OSJ Prayers: August 23, 2017

Van Attack Kills 13 in Barcelona

On Thursday, a van plowed into dozens of people in Barcelona, Spain, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100 others. On Monday, Spanish authorities shot and killed the suspected driver; the Islamic State has claimed responsibility. The attack is the sixth vehicular attack in Europe in recent years and came days after a van drove into a crowd of anti-racism protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

We pray again for those who mourn in the wake of terror attacks; how long, O Lord? We pray for those who perpetrate the attacks—who feel powerless, who are afraid; help us forgive, Lord, and heal their hearts. We pray for peace in Europe, in the Middle East, across the world; for an end to extremism and terrorism; for the kingdom of God to draw near.

Abortion in Chile

Chile legalized the practice of abortion this week in cases where the life of the mother is endangered or the unborn child is proven to be “unviable.” Abortion has been illegal in Chile since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1989. The Roman Catholic conference of bishops in Chile responded with a statement, saying, “We are before a new situation in which some unborn human beings are left unprotected by the state in this basic and fundamental right.” This comes a week after CBS News lauded the nation of Iceland for “eliminating Down syndrome” through abortion.  

Giver of life, we grieve the many ways that our world devalues unborn lives created in your very image. We pray for the women and men making difficult decisions in hard situations. We ask for your help in creating a world where the lives of women and men vulnerable to choosing abortion are honored and valued to the point where the lives of their unborn children are protected by all of us, regardless of perceived ability, socioeconomic status, or wantedness. 

Residents Begin Returning to Mosul

Iraqi government forces finally recaptured the city of Mosul, Iraq, from Islamic State forces in July after an eight-month battle. Residents are returning but many buildings are still booby-trapped and most new injuries are from improvised explosive devices. The city itself needs major reconstruction as much of it was heavily bombed.

God, we thank you for a chance at a hopeful future for those who live in Mosul. We pray that this might be a true chance for suffering people to rebuild their lives again. We pray for reconciliation between those who live in Mosul, where trust has been so broken and relationships so frayed amidst the violence. We pray for hope, healing, and a future.

Flooding in Sierra Leone

After heavy rains, mudslides and torrential flooding have killed hundreds of people in and around Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital. Hundreds more victims are still thought to be trapped in homes, and the remains of many bodies are buried under tons of mud. Survivors face a high risk of diseases, including cholera and typhoid, spreading.

We pray for the stunned and frightened people of Sierra Leone in the wake of this disaster. Give stamina to those responding, courage to those ministering, and peace to those grieving. We pray for World Renew, whose partners are working tirelessly to bring hope for recovery and healing there.

U.S. Millennial Advocacy Summit: Choose Hope 2017

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is proud to announce its next Advocacy Summit: Choose Hope 2017, co-sponsored by Millennial Voices for Peace (MVP), to be held from November 12th-14th. The Choose Hope 2017 Advocacy Summit provides a holistic space for millennials—including, college, seminary, and graduate students as well as young professionals—who wish to engage in a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Registration is happening now. Click here to find out more.

Help World Renew Respond to Severe Flooding

Over a million people are estimated to be displaced as torrential rains and severe flooding affect communities throughout Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone. Hundreds are feared dead and if heavy rains continue, many more people could face serious injury, property damage, or lose their lives. World Renew is responding. Click here to give to those in urgent need.