Thursday, January 28, 2021

Prayer as Daniel Pearl's killers are released from prison PC: Mark Ralston

Lord God, we pray for the peace that passes understanding to guard the hearts and minds of Daniel Pearl’s family in coming days. May they cling to hope as they deal with the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision to let Pearl’s killers go free. Even though Pearl’s brutal death was in 2002, the publicly disseminated video of his beheading by terrorists was seared into people’s minds. To know that the cold-blooded killers will be released to live out their lives tears the scab off deep wounds for many. Heavenly Father, please bring healing. Please bring justice. Lord, please grant Pearl’s parents wisdom as they seek fair dealing through the legal system. We do pray for justice to be served. We also pray for the terrorists to turn from their wicked ways to you. May they do no further harm in the name of their God. We humbly pray, amen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Prayer for the Rohingya as they are transferred to an island refugee camp

Heavenly Father, we continue to pray for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Today we specifically pray for the transfer of thousands to the remote island of Bhasan Char. We pray that all relocations will be truly voluntary and also safe. We pray for accurate information to flow between governments, refugees, citizens and media. We pray that those who settle on Bhasan Char will find the more positive, safer experience they are seeking. May the crime stay low, and may the governmental measures to protect the island from potential flooding prove effective. Lord, we are gravely concerned about the overall Rohingya situation of strong persecution in their home country of Myanmar. We see that this is what drives the Rohingya over the border into Bangladesh by the thousands. May the root problem be solved with the Myanmar government so that Rohingya do not need to flee to refugee camps. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Prayer about sexual violence against Ethiopian refugee women PC: AFP

Lord God, we pray that the raping of Ethiopian women by those with power over them will stop! We are disgusted by the reports of sexual assault perpetrated by Ethiopian soldiers and allied Eritrean soldiers against refugee women…and not only rape, but many other disgusting forms of this kind of abuse! We pray that the government will open its eyes to see what is truly happening under their watch. We pray for women (as they are willing and able) to continually come forward to receive assistance and to share their stories. We pray for military leaders to immediately enact and enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding sex crimes. Lord God, we know that each of these women is precious in your sight and of great worth. Help them to hear, know and embrace that truth as they heal from these abuses. We pray also that those perpetrating these crimes will have their eyes opened wide, that they may recognize the error of their ways and see these women as those they are responsible to protect and honor, rather than harm. Finally, we pray for aid agencies and media to gain easier access to the region in order to help the hurting and reveal truth that leads to change. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Prayer about significant suicide increases in Japan  (photo credit: REUTERS/ISSEI KATO)

O Lord God, we are grieved to hear of the dramatic spikes in suicides within Japan! Numbers like a 37% increase for women and a 49% rise among children are devastating. With these major increases occurring during Japan’s second wave of COVID-19, we pray for relief from this virus for the Japanese. We are thankful the nation is acknowledging the impact the pandemic has had on mental health through hammering the economy and the increase in domestic violence. We pray for divine wisdom for leaders as they seek to balance managing the economy and managing COVID-19. We pray that individuals who need help will have the courage, strength and awareness to ask for it. We pray that people will look out for one another, even strangers, during this difficult time. Finally, Lord, we pray that those who know you will share their hope and help with others. Amen.



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Prayer as independent panel reveals how the pandemic could have been better handled

Almighty God, we are thankful for the report shared Monday by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. We are grateful that this independent panel was able to investigate the COVID-19 pandemic and determine what can be done better in the future. Lord, they found that both China and the World Health Organization should have taken specific actions earlier in order to save lives. Rather than dodging responsibility or playing blame games, may all involved remain humble and move forward with greater awareness in what to do better. We know, Lord, that this may not be the last time a virus threatens global health. We pray against that, but we also pray that we will be better-prepared. May we put others’ interests before ourselves. May we humble ourselves before you and seek your assistance. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Prayer about hospital fire in India that claimed ten young lives

Lord, you promise to comfort those who mourn. Please comfort the mourning in the western state of Maharashtra, India, as they grieve the loss of 10 babies Saturday. Lord God, we celebrate and acknowledge the courageous hospital staff members who saved seven babies when the fire broke out. Please comfort and uphold them as they deal with not having saved all. Be with the parents, grandparents and siblings of the lost. Give them enough light during this dark time to take the next step forward. Heal their broken hearts. We pray for the injured, that they would recover quickly. We pray for the investigation, that the cause of this fire will be uncovered and addressed. We pray for the patients and staff at the Bhandara District Hospital, that they can continue their duties and treatments with trust in you and the peace that passes understanding. May hospital repairs not hinder anyone’s healthcare. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Prayer for grieving families after tragic California drownings  PC: Kent Porter / The Press Democrat

Lord God, we take a moment to thank you for our loved ones. When we hear such stories as what happened to the Michael Wyman and David Reyes Juarez families on the North Coast of California last weekend, we want to hold our loved ones close and cherish the moments we have together. First, Lord, we pray for Sarah Wyman, who lost her husband and both of her children in one tragic coastal incident Sunday. Please comfort, sustain and strengthen her. Surround her with supportive people and helpful resources. May she find purpose and hope as she moves forward after this unimaginable loss. May people remember her husband as a selfless hero who gave his life as he attempted to save his children from drowning. Lord, we also pray for the Juarez family as they grieve their horrible loss. God, it is unclear to us who was present for this incident, but we do know that at least two of Juarez’s children helplessly witnessed their father’s death, despite their best efforts to retrieve help. Please help them recover from this trauma. Grant them the resources they need and a special measure of your grace and presence. We thank you for the example Juarez set as an educator and administrator, and as a hero who at least once directly saved a child’s life. May his legacy continue through those who worked with him and studied under him. Lord, nurture grateful, courageous, wise hearts within us. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.        

Monday, January 4, 2021

Prayer about child labor on Malawian tobacco farms  
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Lord God, we pray about the claims against specific British tobacco companies that were filed in London’s High Court in December--on behalf of several thousand poor Malawian farmers and their families. Lord, it is grievous to hear the claims of child labor, modern-day slavery, and coerced prostitution that the farmers mention in their lawsuit. British American Tobacco’s stated commitment to end child labor in its agricultural supply chain by 2025 indicates that at least some of these claims are true. We are thankful that these lawsuits are bringing these terrible practices to the forefront. We pray for the legal process to make the truth clear. We pray for justice and restitution wherever appropriate. We pray for child labor and this form of slavery to end on Malawian tobacco farms. Please rally some of your children to offer healthy alternatives to the farmers trapped in this cycle. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.


Saturday, January 2, 2021

Praise that the pandemic has forced China to address mental illness in a healthier way

Heavenly Father, we thank you for another demonstration of how you can bring good things out of bad circumstances. Today we celebrate that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed China to address mental illness in a healthier way. Having been hidden and suppressed since the time of Mao, mental illness has been denied or stigmatized. With fewer than nine mental health professionals for every 100,000 residents, resources and care are extremely hard to find in China. Thank you that the overall trauma of the pandemic has forced Chinese citizens and government officials to acknowledge that trauma is real and has a genuine impact on people—and that it is OK for the affected to ask for help. We thank you that hotlines have been created and that schools are providing resources for students. We pray, Lord, for continued growth in this area. We pray for stereotypes to be broken, more people to seek training in this field, and for those who struggle to seek help from both you and mental health providers. Lord, we also pray for frontline healthcare workers in China, more than half of whom have been showing signs of depression in the aftershocks of the pandemic. Rally support and resources around them, that they may find healing, even as they bring healing to others. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.