Prayers for the people

20 February 2009

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 15 February, 2009

Jim Seymour

Oh Lord, in this phase of the ecumenical prayer cycle, we join in solidarity with our fellow churches in four members of the European Union: Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. May Christians of these countries find renewed strength to meet today’s challenges. Knowing how the world’s financial crisis is causing hardship even among people in such affluent countries, especially migrant laborers, we pray that they may be spared the worst effects of the crisis, and that Italy, will find a way to avoid the catastrophe of national bankruptcy, which would cause massive misery near and far.

We rejoice in the freedoms that now prevail in these countries, and the European union’s strong commitment to human rights. May they have success in spreading these values worldwide.

May European Christians once again offer the world a way forward for the renewal of Christ's church. We pray that, in this period of cultural diversification and sometimes spiritual confusion, the churches will continue to respond constructively to their new challenges and build bridges of understanding with people of other faiths.

We also pray for the people of Africa. While rejoicing in the progress that so many countries have enjoyed in recent years in freeing the human spirit and modernizing secular institutions, our hearts go out to the afflicted, especially the people of Darfur, who continue to suffer so much from the curse of war. Give moral fortitude and compassion to the negotiators now working in Qatar; may the peace agreement that the rebels have now offered soon be realized, so that the people may find the tranquility and prosperity they so deserve.

May the Anglican community in Africa and the western world, now so divided over the issue of homosexuality, hold together in the spirit of tolerance and "judge not, lest ye be judged."

We pray for the peoples of the middle east. May their leaders revisit the tenets of the founders of their various religions, and find therein the messages of peace, love, and forebearance. May they come to realize that their wars always create more problems than they solve. Along with the peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean lands so sacred to three great religions, we beseeth thee oh lord to show people the way toward peace. May all heed the spirit of Jesus: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be deemed daughters and sons of God. Mathew 5:9

We note with enthusiasm the struggle of Iranian women for equal rights; may their just cause prevail soon.

May the apparent victors in Sri Lanka’s long civil war find it in their hearts to treat the vanquished mercifully.

Our hearts go out to the victims of the great fire in Australia, and their families. May the physical and psychological wounds soon heal. May You restore the human souls and the natural environment.

May America’s new young president find the strength and wisdom to resolve the tremendous problems that now weigh on his shoulders. May he light the way toward a peaceful resolutions in the problems of our continent, from the southwest Iraq, Myanmar in the southeast, to the northeast, Korea, and Afghanistan in the center. It would almost seem to be too much to expect from any one man, but surely there is a way, with Your help Lord.

This week marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, may we bear in mind that the only real heroes are those that lead humankind from submission to freedom. Thus, we pray for the world's prisoners, whether they be in China or Guantànamo. May they be treated humanely and justly, and find eventual freedom, especially those whose so-called crimes were only in the realm of thought—hence our special concern for China’s religious prisoners, including Falungong practitioners.

For the forthcoming Hong Kong budget, we pray that it can address the needs and problems encountered by people across the society, especially for the vulnerable groups--the children, elderly and chronically ill patients.

For Our Congregation,

We pray for the health of senior members, including the hospitalized Rev. Tan. May God keep him and bless him with good health and spirits.

May the renovation at KUC in the coming months be carried out smoothly and for the glory of God.

Finally, may we may become better stewards of God's creation on this planet, treating our environment as a limited resource, to be guarded in the spirit of loving our neighbors, and for the benefit of future generations.

And now let us, each in our own language, join together in the Lord’s Prayer.