OSJ Prayers: June 21, 2017

Legal Victory for Standing Rock Sioux against Dakota Access Pipeline

Last week a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The ruling does not order a halt to pipeline operations, but it opens the door to the possibility. This is a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and environmental advocates who have been protesting the pipeline for months. Oil began flowing through the pipeline earlier this month, and many are concerned that it could contaminate the local drinking water and sacred Sioux land.

God, we pray that the dignity and rights of the Standing Rock Sioux would be protected and defended. We pray that the world you created would be cared for. We pray that your will would be done in Standing Rock.

Police Officer Found Not Guilty in Death of Philando Castile

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter last week. Mr. Castile’s death sparked nationwide protests over the use of force by police after his girlfriend broadcast the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook Live. This week, dashcam footage from the police car was also released, was viewed millions of times online, and has sparked renewed grief and outrage about Castile’s death and the not-guilty verdict.

Lord, we lift our broken hearts to you, heavy because the list of black lives ended at the hands of police is so long, and we struggle to name examples of accountability for those deaths. We lift our fearful hearts to you, troubled that police officers must do their jobs while feeling constantly threatened. We lift up the family and loved ones of Philando Castile, praying that they might experience peace even as his death disturbs and disrupts many communities. May it move us toward greater justice, Lord.

Muslims Attacked in London

Early Monday morning in London, a white British man drove a rental van into a group of Muslims leaving prayers during Ramadan. One person was killed, and at least 10 were injured. The suspect has been identified as 47-year-old Darren Osborne. The authorities are treating the attack as an act of terrorism against Muslims.

God, for an end to the threat of terror all over the world, we offer our earnest prayers. We pray that we might be people who make peace, not merely avoiding conflict but seeking to know, to protect, to love others whose culture or faith is different from our own. We pray for the people of London, who have seen such a string of tragedies in the past few weeks -- bring peace and comfort, justice and hope, Lord.

Cholera Escalating in Yemen

The cholera outbreak in Yemen, which began last year and is now expanding, has escalated quickly over the past seven weeks. According to Save the Children, a child is infected with the disease every 35 seconds. In the past few weeks, the rate of infection has more than tripled, and young people are the worst affected. Those under the age of 15 now make up half of all cases. As of June 13, 129,185 suspected cholera cases and 942 deaths have been registered in Yemen.

God, we grieve over these preventable deaths. We pray for relief from this suffering, for investment in protecting the health of the Yemeni people, and for an end to the conflict that has brought such suffering there.

Acting in Faith: Taking the Next Steps Webinar (U.S.)

Join us Thursday, June 29, from 9-10 p.m. (EDT) for our online webinar Acting in Faith: Taking the Next Steps. We’ll recap all of the great work our teams did in Washington, D.C., last month, refresh ourselves on our policy asks, discover how to build respectful relationships with our local congressional offices, and learn how to build a sustained, local movement for climate action.

Support World Renew’s Famine and Drought Response

World Renew is responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Africa through their work in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. To continue this important work in affected areas, they need your support. Click here to give. Donations in Canada are eligible for the government of Canada’s matching donation program now through June 30.