OSJ Prayers | February 2017

OSJ Prayers: February 17, 2017

Refugee Camp in Kenya to Remain Open

Last week a Kenyan judge ruled that the Kenyan government’s plan to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, was illegal and discriminatory. Ultimately the refugees currently residing there cannot be forcibly relocated. In addition, the judge ordered the reinstatement of the government’s refugee department, which was closed last year. The camp, home to more than a quarter of a million Somali refugees, has been a refuge for people fleeing violence and persecution since 1991, when the civil war in Somalia began.

God, we pray for the people who have called Dadaab home. We pray for those who are desperate and find themselves at the whim of the politics of governments near and far. We pray for refugees around the world — help us to create communities where they can be safe and eventually thrive and belong.

Drinking Water in First Nations Communities

There are 71 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities across Canada. The Canadian government has pledged to have all long-term advisories lifted within five years, setting aside $1.8 billion to help build on-reserve water infrastructure. Since November 2015, 18 such advisories have been lifted, while 12 have been added, according to the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Many First Nations communities feel that five years is too long to wait for clean water.

God, we cannot live without water. We pray that Canadian officials will find ways to provide clean water quickly to First Nations peoples. We pray for an end to the underlying injustices that have allowed this population to go without the most basic of human necessities. We pray for the dignity of First Nations peoples to be respected and protected.

Cities in Syria in Need of Humanitarian Aid

A senior United Nations official in Syria has warned of a "looming humanitarian catastrophe" in four besieged towns and has called on all players in the conflict to allow safe passage for life-saving aid to some 60,000 trapped civilians. At least 60,000 civilians are trapped within the cities, facing daily violence, risk of malnutrition, and lack of proper medical care.

Lord, we pray for a swift end to the conflict in Syria. We pray for all who are trapped and faced with unspeakable violence. Rescue them, God. May your kingdom come quickly.

Advocates Continue Fight Against DAPL

The Standing Rock Sioux on Tuesday asked a federal district court to set aside the Trump administration's February 8 decision to grant an easement allowing construction of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline to move forward. Tribal leaders from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Great Sioux Nation held a press conference yesterday at the National Press Club to discuss their next steps in opposing the project.

Creator God, we lift up all who are are working tirelessly to protect your creation. Sustain them as they continue their fight for justice. We pray that your will may be done at Standing Rock. Strengthen those whose highest concerns are the common good, the flourishing of creation, and the dignity of people.

Canadian Advocates: Call for a Review of the Safe Third Country Agreement!

Refugee policy in the United States is changing. It is time to carefully review the effectiveness of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. to make sure that the agreement does not endanger vulnerable migrants. It is important for Canada to set an international example in the protection and settlement of displaced people. Contact your MP in support of refugees today!

Acting in Faith: Evangelical Climate Advocacy Days

The Climate Witness Project, along with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Climate Caretakers, and Micah Challenge USA, 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 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.