Weekly Prayers

Pray for the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tuner_drc_worship_03.jpgLectionary Selection: John 20:19-23 or John 7:37-39

Prayers for the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

“Breathe on me, Breadth of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do”.  (Edwin Hatch, 1878)

Lord, thank you for pouring out your spirit on all who receive it, all over this world. The Holy Spirit is a gift from you sent to help, comfort and guide your church in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We thank you for the freedom that accompanies your Spirit, and for the Spirit Tuner_drc_worship.jpgof Christ that dwells within us. Holy Spirit, continue to empower our mission of witness and service to all people, to truly exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. And may the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of us. In the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit…Amen!

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Pray for Hong Kong on Sunday, May 28, 2017

Refugee_Kitchen_Dinner.jpegLectionary Selection: John 17:1-11

Prayers for Hong Kong:

O God, when your Son prepared to return to you, he prayed for his disciples. He didn’t pray that we be protected from pain and suffering. He didn’t pray that we be taken out of the world. No, Jesus asked that we be protected from sin and division so that we might witness to your glory here on earth. Dear Lord, as a new government prepares to take over in Hong Kong, we commend our city and nation to your merciful care. Take away our love of sinning. Bind up the deep divisions in our society and church. May all be allowed to live securely in peace and enjoy the abundant life that you promised. Help our leaders remember that they are called to serve the people as lovers of truth and justice. Help the church to remember that we are called to serve the world as lovers of Jesus Christ. When our hour comes, protect us in your name so that we may be one, just as you and he are one for eternity. Amen.

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Pray for Indonesia on Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017_indonesia_01.jpgLectionary Selection:  John 14:15-21

Prayers for Indonesia

O Holy One of Truth and Love, we long for the Advocate that embodies a Spirit of Truth. We are so often confused by claims about truth and falsehoods, facts and fake news, that we forget our mission to love and care for all. May Your acts of love and compassion inspire us to nurture our local communities as well as national and international ones.

We pray for the many small churches in rural Indonesia who seek an Advocate to stand by them in their struggle to protect the mountains, forests and streams you have entrusted to them. Strengthen our bonds in the spirit of partnership so that there will be no orphans in the Family of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Pray for Hungary on Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hungary_2017_Kearstin_Bailey_03.jpegLectionary Selection: John 14:1-14

Prayers for Hungary:

Loving God, Creator of the heavens and earth, we come before you today in awe and thanksgiving knowing that you are always present with us. Despite the hardships that our world faces, we know you are with us as we strive to embody your radical love. As we struggle at times to discern our path in life, may we always turn to you for guidance.

The winds of change are blowing through many places – in Hungary, refugees begin new lives, Roma families integrate into wider society, those in power do what they can to keep it, and society speaks out against injustice. In the midst of all this, the Reformed Church in Hungary aims to be a witness in the world, fulfilling a faithful mission and striving to live as an ever-reforming church.

Hungary_2017_Kearstin_Bailey_01.jpegToday we pray for the church’s range of ministries that seek to help those on the margins of society. In the current context, this work is not always easy, but Christ calls us to follow in His example of radical inclusion and love. We also pray for those who work for justice as they seek to transform the world into a more peaceful and welcoming place.

As we go forth into the world, may we be reminded of Your constant guiding presence as we live out our faith in authentic ways.

Amen.

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Pray for Paraguay on Sunday, May 7, 2017

Paraguay_2017_Amelia_Casillas_01.jpgLectionary Selection: John 10:1-10

Prayers for Paraguay:

We give glory and praise to the God of open doors and abundant life for the Paraguayan people. Thank you, God, because we have witnessed your intervention with the indigenous communities, where you have been refuge, safety, and salvation. Thank you for the believing people who hold this Ministry where we can reach a town that needs medical care, support, and food security. Give us your understanding so that the daily journey is one that blesses and cares for this land and this people. Protect them from thieves and evil-doers who harm, hurt, and corrupt in pursuit of their own interests. Provide this beloved people their daily bread and may they experience your peace. Amen.

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Pray for Lesotho on Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017_lesotho_mark_01.jpegLectionary Selection: Luke 24:13-35

Prayers for Lesotho:

Dear God,

Today we lift up in prayer the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA). We give thanks for their efforts in working for peace and reconciliation to bridge the political divisions within the country. We give thanks for the success of their annual Synod meeting 2017_lesotho_mark_02.jpegand pray that your blessing will be upon the newly-elected Executive Committee and Moderator who will lead the church for the next four years. May your love, the power of the risen Christ and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit be with them as they shepherd your people. We join ourselves in spirit with the LECSA as together we walk by faith with Jesus on the roads and paths that open to us. May we follow wherever you lead us. Open 2017_lesotho_mark_03.jpegour eyes to the reality of your presence and the power and truth of your Word. May the Good News burn in our hearts so that we, like those on the road to Emmaus, never hesitate to proclaim, “The Lord has risen!”

We pray this in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Pray for Nicaragua on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lectionary Selection: John 20:19-31

Prayers for Nicaragua:

2017_nicaragua_magy_01.jpegDuring the time of reflection that brings Holy Week, we remember the many paths that Jesus walked in his journey; trails and stories that maybe many of us will never know or imagine. On this day of prayer for Nicaragua, I would like you to reflect on a moment when you have felt alone, a moment where you saw no way out of their problems, a moment where darkness invaded your life. Maybe that moment is never going to 2017_nicaragua_magy_03.jpeglook like the thousands of situations that Nicaraguans face in their lives every day, like the poor and vulnerable neighborhoods and communities where I serve. It is for this reason, dear brothers and sisters, that Jesus continues to remind us, especially today, that he is present in every situation of our lives, even if we do not see him or touch him. We feel him and we do not need to put our fingers in his wounds to know that 2017_nicaragua_magy_04.jpeghe has been resurrected and accompanies us. On this day, let us pray for every brother and sister, citizens of this beautiful land that enjoys the sun of a new day throughout the year.

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Pray for Japan on Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lectionary Selection: John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10

Prayers for Japan:

2017_japan_jeff_m.jpegLoving God,
On Easter morning, we gather in anticipation of the newness that you will bring into our lives. Like Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved disciple who stood before the tomb of Jesus, it is hard for us sometimes to take our eyes off of the pain, loss and despair so prevalent in our world today. We bow our heads as we remember all those who have suffered on account of natural disasters such as the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster which happened in Japan six years ago. It is hard to believe that your newness will break forth out of such destruction. And yet, we also know that your love for this world is never ending. We see flowers blooming in the desert, and hope bursting forth out of darkness. We pray for the church in Japan. We pray for the children, young families and the elderly in Fukushima. We pray for all those who struggle for the sake of peace and righteousness. May your love renew the earth, sustain those who are weary, and strengthen communities who serve as signs of your hope in this world.

This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Pray for Israel/Palestine on Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017_Jerusalem_palm_sunday_loren_mcgrail_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Matthew 21:1-11

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:

Who is this?

The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet…” (Mt. 21:8-11)

It’s a scene of jubilation; full of shouting and singing and street theater like the conquering king riding in on a donkey while the Roman representative across town rides in on a war chariot. Self conscious of fulfilling Zechariah’s prophesy, our Messiah chooses to enter on the same humble beast he rode out on when he was a baby in his mother’s arms fleeing genocidal Herod.

If we truly wish to hail this new king we must prepare the way by throwing off our cloaks, by divesting ourselves of all the things that stand in the way of peace. We must be prepared to have our temples, our churches, examined.

To welcome the nonviolent Christ, the Messiah, we have to be ready to withdraw our support for making the tools that support injustice and violence.

2017_Jerusalem_palm_sunday_loren_mcgrail_01.jpegBlessed is the one that weeps
for us and with us
when we have lost our way.

Blessed is the one that comes
towards us in majesty and humbleness
down that ancient twisted path
straight into our gated cities,
locked up hearts.

Blessed is the one that hears
our shouts of joy
then endures our chants of betrayal

Blessed is the one that
knows our limitations,
who pours out his love for us,
into us so we can be
guardians of truth
protectors of justice
architects of peace.

Hosanna in the highest
we are inspired by your passion
ready to follow.

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Pray for South Africa on Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017_south_africa_ons_plek_01.jpgLectionary Selection: John 11:1-45

Prayers for South Africa:

God of Grace.
God of love, peace, and everlasting healing,

We thank you for the hope that you enrich us with on a daily basis. Even for the new mercies that we see every morning.

Bless us with the energy and the resolve to proclaim and live your love and your justice throughout all of our experiences and encounters. By your grace and mercy, make it possible for humanity to feel your holy and healing power through our collective ministry. We pray that through our ministry your redemptive love will restore broken lives in every corner of the world, and particularly among the women of Ons Plek in Cape Town, South Africa.

We know that your love will overcome fear and your mercy can restore life and hope to every segment of the world where people live in squalor and in misery. We ask that you restore broken lives and mend fragmented families through the work of Ons Plek. Give continued strength and wisdom to the staff of Ons Plek that they may be agents of transformation and joy for the young women of Ons Plek and their families.

We ask these blessings in the beloved name of Jesus, Amen.

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