakingly wait months for rain to fall so that they can plant their crops. We pray for herd boys, as young as four years old, who spend days alone with their sheep on high, sunny, windswept mountain slopes. We pray for pregnant women who travel from remote villages to reside among strangers at hospitals for weeks before their babies are born. We pray for men who leave their loved ones for months at a time to labor in the dangerous mines of South Africa. We pray for laborers who make the heavy choice to leave their beloved homeplaces in order to seek better economic opportunities in lowland cities. We pray for those who have too many funerals to attend on the same Saturday, who must choose which loved-one’s burial they witness.

Lesotho_Danielle_Murry_Knowles_05.jpgIn this time of political unrest, we pray for government leaders, that there will be an end to warring party factions, instability, and corruption. We pray for wise and honest leadership that will direct Lesotho toward justice, prosperity, and peace.

We pray for the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) as it seeks to live out God’s call to minister to the poor and marginalized. Give them vision as they prepare for their annual Pilgrimage of Peace and Justice in October. Guide them in developing new ways of communicating their Strategic Plan. Watch over those involved in the implementation of church projects from the completion of church halls and pastors houses to the delivery of furniture and toilets to schools that need them, to the improvement of spaces for waiting mothers at health institutions.

We pray for justice, that all people are invited to the table, that all are welcomed and honored.

Amen.

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Pray with El Salvador Sunday, August 25, 2019

El_Salvador_Violeta_Rocha_03.jpegLectionary Selection:  Luke 13:10-17

Prayers for El Salvador:  

We thank God for this woman hunched over from the Gospel of Luke, who impresses us with her strength to remain visible in spite of the bend in her back in religious and social spaces and at the same time invisible because of the reality of exclusion in her society and religion for 18 years.

We thank God for the Salvadoran women who have written a great part of the history of this country, many of them being invisible for the marks that violence has left and that still leaves on their bodies, and visible for their persistence in their faith, participation, and construction of peace.

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Pray with the Philippines Sunday, August 18, 2019

Philippines_Eleazar_Fernandez_01.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 12:49-56

Prayers for the Philippines:  

Our land is bleeding, O God, as well as your people. We raise to you our pains and laments!

Extractive industries continue to expose the veins of the earth, mine its wealth, plunder its resources, destroy its ecosystem, and displace the indigenous peoples. Those who resist are often silenced. The Philippines has now topped others countries in the numbers of people killed in defense of land and the environment. Pile of dead bodies, especially indigenous people and environmental defenders, continue to rise. God, hear our cries.

Beyond natural calamities and poverty, the war on drugs and counter-insurgency campaign have already claimed the lives of many, especially the poor and the marginalized sectors of our society. In recent weeks, a surge of killings happened on the island of Negros, and perpetrators continue their killing spree with impunity. Hear our cries, O God.

Help us, just and loving God, to see the signs of your presence in the midst of our troubled society. Remind us that violent reaction is the usual default of the power wielders and social division is a reality when the good news is preached to the disenfranchised.

In the hours of trial empower and sustain us with your steadfast love, dear God, so we can continue to hold on to what is right, and let your spirit guide us to faithfulness. Amen.

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Pray with Guatemala Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 12:32-40

Prayers for Guatemala:  

Pray with the pleas of your Latin American brothers and sisters:
Ana Paula: May people who are faith committed raise their prophetic voice with the organized communities that are caring for Creation.
Franklin David: May our Disciples of Christ and United Churches of Christ churches of the United States add their commitment of faith in the intercontinental campaign against environment killing companies. Earth, water, forest, and life call us to be prophets of a new day. That day will come, if your hands, your voice, and your spirit become flesh and blood in us.
Victor: May the Creator be peace, hope, strength, and wisdom for the caretakers and defenders of water and Creation so that we can face the threats of death with great energy, strategy, and life, mainly with hope.

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Pray with Japan Sunday, August 4, 2019

Japan_Jeff_Mensendiek_Camp_one.jpegLectionary Selection:  Luke 12:13-21

Prayers for Japan:  

God, who speaks to us through parables,

Jesus told a parable about a rich fool who looked upon his blessings and then went about building himself a new barn where he could store his crops. Life had been good to him so he told himself, “Relax, eat, drink, and be merry,” for he was pleased with what he had. But the fool didn’t know how to see beyond himself. He didn’t know how to be rich toward God. God, grant us the vision to look beyond ourselves, the wisdom to live for your kingdom, and the courage to live toward a future of blessing for all of your Creation. Amen

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