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Justice Prayers - July 10

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21

Wildfires Threaten First Nation Communities in Ontario, Manitoba

A forest fire heading toward Keewaywin First Nation in northwestern Ontario -- now just eight kilometers away -- continues to grow, according to provincial officials. The province's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the fire, referred to as Red Lake 23, has grown more than 100 square kilometers since Friday to a current size of 719 square kilometres. Roughly half of Keewaywin’s 450 residents were flown to Timmins, Ont., over the weekend to ensure their safety. Additionally, forest fires in southeastern Manitoba have forced evacuations among the Little Grand Rapids and Pauingassi First Nations. The wildfire smoke in Manitoba and Ontario is causing severe air quality and respiratory problems for residents. It is unclear if and when residents can return home.

Lord over all creation, we pray for our neighbors in Ontario and Manitoba who are forced to flee, with timelines for their return and livelihood unknown. Though the causes are unknown, we ask that you cease the spread of these fires before damage is done to communities, and we ask that medical professionals may be your hands and feet to all who are already hurting.

Climate Change and Poverty Will Go Hand-in-Hand, Says U.N. Report

Climate change is making headlines this summer with record temperatures in places like Anchorage, Alaska, as well as devastating floods and climate-related migration. A special report from the U.N. has found that climate change will impoverish hundreds of millions, including middle-class people in wealthy countries. It will push 120 million people into poverty by 2030 alone, and it could lead to a “climate apartheid” -- a scenario in which the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.

God of justice and righteousness, we pray that a word of conviction might come from your Spirit to your church and invigorate a spirit of awareness and urgency regarding the climate crisis. We pray that we may understand this crisis not in the abstract or hypothetical but as a threat that challenges our very way of living and requires us to sacrifice in order to love our neighbor and be in right relationship with your creation.

Inspector General Report Describes Horrid, Inhumane Conditions at Border Facilities

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, overcrowded, inadequate conditions are more widespread at migrant centers along the southern United States border than were initially revealed. The office’s report describes standing-room-only cells, children without showers and hot meals, and detainees pleading desperately for release. In June, inspectors from the department visited five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and found that children had few spare clothes, no laundry facilities and only wet wipes to clean themselves. Overcrowding was so severe that when the agency’s internal inspectors visited some of the facilities, migrants banged on cells and pressed notes to windows begging for help.

How much longer, God? We pray that our letters, our phone calls, our donations, and our prayers would help bring an end to such horrible suffering, and that abusers of power would be brought to account so that all can find safety and peace. God, our hearts hurt and our communities hurt when we allow pain to be inflicted on the vulnerable. Come, Lord Jesus.

4+ Year War in Yemen: Disease Spreading, Infrastructure Crumbling

In the first six months of 2019, Yemen has seen more suspected cholera cases than in the whole of 2018. A total of 439,812 suspected cholera cases have so far been identified, with some 203,000 children among those affected; and at least 193 children have died this year from cholera-related illnesses. The bloody years-long war in Yemen has impaired the country's infrastructure for providing clean water and sanitation, leaving some 9.2 million children without access to safe water. The four-year conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, and has left millions more displaced.

After years of violence, God, we pray alongside our Yemeni sisters and brothers for a peaceful end to this conflict. And we ask for your healing for the children, mothers, brothers, and elderly without clean water and sanitation in the midst of this fight; God, it is often the vulnerable who suffer most in war, so we pray for peace.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Action Alert: Ensure Access to Nutritious Meals Year-Round

In June, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to make federal child nutrition programs more efficient, flexible, and better equipped to reach children in need during the summer months. Ask your Members of Congress to support legislation that removes barriers to healthy, accessible meals for children during the summer.

Do you bike to work, compost, or tend a home garden?

The Climate Witness Project is kicking off a campaign to highlight what you and your community are doing to address climate change each and every day! Send us an email at by July 31 with a photo and quote about why you are reducing your carbon footprint and how that connects to your faith! Composting, solar panels, biking to work, meeting with an elected official -- all of these efforts, and more, count!


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