Friday, October 18, 2019

Prayer for Sierra Leone as the nation focuses on preventing sexual violence  Art by Nicole Xu for NPR
Heavenly Father, we pray for Sierra Leone as it takes a much closer look at sexual violence in its nation. We are thankful that President Julius Maada Bio has done much this year to draw attention to this scourge, but are disappointed the attention faded away so quickly. We pray that non-profit groups, churches, and concerned citizens will keep the issues before people and press for continued change. We pray that Bio will follow through on the promises that will be most useful to his citizens. We pray that the successful prosecution of more rapists than in previous years will encourage more survivors to speak out and go forward with the legal process. We pray for medical care for survivors, the technology of DNA testing to become readily available, and for police officers to be appropriately trained to handle sexual assaults of all kinds. We pray for judges and lawyers to treat victims with dignity and respect, and that the legal system will function fairly for everyone involved. Finally, Lord, we pray for a cultural change. We pray that Sierra Leoneans will recognize inappropriate sexual conduct and fight to make changes within themselves and within their communities. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Prayer for China amid increasing religious persecution

I apologize that you have not received prayers for the past couple weeks. I was overseas and had unforeseen technical difficulties. I trust you continued to pray to change the world. -SZ

PC: Kyodo News via Getty Images

Lord God, we pray for China, which received a strong condemnation from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). While China has been named for 20 years in the USCIRF report of nations highest in persecution, it is noteworthy that this year's report was particularly strong in its criticism of the nation. With China shutting underground churches, jailing pastors and arresting human rights activists, the country seems to be moving backward, rather than forward, toward freedom. Lord God, we pray for Xi Jinping and the rest of the Chinese government. Give them clear eyes to see what is best for their people, their nation. Help them recognize the value of freedom of religion and the support of human rights. May those believers who find themselves persecuted have courage and supernatural strength to not only endure, but to be lights for you. As the psalmist wrote, put their feet on a rock and give them a firm place to stand. Put a new song in their mouths, a hymn of praise to their God. Protect those who need special protection. Reassure those who need extra reassurance. Despite the persecution, may your church thrive under these negative circumstances, as has been the case throughout history time and time again. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Prayer for Hong Kong in the midst of escalating violence

Lord, the world grieves along with you as we watch the escalating violence in Hong Kong. After months of protesting and violence, we resonate with the prophet Isaiah’s words, “No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.” We pray toward that end. We pray that voices will be heard and understood, that people on both sides of the conflict will use the most effective, healthiest means possible in accomplishing their purposes. We pray for good answers to tough questions and peace in hearts. Lord, bring clarity and calm to Hong Kong in your perfect timing. Grant Chief Executive Carrie Lam particular wisdom, integrity, courage and understanding as she leads this city through this time of tribulation. May this city become a place of salvation and praise. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Prayer of celebration for woman rescued from sex trafficking by taxi driver

Heavenly Father, today we celebrate Tahir Mehmood’s rescue of a woman forced into sex trafficking. We rejoice that Mehmood was attuned enough to his passenger to stop his taxi and find out what was wrong. We are thankful he had the courage and integrity to do the right thing and immediately call the police. Lord God, we ask you to richly bless him for his efforts and to protect him from any retribution. We pray that the man running the sex trafficking ring, Robert Enescu, will be promptly apprehended and jailed. Lord, we pray for this young, pregnant woman, who has undergone this ordeal. Please bring healing. Help her to return to her family soon and to be received with great love, support and encouragement. May she find employment she will enjoy and that will provide for her financial needs. Finally, Lord, we pray for ourselves, that we may be attuned to our surroundings and that we will become familiar with warning signs. May many more trafficking victims be discovered and freed. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Prayer for Georgia under newly appointed prime minister

Dear Lord, we pray for the nation of Georgia under the new leadership of Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia. With a tumultuous summer behind Georgia and anti-government protests happening outside the parliament as Gakharia’s government was approved, Gakharia will need great wisdom and fortitude as he leads his country. Please surround him with wise, godly leaders to assist during this transition, and help them lead well up until next year’s elections. Grant Gakharia wisdom in the areas where he intends to focus: security as he addresses Russian occupation of part of the nation, and growth as he focuses on a strong partnership with the United States and a newly designated reputation as the easiest nation in Europe for doing business. Most of all, Lord, we want to see you do a great work in Georgia—among the nation’s leaders and regular citizens. May your Spirit move mightily in this land during this time of transition and into the future. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Prayer after doctor performed abortion on wrong woman in South Korea

Lord, our hearts drop as we learn of a doctor and nurse performing an abortion on the wrong patient in South Korea. While this event happened last month, word is now getting out as police investigate this incident. Heavenly Father, we are thankful the doctor and nurse acknowledged their horrible mistake. We pray for them as they come to terms with how they negatively impacted this family forever. May investigators and everyone else involved make the right decisions about consequences for these two, as well as improving practices so this never happens again. But, Lord, we think mostly of this woman, whose baby was intentionally killed and removed from her while she was under anesthesia. It is hard to imagine her recovery process. Lord God, please lavish her and the baby’s father with extra comfort as they heal physically, emotionally, spiritually, and in whatever other ways they need to heal. We pray they will have no problems conceiving again in the future when the time is right. We pray they will relinquish their lost baby to your care with eventual peace. Lord, may they draw strength and hope from you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Prayer after earthquake in Albania

Lord God, we pray for the Albanian towns of Durres and Tirana as they recover from Saturday’s earthquake. First, we rejoice that the most powerful quake in decades to hit Albania led to no loss of life. We are so thankful! Second, we pray for the injured, with estimates ranging from 30-some people to almost 70 having gotten hurt during the quake. Please help the injured recover and return to regular life as quickly as possible. Third, we pray for the emotional effects of such an event. Please help residents of these communities find peace after such a terrifying experience. May they reach out for help in this process if needed. Finally, Lord, we pray for the infrastructural recovery from the incident. We are primarily concerned for those whose homes (whether standalone or apartments) are inaccessible due to safety issues. Please provide them with shelter and help for as long as they need it. May buildings be repaired or rebuilt as needed—with as much efficiency as possible. Again, we celebrate that this earthquake did not lead to any deaths. May people all across Albania take comfort in that, as well as your promise that, “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:10). In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.