Prayers for the people

06 September 2020

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 6 September, 2020
Prepared and led by Judy Chan

Let us pray. After each petition, Lord in your mercy, please respond: HEAR OUR PRAYER.

O Holy One, week after week, we come before you with hearts full of sorrow - for the problems of the world, in our community, indeed in our own lives. We come because you tell us to pray, not as a last resort, but as the first priority, to trust You in everything.

So, let us pray for a world still suffering from the coronavirus epidemic. Though our situation improves in Hong Kong, COVID-19 still rages in other places. We especially pray for wisdom in schools struggling to provide quality education while caring for the well-being of students, teachers, staff and their families.

Lord in Your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

We pray for our community still suffering from political turmoil and polarization. Like so many places around the globe, trust in government is at an all-time low. Help us see that despair is not the only option, that optimism or pessimism are not our only choices. Surely, the truth is somewhere in between. Surely, we possess enough spiritual and material resources, that if we stand together and share what we have, we can survive the stony road we trod.

Lord in Your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

We pray for ourselves, for Kowloon Union Church and all those touched by our ministries and members. We remember Christian Action after last Saturday’s fire in their Centre for Refugees in Chungking Mansions. We remember those seeking decent, affordable housing. We remember our senior members – Mrs Samuel, Mrs Chang, Peter and Judy, and those among us recovering from illness – Lucy, Linda’s sister Tess, Victoria’s brother-in-law Drew, and all those who care for them in hospital and home.

Lord in Your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

In the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, we remember the nations of Ghana and Nigeria. We pray for victims of injustice as well as deadly disease. Still, we must give thanks for the churches there who have been so faithful in preaching the Gospel and serving all people in the society. We give thanks for Christians and Muslims who take risks working for dialogue and reconciliation. We give thanks for economic growth that especially benefits the poor. And we give thanks how people especially in Nigeria have been sustained by You O God in the face of attacks and violence in the movement of population groups and from extremist elements like Boko Haram.

Lord in your mercy, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

And now, a prayer from Ghana:  We offer You, O Ruler of men and women and of heavenly beings, the gold of our costly service. Take the labour of our hands, the skill of our minds, the power of our organization. Purge us of pride, and stir us from sloth, that refined by your grace, we may become better servants of Your kingdom, now and hereafter.

We offer to You, our Lord and our God, the incense of our worship and prayer. By the gift of Your Holy Spirit, You have hung forth a star in the lowly heaven of every Christian soul; grant us eager feet to follow wherever it leads, until our searching souls are blessed with the vision of Yourself, who are our heaven and our home, forever.

We offer to You, O Man of sorrows, the myrrh of your church’s sufferings. When we have nothing else to give, this offering remains. Where You are on the cross, there also may Your servants be. May Your perfect sacrifice avail to make our light affliction redemptive in the world, that sharing the fellowship of Your sufferings we may rejoice in the power of Your resurrection, now and forever. Amen.*

* (From the Assembly of the International Missionary Society, Ghana. In: “With All God’s People”.)

30 August 2020

Sunday, 30 August, 2020
Prepared and led by Carl Catedral

God, we come together today to pray and seek your guidance, your provision, your healing, and your justice for our city, our church, and our world. May you be with us in this time and hear our earnest petitions.

We pray for the continuing unrest happening in the US. This week Jacob Blake, a black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin was shot 7 times in the back by a police officer. The incident has sparked renewed calls seeking justice for black communities and overall institutional reform in the US – as part of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. We pray for Blake who is currently hospitalized and paralyzed from the waist down. We too join in solidarity with black lives through our prayers and ask for your justice to be enacted that results in the healing of broken hearts, bodies, and communities as well as lasting systemic change.

In Hong Kong, we too mourn the ways police negligence and overreach of power has caused immense pain and distrust amongst the Hong Kong people. This was illustrated this week in the arrest of Legislative Councilor Lam Cheuk Ting on unwarranted rioting charges related to the Yuen Long incident on July 21 of last year in addition to a senior police offer’s gross re-interpretation of the Yuen Long events as a conflict between two gangs that were “equally-matched.” God we pray that truth and justice would prevail and that the pain, anger, and trauma of the people would not be overlooked or ignored. 

In New Zealand, the Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who attacked Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in March 2019, was sentenced to life without parole last week. The attack killed 51 people and injured 40. We pray that the hearts of those impacted would be comforted by the upholding of justice. May the tragedy remind the people in New Zealand and all over the world that the respect for life, dignity and equality for all - regardless of race, religion and gender - is essential for a just and peaceful world. 

We too remember those sick, hurting, or vulnerable in this time of pandemic and pray for your protection and well-being for those medical staff and cleaners who are working at the forefronts of keep the disease at bay. We pray also that your mercy and provision would be with all those who suffer from the economic downturn due to pandemic.

For the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, we lift up in prayer the churches and people of all faiths of Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo. We give thanks for the spiritual vitality and growth of the churches and pray for more democratic governments that are free of corruption and take people’s interests as priority. We pray for those working to alleviate the poverty, illiteracy and hunger of the people in these nations. We pray too for emotional and physical healing, and the restoring of hope for all those who have been victims of conflict, disease and human rights abuses 

In remembering our congregation, we thank God for the good progress and spirit of Lucy. May you continue to heal and give her strength. We pray also for the healing of Linda’s sister Tess who contracted coronavirus in the Philippines, and we continue to uphold Pearl in our hearts as she is remembering her sister Jade in this time of loss.

We also lift up in prayer Manghaki, whose mother died on Friday and we remember Eli, whose father died on July 30. May you bring comfort and peace to them and their families. 

During this time, we pray too for both our old and young here at the church. We are grateful to see how God has blessed the senior members of our congregation during this challenging time and pray that you would continue to uphold them and keep them in good spirits and health. We also pray for the many children and their parents as they enter into a new school term and face the ongoing challenges of online school. May you bring peace and stability to households and grant us wisdom on ways we can come alongside those in our congregation who could use our support. Finally, we hold our sisters employed as domestic workers and our members and friends working in medical settings in prayer. God, may you bless and protect them. 

As we conclude our prayers for the people, let us together pray the prayer Jesus taught his disciples. You are all welcome to pray in your preferred language.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

23 August 2020

Sunday, 23 August, 2020
Prepared and led by Peter Youngblood

Almighty God, your people pray for the world, which is under great stress, emotionally and physically.

In Belarus, hundreds of thousands have rallied, calling for the resignation of long-time President Lukashenko. Thousands have been arrested, hundreds injured, and some have died.

In Thailand, protestors young and old bravely seek democratic reforms and limitations on the power of the monarchy. We pray that the voices of the people in these countries be heard with empathy, not anger and distrust.

And, of course, we pray for the preservation of democracy across the world. We continue to hope that, in November, Americans will elect a just and compassionate leader.

But we know that democracy is fragile and often denied. Our hearts break for the Philippines. The killing of human rights activist Zara Alvarez reminds us of the injustices committed in the name of law and order. We pray for justice for Alvarez and all victims of extrajudicial killings. May God comfort and mercy reign for those who are in grief.

Here in our city, many cases related to the protests are proceeding in the courts. May justice reign for the righteous. With the postponement of the LegCo election, we pray for the unity, calmness and resilience of the democratic political leaders. May God give them wisdom and humility to serve the city and bring the best to the people in this time of trial.

Human beings are constantly reminded that our natural world is also fragile. Our world faces an increasing frequency of natural disasters due to climate change. We pray for our most vulnerable to catastrophic events. In Iowa, communities are still recovering from a massive storm. May emergency relief and aid be given quickly to restore electricity, housing and livelihood.

And we continue to pray for those affected by the global pandemic. Nearly 23 million people throughout the world have contracted the coronavirus, and over 800,000 have died.

Closer to home, in Hong Kong, we are thankful that new infections have decreased and many have recovered, but 75 souls have already been lost. We pray that those infected may be healed and vaccines soon be ready for use. Remember the vulnerable, the poor, and the essential staff who are working at the frontlines. May God’s mercy and provision be with those who suffer from the effects of the pandemic.

As part of our ecumenical prayer cycle, we lift up in prayer today the churches and people of all faiths of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. While we are thankful for the many ways in which these countries have moved beyond their painful colonial histories, we pray for their continued development. We pray for the eradication of poverty, and transitions to true democracy. In multicultural West Africa, let all churches be compassionate witnesses in the midst of other faiths.

In our congregation, we are thankful that Lucy was discharged from hospital last Friday. May God continue to heal and give her strength. Let us remember the family of the late Bishop Samuel this August, his birthday month and the anniversary of passing. Remember and pray for our elderly friends, our sisters employed as domestic workers, and all those especially vulnerable. May God bless and protect them. Bless also our children and parents. And continue to lift up our dear sister Pearl as she grieves after the passing of her sister Jade.  

Almighty God, we come to you with our concerns because we know you listen. Because you listen we have hope that justice, reconciliation, and peace, though sometimes hard to see, will come to pass.

For this hope we thank you, our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.


16 August 2020

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 16 August, 2020
Prepared and led by Muriel Orevillo-Montenegro

Having heard the concerns of the church, let us now come together, to take our collective prayers to God. I will end each prayer section with the words, O God, in your mercy. The  Congregation will please respond:  Hear our prayer

For the World and Hong Kong
· Pray for Justice and Peace in the Middle East: Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have struck a deal that normalizes the ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The US-brokered agreement required Israel to temporarily suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the West Bank, in return for a signing of a string of agreements on investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. 

· However, the Palestinians  see in this deal the United Arab Emirates as stabbing their back. They have repeatedly urged the Arab governments not to normalize relations with Israel until a peace agreement establishing an independent Palestinian state is reached. Let us pray for a durable peace that is rooted in justice and fair play for different parties, especially the Palestinians, to enjoy equal rights and respect for their identity and autonomy.   
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer

· We lift in our prayers the people in Lebanon after the deadly explosion in Beirut that killed more than 170 and wounded more than 6000 people, and then subsequent massive anti-government violent protests. Lebanon’s government leaders stepped down on Monday night. We pray for God’s healing hands on the wounded and the country. May the poor who suffer most in a time of political and social unrest receive enough support and care. Pray for good governance and the leaders are given strength and wisdom to govern their nation with love and compassion. Let us pray for God’s gift of hope to dwell in Lebanon. With international support, we hope that people’s lives and homes be rebuilt soon.  
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer

· Pray for the people afflicted by COVID-19. There are now 21 million people throughout the world that have  contracted the coronavirus. As of yesterday, August 15, 763,735 people have died of COVID-19. In Hong Kong, the confirmed cases of infection have reached 4,313 and 65 have died, mostly elderly people suffering from chronic illness. Last week, the confirmed cases involved migrant domestic workers and those who are  in elderly homes, who were placed in shared accommodations. We in particular remember and pray for these communities. We are sad that the police ticketed and fined the domestic workers who stayed on the streets during their rest day for allegedly breaking the law on social distancing. We pray for many foreign domestic workers who are not allowed to go out during their holiday or their day off by their employers due to fear of the CIVID-19 pandemic. We echo the plea of the NGOs working with the domestic workers that employers should respect their helpers and give them a choice. We keep praying for the medical staffs who are working at the forefront: may they continue to have good health and strength. 
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer

· Pray for the people, especially the vulnerable who suffered from recent heavy rain in different parts of China. Pray that their voices be truly heard, and their needs are met under good and responsible governance. 

· We pray for the freedom of the press in Hong Kong. The police force has arrested the founder of Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai, the young activist Agnes Chow Ting and others who have been active in the democratic movement under the National Security Law last week. We pray for the people in the Philippines who have been suffering from human rights abuses under the Anti-Terrorism Act. We pray for justice for those who had been arrested and killed for trumped-up charges under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer

We pray for the people of Belarus whose rights are curtailed for 26 years by the rule of a dictator. We pray for the detained opposition people. We pray for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who won in the election on August 9 but was abducted and transported to Lithuania. May the world show solidarity with the people of Belarus in these turbulent times. And may Justice and peace prevail there.
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer.

For the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle
· Today, we lift in our prayers the churches and people of all faiths of Liberia and Sierra Leone. We are thankful that diseases such as Ebola have been brought under control. But we pray for the majority of the people there who are still impoverished. We pray that their governments will provide the people with adequate services and formulate policies that enable them to live with dignity and good health. We pray also for governance that is just, free of corruption, accountable to the people and one that manages the resources in ways that will benefit all people. May the churches in these countries continue to have interfaith cooperation with others and be faithful witnesses to bring forth peace. 
 O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer.

For the Congregation
· Remember and pray for our elderly friends and our sisters employed as domestic workers amid increasing confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. May God bless and protect them. We uphold the children and their parents in our hearts.
· Pray for members and friends who need God’s healing physically and spiritually due to health challenges and/or loss of beloved ones. We are grateful to God for Lucy’s good progress in her treatment so far. We continue to lift Pearl and her family in our hearts.  We pray that they will continue to feel and experience God’s comforting embrace.
O God, in your mercy
People: Hear our prayer

Let us together say the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, has taught us:

Our Father . . .