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Justice Prayers - February 5 2020

"Don't be discouraged today.  You can leave your 'what-ifs' and 'if-onlys' in the hands of the One who loves you and rules all things." - Paul Tripp

Fallout from Trump Administration Middle East Plan

The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the US and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by Donald Trump. The plan, endorsed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that would exclude Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and remain under near-total Israeli security control. Churches for Middle East Peace has requested North American Christians pray in the wake of this divisive news.

God, for Christians in Palestine and in Israel, for those who have lived with war too long, for those who have never had their voices heard, for those who are weak, powerless, adn without hope, we offer our prayers. Draw near to them, Lord. Bring hope. Bring peace that comes with justice.

New Travel Ban for Immigrants to U.S

New travel restrictions have been announced -- this time for Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, and Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. The ban will prevent thousands of people from being able to move to the United States. The initial ban, which was put into effect in 2017, restricted travel from some Muslim-majority countries as part of Mr. Trump’s plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists.” It has already affected more than 135 million people — many of them Christians — from seven countries. With the new expansion, the ban will affect nearly a quarter of the 1.2 billion people on the African continent, and impact all African economies. The rationale for the new restrictions varies depending on country, but the White House announcement said that most of the six countries added to the list did not comply with identity-verification and information-sharing rules.

God, we pray for those who cannot now be reunited with family they long missed. We pray for those for whom this news brings fear and instability. We pray for Muslims in the U.S., and around the world, who are treated with prejudice. We pray for the impact this will have on those who are already poor and vulnerable in countries on the African continent. We pray for the powerful who create such rules.

Corona Virus Spreading, but Recoveries a Sign of Hope

The death toll from the new coronavirus has exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But the number of people who have recovered nationwide has also risen in recent days, suggesting that the new virus’s fatality rate is relatively low. China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. Health experts say they are encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries. They take it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.

God, we pray for all those who have lost loved ones, who have been fearful for their own lives and health, who have cancelled travel and whose lives have been on hold. We pray for healthcare workers who have risked their safety to assist the sick. We pray for those who are searching to find a treatment for this virus. God, our lives are in your hands. Help us to trust in you.

Locusts Swarm East Africa

Somalia has declared a national emergency as large swarms of locusts spread across east Africa. The country's Ministry of Agriculture said the insects, which consume large amounts of vegetation, posed "a major threat to Somalia's fragile food security situation". There are fears that the situation may not be brought under control before the harvest begins in April. The UN says the swarms are the largest in Somalia and Ethiopia in 25 years. Meanwhile, neighboring Kenya has not seen a locust threat as severe in 70 years, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Oxfam says 25 million people have already been left hungry and malnourished by the swarms.

God, we pray for this plague to end. We pray that there might not be unintended damage done to the ecosystem with whatever chemicals might be used to kill the pests. We pray for those who are hungry to find food. We pray for the helplessness this creates to be replaced with hope. We pray for aid groups to respond.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Action Alert | Urge Congress to Oppose the Latest Travel Ban 

On January 31, 2020, the Trump administration announced an expansion of the list of countries facing travel restrictions to the United States - the expansion will affect six additional countries: Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Kyrgyzstan.  Significantly, the four African countries listed in the new travel ban make up a quarter of the continent’s population.  Take our action alert here. 

Have a Heart Day 

Have a Heart Day on February 14th acknowledges the need for First Nations children have the services they need to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are.  Consider writing Valentines to Members of Parliment as part of family devotions or Sunday school!  For a Sunday School resource follow this link.  

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