Prayers for the people

18 November 2018

Prayer of Intercession
Sunday, 18 November, 2018
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Prepared and led by Bruce Van Voorhis, Norma Diaz, Aline Kamugunga

1.     God, who calls us by name, we reaffirm that we all are created in God’s own image and likeness. May our faith inspire and motivate us to do justice for the low and the oppressed. Today we come together as a faith community to say NO to gender-based violence and to stand in solidarity with women in different parts of the world in our commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. We especially uphold those millions of women, girls and children who are suffering and experiencing various forms of violence and discrimination in our homes, communities, society and in the world. (Bruce)

2.     We particularly remember and pray for foreign domestic workers here in Hong Kong. Foreign domestic workers are mothers, sisters, aunties and grandmas who are forced to leave their families often due to life-threatening situations marred by poverty, landlessness, unemployment, oppression, political persecution and other forms of human rights violations that deprive them of an abundant and dignified life. Guide and lead us, O God, to continue our acts of solidarity and to offer our hospitality and acts of mercy so that these sisters of ours may find the courage to speak up and stand for their rights and dignity as women created in God’s image.  (Norma)

3.     We remember the refugees, asylum-seekers, victims of sex trafficking and anyone torn away from their family and homeland due to war, violence, calamities and economic injustices and who are surviving in a foreign land.

We especially remember today women who have been raped, sexually assaulted and who live in an environment where violence is used as a weapon of war. We also remember the women sexually abused within churches due to an abuse of power by religious leaders. May God give courage to the community to address it and create a safe space. We pray for protection and an end to all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination against women around the world. Give them justice and heal their hearts and minds. (Aline)

4.     As we mark this day to eliminate violence against women, we men must, first of all, acknowledge that we are the cause of this violence through rape, physical and verbal abuse and harassment and have even used it as a weapon of war in some parts of the world, like Burma. Our passion, anger, frustration and misuse of power in society have resulted in lifelong trauma for daughters of God. Since we are the cause of this suffering, we men must also be the solution by ending these violent practices and standing with our sisters as they seek justice for their painful experiences. Our attitudes furthermore must shift to view women, not as objects, but as daughters of our Lord, as human beings with equal status within society. May God bless we men with wisdom, compassion and respect for women to make this transformation a reality. (Bruce)

5.     We remember the activists, civil societies and faith communities across the world for their relentless engagement in responding to the challenges and for providing support, care and solidarity. May God's guidance empower and strengthen the community to be prophetic in the present time, and may the faith communities journey together in solidarity for a better world!

May your presence be felt in our acts of solidarity and compassion to those who are vulnerable and who face discrimination, abuse and exploitation in the marginalized sectors of our society in their struggle to manifest your reign of justice, human rights and dignity. (Norma)

6.     For the restoration of life and for transformation of the world, God, we uplift our prayers to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.