OSJ Prayers: April 5, 2017

Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria

More than 70 people, including at least 10 children, were killed in a chemical weapons attack in northern Syria on Tuesday. Hundreds have been injured. This is the deadliest chemical weapons attack the country has seen in years, and it comes in the same week international leaders are meeting for peace talks.

God of peace, we lift up our prayers to you once again for an end to the conflict in Syria. We pray for the vulnerable and desperate people there; come quickly to protect them. We pray that we might see you at work—through government officials, negotiations and peace talks, economic and political pressure—to bring peace in Syria.

Mudslide in Colombia

Torrential rains on Friday night caused three rivers surrounding the city of Mocoa, Colombia, to overflow. This resulted in landslides that sent mud and debris through the city, injuring over 200 and killing at least 254 people, including 44 children. President Juan Manuel Santos vowed to invest in the city to rebuild it, but some critics suggest that more should have been done to protect areas like Mocoa from this kind of disaster.

God, we lift up the people of Mocoa to you. We pray for all who are responding to the crisis, bringing humanitarian aid. We pray for organization, coordination, and the ability to get help to those who need it most. We pray for leadership that results in effective infrastructure so that vulnerable communities may be protected from disaster.

Police Reform Agreements under Review

On Monday, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department to review all police reform activities, including any existing or contemplated consent decrees. The directive comes at a critical time for several major cities, including Baltimore and Chicago, which in lengthy reports revealed unconstitutional patterns of racial discrimination and excessive force in policing.

For all who have been oppressed by those in power because of their race, we lift our prayers of lament, Lord. For the many police departments that are doing their work well, Lord, we give thanks; for the places where police violence has occurred, we pray for accountability. Soften our hearts to your restorative justice so that our broken systems reflect more of who you are. Give us courage to speak up for justice, even when that’s hard.

Funding the border wall is not a just solution. Take action today!

The administration has asked the United States Congress to find $3 billion in funding through the end of September 2017 for the proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and for a massive expansion of border agents and detention facilities. This funding would not fix our basic problem: a broken immigration system that tears up families and needs comprehensive reform. Worse, the $3 billion would be taken from vital education, housing, and nutritional assistance programs that promote public safety and alleviate poverty. Tell Congress to oppose this additional funding and to work on long-term solutions to our broken immigration system. Click here to speak up!

Be an Immigrant Ally: Run the Tulip Time 5K in Holland, Michigan!

Are you coming to Tulip Time in Holland, Mich., this year?

Join us and Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates at the 2017 Tulip Time Run to spread the message that Immigrants Are a Blessing, Not a Burden! Click here for more information about how to register.