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Justice Prayers - April 21, 2021

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path. - Proverbs 2:7-9

Derek Chauvin Verdict

A guilty verdict came back late yesterday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd until he died.  Police departments across the U.S. prepared for protests regardless of the verdict.  Sentencing will follow in the next few weeks.  

God, we pray for healing in our nation and in our hearts. We pray for restoration modelled after your upside-down kingdom.  It is hard to even imagine it -- what it would look like to restore a community so deeply divided, so entrenched in centuries of racist systems, thinking, actions -- and yet we pray for the courage to imagine. We pray that healing and hope would take root, and we pray that it begins in us.

For a reflection from Executive Director Colin Watson read here.

Chad’s President Dies

Chad's President Idriss Déby has died of his injuries following clashes with rebels in the north of the country at the weekend, the army has said. The announcement came a day after provisional election results projected he would win a sixth term in office. The government and parliament have been dissolved. A curfew has also been imposed and the borders have been shut. Mr Déby, 68, spent three decades in power and was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. A military council led by Mr Déby's son, a 37-year-old four star general, will govern for the next 18 months.

God, we pray for the people of Chad -- for protection, for peace. We pray for this region of the world, which has seen so much suffering, poverty, corruption, and exploitation. We pray for your presence, your renewal, your bright hope to be visible in Chad.

Food Aid to Venezuela

The United Nations' World Food Programme has reached a deal with the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela to provide food to the country's schoolchildren. Child malnutrition has been on the rise as Venezuela's once-prosperous economy has gone into freefall and health services have collapsed. More than 5.3 million Venezuelans have fled their home country amid the crisis. The WFP aims to reach 185,000 school children by the end of this year.

For the children in Venezuela, who are suffering so much, we pray. We pray for leaders to make wise, compassionate, just decisions. We pray for parents, who watch in agony as their children suffer. We pray for hope, for options, for solutions. We pray for those who have fled Venezuela: for safe passage, for hospitality, for a new beginning. God, heal Venezuela. Bring justice, restoration, a future.

Carbon Emissions Predicted to Rise

Carbon dioxide emissions are forecast to jump this year by the second biggest annual rise in history, as global economies pour stimulus cash into fossil fuels in the recovery from the Covid-19 recession. The leap will be second only to the massive rebound 10 years ago after the financial crisis, and will put climate hopes out of reach unless governments act quickly, the International Energy Agency has warned. Surging use of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, for electricity is largely driving the emissions rise, especially across Asia but also in the US. Coal’s rebound causes particular concern because it comes despite plunging prices for renewable energy, which is now cheaper than coal.

It is so hard to maintain hope in the fight against climate change. We only know that you care, God, about all the creatures who suffer. We know that you see, notice, and attend to those you love. We pray for leaders, for policies, for agreements, for negotiations, for decisions that might bring about a better future. And we pray for our homes, our churches, our communities, our own habits to be more and more reflective of hope, of compassion for others, of care for your world, and of love for you, our Creator God.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Hearts Exchanged 

Do you want to grow in your reconciliation journey in a robust and appreciative way?  Hearts Exchanged is now recruiting participants from across Canada to be join other Reformed Christians in this learning and action journey.  Find out more and express your interest here.  

Safe Church Webinar with Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen: Biblical Perspectives on Human Dignity

On Wednesday, May 12th at 12pm EST, Safe Church Ministry Director, Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen will lead a conversation about biblical perspectives on human dignity and reflection on what it means to live out this truth in our church life together.  Register now!

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