Prayers for the people

13 April 2010

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 11 April 2010

Jim Seymour

Lord, we pray for peace. May the United Nations and the International Court of Justice be able to live up to their promise and become instruments of cooperation, law, and the prevention of war.

In this phase of the ecumenical prayer cycle, we join in solidarity with our fellow Christians to pray for the people and churches in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. With regard to the latter, we pray for the American Christian Aijalon Mahli Gomes, who was arrested after crossing the border from China into North Korea, and has just been sentenced to 8 years hard labor.

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. May the Anglican Christian communities in Africa and the Western world hold together in the spirit of tolerance and "judge not, lest ye be judged."

We pray for the peoples of the Middle East. We mourn the deaths in Bagdad of abut 60 bombing victims and 300 injured people over the course of the past week. [pause]

May the often misguided leaders in the Middle-East revisit the tenets of the founders of their various religions, and find therein the messages of peace, love, and forbearance. May both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, having much right on their side, exercise restraint and return to the letter and spirit of the 1993 Oslo accords.

We pray for the victims of the floods and landslides in Brazil and their families as well as the survivors of this tragedy.

We pray for the people of eastern region of Sudan, which aid officials are now calling the "hungriest place on earth, and where nearly half of all children under 5 years old are malnourished.

May there be an early end to the political turmoil and violence in Thailand and for a peaceful and democratic resolution of the political disputes in the country.

We pray for the leaders of all the nations and factions fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan; may they know the words of Jesus: "Blessed are the peace- makers, for they will be called sons of God." Mathew 5:9

We pray that China's Supreme People's Court will prevail on the issue of confinement without trial, so that no one will be sentenced to prison without any judicial proceedings. In the meantime, we pray for the upwards of 100,000 people who have been sentenced, without trial, to the Mainland's the labor-reeducation regime. We also keep in our hearts an awareness of all other inmates, not least of all those in mental institutions. May they be treated humanely and justly, and may they have the fortitude to survive their incarceration. We extend the same prayer to all the world's prisoners, not least of all those in Hong Kong.

We pray for the souls of the Chinese miners who die at the average rate seven per week, and especially we thank you God for the miraculous rescue of 114 minors in Shanxi this week. We keep the sacrifice of such people in mind as we enjoy our electricity, produced by the coal that these brave men pull up from the dangerous mines. Likewise, we mourn the apparent deaths of 25 coal miners Tuesday in the American sate of West Virginia.

We pray for imprisoned Chinese AIDS activist Hu Jia, may have liver cancer.

We pray for the 同志們 -- gays and lesbians -- of China; may the soon be openly accepted by society.

We pray for the reform of legal system in the Mainland and for the protection of lawyers who advocate building up civil society to protect citizens’ right to fully participate in the political life of the country.

We pray for Australia's great Barrier Reef, that has been threatened by oil leaking from the Shen Neng freighter. We pray that we may become better stewards of all of God's earthly creation, and pledge to treat our environment as a limited resource, to be guarded for the benefit of future generations.

Regarding our own church, Oh Lord, help us to promote the redevelopment and maintenance of the old church buildings in a wise and sensitive manner. May these spaces be put to the best possible use for the benefit of our church, the community at large, and for your glory.

May our congregational retreat scheduled for 23rd be a time of renewal and inspiration.

We pray for members and their families who are sick and weak, and Lee’s mother who will undergo an operation today in the Philippines.

And finally, thanks be to God for the many sisters and brothers who, in their various capacities, make this the wonderful church that it is. We pray for the health and spirit of Church leaders and lay persons who serve God and the congregation in Christ’s mission, especially those who are about to be newly called upon to take up responsibilities..

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