Friday, July 12, 2013

World In Prayer, July 12

It was my week for the World In Prayer prayers. Since this Sunday, the gospel is the story of the Good Samaritan, the theme of "who in the world in my neighbor?" was a pretty obvious choice. What I didn't expect, and noticed only after I'd written them, was that the theme of "help us actually see our neighbors" came up throughout the prayers -- part of my own personal theme of "you can't tell by looking" as well as the story element of the two who walked past.

Lord God, through your son Jesus you have called us to be a neighbor to all, and therefore to love all. Open our eyes to see our neighbors throughout the world.

  • Our neighbors in Egypt during this time of political and social upheaval.
  • Our neighbors in Nigeria where the rebel group Boko Haram attacked a secondary school in the state of Yobe killing at least 28 students and one teacher.
  • Our neighbors in Quebec, Canada, where a train carrying oil derailed and exploded. We pray for the families of those who have died, and those still missing. 
  • Our neighbors in California prisons (USA) as some 29,000 observe a hunger strike to protest solitary confinement practices.
  • Our neighbors in Lebanon where a bomb in a Shiite suburb injured dozens of people.
  • Our neighbors in China experiencing an early rainy season that has caused major flooding and landslides.
  • Our neighbors in Turkey where police closed Gezi Park hours after it reopened as protesters began to gather.
  • Our neighbors in Cuba adjusting to new policies of the government and Communist party. Including, Cuban citizens having full freedom to practice their faith.

May we be good neighbors to those of different faiths.

  • May we be good neighbors to Buddhists. We pray for India where there have been a series of blasts at a Buddhist temple complex.
  • May we be good neighbors to Jews as they observe Tish’a B’Av, a fast commemorating the destruction of the two temples on July 16.
  • May we be good neighbors to Muslims in this season of Ramadan.

We give thanks to those who have shown us through their life and witness how to be a neighbor.

  • We thank you for the witness of Malala Yousafzai, the young advocate for education shot by the Taliban a year ago, as she celebrates her 16th birthday on July 12 by presenting education policy recommendations at the UN.
  • We thank you for the flight attendants on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 who helped 300 people evacuate the plane after it crash landed in San Francisco (USA).
  • We thank you for Nelson Mandela and continue to pray for him as he remains hospitalized in critical condition.

We thank you for those who have been a neighbor to us in our needs.

O God, as we pray, help us not to be so caught up in the needs of the whole world that we neglect our neighbors who are here right now. Give us eyes to see them and hearts to respond with compassion and courage. All this we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ who lived among us that we might see you in all people.


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