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Justice Prayers - December 4th

The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.  - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One Climate Refugee Every Two Seconds

Climate-fueled disasters have forced about 20 million people a year to leave their homes in the past decade -- equivalent to one every two seconds -- according to a new report from Oxfam. This makes the climate the biggest driver of internal displacement for the period, with the world's poorer countries at the highest risk, despite their smaller contributions to global carbon pollution compared to richer nations.

God, we pray for those who have fled -- those who have found welcome somewhere new, and those who have not. We pray for those who are preparing to leave the only homes they’ve ever known -- give them courage, protection, peace. We pray for those who live in regions that receive these refugees -- open hearts, homes, and bring policies which allow for such welcome. We pray for the powerful who will decide which of these people will find safety and which won’t. And God, we pray for a decisive, effective, collective, and transformative response to climate change to emerge for the world.

Nigerian Family Ordered to Leave Canada

A Nigerian family facing deportation is calling on the Canadian government to provide any assistance possible to avoid returning home, out of fear that two young girls — with another on the way — will be subjected to female genital mutilation. The family fled Nigeria and arrived in Canada in 2017, but on Thursday they were denied refugee status and were told to leave the country by 3 p.m. on Friday. On Friday afternoon, after the mother — who is approximately five months pregnant — collapsed and was rushed to hospital, the government issued a temporary delay on the deportation order.

God, we pray for the deep grief and fear this family is experiencing. We pray for good legal help, for compassionate decision-makers, and for a just outcome in their situation. And we pray for the many women who face violence due to their gender, whose names have not made headlines -- those who have been victims of violence, those who have not been able to flee for safety, those who believed they were safe but were then sent back to life-threatening situations. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Church Attacked in Burkina Faso

At least 14 people were shot dead in an attack on a church in eastern Burkina Faso on Sunday morning, the government said. The identities of the gunmen were not immediately clear, nor were additional details about the attack, which took place in the village of Hantoukoura. This year there has been an insurgency of violence by groups believed to be connected to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and it has ignited ethnic and religious tensions in Burkina Faso.

God, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, who grieve losses, who fear for their safety, who cannot gather to worship in peace. We pray for their Muslim neighbors, too, who share their longing for peace. We pray for those who commit attacks like these -- change their hearts, O God. We pray for those who attempt to govern in Burkina Faso, and who face what feels like insurmountable challenges because of this violence. Bring peace, Lord.

Deadly crackdown in Iran

At least 180 people — and possibly hundreds more — have been killed in the past few weeks in some of the worst political unrest in Iran since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago. Protests erupted after a steep increase in the price of gas was announced on Nov. 15. In the resulting government crackdown, Iranian security forces opened fire on the demonstrators. The scope of the violence is now becoming clear after an internet blackout was lifted. The authorities have not disclosed the number of casualties and arrests, and have denounced unofficial figures on the death toll as speculative.

God, we pray for Iran -- especially for those who are vulnerable when there is unrest and violence like this. We pray for women, children, people with disabilities, people who are poor. God, we pray for those in power to respect the dignity of the citizens of Iran, and hear their cries for justice, and respond in ways that bring about the common good for all people. God, be present, and bring your peace, to Iran.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

It’s Not Too Late to Sign up for 2019 Advent Devotionals! 

Starting this past Monday, World Renew and the Office of Social Justice began sharing a devotional series for Advent 2019 called How Long, Lord? that explores how witnessing destruction and injustices can often lead us to ask the same question that God’s people and the prophets in the Bible asked: “How Long, Lord?” The series will also explore how in the midst of asking that question, we can have hope that our pain will not be forever and that the God who made us is with us, now and forever. Don’t miss out: Sign up today at

Centre for Public Dialogue: Year End Giving 

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