OSJ Prayers: September 6, 2017

President Trump Announces End of the U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

On Tuesday, President Trump announced his decision to “wind down” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the next six months. Since 2012, the temporary program has changed the lives of more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants by granting them the ability to work and allowing them to live without fear of separation from family through deportations. They are contributors to the economy, academic standouts in schools, and active members of congregations. Without a legislative solution from Congress in the next six months, these young people will no longer have status in the United States and will be at risk of deportation.

God, we lift in prayer DREAMers—young immigrants who find themselves without status and without options. We pray for their protection from deportation, which would send so many back to countries they have never known. We pray for their courage to tell their stories and continue mobilizing people of goodwill to join them in advocating for change. We pray for Congress—motivate our leaders to pass laws that honor the dignity of these immigrants who contribute so much to a country that doesn’t claim them. We pray for President Trump—for temperance and wisdom, compassion and fairness. We pray for your church, Lord. Make clear to us the call that you place on us. Help us to be diligent and savvy in our pursuit of humane treatment of all people.

Rohingya Civilians Flee Mass Persecution

The Rohingya of northern Myanmar—an ethnic, predominantly Muslim people group—have long faced severe persecution. Last week, in retaliation for Rohingya militants killing 12 government officials, the military and local Buddhist radicals murdered nearly 400 civilians and burned down several villages, displacing tens of thousands of people. Those who survived the attacks have fled to the Bangladeshi border. However, in some areas, Rohingya militants have refused to allow Rohingya men to leave, demanding that they stay and fight.

God, we pray once again for the Rohingya people who face such oppression. We pray for those who desire peace but are compelled to commit violence. We pray for women, children, the elderly, and all others who are most at risk when persecution runs rampant. We pray for leaders in Myanmar to lead, to speak out, and to seek solutions to this long-standing crisis.

Imprisoned Iranian Christian on Hunger Strike

Ebrahim Firouzi, an imprisoned Iranian Christian, has been on a hunger strike since July 30 to protest the unjust treatment of Christians. Many Christians in Iran have recently faced lengthy prison sentences and been denied access to Christian literature in prison. After serving an initial 10-month sentence for allegedly insulting Islam and acting against the regime and national security, Ebrahim was subsequently charged with “acting against national security, gathering, and collusion” in 2015 and sentenced to another five years in prison.

God, we join Christians in Iran by praying for the things they are praying for: draw near to the many believers who have been imprisoned, including Ebrahim, and grant him and his family peace in the midst of his courageous fight for justice. We pray for his strength--physical and spiritual. We pray for authorities in Iran to review his sentence and grant him freedom. We pray for Iran to halt the persecution of Christians and to recognize the right that each person has to be free in their belief and faith.

Massive Flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal

After weeks of torrential rain and flooding throughout parts of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, the devastation has been enormous—more than 1,200 people have lost their lives while homes, schools, farms, and buildings have been swept away or are heavily flooded. UNICEF estimates that 16 million children are affected. The majority of those who have lost everything lack the resources to rebuild their lives, further complicating the challenges of recovery. Environmental scientists and models predict that these types of events will occur with increasing regularity and greater intensity as a result of climate change.

God, for the devastation in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, we come to you in prayer. Only you can heal; only you can give hope. We pray for the people who are most affected—those who are sick, poor, and vulnerable, especially children; draw near to them. We pray for all who are working to save lives and mitigate the enormous harm that has been done. Give strength, safety, health, and energy. We pray for a world in which disasters like these are becoming common because of climate change. May we have the wisdom to be truthful about solutions that are possible.

Take Action: Urge Congress to Pass the Dream Act

In the wake of the recent termination of DACA, it is more crucial now than ever that Congress pass permanent legislation to protect our young undocumented brothers and sisters. We invite you to take action here and urge Congress to vote for the Dream Act of 2017.

Connecting with Your Community

The CRC’s Office of Race Relations is hosting a workshop titled “Connecting with Your Community” on Sept. 9, 2017. This free workshop will provide resources from the CRC and an opportunity to network with and learn from local ministry leaders and one another. Click here for more information and to get your tickets.