OSJ Prayers

Pastor in Turkish Prison

A Turkish court denied an initial appeal for the release of Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American Protestant pastor kept under arrest for the past three months over alleged links to a terrorist organization. No formal case has yet been opened against him. This is the first time in more than a decade that Turkish authorities have ordered the jailing of a foreign citizen involved in legally recognized church-related Christian ministry without explanation.

God, we continue to offer prayers for Rev. Brunson and for his family. Bring peace and comfort, resolve and courage. We pray for Turkish leaders to change course, and for policies that protect Christians and other religious groups from persecution around the world.

Fog Harvesting in Morocco

Climate change and population pressures have led to more unpredictable rainfall patterns and the depletion of natural water sources in much of rural Morocco. In the Sidi Ifni region, the people have one notable water supply: fog. On average, the area sees 143 days of fog per year. In the past ten years, the community has put up vast mesh nets to capture the moisture, which then condenses and drips into collection trays. Roughly 6,300 liters of water can be harvested daily, which is then filtered, providing the region with a much-needed water source.

God, for innovation and creativity we praise you. For the surprising ways you provide, we praise you. For resilience and determination, we praise you. May these efforts to survive be met with equal efforts by leaders worldwide to halt the practices causing climate change.

Winter Refugees

Refugees and migrants are increasingly at risk of dying in the severe cold weather moving in across Europe. Since the start of the year, five refugees have died from the cold weather. Many in Greece are living in uninsulated tents and facing temperatures as low as -14°C (7°F). Some European governments have added to the crisis: the Serbian government raided a refugee camp on its border with Hungary earlier this week, stranding hundreds of migrants in the cold.

God, for refugees and migrants we plead for humane treatment, generosity, hospitality. May your church stand up for justice — in Europe, in North America, and around the world.

U.S. Abortion Rate Lowest since Roe v. Wade

The rate of abortions performed in the United States has fallen lower than during any year since 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized the procedure, according to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute. Researchers suggest that increased use of long-term birth control contributed to the most recent decline. In spite of this decrease, it is estimated that nearly 950,000 children still lose their lives to abortion each year.

God, we grieve that even one unborn life is lost to abortion — for all are created in your image, fearfully and wonderfully made by you. We give thanks for the good news that the numbers of abortions have decreased — please empower people to keep seeking creative, effective, and equitable ways to address abortion, that we might work toward a day when abortion ceases to occur.

Matthew 25 Movement Pledge

The Matthew 25 Pledge is a U.S. national Christian movement formed in response to threats of American policies that would do harm to vulnerable people, particularly immigrants, Muslims, and people of color:

"I pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus."

Sign the pledge here:

Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbors

"As an Arab American and the daughter of a Muslim, there are many things I would like people to understand about Muslims. But I’ve come to believe there are three things people really need to know if they are seeking to relate with Muslims, particularly Muslims living in North America."

Keep reading this Banner article written by OSJ's Shannon Jammal-Hollemans to learn more about being in relationship with our Muslim neighbors.