Weekly Prayers

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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Pray with Ghana Sunday, March 3, 2019

Debbie_Colvin_IMG_6680.jpeg

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Lectionary Selection:  Luke 9:28-36

Prayers for Ghana:  

Lord Jesus we thank you for your unconditional love, your compassion, your guidance in our daily life.

As we live and work with our brothers and sisters in Peki, Ghana we see YOU in them.

Ghana_Debbie_Colvin_1315eb7e-c794-4700-bc72-e7b8399f742d.jpegThey show your unconditional LOVE by sharing their lives, food, clothing, knowledge and openness to accept people of another race and culture into their home, church, and community.

They show your COMPASSION by being patient, understanding, and willing to help in anyway they can NO matter how small it may seem.

They show Guidance by sharing their culture, history, giving direction, stories of the community, to give us a feeling of being part of them.

Ghana_Debbie_Colvin_IMG_6310.jpegAs we work alongside our Partner the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana in Healthcare and at the EP Seminary in Peki we pray that you continue to bless them as they continue to show your LOVE in their daily walk.

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Pray with Hungary Sunday, February 24, 2019

Lectionary Selection:  Luke 6:27-38

Prayers for Hungary:  

God, remind us to stretch outside our comfort zones by trying new things and meeting new people. It's not always easy to step outside of what we know, but we know we grow when we take those risks. We are grateful for church camp and the opportunities for young people to learn and grow with one another. We can learn much from the open minds and hearts of young people. Help us all to be open to new experiences and to listen to differing opinions and ideas. In these ways, we grow as individuals, communities, and the world. Amen

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Pray with Hong Kong Sunday, February 17, 2019

Hong_Kong_Judy_Chan_Nurse_prepares_for_busy_day_in_operating_room.jpegLectionary 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.

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Pray with Sierra Leone, Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sierra_Leone_Nia_Sullivan_MISSION_STATEMENT_PHOTO3.jpegLectionary 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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Pray with Lebanon on Sunday, February 3, 2019

Lebanon_Ben_Drolet_FDCD_Team.jpegLectionary 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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Pray with Germany on Sunday, January 27, 2019

germany_rosalind_gnatt_001.jpgLectionary 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.

Amen

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