OSJ Prayers | March 2017

OSJ Prayers: March 2, 2017

Famine in Yemen

Last month the United Nations launched a $2.1 billion appeal to prevent famine in Yemen, where nearly 3.3 million people – including more than 2 million children – are acutely malnourished. The humanitarian appeal is the largest launched for Yemen and aims to provide life-saving assistance to 12 million people this year. The ongoing conflict between the government and the Houthi rebel movement is the primary driver of the hunger crisis.

God, we pray for the success of this plan to help the people of Yemen — may the funds be used in ways that protect lives and prevent disaster. We pray for an end to the violence that is the root cause of the suffering there, and we ask for resources or interventions or creative solutions that might make for peace in this region.

Jewish Community Center Threats

Last weekend 100 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa. This comes shortly after a similar attack vandalizing more than 150 graves in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Mo. On Monday, bomb threats forced people to evacuate Jewish schools and community centers in 11 states. Since the start of 2017, dozens of bomb threats have been made against Jewish community centers.

God, there are so many reports of hate crimes, acts of intimidation, and violence against people beloved by you. We pray specifically today for the Jewish community and the ways it has been targeted. God, give comfort and strength. Grant that all our communities might repent of the ways we allow for hateful attitudes, hateful acts, and hateful policies. Open our eyes, Lord.

Ongoing Economic Crisis in Venezuela

Tens of thousands of people are going hungry in Venezuela in the midst of an ongoing economic crisis. According to a new study conducted by three major Venezuelan universities, nearly three quarters of respondents reported losing significant weight between 2015 and 2016 — an average of 19 pounds. The country has struggled to recover after the price of oil plunged globally in 2014. Inflation has skyrocketed, and Venezuelans are facing severe shortages of food, medicine, and other basic necessities.

God, we pray for the people in Venezuela who cannot meet their needs. We pray for the leaders there who are struggling to address the impacts of low oil prices. Every time we fill our gas tanks, Lord, help us to remember that all humanity is interconnected in a complex web. We pray that food, medicine, and basic needs may be met in Venezuela in the short and long terms.

Members of Congress Sign Letter Asking for Release of Pastor Held in Turkey

Seventy-eight members of Congress have signed a letter to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urging him to release Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American Christian pastor who has been imprisoned in Turkey on false terrorism charges because of his faith.

Lord, we lift in prayer Rev. Andrew Brunson, and we pray for the effectiveness of this effort from Congress. We pray that Turkey will be a nation that honors religious freedom. We pray that all our countries may honor that value. We pray that Rev. Brunson’s persecution will soon end. We pray also for others who are persecuted because of their faith, all over the world. Draw near to those who suffer, Lord.

Documentary Screening on Islamophobia at Hope College

There will be a screening and discussion of the documentary “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” on Thur., Mar. 2, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium at Hope College, Holland, Mich. The discussion will be led by Dr. Nazir Harb Michel, postdoctoral senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative on the study of Islamophobia in Washington, D.C.

Acting in Faith: Evangelical Climate Advocacy Days

The Climate Witness Project and 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 Sat., Apr. 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 we, as evangelical Christians, want them to take action on behalf of God's creation and on behalf of the poor and vulnerable around the world.