Prayers for the people

08 June 2014

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 8 June, 2014
Bruce Van Voorhis

In the beginning, Lord, there was nothing until you formed the world. You created all living things, made them dependent upon one another for their life and sustenance and blessed your Creation as good. Today, Lord, we are the descendants of your Creation, the custodians of the ecological balance that sustains and nurtures all life, including ours.

As we give thanks for your Creation today, Lord, through our recognition of the annual U.N. World Environment Day last week on June 5, we are reminded that we have not been good stewards of the world you gave to us. Our air is polluted. Our water is polluted. Our soil is polluted. We call it development, Lord, for we have not been satisfied with your development. Our need to dominate life, Lord, instead of respect it has led to skies, water and soil that are toxic, that damage our health, that affect the gift of life you gave us. Moreover, our methods of economic production and our desire to consume things have altered our climate—a change of our global climate that is often threatening the most marginalized members of the human family who are least able to adapt to these changes. The state of our environment today reflects our preoccupation with wealth and status. We have forgotten our role as stewards of your Creation. Guide us, Lord, and restore our respect for life.

In the beginning, Lord, there was justice and peace. Today, Lord, it is difficult to discern justice and peace in our world. The poor lose their homes in Brazil so that large stadiums can be built to host the World Cup for the enjoyment of players and fans and the profits of sponsors. In the Middle East, peace with justice, or justpeace, has become more elusive with the recent decision of the government of Israel to allow Israeli settlers to build homes on land that the Palestinian people view as their territory, as sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis is resurrected in Iraq to the highest deadly levels in years, as the civil war in Syria continues to produce death, destruction and homeless refugees. The holiness that your presence gave to this land more than 2,000 years ago is absent today. Guide us, Lord, with your love and wisdom to the path of justpeace to resolve our violent conflicts.

In the beginning, Lord, there was oneness. Today, Lord, intolerant divisiveness reigns between individuals, between ethnic groups and races, between nations, between religious faiths. Our different identities are creating conflicts, Lord. We are saddened by the continuing violence in Nigeria and pray that the abducted schoolgirls will soon be enjoying the warmth and love of their families. Guide us, Lord, back to the inner  oneness we all share in the midst of our external differences so that we can be good neighbors to one another again.

In the beginning, Lord, there was only your power to serve others. Today, Lord, people abuse and misuse power for their own self-interest. We pray that in Hong Kong political reform will result in genuine democracy in which the vote and voice of everyone is equal and that our collective voices will make a better community. We pray for the participation of everyone in the upcoming mock referendum beginning on June 20 to better ascertain the views of the citizens of our city. Guide us, Lord, to share our power and our wisdom with each other so that Hong Kong can be a city more rooted in equality for all rather than the dominance of a few.

In the beginning, Lord, there was your Spirit. On this Pentecost Sunday, we rejoice in your Spirit that dwells in each of us and sets us free. May we find the fire of your Spirit in ourselves, Lord, by being willing to surrender our egos and become your servants in the world, humbly working to transform your world and each other that we have mistreated and abused. Guide us, Lord, back to the source of all love and joy that is your Spirit residing in us.

On this Sunday, Lord, we join our hearts with other Christians around the world to pray for the people and churches of Angola and Mozambique to overcome the centuries of colonialism and the decades of civil war that both nations have endured. We pray that the wealth of these lands will be justly divided so that all people will benefit in order to overcome the poverty that so many people still experience.

At KUC, Lord, we remember the youth of our church today as they prepare for their examinations. We pray that you will bless them with peace to relieve their anxiety in these stressful times and give them the energy they need to earn the successful results they desire. We also ask for your healing power to continue to touch the lives of Saimon, Bong and our senior members, Helen Tan and Bishop and Mrs. Samuel, and others in our congregation who are facing challenges to their health. We pray that each day will reward them with more strength, more hope and more progress. We pray too that the Khum family, a Nepalese family in our church, will receive good news soon about their visa application with the Hong Kong government. Lastly, we welcome Danny Lai to our community of faith today as a new intern. We pray that his ministry with us will enrich both the development of his faith and the life and witness of our church.

We lift all these prayers up to you, Lord. In your Son’s name, we pray. Amen.

01 June 2014

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 1 June, 2014
Rydeen Yiu

Heavenly Father, Creator God, you are the maker of the universe. After every act of crafting your Creation, you ended with a comment: “It is good”the Creation itself is good!

You are also the provider of your Creation. You take care of all the creatures and provide what they need. Jesus reminded his disciples, and also reminds us through the Bible, not to worry about our lifewhat we will eat or what we will drinkor about our bodywhat we will wear—as life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.

In our context of Asia, we believe what you have given to this continent is good, for it is diverse in population, varied in nationalities and ethnicities, rich in natural resources with fertile and arable land. You gave us a responsibility to take care of your Creation; it is not right to exploit the Earth. We confess that we have forgotten that we human beings are a part of this Earth community. God, please open our eyes and give us a humble heart to hear the voice of your Creation, to celebrate the diversity and richness with which you have endowed us in this region, to use our resources responsibly.

We offer prayers today as part of the worldwide ecumenical prayer cycle for the people and churches of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland—four countries that are close together geographically and whose life experiences are similar. People in these nations suffer greatly from either poverty or income inequality. Moreover, women in particular endure a low social status, which causes serious health problems, such as high rates of HIV and AIDS infection. May God have mercy on the people of these lands. Give them their wholeness and dignity. Free them from the oppression of poverty, and free women from the social discrimination of their gender. Free people too from the threat of HIV and AIDS so children will not lose their parents to this disease. Give people hope and strength to live. May your Kingdom, justice, and peace fill these lands and their people.

We also pray for women’s rights and freedom in Pakistan. A 25-year-old pregnant woman, Farzana Parveen Iqbal, was recently stoned to death by her relatives who did not approve of her marriage. May justice be rendered to the victim and social awareness to society for the need for women’s rights.

God, please protect the girls abducted by Boko Haram in Africa. The Nigerian army announced this week that the girls had been located but that it is dangerous to use force to rescue them. God, give wisdom to the Nigerian government and rescue teams to handle this crisis. Protect these girls, God, and keep them safe from physical injuries and relieve their mental stress and the trauma of this ordeal.

This Wednesday is the 25th anniversary of the killing of students in China on June 4 in 1989. The wound is still bleeding; it has not been healed. The Chinese government still labels this incident as merely “turmoil.” Please comfort the hearts of the Tiananmen Mothers and the parents who have lost their children during the crackdown. May the candlelight vigil on Wednesday night in Victoria Park be a sign to reveal God’s love and mercy to people who have been persecuted and jailed due to their stand and actions for justice and human rights.

Thank you, God, for your guidance during the election of the KUC council that was conducted this past week. May God strengthen our council members and trustees to serve our church community with Your love and wisdom. We pray for our seniors Helen Tan, Bishop and Mrs. Samuel, and for Amie’s family members who are facing health challenges. May God give comfort and strength to those who are sick in body and spirit. We lift all these prayers to you, God. Amen.