Weekly Prayers

Pray with Jamaica, Sunday, June 7, 2020

Jamaica_Rachel_Pellet_churchinjamaicacovid19.jpgLectionary Selection:  Genesis 1:1-2, 4a

Prayers for Jamaica:  

Creator God, Light and Love, we acknowledge your goodness – as simply part of the essence of your very being, and the goodness of your inexhaustible loving-kindness towards us, your creation, your children, your beloved. Lord of Light and Love, we return love to you. Spirit, we thank you for your abiding companionship. Hover over us. We reach back out to you for comfort and encouragement. Lead us and guide us. We acknowledge your presence in all places, with all people, in all things, and ask for wisdom. We lift up those who are in a process of discernment, those planning and organizing for the “re-opening” of churches, and congregations that have already started to physically meet together again, in the eeriness of COVID-19. Today, we join in prayer with our brothers and sisters in this work in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. As pastors, lay leaders, elders, volunteers, etc., serving you through the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI), and staff at the UCJCI head office together with them, respond to put into place all of the government’s advisement for precautions to assemble in-person safely, we ask for your provision: in addition to wisdom, for courage where needed and caution as needed; for the excitement that brings a breath of new life for those who have grown weary, and for sobered sensitivity and compassion for those who will greet and support others still grieving; for the financial and material resources to make safety for all possible; for Your Spirit that transforms a worship service into a Holy encounter with you. Empower your people, oh God our Creator, Lord of Love and inextinguishable Light in any darkness. You know exactly what is needed, so our prayer is simple and short. Creator God, Comforter and Christ, even as you are all that we need, would you be ever-present in a powerful and palpable way for our siblings in Jamaica and Cayman, now (as many make plans and gather together again) and always. And for those yet unable – for whom the risk of COVID-19 is still too great – we ask that you would make them ever-present on our hearts and minds, so that we can be part of your plan to provide emotionally, physically, and spiritually to them as well. One with you, may we be in tune with your Spirit to partner with you in care for all of creation, to be Light and Love to our siblings in Christ by your goodness and strength. Amen.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Thailand, Sunday, May 31, 2020

thailand_anne_gregory_IMG_1380.jpgLectionary Selection:  Acts 2:1-21

Prayers for Thailand:  

Why is it, O God of the Breath, that your Spirit blows where it will, and we never know what is coming next? Thank you for the living power of your Spirit, because when we are filled, we are free to follow and adapt, and even give thanks, when everything seems to be blowing and changing so quickly.

thailand_anne_gregory_IMG_1377.jpgWe pray with thanksgiving for the people of Thailand, who have long had the gift of adapting and thriving in a world of constant change.  Let their redoubled commitment to mutual encouragement and to “a cool heart” be a beacon to the world in this time of trouble. Let their concern for the larger world be a gift of hope, and let that hope be part of your work to draw all the people of the world together to be stewards of life and love and healing—throughout the whole wide earth. We pray through the Risen Christ, Amen.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Mexico, Sunday, May 24, 2020

mexico_carlos_sediles_real_Taller_iglesia_en_Ciudad_de_México.jpgen Español

Lectionary Selection:  John 17:1-11

Prayers for Mexico: 

God, source of love and protection who tenderly comforts and encourages us in the most difficult of hours, in this time of global anguish we turn to you, our Father and Mother, with the confidence that we are your daughters and sons. From Mexico, we join in prayer with sisters and brothers around the world, to glorify your name through our mission of service and dedication. We are sent as your son, Jesus, to manifest and sanctify your name, giving you glory in fulfilling your will. Thank you for the gifts you share with your community, and for the new and abundant life through Jesus Christ. United as one body in diversity, we take on the mission of witnessing to your presence in the world. May the world know you through our testimonies, and by knowing you, they may enjoy the life that comes from you (John 17:3).

Although Jesus' most famous prayer is probably The Lord's Prayer, in this chapter of the Gospel of John, we find one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible. After a long speech in which Jesus bids farewell to his own, we have the "Priestly Prayer." Jesus "raises his eyes to heaven" to address the Father as a beloved son. It is in the trust of this caring and loving relationship of Father and Son that Jesus can fulfill his mission and put his future and that of his community in God's hands. It is faith that can give us the confidence to collaborate in God's purpose for the world, and trust to be able to rest and have peace, for it is the Father who takes care of his own (John 17:11).

Through this prayer, Christian communities in Mexico continue to proclaim their faith in Jesus as the envoy of God, who now sends communities into the world to continue the mission. Although they are deprived of Jesus' physical presence, they will be encouraged by his Spirit to continue his living presence, to bear witness to the light that has come into the world to give us full and abundant life. The eternal life that comes from God (the only eternal one) consists of knowing God through his envoy, Jesus Christ (John 17:3). It is the community of believers who, with their works of compassion and solidarity, reveal the God of Jesus. The world will finally believe and live through the testimony of Jesus' disciples (John 17:21).

In times of anguish, pain, and death throughout the world, churches in Mexico have come together in prayer and action for the most vulnerable sectors of their communities. Inspired by the gospel of Jesus, we have witnessed the unity and mobilization of Christians in Mexico, to respond to the different needs that arise from the COVID19 pandemic. Once again, Jesus' prayer in John 17 takes meaning and is ever-present; it embodies the life and witness experiences of many churches in Mexico and around the world.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Lebanon, Sunday, May 17, 2020

Lectionary Selection:  John 14:15-21

Prayers for Lebanon:  

Abundant and abiding God,

We often think of Easter as a culmination – of the season of Lent, of Jesus’ life. Yet you remind us that our work is not complete. In this time of uncertainty and global crisis, it is even more evident that the good news of Easter is not that something is ending, but that something even greater is just beginning.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Kenya, Sunday, May 10, 2020

kenya.jpgLectionary Selection:  John 14:1-14

Prayers for Kenya:  

Lord, you told us to keep heart and not be troubled knowing that you go to prepare a place for us in the Father’s house. We live in this world as pilgrims, as the nation of Kenya goes through a lot of challenges, economically, socially, and financially, we pray Lord that you help your people put their trust in you and you alone.

God, let the leadership of the nation of Kenya be godly and caring the way Jesus cares for His disciples. Let them give hope and encouragement to their people the way our Lord Jesus did to the disciples in times of despair.

Lord, we pray for the nation of Kenya as it now lives in a very difficult moment with the appearance of COVID-19. The future becomes more and more uncertain. Those who trusted in their secured jobs live now in despair, those who accumulated wealth as a way of securing the future are hopeless. Lord, remind us in such situations that you are the solution for all our problems and we have to believe in you.

Lord, Kenya operates in a growing entrepreneurial middle class and steady growth. Its economic development has been impaired unfortunately by weak governance and corruption. We pray God that you illuminate the mind of those in power to seek the welfare of all Kenyans. Corruption is a gangrene that kills the economy, so Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray that you help the leadership of Kenya to appoint leaders of integrity who can work for societal transformation. 

O God, we lift the nation of Kenya to you for the issue of unemployment and under-employment which are extremely high. People normally live day-to-day. With the issue of lockdown because of COVID-19, it becomes very difficult for common people to get daily bread. Lord, you are the provider for the needy, we pray that you provide daily bread for families who cannot afford it.

Because of the tough economy of the country and the lockdown for COVID-19, insecurity has become a serious issue. People who go out for shopping are being attacked by bandits. Lord, we pray for the protection of your people.

Lord, you said if we ask anything in your name you will do it. Hear our prayers, O God, and respond according to you will.

We pray and believe that you have heard our prayers in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Read more
1 reaction Share

Pray with Germany, Sunday, May 3, 2020

germany_1.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 4:14-21

Prayers for Germany:  

God of Mercy, Ground of Being,
when your child Jesus was afraid, knowing the horror that lay in store for him;
when he was humiliated and tortured;
when his friends deserted him;
when he writhed in anguish on a cross designed for a criminal;
when, no longer able to hold himself up, he suffocated and died –
I believe you were with him – you suffered his fear, his loneliness, his agonizing hours.

I believe you are suffering with your children on this frail planet earth today.
Jesus died at the hands of Rome for proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Ignoring the kingdom of heaven, we have built tiny kingdoms of our own with little
regard for your creation.

In this time of isolation, illness, and fear for the future, help us to remember our brother Jesus and his time of trial and 40 days of fasting and isolation in the wilderness; how he had to confront moral choices not unlike our own – the desire for comfort, power and recognition plague us. When slowly we come out of our isolation, our fast of human contact, help us to not forget we are just one of your unnumbered creations. Let us not forget this wilderness time. Help us to be more worthy citizens of our mother earth.

AMEN

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with eSwatini, Sunday, April 26, 2020

eSwatini_Kahala_Cannon_IMG_6266.jpeg

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 24: 13-35

Prayers for eSwatini:  

Heavenly Father,

You are the Lord God who is merciful and compassionate and abounds in lovingkindness and faithfulness. Great is thy faithfulness! You keep your covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love You. And Your mercies never fail! 

Because your mercies never fail, we lay our emotions, burdens, fears, and anxieties at your feet during this time of fear and uncertainty. As we spend time in your abiding Presence, we ask that you build an impenetrable fortress around our hearts and minds with the truth of your word. Your word is true, it is truth and it takes precedence over what we see and hear through various media platforms, or how things appear in the natural.   

eSwatini_Kahala_Cannon_IMG_6278.jpegWe thank you for the many hearts that seek more of you. As we draw near to you, and you draw near to us, give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may know You better. Remove every veil, partition, or erected place that prevents us from knowing the nature of your heart and let us experience the depths of your character as you walk alongside us in the days ahead.

Please pray for:

  • Government officials’ sensitivity to the needs of the people and wisdom to make good decisions.
  • EmaSwati to not panic but rest in God’s peace during this coronavirus pandemic.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Lebanon Sunday, April 19, 2020

Lectionary Selection:  John 20:19-31

Prayers for Lebanon:  

Lebaon_Nishan_Bakalian_IMG_9363_2020-3-23.jpgOur Lord and our God, help us to stop doubting and to believe, even when we huddle behind locked doors, building walls of anxiety that are not a true refuge for our souls. Because of your boundless love you enter our hiding places unhindered and boldly declare, “Peace be with you!” We sit, wounded and paralyzed by our fears and sins, yet you heal us through the wounds you bore for our sake on the cross and victory of your resurrection. As you spoke to Thomas, speak to us now in our doubts and invite us to touch and remember your pain, to receive your forgiveness, to believe, and to go and minister in your name. Send us out into the world, help us bring this message of peace and reconciliation accomplished through your redeeming death. No matter how broken our world is, and no matter how self-centered and fear-driven our societies are, no matter how crushed our spirits are, O Christ, you are still our only hope for peace, forgiveness, and life. We pray in the name of Jesus, our Lord and our God. Amen!

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with East Timor Sunday, April 12, 2020

east_timor_tom_liddle_IMG_20200222_095310.jpg

Lectionary Selection:  John 20:1-18

Prayers for East Timor:

God of all newness, as we face a world of suffering and injustice, despair and cynicism, awaken us to the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Energize us by the power of your Holy Spirit for the renewal of the world. We pray especially for partners in the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). We rejoice in the ways you have sustained them in faith and hope. Therefore we lift up to you their ministries on behalf of the Timorese people. We pray that the witness of our partners would be a source of hope and wholeness for many. God bless and strengthen the women of Clinic Immanuel Lospalos. May their ministry surge forward with healing energy. God bless and strengthen the new leadership of Immanuel Church as well. We pray for their unity in mission and ministry. We also remember the Synod of IPTL as they prepare for the upcoming General Assembly. We ask that you be at work midst the choosing of new leaders and ministry directions. We remember as well that political unrest lurks in East Timor as another government has recently collapsed. Therefore pray, in Easter hope, for unexpected newness and possibility.

In the name of the Crucified and Risen Son, Amen.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Pray with Dominican Republic Sunday, April 5, 2020

Dominican_Republic_Kaitlin_Thompson_IMG_2604.jpgLectionary Selection:  Matthew 26:14-27

Prayers for the Dominican Republic:

Dear Heavenly Creator,

As we approach the joyous occasion of celebrating your son and our living savior's resurrection let us not forget the evening in the upper room when Jesus gathered to break bread with his disciples. Be with us in every breaking of bread as you were with Jesus and the 12 disciples all those years ago. God, as we approach a time of celebration we also cry out to you in pain at injustice. Just as Jesus was betrayed, so we too have been betrayed by those we trusted. Help us to be more like you, and learn to love with a forgiving heart. Be with those who have been exploited, hurt, and forgotten. Be with the children working when their peers are in school learning. Be with the migrant children struggling to adapt to a new land and a new tongue. Be with the young mothers and wives, wrap them in your loving embrace. Be with the girls growing up in a world that belittles them for not being born a son. Be with the boys who feel pain in their hearts and have been taught not to cry out. Be with the students marching in our streets and plazas to demand fair elections, be present with them through your holy spirit of peace and justice. Remind us that whenever two or more are gathered in a place, so you are there too. Let us break bread together in a spirit of unity, not of distrust and betrayal. Help us to love those who have betrayed us and to seek forgiveness in recognition of our own wrongs. Be with us in celebration. Be with us in pain. Lord, we seek nothing but to live our lives in the light of your covenant and rejoice in your merciful forgiveness.

In your holy child's name.

Amen

Read more
Add your reaction Share
United States and CanadaLatin America and the CaribbeanAfricaMiddle East and EuropeSouthern Asia East Asia and the Pacific