Prayers for the people

23 September 2018

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 23 September, 2018
Prepared and led by Bruce Van Voorhis

Last weekend, Lord, our community as well as the Philippines, Macau and southern China were being pounded by the strong winds and heavy rain of Severe Typhoon Mangkhut. Today we mourn for those who lost their lives in the Philippines and southern China and pray for a speedy recovery for those who were injured. We give thanks for the police, firefighters and ambulance staff who worked throughout the day to save lives and prevent injuries. We also remember the journalists who stood in the middle of the storm and kept us informed as well as whose images kept us in awe of its power and saddened by its devastation. We ask, Lord, for the determination and patience that are needed to clean and rebuild our communities and to restore people’s lives and livelihoods.

In Hong Kong, we welcome the government’s new policy to recognize overseas same-sex civil partnerships, same-sex civil unions and same-sex marriages when granting dependent visas. We pray that this decision will be a breakthrough for local same-sex partners in our community too as they seek the legal recognition of their loving relationship as well.

We also look with hope for peace on the Korean Peninsula after the summit this past week between the leaders of North and South Korea. We pray that their agreement to denuclearize the peninsula will become a reality in the next few years and that this positive development will also lead to a peace treaty that will formally and finally end the Korean War. May the separated families of the two countries be able to continue to meet each other and to do so more frequently and for longer periods of time until there will be no more barriers between them. May Korea become one nation again.

We pray that peace will also take root in Syria after seven years of violence and the destruction of people’s lives and homes and businesses. Instead of the anticipated bloodshed in the last rebel stronghold of Idlib, we give thanks for the agreement between Russia and Turkey several days ago to establish demilitarized zones. May this initiative offer the prospects of finding other non-violent solutions to all of the many questions that plague this country, which until now the leaders of all of the opposing sides have sought to answer through brutal fighting.

We also lift up to you today, Lord, the Rohingya people—those still living in Burma who face discrimination and the fear of more violence and those who have fled across the border to Bangladesh as refugees whose lives are uncertain as well. We pray that the discrimination and violence against the Rohingya, most of whom are Muslims, will end and that they can return to Burma to begin building their lives anew in a peaceful environment. We also ask that the government and military of Burma cooperate with the U.N. fact-finding mission and that justice will be rendered for those who are responsible for genocide against the Rohingyas.

In Sri Lanka, we give thanks for the work of the Catholic nuns and priests, our partners, who care for the war widows of this country. Grant these people of faith the strength and wisdom that they need to care for these women who have suffered so much. We especially pray for these women who have lost their husbands, who find it difficult to send their children to school, who struggle to maintain their families. Bless them, Lord, that they may be able to rebuild their lives and those of their children.

In the ecumenical prayer cycle today, we turn our thoughts and prayers toward South America and the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. With others around the world, we pray for the peoples and churches of these lands. May you guide them with wisdom, Lord, to discern ways to overcome poverty, corruption and political turmoil.

In our own community of faith, we pray that your peace and love will fill the empty and painful spaces in the lives of Bishop Samuel’s family after his recent passing. We pray that the recovery of little Annabel, Lucy, Mae Mae, and the Rev. Kwok Nai-wang will continue to go well, that their health will improve. We also remember our friend Fr. Naylor and Rod Lam’s sick mother and brother Kevin in our prayers today. May they know that they are not alone, that your presence is with them.

Hear our prayers, O Lord. Amen.

09 September 2018

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 9 September, 2018
Prepared and led by Rey Asis

It is with you that we become our best selves. It is with you that we are blessed. It is with you that we walk this earth with the willingness to be the extensions of your love to our families and loves ones, our brothers and sisters, the world that we are in and that is around us.

We thank you for your mercy. You without doubt or condition forgive us for our sins. You tell us that it is okay to fall into our feet, bruise ourselves. You reach out your hand and guide us as we stand up. Thank you for understanding our failings, for making us realize that we are weak, that we are selfish, that we take our interests more than those of others. As we stand up with you by our side, we will work hard in righting our wrong, learning more to love than to hate and to help more than to neglect or be indifferent.

Without you, we and our world will be in despair. With you, we and our world are full of color. Thank you for bringing light, love and life to our world. A world where there is hope, where there is peace, where our love goes beyond color, beyond race, beyond gender, beyond boundaries, beyond ourselves.

We thank you for the good news of people becoming free from slavery, from persecution, from hatred. We are thankful for India whose government has welcomed sexual minorities into their fold, decriminalizing homosexuality and allowing them to love without fear. May this act of love continue and spread through the world.

We thank you for the helping hands from people who can and who will. We pray for the people of Japan as they rise once again from another tragedy. We pray for the children of China that they will be safe from all harm. We pray for our elderly here in Hong Kong. We pray for your guiding hands on our leaders – may their hands create actions, policies and programs that bring utmost benefit to the least of our brethren, uplift them from such sorrows, and a life here on earth with care, happiness and comfort.

We pray for your healing hands. May Lucy, MaeMae, Rev. Kwok Nai Wang, Fr. Harold Naylor, Rod Lam’s mother and brother Kevin get better. May Rose’s twin daughters grow with health and strength with your guiding love. 

We also pray for the people and churches of Ghana and Nigeria. 

May we be extensions of your love, O God. That our eyes may have your sight, our hearts your love, our ears,  your our hands your care, our bodies, all that you are. May we love, care and reach out to others beyond color, gender, race, age, capacity, religion, belief, opinion. 

We pray for those who are in need, for those among us who feel alone, for our brothers and sisters who are in pain, who are mourning, who yearn for your loving grace. As we offer our prayers to your Lord God, we bring the prayers of our loved ones and of all those around us. Let us quietly pray for our own intentions. 

Lord God, your love is boundless, limitless and without condition. May they swell into our hearts, into our hands. As you love us, may we love others. All that we are, all that we do, all that we pray for, we bring to you lord god, through your son Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Let us pray the Lord’s Prayer. We may pray it in our own language.