OSJ Prayers | February 2017

OSJ Prayers: February 9, 2017

Ongoing Conflict in Yemen

A United States-led raid on January 28 targeting Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen resulted in the deaths of one Navy SEAL and several civilian women and children. Yemen’s government has expressed concern over the raid. The ongoing conflict in Yemen between rebels and the nation’s government is also the primary driver of a hunger crisis that the United Nations has warned could turn to famine this year if hostilities do not cease..

Lord, we lift in prayer the grieving families of the persons killed in this raid. We pray for the country of Yemen, which is in such turmoil. We pray for leaders in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and in the nations surrounding Yemen -- that with wisdom they may find a shared path toward peace and justice. We pray for an end to the conflict, to the hunger, and to the path toward chaos that is feared in that region.

Thousands Killed in Syrian Prison

At Saydnaya Military Prison, Syrian authorities have quietly organized the killing of as many as 13,000 people in their custody, many of whom were civilian opposition supporters. A new report by Amnesty International alleges that mass hangings took place every week at Saydnaya prison between September 2011 and December 2015. Amnesty says the alleged executions were authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government and amount to crimes against humanity.

For the unspeakable suffering at this Syrian prison, Lord, we lift prayers of lament and helplessness. We pray for accountability for these actions, asking that powerful nations might coordinate to end Syria’s lawless and inhumane regime.

Risk of Famine in Somalia

Somalia is facing the risk of famine, with more than 6 million people facing acute food insecurity in the country, three UN agencies have warned. Severe drought, rising prices, and forecasts of poor rains, together with the number of people at risk and the difficulties involved in reaching those affected, have led to a stark warning that an “immediate and massive” response is needed to avoid catastrophe.

God, we lift up the suffering people of Somalia, and we plead for a response from the global community that might protect the dignity of all who live there. We pray for rain, Lord. We pray for aid to arrive. We pray for peace in Somalia, which will only be possible if people’s most basic needs are met in this frightening time.

Potential Relocation of the Rohingya

The Bangladesh government seems to be revisiting plans to relocate tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a vulnerable island in the Bay of Bengal, Thengar Char. A government official states they would be transferred to the island before being repatriated to Myanmar. Rights groups have raised strong objections to the plan, saying it amounts to a forced relocation. Thengar Char is engulfed by several feet of water at high tide and has no roads or flood defenses. Some government officials have described the island as “uninhabitable.”

We pray, Lord, for humane policies toward the Rohingya refugees. We pray that the leaders who have the power to change these plans will act with justice and mercy. We pray for an end to the persecution of the Rohingya.

Acting in Faith: Evangelical Climate Advocacy Days

The Climate Witness Project, along with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Climate Caretakers, and Micah Challenge U.S.A., are organizing a group to participate in the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C., on April 29, followed by climate advocacy training on Sunday and legislative meetings on Monday. Will you join us? Register here.

Unable to join us in Washington, D.C.? You can still support us by signing, praying, and speaking up during the next 100 days and beyond. Our leaders need to hear that, as evangelical Christians, we want them to take action on behalf of God's creation and on behalf of the poor and vulnerable around the world.

Show Your Support for Refugees!

God issues a call to his people: we are to welcome the stranger and defend the cause of the most vulnerable. This is a moment of critical importance. The Christian Reformed Church has a long tradition of welcoming refugees into our communities and congregations. Help protect this faithful tradition by contacting your members of Congress in support of refugee resettlement today.