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Justice Prayers - January 27, 2021

"I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice."  - Proverbs 8:20

Alberta Oil Companies claim Net Zero

A pair of companies in Western Canada say they've not only achieved the mark of “zero emissions” but are actually storing more emissions underground than they are producing from their operations. Enhance Energy and Whitecap Resources both use carbon capture technology to stash emissions far below the surface. CO2 is transported through a pipeline, pumped into an old oil reservoir, and it then helps to free up more oil and increase the amount of crude produced at the site. Environmental leaders have often had mixed feelings about carbon capture facilities: while harmful emissions are stored underground, the technology may just be enabling industries to maintain the status quo and not focus enough on reducing the use of fossil fuels.

God, we offer prayers for the innovators, the do-ers, those on the frontiers of technology. We celebrate new knowledge and emerging solutions to the climate crisis. We also pray that we might keep our eyes wide open, adapting to the successes as well as the failures of new approaches. We recognize, God, that technology will not relieve our burden to change our lifestyles, our consumption, our desires in order to be responsible stewards of the created world. Alongside innovation, may we also shrink our desires for more, more, more.

Workers Are More Endangered by COVID

Workers who are regularly exposed to coronavirus through their job are more likely to die from the virus than people in other professions, according to new analysis in the UK. Machine operators, restaurant workers, taxi drivers, nursing assistants and care workers, local government administrators, nurses, retail assistants, and bus drivers all had higher COVID-19 mortality rates. People in some of the lowest-paid, manual jobs were also found to have higher rates of COVID-19 mortality, prompting trade unions to urge the government for clearer workplace safety guidance and an increase in sick pay.

We pray, God, for all those who must prioritize their paycheck over their safety during this pandemic. We pray for those who are grieving the death of someone they love, someone they relied on. We pray that systems, policies, and organizations would change to better support these workers. We pray, Oh God, for an end to COVID-19.

Central African Republic

Central African Republic is facing serious food shortages as election violence has cut off the country and stranded hundreds of trucks carrying supplies outside its borders. Food prices have risen steeply since the landlocked country’s main supply route from Cameroon was cut off by armed groups trying to blockade the capital, Bangui, where the government declared a state of emergency on Thursday. The price of staple foods has risen by more than 50% in rural areas, according to the UN, which said an attack last Monday by rebels on a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies was “totally unacceptable”. Three drivers were injured in the attack.

For the desperate and suffering people of CAR, we offer our prayers. We pray for the courageous humanitarian workers who are willing to risk their safety to assist those who are in danger. We pray for a resolution to the underlying conflict. We pray, God, for peace.

An End to “Remain in Mexico” Announced

In its first public announcement, U.S. President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security said it would end all enrollments in the controversial Trump program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or “remain in Mexico.” Since 2019, the program has forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their U.S. court hearings, sometimes for months or even years. The announcement did not specify what will happen to people currently in the program and only said they “should remain where they are, pending further official information from U.S. government officials.” Some Cuban and Central American asylum seekers flocked to ports of entry on Thursday morning, many carrying their belongings, hoping to end their waits in dangerous border towns where migrants can face extortion, kidnapping, and rape.

God, we pray for a quick process to relieve the suffering of those who have been stranded at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. We pray for clear and humane procedures. We give thanks for the churches in Mexico who have, for so long, been working to protect and defend the dignity of those immigrants, and who have shown hospitality that exceeds their resources. We pray that the church in the U.S. would do the same.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Support a National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Each year, hundreds, possibly thousands, of people are trafficked within Canada’s borders, and a greater awareness of the issues surrounding human trafficking will help the public to prevent and report it. Ask your MP to support Motion-45 to create a National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada as Parliament debates the issue.  Take action here.

Support Health for Moms and Babies during COVID-19

As the pandemic continues to rage on, the strains put on the healthcare system severely impact the health needs of pregnant and birthing mothers as well as newborn babies. Ask Congress to prioritize strengthening our healthcare system which is pivotal to the sanctity of human life in this pandemic.  Take action here.

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