OSJ Prayers: October 18, 2017

Bombing in Mogadishu Leaves at Least 320 Dead

A deadly bombing on Saturday, Oct. 14, in the center of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has killed at least 320 people and injured hundreds more. A truck packed with explosives was detonated in a traffic jam; the explosion ignited a nearby fuel tanker. Somali forces managed to detain the driver of another vehicle filled with explosives, who has claimed that al-Shabaab, a violent Islamist group affiliated with al-Qaeda, is responsible.

God, we confess a lack of attention to this tragedy in Somalia when compared to other terrorist attacks. We ask that you meet us in our complacency and pull us closer to your heart, which deeply grieves over violence and hate. We pray for peace.

Syrian Forces Recapture Raqqa

The U.S.-backed alliance has recaptured Raqqa, the “capital” of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Soldiers are now combing the city to clear landmines and uncover any remaining jihadist cells. While the coalition’s bombings were supposed to target ISIS fighters alone, groups monitoring the airstrikes say they were indiscriminate, leaving a brutally high civilian death toll. Civilians trapped in Raqqa were traumatized for months—ISIS often used them as bait, and the countless bombings and airstrikes killed at least 1,000 residents since June.

God, for all who are grieving, for the hopelessness, the trauma, and the pain wrought by ISIS and by indiscriminate strikes, we lift our prayers. Comfort those who mourn. We pray that this  development in Raqqa might mark a turning toward restoration and hope.

Alaskan Indigenous Peoples Threatened by Climate Change

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 31 Alaskan communities face “imminent” existential threats from coastline erosion, flooding, and other consequences of rising temperatures. Four Indigenous communities—Kivalina, Newtok, Shishmaref, and Shaktoolik—are considered to be in particular danger and will need to be moved. Without federal coordination, the necessary relocation of these communities will take years.

God, we pray for the people who live in these communities, who are among the first to be impacted in life-changing ways by climate change. We pray for comfort and for courage in this transition, and for world leaders to take swift and serious action to address the growing impacts of climate change, particularly on those who are most vulnerable.

Canadian Justice Group Forms to Discuss Prisoners’ Human Rights

The East Coast Prison Justice Society was officially registered earlier this month in Nova Scotia. The eight-member group—made up of individuals with backgrounds in law, advocacy, and academia—hopes to offer more support to prisoners, identify existing gaps in the justice system, and provide resources to eliminate them. The group’s counterpart, the West Coast Prison Justice Society, started in the early 1990s and has become a full-time legal aid clinic, working on thousands of requests each year from prisoners.

God, we pray for blessings on the work and witness of this new group. We ask that advocates for people who are incarcerated would rise up, remembering the humanity and dignity of all who are imprisoned and working for justice alongside them.

Join World Renew’s Efforts to Assist Rohingya Refugees

Nearly 500,000 Rohingya people have fled to Bangladesh in the past month after tremendous persecution by military forces and radical Buddhist mobs in Myanmar. World Renew has partnered with the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh to provide some desperately needed food assistance. Please prayerfully consider donating to this effort today.

Support the Sanctity of Human Life!

The United States Senate is currently considering the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed in the House of Representatives two weeks ago. Please urge your senator to vote in favor of this bill banning abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation. Contact your senator today!