Weekly Prayers

Pray with Hong Kong on Sunday, April 15, 2018

Lectionary Selection: Luke 24:36b-48

Interfaith Cooperation Forum fosters understanding and respect for other faiths and cultures in Asia as part of its School of Peace and other programs.

Interfaith Cooperation Forum fosters understanding and respect for other faiths and cultures in Asia as part of its School of Peace and other programs.

Prayers for Hong Kong:

Lord, when you appeared to the disciples after your resurrection, they saw you, they heard you, but they did not believe that the person in front of them was you.

Similarly, we too today, Lord, have heard your message in the Scriptures, but we, your modern-day disciples, likewise fail to believe, for we prefer to follow our own ways and not the teachings you gave us to respect life, to love everyone unconditionally regardless of their identity, to comfort and care for the poor and marginalized, to uphold peace grounded in justice.

The result of our disbelief, of our “blindness” and “deafness” to your message, is the world that we have created. In Asia, profits and power are put before people; development is put before the environment. In Hong Kong, unaffordable housing has pushed people into ever smaller spaces to call home; the elderly collecting cardboard and other items are the backbone of the city’s recycling industry. In short, money matters most, and life in all its manifestations is disrespected and sacrificed.

To transform this world, Lord, we pray for eyes to truly see, ears to truly hear and a heart to truly feel. With new eyes, new ears and a new heart, we pray that we can finally and fully trust you and believe in your message; and within this trust and rekindled belief, we will find the peace that you offer to each one of us that is what we all are really seeking. The decision we know, Lord, is ours. We pray for the wisdom and courage to let go of our egos and believe. Amen.

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Pray with Nicaragua on Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fixed_Roof_copy.jpgLectionary Selection: John 20:19-31

Prayers for Nicaragua:

Oh Lord, we thank you for your love, grace, and mercy that comes to us through the resurrection story. Whether we recognize it or not, we live with your love, grace and mercy in our daily lives. Although sometimes on this journey of life we, like our biblical brother Thomas, experience moments of doubt and unbelief. However, like Thomas, you always provide a way for us to put our finger where the nails were and to put our hand in your side. Causing our heart and our mind to deliver the words to our mouth to say, “My Lord and my God!"

Now Lord we ask that you keep us mindful of the power of your resurrection that gives us the strength needed to face the challenges of life—challenges that make us feel that there is no way out. Yet, we lift our hands with praise and thanksgiving in your presence as we become witnesses of how You, oh Lord, can “make a way out of no way.” Amen

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Pray with Lesotho on Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lesotho_Mark_Behle_IMG_6025.JPGLectionary Selection: John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8

Prayers for Lesotho:

Gracious and merciful God,

We praise your name and give you thanks this day as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ! We thank you for sending Jesus into the world to show us the fullness of your love for us. We thank you for the hope which we have in Jesus, the Risen One. Like those who discovered the empty tomb and encountered the resurrected Christ, let us share the Good News with others! May the joy and the excitement of that first Easter morning be ours as we rejoice with our brothers and sisters and proclaim, “He is risen!”

Lesotho_Mark_Behle_IMG_6003.JPGWe give thanks for our partnership in the Good News with the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa. May you guide and empower them with courage and wisdom as they continue working for justice and peace, particularly as they seek to reconcile the various political factions in the country. May their efforts bear fruit which will bring healing and encouragement to the people of Lesotho.

We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!

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Pray with Israel/Palestine on Sunday, March 25, 2018

IMG_1156.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16

Prayers for Israel/Palestine:

O Lord, we often do not understand why injustice continues to prevail in our world, or why your Divine purpose remains hidden from our eyes while we witness political oppression and hear the human cry for freedom. We witness your mighty acts in history: You look with favor on the lowly, and your mercy is for those who fear you from generation to generation; you show strength with your arm and scatter the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; you bring down the powerful from their thrones and lift up the lowly. We bear witness to your love for the world you created and, with those who await your mercy and justice, we pray: “hosanna,” “save us.” Amen.

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Pray with East Timor on Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lectionary Selection: John 12:20-33

Prayers for East Timor:

For the women and girls in East Timor, who are subject to the desires of husbands, fathers, uncles, and brothers, dear God, we pray. When unwanted pregnancies occur, leaving a mother to bear the physical and emotional work of caring for babies and children, or sometimes leaving her in danger for her own life or safety, dear God, we pray. When violence against women and girls happens, particularly in the home, whether it be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, dear God, bring righteousness to the women and open the eyes of men.

Jesus came to teach a way of justice for all people. In East Timor, we pray today for this indigenous, young, Asian nation as it faces challenges of modernization and as it comes to terms with deeply entrenched cultural norms that too often disempower women. May women and men recognize that to glorify God is to walk humbly as servants of Jesus, following a path which honors the dignity of all people, women and men alike.  Amen.

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Pray for Guatemala on Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lectionary Selection: John 3:14-21

Prayers for Guatemala:

Dear God,

Together, we will join our ideas and dreams, we will make visible the other world that is possible; a world of peace with justice, where "good living" is for everyone, without exception. We know that a world of peace requires many hands, hearts, and voices. Aware that the violence that strikes each country is on the every continent, we are joining together to generate a culture of evangelical peace that illuminates our dark reality.

In the face of our pain, we dream, we determine, we walk, and we love. As Deborah (Judges 4-5) acted in determination, indignation, and compassion, we act and we walk, because we are the guardians of well-being and security for all people.

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Pray with Indonesia on Sunday, March 4, 2018

A hearse picks up the coffin of a migrant worker at the Kupang airport cargo terminal. Courtesy of Infokom GMIT

Lectionary Selection: John 2:13-22

Prayers for Indonesia:

O guardian of sacred space—of our fellowships of intent, our bodies and souls, we pray for the migrant workers of Indonesia whose poverty makes them vulnerable to trafficking and abuse in foreign lands, and whose families accept their absence as the new normal. May your mission of redemption touch the lives of those far from home, trapped as indentured laborers, some maimed for life. We pray for the Evangelical Christian Church of Timor that its new ministry, House of Hope, reflect its name in action. Guide its staff and board members as they seek to provide safe shelter, and care of body and spirit to victims of human trafficking. Strengthen us to accept this as our mission as well. Grant us courage to overturn the tables of those who exploit naiveté; and drive from our temples those who forfeit integrity for profit. We pray especially for 21-year-old Adelina who returned home from Malaysia in a coffin at the beginning of Lent. May your comfort touch the lives of her family so they too can join your mission of redeeming and renewing hope. In the name of Jesus, whose anger we remember, Amen.

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Pray with India on Sunday, February 25, 2018

India_Joanines_Adorno_8037.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 8:31-38 or Mark 9:2-9

Prayers for India:

Gracious God, we want to take this time and simply thank you. Thank you for the life you have given us and the wonderful opportunities you give us to serve others. It can be a scary thing when we think of denying and putting aside our own desires, stepping out of comfort zones to go serve someone else. It is such a beautiful thing because in serving others we grow, we get to learn more about others, about you and your infinite love.

We pray for the Diocese of Durgapur and all the projects they have going on especially the Human Trafficking project and Durgapur Child Study & Development center. With human trafficking numbers increasing in India, we pray that there are more people at the Diocese and surrounding the Diocese will be willing to but aside their desires, be brave, be bold and go out there and serve. There is a real need here surrounding the children and their futures.

In your precious name we pray, Amen.

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Pray with the Dominican Republic on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lectionary Selection: Mark 1: 9-15

Prayers for the Dominican Republic:

DR1.jpgGracious and loving God,

We thank you for the hope and guidance you show us every day. Your forgiving love was shown through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit appearing in purity as a dove. We pray that you continue to guide us with this purity and love, where we can spread this blessing to every person that we encounter. We are sent to be light unto this world, so when we are tempted, like Jesus was in the wilderness, give us the strength to persevere and find Light through the darkness.

Today we lift up the shared mission of the churches and the work of Caminante Proyecto Educativo. Bless churches around the world to be guided by love and unity. I specifically lift up prayers for the people working here in Dominican Republic. Provide this staff with the vision and knowledge to continue our amazing work with these children and guide them to a better, more sustaining life. Give us the words and wisdom to reach these children and provide the security and safety they are longing for. Pray for these children that are trying to survive on the dangerous streets, and keep blessing the ones that have come through Caminante and are living blessed and more peaceful lives now. Help these street children find their ways back into schools and get the education and support they need to achieve their dreams you placed in their hearts and minds! Continue to unify the world and guide us all with the Holy Spirit to spread your loving kindness to every person that we meet. 

In your heavenly Name, 


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Pray with the Philippines on Sunday, February 11, 2018

philippines_lauren_robinson_02.jpegLectionary Selection: Mark 9: 2-9

Prayers for the Philippines:

Lord, thank you for the beautiful image of friends bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus in Mark 2. Like the paralyzed man, we often need help in attaining spiritual and physical wholeness. God, you have made the whole world interdependent and in need of each other's support. Right now, we give praise for the Republic of the Philippines. A beautiful country filled with bountiful philippines_lauren_robinson_03.jpegnatural resources and people with generous hearts. Yet, the people's generosity is taken advantage of by outside invaders and even their own neighbors. Help the church in the Philippines stand strong against the abuse of the people, including theft of indigenous land and extrajudicial killing as a tactic in the drug war. Please pray for the leadership of this country as they struggle with many of the similar temptations that we see politicians struggle with in the US, including corruption and neglect of the poor. May we be like the friends of the paralyzed man and help our brothers and sisters here in the Philippines get the restoration that is due to them. 

More specifically, please pray for the UCCP (United Church of Christ in the Philippines) as it is in a time of transition and in a position of potential growth.

philippines_lauren_robinson_04.jpegPlease also pray for the two NGOs that I work with: Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA) and Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE).

Both organizations seek to empower the Filipino community and are doing incredible work. Pray for their ability to continue doing so. GWAVE specifically asked for prayer for the approval of the next phase of our proposal and for co-funding as well as smooth turn over when there are staff changes. For clients, especially those with filed cases, that they may attain the justice they deserve and that the truth will prevail always.

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