Friday, March 29, 2019

Prayer about conflict in Apurimac mining area of Peruvian highlands    File Photo by Mauricio Duenas/EPA

Lord, we pray about the current conflict in the Apurimac mining area of the Peruvian highlands. With indigenous farmers blocking a road used by a copper mine for 54 days now, tensions are high. The arrest of community leaders, charges of extortion, and concerns about pollution have just added fuel to the fire of confrontation. Lord, we pray for your peace to descend upon the region. We pray for Peruvian governmental leaders to accept the offer of clergy members to help mediate between the government and the indigenous population. We pray that resolution can be found that will protect the farmers’ crops and allow the mine to continue operating (unless there is a good reason it should not). We are thankful for the 2007 United Nations declaration that protects the rights of indigenous peoples to "enjoy and practice their cultures," as well as "develop and strengthen their economies" and social and political institutions. We pray for clarity in determining how that applies to the current conflict. And, Heavenly Father, we pray for continual, long-term progress in mending relations between indigenous and other groups within the nation of Peru. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Prayer and thanksgiving for the work of midwives in isolated communities and beyond

Lord God, we pray for the work of midwives around the world, particularly those who provide what is the only option for mothers delivering in poor and isolated communities. We are thankful for these women and men who sacrifice comfort, sleep and more in order to be available to delivering mothers at all times and in all conditions. Please bless them for their efforts and protect them as they go about their work. We want to specifically pray for these midwives today: Tahmina of Bangladesh, Ekkachai of Thailand, Revika of Indonesia, and Charlene and Joy of the Philippines. Please continue to work through them to deliver healthy babies, care for the well-being of mothers, and dispel myths surrounding childbirth in their communities. We pray for those individuals in communities who desire to receive midwifery training but face obstacles—may they overcome these obstacles so they can provide this life-saving service to those around them. Please provide midwives in communities who lack them. There is so much more we celebrate when it comes to midwives’ work! We are thankful your Holy Spirit intercedes for us so you can receive our gratitude even without adequate words (Romans 8:26). In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Prayer for woman robbed in Manchester while having seizure

Heavenly Father, today we pray for Leonora Royce, who was robbed by a pack of thieves while having a seizure in Manchester, England, last week. Lord, we are thankful Ms. Royce was not more seriously injured. We do pray she will recover from her minor injuries and receive the needed dental work as soon as possible. We also pray against any more serious damage that may have been sustained and has not yet been detected, recognizing that seizure disorders are complicated. We are thankful you see all that is going on in her body and can protect her from that. We do pray for Ms. Royce’s emotional recovery. It dismays us to know that people would take advantage of someone in her most helpless state, rather than providing her the medical attention she needed at the time. We celebrate her stated courage that she will not allow this attack to keep her away from her job in the city nor disrupt her daily life. Please sustain her resolve as she continues to recover from this trauma. We also celebrate the keen observation of the Manchester City Council CCTV operators who alerted the police, as well as the officers’ quick response time. We are thankful that one man has been arrested in connection with this crime and pray that the rest of the attackers will also be captured soon. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Prayer for cruise ship rescue operation happening off Norway

Lord God, we pray for the 1,300 passengers and crew members being evacuated today from a cruise ship off Norway. With the evacuation underway through Saturday night and into Sunday, we pray for your protection over the entire process, and we are thankful that there are no major injuries as of now. Lord, we know these processes are not easy. In fact, with a nearby freight vessel already losing engine power and thus forcing authorities to divert resources to help that ship's crew, we know many things can go wrong. So we ask your blessing on the rescue operation. We also pray for the peace that passes understanding to descend upon those awaiting rescue on the vessel. May both formal and informal leaders rise up to set a positive, creative attitude, so people can use the time between now and their evacuation in the best possible ways. May people behave selflessly, helping the environment to stay calm and the process to go smoothly. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Thanksgiving for dog who alerted owner to burning home

Lord, amid all the tragedies worldwide, we are thankful to hear happy stories as well. We are continually amazed by the stories from around the globe that involve four-legged friends notifying loved ones of danger. Today we rejoice in the family who escaped their burning Florida home, thanks to their neighbor’s dog. We are thankful that Amber Walker’s dog Angel alerted Walker to the flames next door. We are also thankful that Amber and her brother were able to notify their neighbors in time for them to escape. We pray for the family whose house sustained severe damage, that they will find safe shelter and will be able to focus on gratitude even while mourning the loss of their home and possessions. Help them move forward with joy. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Prayer about lost flight and aviation issues in Amazonia

Lord, today our prayers turn toward Amazonia, where flight regulations have brought about some serious concerns for indigenous residents. First, we pray for the flight taken by pilot Jeziel Barbosa de Moura in December. We know Jeziel and his seven Amazonian Indian passengers encountered adverse conditions and needed to make an emergency landing, but that is the last anyone heard from them. Despite a two-week search by the Brazilian Air Force and several more weeks’ searching by friends and relatives of the lost, there is no sign of the aircraft or passengers. You know where that craft landed. We pray for the airplane to be found so that people can have closure. If there are any survivors in the wilderness, we ask you to sustain them and get them to help. Lord, we also pray for the larger issue of the lack of air traffic control in the Amazon and other remote parts of Brazil--which disproportionately affects its indigenous population. We pray for airstrips to be upgraded so they can become legal, and thus pilots can fly without subterfuge. We pray that the Civil Aviation Authority will make good on the ruling passed six years ago requiring it to do just that: upgrade airfields. We also pray for other solutions for those Amazonian residents who are required to take dangerous flights in order to collect pensions. Lord, we know this situation is complicated. We do pray it will be prioritized so that solutions can be found and efficiently implemented. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Prayer about investigation of recent airplane crashes and the 737 MAX

Lord, we pray for the investigation of what caused the recent crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, which may be related to the crash of Lion Air Flight 610. We pray for success for the investigators in France who will begin analyzing the crashed Ethiopian Airlines jet’s black boxes on Friday. With Ethiopia overseeing the investigation, with the help of France and the United States (the only two nations with the experience gained from being present at almost every crash involving a Boeing or Airbus), we pray that everyone involved can be unbiased, diligent, and keenly observant. With the grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes around the world, we know this is a big deal. Everyone wants answers in order to prevent future accidents. Please grant wisdom and insight. And, Lord, we pray for the airlines scrambling to reschedule and reassign flights without the use of these grounded planes. Help them to be efficient and gracious, and may inconvenienced passengers also extend grace. We are hopeful that this process will go as well as possible and ask for your blessing and guidance. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Prayer about school collapse in Lagos, Nigeria PC: Reuters

Almighty God, we pray about the rescue operation happening right now in the Nigerian city of Lagos, following the collapse of a four-story building that included a school. With 100 students attending the school and only 40 pulled so far from the rubble, our hearts join with those families still urgently seeking their children or for loved ones from other parts of the building. Lord, we pray for your intervention in Lagos right now. We pray the crowds will stay out of the way—that no gawkers will interfere, but only those helping the search will stay in the vicinity. We pray for the safety of those digging through the rubble, that no one else will get injured during this desperate search. We pray for efficiency, the right equipment, good strategy, endurance, and hope as people persevere in the search. Lord, we pray for all who survived the collapse to be released from their entrapment before it is too late. And we pray for quick and quality medical care for everyone who needs it. Lord God, we are looking for more good news in Lagos today in the midst of the wrenching grief. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Prayer about massive plane crash in Ethiopia

Lord, we are absolutely sick to our stomachs and broken-hearted about Sunday’s airplane crash in Ethiopia! In this immediate aftermath, people are reeling with the information and trying to make sense of what happened on flight ET 302. First, we pray for those trying to confirm whether their loved ones were among the 157 who died in this terrible event. We pray that they will indeed get their confirmation one way or another. Next, we pray for the grieving—those who have lost loved ones, the nation of Ethiopia, the other nations represented on the flight, and people around world. Bring peace. May people find comfort in you. May people rally around each other as they process this life-altering news. Third, we pray for the investigation into what happened. We are thankful for Ethiopian Airlines’ excellent reputation and for the exemplary flight record and years of experience behind the pilot. With an almost total loss of the craft, we pray for investigators to have great wisdom and success as they seek answers among the rubble and among the data. Heavenly Father, please guide, direct and comfort us as we deal with this tragedy. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Prayer in response to racist hotel practices in Alice Springs, Australia

Heavenly Father, today we are dismayed to learn of clearly racist practices implemented at a hotel in the Northern Territory of Australia. We are thankful that the truth came out about the Ibis Styles Alice Springs Oasis’ mistreatment of Aboriginal guests. We pray now for corrective measures and appropriate consequences to be effectively and swiftly implemented. Lord God, we know that the emotional impact on Alice Springs, the immediately surrounding communities, and the broader Aboriginal community in Australia will be significant. We pray for comfort, healing and hope for those who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the revelation of this blatant racism against their communities. We pray for continued growth in each of our hearts, that we might acknowledge the intrinsic dignity in each human being, and consistently practice the love of Christ toward all. We pray against racism in Australia, that efforts against this blight will prevail. In Jesus’ glorious name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Prayer for immigrants still entrapped in slavery after the Russia World Cup       Photo credit:  REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Heavenly Father, we pray for the women who were brought into Russia for the World Cup on fan IDs, only to find themselves held captive as sex slaves. First, we praise you that Blessing Obuson and handfuls of others have been freed, and that Blessing is working to bring attention to this issue. We pray for Blessing and the other freed women to recover from their trauma and to find asylum in whatever nation is best for their situations. Next, we pray for those women who are still enslaved nine months after the World Cup. With 1,863 Nigerians entering Russia on fan ID for the World Cup and not having left the country yet, we are concerned about how many of these men and women are entrapped in dangerous situations. We pray for the Moscow authorities and NGOs that are seeking to find these missing people and address trafficking in their community. May they find success and have the resources they need. May they persevere despite opposition. Finally, Lord, we pray even now for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, for which fan ID is also being considered. We pray for Qatar to be proactive in preventing this blight in their nation surrounding this international event. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Prayer for Alabama and Georgia after tornado devastation

Lord God, we pray for rescuers and weather authorities as they search Alabama and Georgia, following the deadly tornadoes that hit these states Sunday. First of all, we pray for survivors who remain in peril. We pray that these people may draw on rich reserves of strength and resourcefulness in order to hold on until help arrives. Please lay it on hearts and minds to search areas that have not yet been searched—guiding rescuers to where people need assistance. Next, we pray for those who grieve the loss of loved ones, since at least 23 people perished in these storms. Comfort the ones left behind deep within their souls as they process this grievous blow. We pray for those whose lives have been upended and property lost. May they find shelter, food, etc., as needed, and may they have the courage and resources to begin anew. Finally, we pray for blessing and protection over those who are helping in any way—whether providing medical assistance, doing weather research, meeting emergency needs, searching the rubble, or planning to help with longer-term needs. We pray these people will persevere with their work until they have success. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Praise about release of Yazidi captives

Heavenly Father, today we celebrate the group of Yazidi women and children released by the Islamic State to return home to Iraq! After more than four years in captivity, we rejoice that these survivors have a chance to heal and to live freely among their own people again. We are thankful for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts to bring these women and children home. Lord God, you know what lies ahead for them. You know the trauma they’ve experienced and the devastating losses to their community, due to ISIS’ genocidal intentions toward them. Please bring people and resources into their lives to help them recover and thrive. Draw them close to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.