Prayers for the people

10 November 2009

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 08 November, 2009

Jim Seymour

In this phase of the ecumenical prayer cycle, we join in solidarity with our fellow churches and pay respect to our brothers and sisters in three West African countries.
· We pray especially for the 15,000 refugees, mostly women and children, who have just fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and are now in the Republic of Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville.
· The H1N1 virus having just struck the island nation of Sao Tomé and Principe, we pray that there will be no fatalities.
· And we pray for an end to the official corruption that impoverishes the people of oil-rich Gabon.

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 forbearance.

And we pray for the refugees from North Korea, now hiding in China. If any are able to come to Hong Kong, we pledge to help them start new lives.

We pray that, in this period of cultural diversification and sometimes spiritual confusion, may the world’s churches continue to respond constructively to their new challenges and build bridges of understanding with people of other faiths, and serve as a model of mutual understanding between people of different cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, and political persuasions. We pledge that liberal churches such as our own will do everything possible to offer the world a way forward for the renewal of Christ's church, and to respond constructively to the new challenges.

We pray for the world's prisoners, from Guantànamo to Tibet. May they be treated humanely and justly, and find eventual freedom, especially those whose so-called crimes were only in the realm of thought. We give thanks for the release of the Uyghurs from Guantànamo prison and wish them Godspeed as they build new lives in Palau.

With regard to China, we pray that the country will be able to make steady progress toward the rule of law, the first step being the release from prison of the many lawyers who have been arrested and incarcerated simply for practicing their profession. And we pray especially for the political prisoners there who are ill, such as:
· Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), who has opposed forced abortion.
· Hu Jia (胡佳), the AIDS activist.
· Huang Qi (黄琦), the Sichuan activist detained on suspicion of “illegal possession of state secrets”. And
· Ms Fan Yanqiong (范燕琼), the Fujian blogger.
May all four be provided medical care, and shown the mercy they deserve.

On Lord, we are determined to may become better stewards of God's creation on this planet, and treat our environment as a limited resource, to be guarded in Your name for the benefit of future generations. We pledge in the coming weeks to be Climate Conscious, meaning that we will promote green practices for the Christmas season; minimize our carbon footprint by using less energy; give fair trade products as Christmas presents; and dine in a way that is consistent with sustainable agriculture.

We pledge that the one in seven humans on this planet who suffer from hunger will remain in our thoughts until there is sufficient food for all.

We pray for Hong Kong sisters and brothers who are ill or live under stress due to such pressures as derive from work and family. We ask for Your mercy and kindness and for them the gifts of rest and peace.

And now let us, each in our own language, join together in prayer as Jesus taught us… [The Lord’s Prayer].