OSJ Prayers: July 26, 2017

Omar Khadr Receives Apology and Settlement from Canadian Government

Omar Khadr, an Afghan-Canadian, was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for 10 years. He was accused at age 15 of throwing a grenade in Afghanistan that killed an American Army Sergeant. The interrogation of Omar by Canadian officials was ruled to violate Khadr's rights as a Canadian youth detainee. This month he received an apology and settlement from the Canadian government.

For the damage done in this act of violence, we lament, Lord. We lament the grief that the family of Sergeant Christopher Speer has experienced. We lament the abuse that Omar Khadr has suffered. We lament the pain war causes. We pray for restoration for Khadr, the Speer family, and for the important conversation about guilt and innocence, crime and punishment, responsibility and scapegoating this story has elicited in Canada and around the world.

Ten Die in Dangerous Border Crossing

Ten immigrants died in the back of a tractor-trailer in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot this weekend, as temperatures in the area soared above 100 degrees. Nearly 40 people were packed into the metal trailer that had no air conditioning. They are believed to be the victims of a human trafficking operation. The driver of the truck was arrested but claims he was unaware that we was transporting human cargo.

For the many people who encounter danger, and even lose their lives, in an attempt to cross borders, we pray. We pray that these lives would be valued enough by those in power that they would be willing to address not just the problem of human smuggling, but also the desperate situations that prompt migrants to make dangerous crossings.

Violence Breaks Out in Jerusalem and the West Bank

At least three Palestinians have been killed and more than 300 injured in violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces last week. This follows two tragic incidents: the killing of two Israeli police officers outside the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound (known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, and a Palestinian man attacking a family of Israeli settlers in their West bank home as they celebrated shabbat killing three and injuring two.

God, we pray once again for peace in Jerusalem. We lift up those whose lives have only known conflict in their homeland; give them hope for restoration. We pray for leaders, both Israeli and Palestinian, that they would skillfully move toward a solution that might bring peace, justice, and security. We lament each Israeli and Palestinian life lost—lives created in your very image—and we pray for an end to the violence of the occupation which Palestinians still suffer under every day in Gaza and the West Bank.

Parents of Terminally Ill Infant End Legal Battle for Treatment

The parents of British baby, Charlie Gard, have ended their legal fight for experimental treatment in the U.S., concluding a months-long saga that has raised nearly $1.75 million and captured the attention of the world. After new tests, physicians declared that Charlie's muscles had atrophied too much for the treatment to be effective.

God, for the suffering family of Charlie Gard, we pray. We thank you for his life, which was precious in your sight, and for the lives of so many who suffer from illness and disease. We affirm that life is sacred, that in human beings we see your image, and we pray for policies which seek to protect life: health care, abortion, and assisted death policies that uplift, rather than destroy, the gift of life.

Blog Post: Omar Khadr, The King’s University, and Micah 6:8

"The fact that Omar was a similar age as our students, that he was Canadian, that he was being tortured at a discredited U.S. facility in Cuba – all these factors lent a sense of urgency to the cause," writes Prof. Roy Berkenbosch about The King's University's work with Omar Khadr. Read the full blog post here.

Ten Ways to Care for Creation!

New resource alert! We partnered with Faith Formation Ministries to develop a resource for churches looking for fresh ways to address our call to care for creation. The "Ten Ways to Care for Creation" toolkit includes ideas such as starting an intergenerational gardening project, holding a storytelling series, and much more! We invite you to download this FREE resource and share it with your church.