Monday, September 15, 2008

A prayer for the world

Dear Lord,

I pray right now for a major crisis I don't know about and that isn't being reported on. Thank you that you know what is going on in every corner of the globe, and that you always care. Thank you, too, for having chosen to share in the suffering of this world through your Son and his sacrifice on the cross.

I pray for Congo, where war still rages, where corruption is rampant, where children brandish machine guns, and where displacement and severe economic instability is leading to the starvation of many. Help us to care about this because, we confess, it can be hard.

I pray for Orissa, India, where there is perhaps more persecution of simple followers of Christ than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Whole villages being burned down, hundreds in hiding, many killed. Comfort those who have been or still are being affected directly, and for those who have been affected indirectly through the loss of loved ones. As these families suffer, may we suffer with them, and grieve for them - as your Spirit does. Show us what we should do. Send the comforter, your Spirit. And may we respond to the persecutors not in anger or hatred, but in love. In fact, from all of this, send labourers to go to, live among, work with, and care for the primary persecutors of these people.

I pray for Zimbabwe, which continues in crisis, where the limbs of opposition party members' children are being hacked off by the brutal regime in a mostly-successful attempt to intimidate. I pray for the leader of the opposition, Tsvangirai, who is in talks with Zimbabwe's repressive leader, Mugabe, through the mediation of the President of South Africa - for Tsvangirai in this time when he undoubtedly feels the hopelessness of grave injustice. Give him wisdom at this critical moment. For the nation of Zimbabwe, which is receiving perhaps only 0.1% of the coverage of the U.S. elections, we pray for *your* attention. And we know in faith that it has it.

As the great nation of China returns to business as usual in the aftermath of the Olympics, we pray for the unknown pastors hidden behind bars - imprisoned for their faith. We pray for their families - that you will comfort them.

I pray for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - and for the hundreds of thousands who are captive to the sex trade in this region. I pray for those who have been infected with AIDS and are dying from it - feeling shamed and worthless. Show them that you love them and that they have great worth in your eyes. I pray for the thousands of children, who at such a tender age have been flung into cesspools of sin, forced by those who shelter them to gratify the desires of clients. Bring justice, Lord.

For a child huddling under a mound of simmering garbage in a slum in Egypt or Peru or Bangladesh, I pray. For the young professional who running after career and money, but is feeling hopelessly lonely and empty, I pray. For the man who is facing bankruptcy, I pray. For the families who are being affected by the war in Iraq, I pray.

In the midst of all the lostness, pain, and hopelessness; I thank you for what you are doing, and for the sure hope so many have found in you. Thank you for that family in Southeast Asia that has taken in unwanted orphans. Thank you for that center in Uruguay that is opening its arms to the people no one else wants. Thank you for the *many* who are working, hour after hour, on behalf of those I have been praying for right here - many in the trenches, many on their knees, many in advocacy. Send more workers, Lord, and use us as you will.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

"But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish." - Psalm 9:18

---> Nigel Barham, Thursday, September 4, 2008 Blog Entry

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daily Strengths for Daily Needs

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psam 27:14

He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strenth.
Isaiah 40:29

Leaning on Him, make with reverent meekness
His own thy will,
And with strength from Him shall thy utter weakness
Life's task fulfill.

Should we feel at times disheartened or discouraged, a confiding thought, a simple movement of heart towards god will renew our powers. Whatever He may demand of us, He will give us at the moment the strength and the courage that we need.

We require a certain firmness in all circumstances of life, even the happiest, and perhaps contradictions come in order to prove and exercise this; and, if we can only determine so to use them, the very effort brings back tranquility to the soul, which always enjoys having exercised its strength in conformity to duty.

(all of the above selections are from Daily Strengths for Daily Needs, August 20; I've been wanting to post it since I read it, but haven't had the chance till now! I hope you are edified by reading it. )