OSJ Prayers: April 19, 2017

Attack on Buses Carrying Evacuees in Syria

On Saturday a bomb attack struck buses that were transporting evacuees to safety from besieged Syrian towns. The attack killed 126 people, including 68 children. Many more were injured. No has has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.

For an end to the ongoing horror in Syria, we lift prayers, O Lord — bring peace, safety, and a glimmer of hope. We know that you love the people of Syria, God. We pray that they might be delivered from this suffering. We pray for wisdom and for world leaders to make decisions that cultivate peace.

Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike

More than 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons began a hunger strike on Monday to demand better conditions, including an end to solitary confinement and an increase in family visits. Israeli prison regulations stipulate that all prisoners are entitled to family visits once every two weeks, but Palestinian family members from the occupied Palestinian territories are required to apply for permits to enter Israel in the first place — and are often denied.

For the families in Israel and Palestine who are separated by walls, checkpoints, and prisons, we lift our prayers to you. We pray for justice and for dignity for all who live in this region, and for laws that honor the image of God in each person. We pray for policies that make for peace and flourishing.

Pastors Work toward Environmental Advocacy

Drought, development, overuse, and a warming climate threaten the Colorado River. For many congregants in Yuma, Arizona, the river is their source of drinking water and is used to irrigate the fields in which they work. Evangelical pastors from the Colorado Rocky Mountains all the way to southwestern Arizona have begun to speak with congregations about the river as a gift from God that Christians need to protect and are encouraging environmental advocacy.

God who provides, we praise you for the gift of your created world — for water and land and a creation that cries out in praise to you. We pray that we might take care of it, and in so doing, honor you. We pray for pastors in the Colorado River watershed who find faith-filled words to speak, and we ask that a way forward to protect this crucial resource might be made clear. May a love for the Colorado River draw Christians closer to you and to one another in this part of the United States.

Canada Decreases Foreign Aid

While international development aid reached a new global peak in 2016, a new report shows that Canada's contributions have shrunk under the Trudeau government. Canada's official development assistance was down by 4.4 percent compared to the previous year (and made up just 0.26% of the country's gross national income [GNI]). Only six countries — Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K. — met or exceeded the 0.7 (GNI) target last year.

God, we pray for a spirit of generosity and leadership in Canada during this critical moment in world history. As rates of hunger, migrations of people, and crises of poverty continue to mount, we pray that countries with vast resources would exercise wisdom, faithfulness, and compassion.

Become a Blessing Not Burden Partner!

Are you interested in helping your congregation learn more about immigration, integrating the topic of immigration into worship, speaking to public officials about common-sense immigration policy, and connecting church members to local organizations working with immigrants? Find two friends and become Blessing Not Burden Partners! Click here to learn more.

It’s Not too Late to Join Evangelical Climate Advocacy Days!

The Climate Witness Project and Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Climate Caretakers, and Micah Challenge U.S.A. are organizing a group to participate in the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C., on Sat., Apr. 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.