OSJ Prayers: September 12, 2018

Thinking of new and creative ways to pray with your family and friends? Share these prayers before a meal, during worship, or when putting children to bed.

Climate Change Negating Anti-Hunger Efforts Worldwide

The United Nations' 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, released on Tuesday, found that 821 million people — one in every nine — were malnourished in 2017, up from 815 million in 2016, putting at risk the UN's goal of eradicating hunger in the world by 2030. The UN stated that the effects of climate variability on rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers of the rise in hunger. Changes in climate are undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice, and maize in tropical and temperate regions, a trend that is expected to worsen as temperatures become more extreme.

God, we believe in the goal of ending hunger. We believe all people deserve to have their basic needs met. We believe we should work together to ensure that whatever threatens progress toward this life-affirming goal would be dealt with seriously. God, for those who suffer in so many places due to a lack of food, we lift prayers for hope and for mercy.

Human Waste Makes Refugee Camp in Greece Uninhabitable

Public health officials on the island of Lesbos, off the eastern coast of Greece, have declared the Moria detention center "dangerous for public health and the environment" due to what they describe as an “uncontrollable amount of waste.” Greece’s largest refugee camp will face closure next month if significant improvements are not made to its sanitary conditions. Inspectors found broken sewage pipes, overflowing garbage bins, and stagnant water and flies in toilets. A high risk of disease transmission due to overcrowding was also identified at the camp, which holds more than 8,300 people living in shipping containers and flimsy tents, more than double its official capacity of 3,100.

God, we pray for swift improvement of these conditions that demean the dignity of human beings, and we ask for a good plan leading to a lasting solution for this region. So many people are fleeing their homes — help us to come up with new ideas for adapting to the reality of migration so that all people can be treated with dignity.

Poverty Among Day Laborers Spurs Black Market Organ Sales

Recent reports from Pakistan point to the harrowing financial circumstances of impoverished day laborers who, due to low wages, are forced to sell their organs to make ends meet. Desperation to pay off debts and feed one’s family has led to this growing black market activity, in which some Pakistanis are making the difficult decision to sell a kidney. One man was reportedly paid 160,000 rupees ($2,200) for his kidney, but the costs of his post-procedure medicine and of paying off his debts have drained those funds, and medical complications have left him unable to return to work. In the past few years, police have arrested several people involved in running this illegal business. Though Pakistan’s GDP is growing, a significant portion of the nation’s economy is considered “undocumented,” or off the books, and income inequality remains high.

God, for people who are unseen and unloved in the places where they live, we offer prayers. We know you are a God who sees us — especially those of us who suffer. For the people suffering in Pakistan and driven to such extreme measures in order to survive, we pray for relief.

Canada Announces Holiday to Honor Indigenous Communities

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that his government will create a new holiday to fulfill a recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In 2015, the commission called on Ottawa "to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process." Trudeau's announcement didn't spell out when the day will be or what it will look like. Trudeau said his government is consulting Indigenous communities about the form and substance of the holiday before details are announced.

God who writes all of our stories, we celebrate the efforts in Canada to tell a shared story, to create a common memory, so that First Nations peoples who have been oppressed and left out by the powerful are now seen, honored, and valued. For the new stories we write today as we live together in community, we pray for a commitment to justice, to the dignity of human life, and to valuing the voices of people who were silenced and marginalized for so long.

Action Alert: Support Funding for Palestinian Refugees!

The Trump Administration has announced that it will cut all U.S. funding to the United Nations agency charged with caring for over 5 million Palestinian refugees by providing education, health care, and food aid. Ask the administration to keep funding this agency and support Palestinian refugees!

Refugee Admissions Statement and Action Alert

Ministry leaders from the CRCNA issued a statement in support of refugee resettlement in the United States.

To take action and support refugee resettlement, visit our Action Alert Center.