Weekly Prayers

Pray with Lebanon Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dear friends,

Since this prayer and worship moment were written, Lebanon has experienced protest demonstrations and the resignation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The churches in Lebanon issued this joint statement during the protests in October.  Please keep Lebanon in your prayers during this time of social and political change.

Lectionary Selection: Luke 20:27-38

Lebanon_Maria_Bakalian_Haigazian_Desert_Streams_Club_renovating_a_school.jpg

Prayers for Lebanon:  

Almighty God, today as we pray for Lebanon, we trust in your wisdom, patience, and authority. We open your Word and we read this message again and again.

While teaching in the temple, you were questioned and tested numerous times by those trying to trap you, not to trust you. But you took the time to show them that your message was about life and living.

When we come to you, help us to trust you and not to doubt your wisdom or your plan. You know each of us, you know our questions and our needs. Grant us peace in this place where there is so much unrest and turmoil. As the country faces economic uncertainty and hardship, encourage us and give us hope. Help us to be confident in the certainty of your sovereignty and authority over all. Guide us to stand firm and focus on the living Word.

Hear us O lord. Listen to our cry. Turn your ear to us and hear our prayer, for our hope is in you. Amen.

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Pray with Lesotho Sunday, November 3, 2019

leshotho_knowles_01.jpegLectionary Selection:  Luke 19:1-10

Prayers for Lesotho:  

O God, we pray for rain here in Lesotho. I don’t know if you do or don’t work like that—causing rains to come, responding to our petitions for it. I’ve heard some people I love and respect who say you do, and some who say you don’t. But that doesn’t matter in this prayer. What matters is the rains are long past due, as they have been for the past several years, and it’s causing a heartbreaking dryness that is felt here in this beautiful land. And so we, with all your people and creation here, need to say this to you.

The same thing, O God, is true of prayers for justice, prayers for peace, prayers for prosperity. Khotso, Pula, Nala. (Peace, Rain, Prosperity; Lesotho’s Motto.) We need to say it, God. Saying it doesn’t absolve us of our role in any of it. Zacchaeus had to admit his injustice and the injustice of the system he benefited from, as well as his plan to make things right. But first, he had to climb the tree to see Jesus and get a sense of the salvation coming that way. So for us, O God, we simply say these things in this prayer as our way of climbing that tree: to get a glimpse of your salvation. What comes next—from you, from others, from us—I don’t know.

But I hope it’s rain.

Amen.

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Pray with Colombia Sunday, October 27, 2019

Colombia_Michael_Joseph_Nueva_Venecia_Pedro_copy.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 18:9-14

Prayers for Colombia:  

Loving God,

Today we pray for the country of Colombia and our partners in mission there. As they work for the full implementation of the peace accords that seek to bring fighting to an end, may they feel your guiding presence. Encourage them even as they feel like a voice in the wilderness calling for peace. Give them stamina when others become discouraged at the slow pace of peacebuilding. Show them a way forward even when others return to violent confrontation.

May your justice, oh Lord, be known through the work of our partners as they minister to the millions of internally displaced persons in Colombia, as they work for the reintegration of former combatants into civilian life and as they speak out for restorative justice and reconciliation even in the midst of ongoing violence. May your healing touch be felt in their lives and seen through their ministries.

We thank you, God, for the witness of Justapaz and of the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia. Watch over them and give them strength as they witness to your peace with justice in Colombia.

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Pray with Japan Sunday, October 20, 2019

Japan_Martha_Mensendiek_wedding_party.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 18:1-8

Prayers for Japan:  

Dear God,

Today we remember those in Japan who, like the widow in today’s gospel lesson are pleading for their rights.

We remember those who still suffer from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima 8 1/2 years ago - those who still are unable to return home to their beloved communities due to dangerous radiation levels. We stand with the plaintiffs who are deeply hurt and dejected by the recent court decision that ignored their voices and failed to bring justice to those that suffer at the hands of the powerful.

We remember the many migrant workers in Japan who are working long hours, and for refugees waiting for amnesty, anxious about their future. We pray for the rights of foreign workers and refugees in waiting.

We remember those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. May they find the hope and will to live.  We also lift up the families of those whose illness led them to take their own life. May they be comforted and be freed from the blame that families often face.  We pray that all those who struggle with life may be embraced by love and understanding.

In Jesus Christ, we pray,

Amen

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Pray with Kenya Sunday, October 13, 2019

Kenya_Phyllis_Byrd_11.jpgLectionary Selection:  Luke 17:11-19

Prayers for Kenya:  

God of hope, we pray for the work of The Mission of Hope School - the work they are doing in the community and country as a whole. We pray that quality education would be accessible for all of the young people of Liberia. Amen

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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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