OSJ Prayers: July 20, 2017

U.S. Uses Christian Theology to Back Israel

Vice President Mike Pence of the United States, at the annual summit of Christians United for Israel on Monday, told the evangelical crowd that his support for the country is rooted in his faith. That support, he promised, means moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that threatens to end peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

God, we repent of the ways that we have failed to understand Scripture, even used it in error, and allowed it to harm people you love. Palestinians have suffered so much, and too often that suffering is directly linked to an interpretation of the Bible that makes confused claims about the state of Israel’s right to political power. For the impact that these policies will have on the process toward peace, we lift our prayers.

Threats to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Last month, one governor and ten state attorneys general sent a letter to the Trump administration, calling it to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or face a lawsuit. Immigrant advocates now fear DACA could be terminated in the next 60 days, putting nearly 800,000 young immigrants at immediate risk of deportation.

God, we lift in prayer so many young people who have felt what it’s like to live without fear of deportation to a country they do not remember, and whose future is now again threatened with uncertainty. Draw near to them as they seek hope, as they attempt to plan for their futures, as they live anxiously in the present. Help Christians in their communities to support them; guide those in power to act with justice.

United Nations Urging Migrants Away from Libya

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) aims to dissuade migrants and asylum seekers from West Africa from going to Libya, which provides the main point of departure for Europe but exposes many refugees to abuse and capture at the hands of traffickers. Some 7,000 to 9,000 migrants and refugees are held in Libya at any time, including those retained in detention centers. At least 2,360 have died at sea, and an unknown number have perished in the Sahara desert trying to reach Libya.

God, for these people created in your image who are trapped in the grip of  such darkness and evil, we offer desperate prayers. Intervene, Lord, on behalf of those who have risked so much to flee their homes but now find themselves helpless and without hope. Change the hearts of people who prey on the vulnerability of migrants and refugees. Bring changes to Libya so that justice might be possible there. Empower people who are migrating to find safer routes to hope and a future.

Canadian Prison Agency to Review Treatment of Inmates with Opioid Addiction

Canada’s prison agency said it will review the way it treats inmates with opioid addictions in light of a series of accusations from B.C.-based prisoners. A letter sent to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) summarized the experiences of 33 prisoners held in the federal jailer’s Pacific region who said they couldn’t access basic treatment for the highly addictive class of drugs that includes fentanyl and oxycodone. CSC states it will undertake a review of the application of their opiate substitution therapy policy.

We remember those in prison, Lord, who are created in your image, who have dignity and worth, who are human beings. Challenge us to see them, Lord, though the system tends to make us forget. We pray for prisoners whose basic needs go unmet while they are locked up — including these prisoners in Canada who need drug treatment. Empower us to speak up, that their rights might be defended.

All Nations Heritage Sunday: October 1

Will your church be celebrating the multicultural church of Christ this All Nations Heritage Sunday? There’s less than two weeks left to order your bulletin inserts or covers from our partners at the CRC Office of Race Relations! Materials are available in Spanish, Korean, and English.

Support a Faithful U.S. Budget for People Who Are Persecuted!

The federal budget reflects our nation's values. As followers of Christ, we have an opportunity to use the power of advocacy to call for a faithful budget—one that protects and defends people who are vulnerable. The proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year includes dramatic cuts to international peacekeeping efforts that are vital to preventing and deescalating religious persecution around the globe. To learn more and to contact your member of Congress, click here!