Back to Top

Justice Prayers - April 19, 2023

O the deep love, love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loves me, O He loves me
And He changes, nevermore

- The God of Sea and Stars Simple Hymns

Sudan's civilian death toll nears 100 as fighting intensifies amid power struggle

Dozens of civilians have died and hundreds have been injured in Sudan as forces loyal to two rival generals battle for control of the North African nation for a third day. Since heavy fighting erupted in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Saturday, at least 97 civilians have been killed in the crossfire while 365 others have been wounded, according to a statement released Monday morning from the Sudan Doctors' Syndicate, a pro-democracy group monitoring casualties. The group noted there was "a number of injuries and deaths that are not included" because some "hospitals could not be accessed due to the difficulty of mobility and security situation in the country." While the violence has spread from Khartoum to other parts of Sudan, "the heaviest concentration of fighting" is centered in the densely populated capital, according to the World Health Organization, the global health arm of the United Nations. The clashes are the culmination of weeks of tensions between Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the head of the Rapid Support Forces, a Sudanese paramilitary group. So far, neither has shown any indication of backing down. The two men were once allies who had jointly orchestrated a military coup in 2021 that dissolved Sudan's power-sharing government and derailed its short-lived transition to democracy, following the ousting of a long-time dictator in 2019.

Lord God almighty, we pray for a ceasefire immediately - we pray that the weapons drawn against neighbor, enemy, political and religious other might be put down only to never be picked up again. We pray for the suffering, the wounded, and the departed, O Lord. May your presence be abundant, and may your people be peacemakers in the midst of destruction.

Biden administration proposes strict vehicle pollution limits to boost EV sales

Last Wednesday, the Biden administration proposed strict new automobile pollution limits that would require that all-electric vehicles account for as many as two of every three new vehicles sold in the US by 2032 in a plan that would transform the US auto industry. Under the proposed regulation, released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), greenhouse gas emissions for the 2027 through 2032 model years for passenger vehicles would be limited to even stricter levels than the auto industry agreed to in 2021. The EPA administrator, Michael Regan, insisted the targets were “readily achievable”, with EV sales tripling since Biden came to office, and despite the skepticism of some automakers about the pace of the transition needed for the plans. Electric vehicles accounted for only 7.2% of US vehicle sales in the first quarter of the year, but the share of EV sales is on the rise – last year it was 5.8% of new vehicle sales.

Whether this is possible is a very important question, and yet for now, it serves as a signal for companies, markets, and consumers to transition from the internal combustion engine in vehicles. Though, Lord, we must be reminded that there are a great many challenges associated with electric vehicles, though they do remove fossil fuels from operations, as the materials involved with creating these vehicles often harms the environment and people in different ways. Help us move towards what is less harmful, Lord, and let us simultaneously seek what is ultimately lifegiving for our planet.

Lake Superior’s largest private island to be sold to Nature Conservancy of Canada

One of Canada’s most prominent conservation groups has reached a deal to buy the largest privately owned island in Lake Superior, a move that will protect it from development. Batchawana Island, located 45 kilometers north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is set to be acquired by the Nature Conservancy of Canada for $7.2 million once the organization raises an outstanding $1.2 million for the purchase. “The impact of conserving Lake Superior’s largest privately owned island cannot be understated,” Kaitlin Richardson, the Nature Conservancy’s northern Ontario program director, wrote in a statement. The roughly 2,100-hectare island is home to several significant animal and tree species and has been owned by American investor Joe Acheson for the last 20 years. The island’s 27 kilometers of shoreline includes features ranging from sand beaches to cobblestone and rock cliffs and provides habitats for 36 provincially significant birds, Richardson said. The island is also home to forests teeming with moose, wolves and bears, as well as wetlands with potential to store carbon that’s equivalent to the energy used by 500,000 homes, the Nature Conservancy said. The island is within the ancestral land of the Batchewana First Nation, who the conservancy kept informed on the status of their island bid throughout the past year, Richardson added.

God we give thanks for the preservation of beloved creatures, plants, landscapes, and places that your people call home. We pray that each of us might be transformed to be fierce and compassionate water, land, and creature protectors, in all that we do.

Birthday Party in Alabama Shooting Leaves 4 Dead and 28 Injured

Four people were killed and 28 others were injured in a shooting at a 16th birthday party on Saturday night in an Alabama city, officials said. The shooting occurred at the Mahogany Masterpiece dance studio, The Montgomery Advertiser reported. Dadeville is about 60 miles northeast of Montgomery, and about 3,000 people live there. Residents on Sunday morning grappled with the shooting, which took place at a 16th birthday party, said Ben Hayes, the senior pastor at Dadeville First Baptist Church, who is also the chaplain of the city’s Police Department. According to Michael Taylor, a coach at Dadeville High School, “They’re all like family, like brothers and sisters in a small town. This whole town is just in disbelief, like it’s a dream.” Guns are the leading killer of children in the United States, making it an extreme outlier compared with similarly large and wealthy nations. In 2020, gun violence surpassed car accidents and disease to become the leading killer of children.

Where else can I spill my frustration, wail my laments, express my great disappointments, and confront my own powerlessness to change such hated circumstances but to you O God!  Help us to see more clearly the systemic solutions for this violence.  Help us to value the lives of children as image bearers of God.  Raise a hedge of protection around the families impacted as they mourn these shocking deaths.   Bring your justice and your peace.  Transform us Heavenly Father.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Advocate with Dreamers: Support Pathways to Citizenship!

A permanent legislative solution is needed to protect the lives, dreams, families, and futures of Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants, who are often exposed to vulnerable and dehumanizing conditions because of their status.  Using our editable email template, urge your Members of Congress to ensure a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS-holders, and essential workers.

Learn More About Gun Violence Prevention
  • Giffords - an organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
  • Everytown - the largest gun violence prevention organization in America made up of nearly 10 million mayors, moms, teachers, survivors, gun owners, students, and everyday Americans working to make their own communities safer.
  • Data for Progress - “Voters Support Common-Sense Gun Control Laws That Have Proven Successful in Other Countries”


The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.