Saturday, February 29, 2020

Prayer about peace treaty signed between US officials and Taliban representatives
PC: Sorin Forcui/Al Jazeera

Almighty God, we pray about the peace treaty signed between US officials and Taliban representatives on Saturday. The possibility of ending the United States’s longest war is thrilling. And Afghans are naturally delighted, having lost more than 100,000 people since the conflict began, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. We take a moment to acknowledge this loss, as well as the loss of over 2,300 American soldiers, and the 22,000 additional American casualties. These are no small losses. Each number represents a soul. Each loss came as the result of sin and war. We express our gratitude for the sacrifices made by these soldiers, who were willing to lay down their lives for their people and nations. We grieve humanity’s penchant toward conflict. We express our doubt that things will go smoothly, but, with the faith of a mustard seed, we plead that they will. We pray everyone involved will follow through with the agreement, and that people’s desire for peace will propel them toward integrity and selflessness. May the United States and Afghanistan have peace with each other, unhindered by the Taliban. Amen.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Prayer about destruction caused by locusts in East Africa

PC: Dai Kurokawa/EPA/Shutterstock

Heavenly Father, today we share our concern about the locust swarms devouring crops in East Africa. In a region already plagued by food insecurity, we are very concerned as people lose crops and pasturelands, thus greatly impacting food supplies. Lord, we pray for those who have lost their livelihood during this attack. Please provide them with the resources to care for their families and to move forward. We pray for wisdom for communities and governments as they seek solutions amid this crisis. May their solutions proactively prevent inflated prices, starvation and ill health, which so commonly accompany food shortages. And, Lord, we pray for peace. May people’s desperation drive them to you and to resourcefulness and generosity, rather than to violence or crime. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Prayer about Costa Rican land disputes and murder of indigenous leader

Lord God, we pray for Costa Rica as the murder of an indigenous leader brings land issues to the forefront again. First, we pray for the loved ones of Yehry Rivera, a leader of the Broran ethnic group who was killed during a violent land dispute Monday night. Please grant peace and hope to those who mourn, as well as to the nation as it grieves this situation. We are thankful the man who shot Rivera turned himself in to authorities. We pray that the justice system will work effectively in this case, considering and uncovering how many people were involved in the violence. Of course, Lord, the bigger issue that led to this violence has to do with land occupation, as you know. Rivera died trying to expel landholders who are occupying land granted by law to the indigenous population. From the heavens, you see how national indigenous lobbyists accuse the government of ineffectively protecting the land designated for their ethnic groups, and for providing inadequate security. Please help all parties work together on helpful and agreeable solutions. We pray against further violence as these disputes are settled. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Prayer about coronavirus outbreak from controversial South Korean religious group
PC: Kim Jun-Beom/Yonhap, via Associated Press

Lord God, today we pray about the coronavirus outbreak centered around South Korea’s controversial religious group, Shincheonji. First, Lord, we pray for the 433 South Koreans confirmed to have the virus, 231 of whom are connected with Shincheonji. We pray for excellent medical care and full recovery. Next, we pray for the other 9000 local group members who have gone into self-isolation and are being tested for the virus. We pray that these measures, along with the sanitization of Shincheonji’s facilities, will successfully halt the spread of the virus from this group. Finally, Lord, we pray about this group’s influence. May the extra publicity not draw additional people into any unhealthy situations. And may those who should leave this group have their eyes opened to see the truth about the group’s teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Prayer about recent attack on Christians in Burkina Faso

O God our God, what do we say about the latest attack on Christians in Burkina Faso?! There is so much grief. We are thankful that your Spirit intercedes for us when words fail (Romans 8:26). We may be five or 5,000 miles away, but we should all be impacted when we hear of attackers arriving at a church, separating men from women, shooting to death 24 of them, injuring 18 more, kidnapping three youths, looting the church, and then burning down the church. Lord, bring your peace amid the pain. Please protect the kidnapped youths from further harm and enable them to escape. Lord, we are concerned about the religious leaders being targeted in Burkina Faso. We are concerned about the 1,300+ civilians killed in targeted attacks last year in Burkina Faso, which is more than seven times the previous year. Lord, please show us what to do. Show Burkina Faso’s leaders and people what to do. We pray against the rapidly escalating violence in this nation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Prayer about Boy Scouts of America amid sex abuse scandal and bankruptcy filing
PC: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Trustworthy Father, we bring before you the Boy Scouts of America in the midst of their sex abuse scandal and filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Lord, we are thankful for the immeasurable impact this organization has had on countless boys during its history. We are also thankful that past cases of abuse are now coming to light. It is always devastating to learn about people in authority misusing their trusted roles to harm others. It is also distressing to learn of organized cover-ups. The BSA is in a mess at this moment. They are trying to continue doing good work while also trying to face up to past misdeeds. We pray for truth to come out and wisdom for all involved. However, Lord, it also feels to many of us like this is not the best option for victims. We are grieved most of all for what these boys and men endured, and we now grieve for the delays and complications they will face as they seek justice and compensation for the harm they experienced. Please comfort and heal them in ways that efficient legal proceedings and compensation cannot match. May they experience your healing and transformation. Yet we also want them to receive justice. Give them the strength and support systems to endure. May additional victims feel comfortable coming forward when the time is right for them. Finally, Lord, may the truth come out about both abusers and the falsely accused. In Jesus’ merciful name we pray, amen.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Prayer about fire at Haitian children's home

Merciful Father, we pray about the fire that killed 13 children at a children’s home in Haiti’s Kenscoff region Thursday. We are thankful for the dozens of children who were safely rescued, but dismayed by the loss of the 13 young lives, in part due to rescue workers being inadequately equipped to help them. Heavenly Father, please bring healing to the injured and to the traumatized. For those who have living parents, may they be quickly reunited if their parents are able to comfort and help them during this time. Lord, we also pray about the questions surrounding the condition of this orphanage, which is run by a Pennsylvania religious group. It is discouraging to hear that the home may have operated without accreditation and possibly with unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Please bring to light anything that would be helpful for these children and this nation. May this group not use your name in vain. And, Lord, we do pray for the rescue workers who responded to this crisis and found themselves unable to help as much as they would have liked. Help them to process through this tragedy, and may they find the resources needed to provide more effective assistance in the future. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Prayer about letter bombs in the Netherlands   Photo by Marcel Van Hoorn/EPA-EFE

Heavenly Father, we pray for police investigators in the Netherlands as they seek the source of two letter bombs that exploded in their nation Wednesday. We are thankful that no one was hurt in either location, but we are concerned that the responsible person(s) will be stopped before anything worse happens. We pray against any trauma that occurred for those who handled the letters, and we pray for facility repairs to be quickly completed. We pray that any other recipients of similar mail will be discerning enough to call authorities before handling the mail, and that the postal system will also be effectively cautious. Again, we pray against further attempts to harm through letter bombs, and we pray for the perpetrator(s) to be caught as soon as possible. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Prayer about controversy surrounding ex-missionary appointed to Brazil's top indigenous post   PC: G. Miranda/Funai/Survival

Heavenly Father, we are deeply grateful that you freely offer wisdom (James 1:5). We pray today for Brazil, where there is significant controversy over the appointment of evangelical Ricardo Lopes Dias as head of the department in charge of protecting indigenous tribes from contact with non-indigenous people. Lord, you see and know each member of the 107 non-contacted or barely contacted indigenous groups living in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. You know what is best for them. To put someone who previously served with an organization whose mission is to evangelize indigenous peoples is controversial indeed. There are many layers to the concern. Lord God, we entrust this situation to you. We ask for wisdom for the decision-makers in this scenario. We ask for your protection of these tribes from anything that would harm them. Lavish your wisdom on Brazil’s leaders as they grapple with this situation. We pray for it to result in whatever is best. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Prayer about sex abuse scandal being uncovered within the French Ice Sports Federation PC: EPA

Heavenly Father, we pray about the scandal that is being uncovered within the French Ice Sports Federation. We are thankful that champion figure skater Sarah Abitbol was ready to share about the sexual abuse she received from her coach. As is often the case, courage fuels courage, and we are thankful for the other champion skaters who have come forward to share of their abuse. Lord God, as perhaps more allegations surface and past handling of allegations is examined, we pray for truth. We pray everyone involved will desire to uncover truth, repent where needed, and begin the process of making things right. We ask for healing for Ms. Abitbol, and the others who were harmed as they trained to be the best skaters in the world. We pray for the accused, that they would receive vindication if they are innocent, but that those who are guilty will truly repent and confess. Please guide investigators and those who counsel everyone involved. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Prayer surrounding the situation of Lesotho's First Lady murdering her adversary
Image via: @povonewstv Twitter

Lord, we pray for comfort in Lesotho as the nation deals with political tragedy and upheaval. We can claim we do not understand First Lady Maesaiah Thabane’s murder of her adversary, but the words you spoke come to mind: “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer,” (1 John 3:15) and, “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). We all fight against sin. Please give us victory every day. Nurture in us humility before you, so that we may tap into the victory you offer. Please be with Maesaiah Thabane as she goes through the legal process. May she repent and speak truth. We pray for Prime Minister Thomas Thabane as he is in the process of resigning. May he do this well, and may he handle his wife’s crime appropriately and honestly. We pray for those who grieve the death of Lipolelo Thabane, her companion that evening, and the entire situation. Please provide comfort, direction, justice, and godliness. Give Lesotho’s primary influencers wisdom in how to lead the nation during this time, both formally and informally. Provide Lesotho with an exceptional prime minister to replace Thomas Thabane when the time is right. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Prayer about kidnapping and shootout in India’s Kasaria village  PC: KK Productions via AP

Lord God, we entreat mercy for the bewildering tragedy that happened in India’s Kasaria village Friday. We try to make sense of this mess: a man on bail for a murder charge invites 23 children to a fake birthday party and locks them in his basement. He expects not only ransom to be paid for each child, but that the police will drop all charges. Authorities attempt to negotiate with the kidnapper, an explosive is detonated, the perpetrator’s wife attempts to talk with the people gathered outside the house but is attacked and killed by them, a shootout ensues, the perpetrator is killed, the children are rescued, and the perpetrator’s one-year-old daughter is sent to stay with a relative. What a mess! So much sadness and brokenness! Please bring clarity for investigators. Bless the relative caring for the child. Comfort those grieving for the murdered woman and for the now-deceased criminal. Heal the children and their families from the trauma they suffered. And protect the orphan, who lost both parents in disturbing ways. Lord God, you see through all of this mess to the greatest needs. We pray that you will glorify yourself there. In Jesus’ name, amen.