OSJ Prayers | February 2017

OSJ Prayers: February 2, 2017

New look, same OSJ Prayers!

Mosque Shooting in Québec

Six people were killed and another 18 were wounded after a gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Québec City, an act condemned as a “terrorist attack” by Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau. More than 50 people were at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec for evening prayers on Sunday when the shooting erupted.

For the grief, fear, shock, and anger that this incident has caused, we lift our prayers to you, Lord. We pray for our Muslim neighbors. Help your church to be committed to our call to be people who resist fear, who make peace, who speak truth, who defend human dignity, who build bridges, who denounce hate.

Israeli Settlements in Occupied West Bank

On Wednesday, Israel’s prime minister announced the establishment of a new settlement in the occupied West Bank “in response to housing needs.” The plans include 2,500 homes in the West Bank and 566 units in East Jerusalem. The United Nations condemned these plans, stating the actions are an obstacle to peace. In December the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution reaffirming that these settlements are a violation of international law and called on Israel to cease all settlement building in occupied Palestinian territory.

God, for those whose land is being stolen, whose livelihoods are constantly threatened, who are being treated as subhuman in Palestine, we offer our prayers. Give us wisdom to see this situation as you do, and to speak out for justice. Soften the hearts of leaders who have decision-making power in this situation, that they may seize the opportunity not for the gain of power and wealth but to do what is just and righteous.

Effects of Executive Order on Refugees Felt in Kenya

Hundreds of Somali refugees in Kenya who were days from traveling to the United States under the refugee resettlement program have been told they cannot travel, after a recent executive order banned migrants from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months.The refugees, who have all been screened by U.S. and United Nations officials, have already waited between 7 and 10 years for their resettlement to be approved. Some had already checked in for their flight to a new home in the U.S. when they were told they would not be allowed to board the plane. Others had traveled to Nairobi with their children and were ready to leave.

For these families and for refugees and immigrants from all parts of the world who are experiencing devastating impacts from the immigration orders coming out of Washington, D.C., we cry out to you, Lord. Give us your spirit, that we might know what to do, what to say, who to believe, how to respond. Come, Lord Jesus.

Support Meaningful Climate Action in Canada

God’s creation is precious. The Paris Agreement on climate change has entered into force, and Canada now has a new climate action plan. Unfortunately the emissions reduction target in Canada’s plan is inconsistent with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. Urge your MP to press for an increase in Canada’s emissions reduction target so that we will contribute our fair share to effective international climate action.

Tell Congress to Save Refugee Resettlement!

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. This faithful tradition is in jeopardy. Congress must hear, loud and clear, that Christians around the U.S. oppose the recent executive orders regarding refugee resettlement. Urge Congress to speak boldly against the announcement and to do everything in their power to see it reversed. Learn more and take action here.