Weekly Prayers

Pray with East Timor, Sunday, May 12, 2019

East_Timor_Vijay_IMG_0180.JPGLectionary Selection:  John 10:22-30

Prayers for East Timor:  

Good and gracious Shepherd, we have heard your voice and your invitation to follow. From day to day, in many and diverse ways, you walk alongside us. You are at work in the rising of the sun and its setting. The intricacies of creation and human relationships show forth your presence with us. And for that, we give you thanks. On this day, we lift up to you the people of Timor-Leste. We pray for the Protestant Church of Timor Leste and especially it’s vital ministry Clinic Immanuel Lospalos. Bless us with your wisdom, patience, and compassion. Guide us that with each person we consult we would see your own face. Amen.

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Pray with Lebanon Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lebanon_Nishan_Bakalian_IMG_0149.jpegLectionary Selection:  John 21:1-19

Prayers for Lebanon:  

Dear Lord and Savior, Friend and Brother, standing by the edge of the water with your eye and heart fixed upon us, now hear our prayer as we immerse ourselves in the busy-ness of the day, trying to forget how abandoned we feel in this heartless world.

Though we wish to be with you today in Paradise, instead we find ourselves here on Earth, continuing the struggle to live each day no matter what may befall us, to serve you alongside the least of our sisters and brothers, to preserve hope in you amid every pressure to which we are subjected by powers, seen and unseen.

Remember your church in Lebanon today, as it carries your light to a society staggering under mistrust, corruption, selfishness, nearby wars, lack of reckoning with the past, abuse of nature and misuse of your name.

Open our ears as you lead us in casting our nets to gather an abundant catch of love and truth. Open our eyes to see that you have already prepared a table of fellowship to refresh and renew us. Open our hearts and our lips, to declare, even in our human frailty, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” And empower us to demonstrate that love with our whole lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

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Pray with Kenya Sunday, April 28, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  John: 20:19-31

Prayers for Kenya:  

Lord, in our fear and despair, your comfort is always with your people in Kenya and the rest of the African continent. You always intervene in our difficult situations when we have no idea about what will happen.

Your presence is enough to heal the wounded hearts and make happy those who are sad. Help your people to move from unbelief and believe in your promises. When we are stuck by unbelief or doubt or even a sense of failure, the worst we can do is to seek solitude, to be alone with our doubts and worries.

Let not our faith depend on what we see. As a mother moves away from her little child to encourage her to walk, we believe that you left the disciples to learn to walk by faith. We also want this to be a reality for us today.

Whenever someone is saved, we know that Christ came out of the grave because it is Christ alone who can save a man. Whenever someone is transformed, that he/she leaves his/her old life, that he/she begins to walk according to the Word of God and in holiness, we know that Christ is risen because only Christ can transform a mankind and make him/her able to obey the command of God.

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Pray with Israel/Palestine Sunday, April 21, 2019

Israel_Palestine_Sara_Makari_Easter_Sunrise_Service_on_Mt._of_Olives.jpegLectionary Selection: John 20:1-18

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:  

Gracious God, our Heavenly Father, by the resurrection of your beloved Son, Jesus our Lord, you have turned sadness into joy, doubt into faith, anxiety into peace, darkness into light, and despair into hope.

We pray today for our neighbors in Palestine and Israel who work unceasingly for justice and peace but feel continually defeated by hopelessness, and cannot see light beyond the tunnels of mounting injustice and oppression. Grant them the fortitude not only to endure but to persist in seeking and pursuing those things that make for a just peace. Deliver all your children from the powers of evil that generate prejudice, hatred, racism, social disorder, violence, and a life less abundant for all.

We pray especially for those who are crushed by systems of injustice, those who are stripped of their human rights, those unemployed or deprived of a decent living, those who are marginalized, those coping with depression or fighting addiction, and others who turn to violence as a form of resistance. We pray also for those acting out an attitude of chosenness or supremacy and, by so doing, they disregard your image in their fellow-human beings. Lord, have mercy.  

We pray, too, for political leaders in our region, in our own land, and around the world many of whom may be driven by their own lust for power and are blinded to needs of the people they are called to serve. Touch their hearts and show them the way of your Son who came and lived to proclaim liberty to the captive, to heal the broken-hearted, to bring good news to the poor, and to give sight to the blind. May the victory of your love manifest in the resurrection of our Lord deepen our own faith and empower our living hope to serve you with determination and courage, and to live out the prayer we often utter: “Your kingdom come!”

Amen.

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Pray with Mexico on April 14, 2019

Mexico_2006_Felix_Ortiz_05.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 19:28-40

Prayers for Mexico:  

We can be kind by David Friedman

So many things I can't control,
So many hurts that happen every day.
So many heartaches that pierce the soul,
So much pain that won't ever go away.
How do we make it better?
How do we make it through?
What can we do when there's nothing we can do?

            Chorus:

            We can be kind.
            We can take care of each other.
            We can remember that deep down inside
            We all need the same thing.
            And maybe we'll find
            If we are there for each other
            That together we'll weather whatever tomorrow may bring.

Nobody really wants to fight,
Nobody really wants to go to war.
If everyone wants to make things right
Then what are we always fighting for?
Does nobody want to see it?
Does nobody understand?
The power to heal is right here in our hands.

And it's not enough to talk about it.
Not enough to sing a song.
We must walk the walk about it
You and I,
Do or die,
We've got to try to get along.

We can be kind.

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Pray with Thailand Sunday, April 7, 2019

Thailand_Chapel_Service_at_McGilvary_College_of_Divinity.JPGLectionary Selection:  John 12:1-8

Prayers for Thailand: 

O God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change. There is trouble and devastation all around this world, O God. We pray for the people of Thailand at a time when industrialization is harming the air. We pray for all leaders who are trying to find the best ways to respond. We ask, too, that all of us can be part of cleansing this earth that you have made, so that all living things may have a future. Give us the power to make sacrifices that honor you, and that honor this earth, our home. In all these things we thank you because of Jesus Christ, who never allowed obstacles to stand in the way of his work of compassion and redemption. Amen.

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Pray with Zambia Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32

Prayers for Zambia:  

O, Heavenly Father, we confess that, like the Prodigal Son, we are wanderers. We are always longing for something else. We seek novelty. We want something different, something exciting. Always we want more... more than we have, more than we need, more than our competitors, more than we deserve. You know our deep failings. Forgive us for taking advantage of your grace without real contrition. We know it is your nature to love and forgive and we are like wayward children. In the end, though, we know it is only your love that will satisfy and can restore us to health and life.

So, here we are to ask yet another favor. We ask for our friends, your servants in Zambia. Our lives here are precarious. There is so much sickness and suffering. Many people experience poverty and injustice and are in danger of losing hope, losing their way, falling from your strong arms. Today we beg for you to act on our cold, self-centered, and idolatrous hearts. Unworthy though we are, show us how we can reach out with greater love to the least of our sisters and brothers, your own family here. Show us the way home to the place where you reign and dispense real riches among us.

We ask these mercies in Jesus’ blessed name. AMEN.

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Pray with Mexico Sunday, March 24, 2019

Mexico_Carlos_Sediles_66944_o.jpegLectionary Selection:  Luke 13:1-9

Prayers for Mexico:  

God of grace and mercy,

Amid pain and death, you accompany us with your saving presence. Assuming our humanity, you stand in solidarity with the causes of oppression and injustice.

Forgive us for being indifferent and for our lack of faith and commitment to justice. Teach us to be sensitive to the many situations of violence and despair that many of our brothers and sisters experience around the world.

Open our eyes to see the new opportunities you offer us in your grace. Encourage us to transform the realities of death for signs of life and hope.

We accept with gratitude your protection and your care, recognizing that in your mercy we can find the joy and peace we need. Fill us with your Spirit so that in it we can bear the fruit of love and justice.

May the word of the gospel that we share help us to find ourselves with God's grace and mercy. Help us overcome our vision of retribution, which makes us believe that God only helps the "good" and punishes the "sinners." Cause us to live a genuine life of conversion (metanoia), where change occurs not only our mind but also our heart.

May the gospel be good news for those who seek new opportunities. The fig tree in the parable was in a privileged situation. It was not unusual in Jesus' time to see fig trees and other fruit trees in the vineyards. The good land was scarce, and it had to be used well; the fig tree had good opportunities, but it did not take advantage of them. This story echoes with the overabundance of God's grace. We pray that when the Lord of the vineyard comes, God will find fruits in our lives: fruits of conversion, mercy, and justice.

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Pray with Nicaragua Sunday, March 17, 2019

Nicaragua_Jeanette_Salley_Children's_Sunday.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 13:31-35

Prayers for Nicaragua:  

Oh God our God how excellent is thy name in all the earth! You have prepared a place for us to love one another; to live in harmony; to forgive each other; to recognize your presence with us at all times. However, we confess that in all the earth, sometimes we do not have love in our heart for others. There is no harmony when there is pain and suffering. Not trusting ourselves as well as others keeps us from understanding the power of forgiveness in our relationship with you. In all the earth, we have become so self-absorbed that we cannot spiritually see or feel your presence with us at all times. Because you are God of many opportunities who can turn bad situations of injustice, inequality, unfairness, and hopelessness into good situations of justice, equality, fairness, and hopefulness. In all the earth, we say thank you! Now Lord all we ask is for the strength to continue the mission of Jesus—that is, to drive out demons (so that we may see, hear, think and speak with clarity) and to heal the sick (physically, mentally and spiritually). In all the earth, we say THANK YOU! Amen.

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Pray with Indonesia Sunday, March 10, 2019

Indonesia_Karen_Campbell_Nelson_Dramatization_of_mourning_for_Adelina.jpeg

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 4:1-13

Prayers for Indonesia:  

God of Wisdom and Mercy, shed your light on hidden negotiations in Indonesian villages and cities that seduce the poor into lives of debt bondage. We pray for legislators to create and enforce laws to prevent human trafficking and illegal migration and better protect its victims, for judges brave enough to investigate in not just “small fry” but also the devil kingpins of trafficking networks, and for government officials to provide quality education and safe, local employment opportunities for villagers as deterrents to trafficking. We pray for those who, tempted by promises that would turn a future of stone into a loaf of wealth, overnight become slaves who suffer years of abuse and terror. Strengthen those victims tempted to surrender to hopelessness; grant them endurance and cunning; guide them home. Comfort those who would comfort — pastors, activists, Catholic sisters, young theologians — who, week after week, receive yet another victim returning home in a coffin. Loving God, these are your servants, tireless in their dedication, but weary in their bodies and souls. Renew their spirits; lighten their burden. Comfort also families on the islands of Sumba, Flores, and West Timor who mourn the loss of their children. Help us to respond so this reality may cease to endure.

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