Prayers for the people

17 September 2008

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 14 September, 2008
Bruce Van Voorhis

We ask, Lord: Why is our world dominated by violence, exploitation, discrimination, love of power and self-centeredness? Why are we deaf to your words calling us to love one another, to show compassion for others, to exhibit tolerance for those who are different?

We look to our neighbors in Asia—North Korea, Thailand and Pakistan—and pray that their political turmoil and uncertainty will be resolved soon, a resolution rooted in justice, a resolution that serves the needs of the North Korean, Thai and Pakistani people and not just the self-interests of the elites of these countries. Hear the cries of the North Korean, Thai and Pakistani people, Lord.

We remember today, Lord, the miners who have been killed and injured in the latest mine disaster in China. This time in Shanxi Province. We pray for them and their families. We ask for your hand of comfort to touch those who have lost loved ones and your healing hand to touch those who are injured. We pray too for an end to the corruption and greed that produces these tragedies that take thousands of miners’ lives each year in China. Hear the pleas of China’s miners, Lord, people who just want to earn a living without having to worry if today will be their last day of work.

We also lift up to you today, Lord, our new Legislative Council members. Grant them your wisdom to lead the community and monitor the government for the benefit of all people in Hong Kong. Hear the voices, Lord, of those in Hong Kong who feel marginalized and ignored by government policies.

Today we join our hearts with others around the world in prayer for the people of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The people of these lands have known many years of darkness. May their efforts to build new lives continue, Lord. May they be refreshed in this process by your spirit. Hear the people of these Eastern European countries, Lord, and their desire to freely create their own lives.

Within our own church community at Kowloon Union Church, be with us, Lord, on this very special day, a day when we discern whether to ordain Phyllis Wong as our next pastor. We give thanks to you, Lord, for Phyllis’s life and ministry and her willingness to serve our church. As we deliberate on this important decision, we ask, Lord, that your spirit be present, that your wisdom guide us. May we remember that we are all children of God and thus treat each other respectfully as sisters and brothers. For those who have been hurt in this process, we ask for forgiveness and for their emotional and psychological wounds to be healed and their spirits restored. Through our trust in God, may we find peace.

We also remember in our prayers today, Lord, Yip Kok Choong, who is suffering from a severe nerve disorder. We give thanks though that Dr. Helen Tan has been discharged from the hospital. Be with them, Lord, as they seek to regain their health.

As we conclude our prayer this morning, we pause in silence to share with you our joys and concerns. We also take this extended time of silence, Lord, to listen to you, for it is in silence that we can best hear your voice. It is a loving voice that provides us with wisdom as we internally contemplate our decision regarding Phyllis’s ordination, a voice that we need to hear and heed (silence). Amen.