Weekly Prayers

Pray for India on Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for India: Matthew 13:24-30 & 36-43

Dear God, for this world of riches and beauty we give you thanks. At the same time we specially ask you to be with many who are troubled through hunger, poverty and a sense of hopelessness.  We specially remember India, where you have sowed your seed amongst a multitude of people of different faiths and beliefs.  Where there is persecution, corruption, and vast numbers of destitute people begging on the streets.  All trying to find meaning in a country where a poor man has no label or identity, with life having little value and is far from awakening an already troubled world.  Help us find the strength and love to stand out in our service and our work that we may truly be able to bring in the harvest when our time has come.  Amen.

India is a country which is one third the size of the US but has one sixth the population of the whole world.  In a population of over a billion, Christians are about 2% of the population.  The first exposure to Christianity goes back to when St. Thomas come to India, but the main era of when Missionaries came to India and brought about great changes were in the late 1800 and early 1900. Even though the numbers of Christians in this country are few, Christ, "The Great Healer" has left a mark as even today with all the privatization of medicine, there is still a major presence of Christian Healthcare, especially when it is the poor and marginalized who seek help.  It is also the field of education and social work that has been a living witness to the Indian people showing the great service and dedication of what Christ has taught us to do. Missionaries came to different parts of the country in theses times, as in our area of Chhattisgargh in Central India.  Rev. Oscar Lohr was sent out by the German Evangelical Mission from the States in 1863.  He came by boat from New York to Mumbai and then by train till Nagpur (the geographical center of India), lastly by bullock cart, a distance of 260 miles to Bisrampur where he built the first church which still stands as a witness today.

I work at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli, which is a about 30 miles from Bisrampur and was started 112 years ago by the Disciples of Christ.  It was famous as it grew during the time of Dr. Victor Rambo.  We have now been there for five years and the hospital has grown tremendously trying to cater to masses of this region.  We see about 24,000 outpatients, deliver about 550 babies and operate on about 2500 patients in a year. The hospital also takes care of the Rambo Memorial English Medium High School which has about 330 children from Nursery to grade 11 and busses in children from surrounding villages traveling about 126 miles each day. God has been gracious to us in these years as we have been able to show not only the state of Chhattisgargh, but struggling medical missions all around the country how a institution can rise up to the call and truly be a living witness to the suffering and needy. The Indian Church was interdenominational as missionaries came from all over the world, but then unified to form the Church of North and South India where all the denominations got together.  It is in this way like Mungeli and many more ministries of the CNI and CSI  around this vast country that Global Ministries is a partner to help relieve pain and suffering to the masses of India. 

We pray in India:

  • That Christians can be free to serve people through the love of Jesus Christ without persecution and local violence.
  • That the voice of the poor out in the villages may be heard to bring change in standards of living rather than using them or their sheer numbers to bring out false political gains.
  • That the common person may be the center of our efforts as he deals with a world full of greed leading to inflation, to such a state, that we here in India still do not know what the extent is going to be.
  • That the church may see a unified goal to be together to bring about change in a country full of poverty and injustice.

(Prayer by Anil Henry)

Global Ministries International Partners in India:

Besides the Church of North India and the Church of South India, Global Ministries has about forty partners in India. To view a list of those partners and a paragraph summary on each, go to: http://globalministries.org/sasia/countries/india/ and scroll down to the partner section.

Global Ministries Missionaries in India:

Teresa and Anil Henry are serving a four year term with the Synodical Board of Health Services of the Church of North India. Theresa is the anesthesiologist of the Christian Hospital of Mungeli and Anil works as a medical doctor there.

Nancy Lott Henry is serving as a long-term volunteer with the Church of North India. She is working as a teacher of nurses for hospitals in their eastern region.

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Pray for France on Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for France: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

God of all nations, we pray today for the Reformed Church of France. Strengthen their witness as an open, caring, welcoming and, above all, Christian community in an ever secularizing country. Aid them as they work and witness with an ever growing number of immigrants from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe who are fleeing poverty and oppression and struggling to make a better life in the European Union. Protect those risking physical harm to make this journey and help those who have made it as they try to make sense of and adapt to their new home. May your love for all children, your compassion for all nations, and your provision of abundance for all people be evident in the work of the Reformed Church of France. 

We pray for the work of the Foyer Protestant d'Aubervilliers. Founded in 1929 by the French Reformed Church in the northern Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers, the Foyer is an active parish which emphasizes work with immigrants, refugees and at risk youth. Help them as they try to be a light of hope for the often marginalized and frustrated youth of France's urban housing projects.

We pray for the French Reformed theology schools in Paris, Montpellier and Strasbourg. Guide them as they teach and train future pastors and church workers. Help them as they explore new and innovative ways to preach the gospel in France's increasingly multi-cultural society.

We pray for the prison chaplains of the Reformed Church who are working hard to share Christ’s message of hope, faith and love with those incarcerated in France. Amen.

( Prayer by Tim Rose)

Global Ministries International Partners in France:

The Reformed Church of France (ERF) is the largest protestant denomination in France. Throughout its 450 year history the ERF has fought to uphold the values of the protestant reformation. It strongly believes in God's grace that is the basis of Jesus-Christ's social and liberationist ministry. It stresses the protestant notion of "universal priesthood" by encouraging lay ministry and is very involved in theological, ecumenical, social and mission work on the national and international level. 

Global Ministries Missionaries in France:

Timothy Rose served as program assistant with the Reformed Church of France. Based at the Foyer Protestant d’Aubervilliers, he worked primarily with immigrants and refugee families and at risk youth. He was also a prison chaplain at a maximum security prison in Paris.  Timothy’s current service will be itinerating in Connecticut from September 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009 and North Carolina from May 1 to June 30, 2009.

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Pray for Lesotho on Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Lesotho: Matthew 11:25-30

Dear God, we pray that people throughout the world will find rest in you.  May you bring your peace upon peoples and nations torn asunder by wars, politics and natural disasters.  We pray especially today for the Lesotho Evangelical Church that it may help heal political divisions within Lesotho.  As we remember those who have come before us in spreading the Good News around the world, we pray that as we share God's love we will do so with the gentleness and humility of our Savior Jesus Christ.  In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

(Prayer by Mark Behle)

During 2008 the Lesotho Evangelical Church is celebrating the 175th  anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society.  In June 1833 Thomas Arbousset, Eugene Casalis and Constant Gossellin arrived at Thaba-Bosiu, home of the founder of the Basotho nation King Moshoeshoe I.   King Moshoeshoe had invited the missionaries to settle among his people.

The Lesotho Evangelical Church asks you to pray for:
-  Peace and stability in Lesotho and in Africa.
-  Churches, Pastors and Evangelists to be the able to continue preaching the Word of God.
-  Reducing poverty in the country amid the worsening economical hardships brought about by increasing petrol prices.
-  The church to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries in Lesotho in 1833 and the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin.

Global Ministries International Partners in Lesotho:

  • Lesotho Evangelical Church - The Lesotho Evangelical Church is one of Africa's oldest Protestant churches, founded in 1833 by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Mission society.  It is Lesotho's oldest denomination and today it has 261,350 members in 112 congregations.  It also maintains 563 schools.  The LEC-sponsored schools have contributed to the 83 percent literacy rate nationwide.   Global Ministries' relationship to LEC began in 1983.
  • Christian Council of Lesotho - The Christian Council of Lesotho is a fellowship of Christian churches and Christian organizations. It has two main objectives: (1) to foster closer cooperation and unity amongst churches and organizations of different Christian traditions; (2) to enable member churches and organization to more fully share in the spiritual, social and economic endeavors.  It has been involved over the years in social development, formal and informal education, health and sanitation, environmental protection and agriculture, civic education, conflict management. 
  • Christian Health Association of Lesotho - The mission of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho is to facilitate the participation of the Christian churches in ensuring that the right of all members of society to the highest quality health services is upheld.  In pursuit of this mission, the Christian churches are committed to see to it that quality health services reach those who have least access, the families and communities, through appropriate technologies, in spirit of mutual trust and cooperation as a tangible expression of Christ's vision to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Global Ministries Missionary in Lesotho:

Mark Behle serves with the Lesotho Evangelical Church as a teacher at Masitise High School.  He teaches math, a course on Luke & Acts, coaches basketball and leads a youth group called Friends of God.  He has been in Lesotho since 1996 and prior to that served with Global Ministries in Zambia for eleven years as a teacher at Kafue Secondary School.   

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Pray for Taiwan on Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Taiwan: Matthew 10:40-42

Gracious God, we thank you for the extravagant welcome that you have extended to us in Jesus. As we remember our partnerships around the globe and the specific ones that we share with our Taiwanese brothers and sisters this Sunday, we ask that we might be able to extend that gracious hospitality to one another in tangible ways. We pray for each of the Taiwanese ministries mentioned below and ask that each one would be empowered to welcome the other and provide what is needed, even a cup of cold water, in Jesus name. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Taiwan:

  • Disabled Persons Service Center
  • Fishermen's Service Center
  • Labor Concerns Center
  • Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)
  • Rainbow House
  • Taiwan Theological College and Seminaries

Global Ministries Missionary in Taiwan:

None at the present time



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Pray for Zimbabwe, Sunday June 22, 2008

Prayer and Action for Zimbabwe

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Zimbabwe: Matthew 10:24-39

Loving God, as we pray today we want to focus our thoughts on the work of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) based in Geneva, Switzerland. We thank you for the continued support and advocacy of the international community to members of the WSCF in crises such as those suffering in Zimbabwe today. We thank you for the spirit of compassion that unites us.

We pray for the political situation in Zimbabwe that it may be resolved quickly and peacefully.

We pray that state officials will act out of compassion and understanding throughout this process, and not out of self-promotion and domination.

We pray that in the face of intimidation and violence people will remain firm in the truth of their convictions and will continue to vote their real desires in the re-election on June 27th.

We pray for courage and strength for the people of Zimbabwe as they face their current challenges. We know that anyone who opposes the dominant political force is under great risk, and we ask you to please keep them safe.

We pray that the Church in Zimbabwe will remain faithful to minister the Gospel in a dangerous atmosphere.

We pray for wisdom for retaining security and safety of women, children and men in Zimbabwe.

We pray for the struggles of young people who are used by corrupt politicians to advance their own needs.

We pray that the needed change must surely come through God's own way. Help us all to sow seeds of peace with justice at this time.

We ask this of you Great God of overflowing creative energy, Jesus of vast compassion, and Holy Spirit who turns chaos into life enhancing wholesomeness.


(by Varsha Vijayakumar, based on prayers by the World YWCA for A Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe on April 28th).

Global Ministries International Partners in Switzerland:  

Global Ministries Missionary in Switzerland:  

Varsha Vijayakumar, a member of Olmsted Community Church, United Church of Christ, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, is serving a one-year term with the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a human rights and solidarity Global Mission Intern.

Prayer and Action for Zimbabwe

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Pray for South Africa, Sunday June 15, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for South Africa: Matthew 9:35 to 10:8

God of love and compassion, we ask you to bless the rich diversity of South Africa—a land rich in resources, land, and people.  Yet we lament that in the midst of this beautiful country it is also riddled with crime, rape, violence, poverty, unemployment, an AIDS pandemic, and recently xenophobia.  There is much to be done to heal the nation.  Call forth new labourers, O God.  Commission new compassionate leaders who will cure the sick, raise-up those dead in poverty, cleanse those with HIV and AIDS, and cast out the demons of hatred towards one another.  We pray for our refugee neighbours from Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who fear they will be the next victims of xenophobia. We pray for the AIDS orphans who are deprived of their most basic needs and will never know what it means to have parents.  In Jesus' name. Amen.

(Prayer by Susan Valiquette and Scott Couper)

Global Ministries International Partners in South Africa:

  • South African Council of Churches: This council consists of the joint work of 26 member churches.  The SACC focuses its ministry on social justice, the integrity of creation, and the alleviation of poverty.
  • Theological Education by Extension College: This college, supported by nine member churches, helps prepare students for ministry, whether lay or ordained.  The college is ecumenical and students come from Catholic, Anglican, Reformed, and African Independent backgrounds.
  • United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) – South Africa Synod:  The UCCSA - South African Synod consists of over 250 churches, divided into 11 regions.  Within the Synod one can find many different cultures and languages, making the SA Synod an example of reconciliation in the new South Africa.

Global Ministries Missionaries in South Africa:

Jonathan and Dawn Barnes are missionaries with the Kei Regional Council of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, South Africa.  They serve as development officers in the Kei region of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa.  Susan serves as the Chaplain of Inanda Seminary (Secondary school of the UCCSA).  Scott is the HIV and AIDS coordinator for UCCSA kwaZulu Natal Region and serves as the pastor of Bethel UCCSA church.

Carla Giger is a Global Mission Intern (funded by Week of Compassion) serving with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa as an Assistant Program Coordinator. She works on the Girls Against the Spread of Aids (GASA) program.

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Pray for Ecuador on Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Ecuador: Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26


God who desires mercy, not sacrifice, we thank you for the work of our partners in Ecuador. We ask you to continue to empower them as they seek to reach out to the marginalized and the poorest of the poor as Jesus did throughout his ministry. We are grateful for those who have served you in Ecuador on behalf of the Disciples and UCC throughout the years. We think especially of Victor and Violet Vaca and we pray for Victor as he continues to grieve the passing of Violet. We thank you for those in our two denominations that walk closely with our partners in Ecuador, especially the Illinois South Conference and the Oregon Region. We ask your blessing on these partnership relationships. Amen


Illinois South Conference partnership


Oregon Region partnership


(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)


Global Ministries International Partners in Ecuador:

  • Centro Integral de la Familia (CIF)
  • Confraternidad Evangelica Ecuatoriana
  • Consejo de Pueblos y Organizaciones Indigenas Evangelicas del Ecuador (FEINE)
  • Fundacion Ecumenica Para el Desarrollo Integral Capacitacion-Education (FEDICE)
  • Iglesia Evangelica Unida delEcuador (IEUE)
  • La Asociacion Latinoamericana de Asesoramiento y Pastoral Familiar (EIRENE)

Global Ministries Missionary in Ecuador:


None at the present time


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Pray for Mozambique on Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Mozambique: Matthew 7:21-29

God, we thank you for our partners in Mozambique who are rebuilding their communities on a solid foundation after many years of civil war. We thank you for their commitment to peace with justice as they turn weapons of war into works of art. We pray for the work of the church as it reaches out to all and seeks to do your will. We pray particularly for the development of leaders who will put the words of Jesus into practice as they carry out their ministries. Amen

(Prayer Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Mozambique:

  • Christian Council of Mozambique: Christian Council of Mozambique is a Church based organization formed in 1948 by the main line churches like the Methodist, Anglicans and Presbyterians. Presently it constituted 22 different denominations both main line as well as small denominations including two Associations (The Bible Society and the Scripture Union). CCM works countrywide with offices in each province and in some districts, administrative posts and localities. 
  • Mozambique Synod - United Congregational Church of Southern Africa:  The Mozambique Synod is one of five synods comprising the United Congregational church in Southern Africa.  Its office is located in Maputo.  The synod is engaged in ministry in various districts throughout the country.  In recent years, the country has suffered from many natural disasters and the synod has been in the forefront trying to alleviate some of the suffering.  It has constructed new homes for the homeless and cared for hundreds of children.
  • Ricatla United Seminary: The United Seminary of Ricatla is an ecumenical theological institution in Maputo. It was founded in 1958 by a group of Protestant churches committed to creating a school where ministers can receive cross denominational training in an ecumenical setting.  The United Seminary of Ricatla has since graduated hundreds of ministers, both male and female, who have gone on to work in a variety of churches throughout the country. The ecumenical mission of the United Seminary of Ricatla is demonstrated in its practice of requiring students to complete their practical training in three denominations besides their own.  The Seminary also offers exchange programs and accepts students from outside Mozambique.  In addition to being respected for its theological training, the Seminary is well respected for the leadership and spirit of unity and understanding its graduates provide both among churches and in the communities in Mozambique.
  • United Church of Christ in Mozambique:  The UCC in Mozambique was founded in 1905. It is made up of 56 congregations with 20 ordained ministers. It has around 10,000 members.

Global Ministries Missionary in Mozambique:

None at the present time 

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Pray for China on Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayers for China: Matthew 6:24-34

Loving God, there are many today in China who lack food, water, clothing and shelter because of the earthquake. As the Chinese observe 3 days of national mourning, we ask you to wrap your loving arms around your children in this part of the world. May the aid that is needed for each one in need arrive as soon as possible. We pray for the relief efforts of our partners in China, the Amity Foundation and the China Christian Council. May their work and the work of so many others, provide for the needs of those who are worried about how they will make it tomorrow. May the justice and compassion of your Realm be seen in and through the response of your people. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in China:

Global Ministries Personnel  in China:

Tom Morse serves with the Amity Foundation as an English Teacher.

Doreen and Michael McFarlane are professors at Nanjing Seminary

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Pray for Myanmar (Burma) on Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Myanmar: Matthew 28:16-20

God we thank you for this promise that Jesus has left us: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." We pray particularly for the people of Myanmar and ask that the presence of the Risen Christ would be made know in the relief and rebuilding efforts currently being carried out. We ask that you might empower our partners in their response to this difficult situation. May they sense your presence at their side. Amen

Update on Cyclone recovery
Getting Aid to Myanmar
UCC Myanmar appeal
Eyewitness account of Cyclone

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • The Myanmar Council of Churches is a Global Ministries Partner. However, it is difficult to participate in projects in Myanmar under the current military regime.

Global Ministries Missionary:

None at the present time


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