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Justice Prayers - February 13

We bring our prayers to Creator God, who both "takes up our pain and bears our suffering" and will "let justice roll down like a river."


If you haven't followed OSJ Prayers in the past, welcome! Justice Prayers (formerly OSJ Prayers) is a weekly post with 3-5 prayers addressing justice issues from around the world, sent straight to Do Justice subscribers' inboxes every Wednesday. (Find past issues of Prayers here, or access them from our Do Justice homepage.)

Forward them to your pastor for Sunday's congregational prayer, add them to your church bulletin, print them for use in small groups, or supplement your personal devotions.

If you haven't followed Do Justice before, welcome! A number of you are new here, so let's take a minute to get to know each other. Do Justice is a blog run by the CRC Office of Social Justice and the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue. The blog is shaped by a variety of voices examining and reflecting on justice issues with a Reformed accent. Check out our About page to learn more about Do Justice

Newsletter subscribers will receive Do Justice emails three times a week: on Mondays and Fridays you'll receive a blog post fresh off the press, and on Wednesdays you'll receive Justice Prayers.


Slaves Trafficked from Mexico to Canada Freed

Ontario Provincial Police have freed 43 people who were trafficked to Canada from Mexico and allegedly forced to work as cleaners at hotels. The 43, mostly men from age 20 to 46, were coached on what to say when they entered Canada, forced to live in inhumane conditions in Barrie and Wasaga Beach, and were transported to hotel and vacation properties in central and eastern Ontario to work. All were freed last Tuesday. "Human trafficking is modern-day slavery," OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum told reporters in Barrie. "Exploitation is the key element of this offense."

God, we lift in prayer all who have been victimized and robbed of their freedom -- enslaved because of greed and dehumanized because of sin. We pray for a change in the lives of people who have committed these crimes. We ask for policies and resources that can work toward uncovering and ending such schemes. And we pray for restored dignity and hope for all people in this world who do not have the freedom they were created to enjoy.

2018 the Fourth-Hottest Year on Record

On average, 2018 was the fourth-hottest year for the entire planet since modern record-keeping began in 1880 (1.42 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th-century average) -- and the hottest five years on record are the past five years. The year 2016 was hottest, at 1.69 degrees warmer than average. Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA, says the message is clear: "The planet is warming. The long-term trends are extremely robust. There's no question." And the cause is clear too, he adds: "It's because of the increases in the greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere over the last 100 years."

God, we pray for courage to change and for wisdom to know what changes to make. We ask also for clear, strong, consistent advocacy toward people in power who can make decisions that can help to turn back climate change. May a clear message come from Christians who are committed to being stewards of the world you have created.

Thousands More Immigrant Children Separated

A government report released Thursday said that the Trump administration probably separated thousands more migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border than had previously been stated, and federal efforts to track those children have been so poor that the precise number of separations is unknown. The policy quietly began in late 2017 and was made public in 2018 -- but did not end as the government claimed. Lawyers for eight separate immigrant families have filed claims against the U.S. government, demanding $6 million each in damages for what they describe as “inexplicable cruelty” and lasting trauma. The claims allege that the children remain traumatized, including a seven-year-old girl who will not sleep without her mother and a six-year-old boy who is reluctant to eat.

God, we lament this unfathomable pain. Whatever lack of oversight or lack of humanity has been involved, we pray for accountability among leaders and decision makers who have ordered and sustained this practice. We pray that you would make a way possible for restoration in these situations where parents have been told there is no possible reunion with their children. And we pray for swift, decisive accountability to emerge so that this destructive practice ends, and that people are held responsible for the brokenness they have caused.

U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Abortion Restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 last week to temporarily block Louisiana from enforcing a law that would have required physicians providing abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of wherever the procedure was performed. Supporters of the law say it's intended to safeguard the health of women. Opponents say it's yet another attempt to make abortions difficult, if not impossible, for women to obtain.

God, we pray for a way forward in the heated debates about abortion in the U.S. -- we long for a day when abortions never happen, when all new lives are welcomed as a gift, where all families have the resources they need to live in dignity and without fear. Give us wisdom to know how to advocate for policies that bring us closer to that goal. And, God, we wish there were never a time when a pregnancy endangered the life of a mother, when a baby developed in ways that could not sustain its life, when a pregnancy occurred because of violence. We pray for leaders in the Supreme Court and in other positions of power who make decisions that weigh so heavily on such situations -- the protection of unborn babies, the dignity and support for those vulnerable to abortions. Give them, and us, wisdom, O Lord.


Other recommended resources: 


Bangladesh Bible Study

The Climate Witness Project and World Renew just launched The Bangladesh Bible Study Series. This is a three-week Bible study designed to help Christians engage faithfully with the issue of climate change in church groups, youth groups, community organizations, and more. It not only explores our biblical mandate to be stewards of creation but also convicts us of our Christian calling to be advocates for people who are poor and vulnerable. Download the Bible study as a PDF here.

Want to Meet with Your Members of Congress?

During the Congressional Recess starting Feb. 16, the Office of Social Justice and its partners will be equipping constituents to organize legislative meetings across the United States. Contact Melissa for immigration/refugee issues at, and contact Andrew for climate change and creation care info at

Faith in Action: Practicing Biblical Advocacy

Contacting elected officials may be daunting, but sharing your well-informed opinion can make a real difference on the justice issues that you care about, and can bring about long-term changes to unjust systems. This new workshop will help you learn how to navigate the political system to make your voice heard by local, provincial, and national leaders. This workshop was developed for Canada, but a U.S. version is available upon request.



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.

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