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Justice Prayers - August 19, 2020

Be still my soul. The Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide in every change he faithful will remain. - Kathrina von Schlegel

Arctic Refuge Drilling

The Trump administration on Monday finalized its plan to let energy companies drill for oil and gas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The government is paving the way to issue decades-long leases in the pristine wilderness area before the end of President Trump's term. Allowing drilling in the refuge is hoped to create jobs and benefit the economy of a state dependent on the industry. Environmental organizations slammed the plan as a gift to oil companies that would devastate the refuge's unique ecosystem, and harm native people. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the government could start selling oil and gas leases by the end of the year, and production in ANWR could start in eight years, boosting U.S. energy independence. 

God, we pray for this wilderness and all the creatures who call it home, for their protection and mitigation of the harm caused. We pray for the ways that this decision will impact the whole world, because all of creation is connected. We pray for the people, especially Indigenous people, whose lives and livelihoods will change. We pray for those who will benefit; may their, and all of our, wealth be a benefit to others.

Israel and UAE launch phone service

Telephone service between Israel and the United Arab Emirates began working Sunday, and several Israeli news sites that had been blocked by UAE authorities can now be accessed after the two sides reached a U.S.-brokered deal to open diplomatic ties. The historic accord was viewed by many as a foreign policy victory stateside, but Palestinians believe it jeopardizes the chances of finding a long-term resolution to the Middle East conflict.

God, we believe that peace is possible. Today we pray for those in Palestine who have mourned this news as another sign that their dignity and future flourishing will not be prioritized. We pray that goodness, hope, and justice might come for Israelis and Palestinians alike.  

Mali’s President Arrested

Both the President of Mali and the Prime Minister have been arrested by mutinying soldiers. The apparent coup attempt in the West African nation began with gunfire at a key military camp near the capital, Bamako, on Tuesday morning. It followed a weeks-long political crisis that has seen opposition protesters taking to the streets to demand the departure of the President, accusing him of allowing the country's economy to collapse and mishandling a worsening security situation. 

For this frightening and chaotic situation, God, we offer our prayers. We pray for the deep divisions which underlie this current event, for the deeply entrenched fears of violence, deprivation, or lack. We pray, Lord, for a way forward that honors the image of God that is found in each person in Mali. Come, Lord Jesus.

Coronavirus Worse for U.S. Hispanic Workers

The coronavirus disproportionately impacts communities of color in the U.S.

A recent study looked at COVID-19 cases associated with workplace outbreaks in certain industries in Utah between March and June. It found that Hispanic and nonwhite workers made up 73% of those cases — despite representing just 24% of the workforce in sectors where outbreaks occurred.

"Systemic social inequities have resulted in the overrepresentation of Hispanic and nonwhite workers in frontline occupations where exposure to SARS-CoV-2 ... might be higher," researchers wrote, adding that "extra vigilance" is needed to combat the spread of the coronavirus among the populations over-represented in these sectors.

God, we lament that racism has caused a system that, for so long, as denied equity to people of color in the U.S. This latest evidence, and the deadly toll it is taking, causes us to grieve. We pray for adequate support for sick workers and their families, for the gaps in safety to be addressed, and for policies which begin to change the racism inherent in so many systems, which continues to kill people of color.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

New Workshop! Immigration is Our Story

Share your story, listen, and learn about immigration in the U.S. yesterday and today with the Immigration is Our Story Workshop. Download the free workshop guide here or contact Kendra David ( to have our staff facilitate the workshop for you with your church, small group, or school. 

Protect the Vulnerable

Our Hear Us Out action alert is still as important as ever!  You can advocate on issues that you feel are most urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic including, children at risk, those who are food insecure, and refugees.  Take action today!

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