Back to Top

Justice Prayers - July 13, 2022

May all your expectations be frustrated.  
May all your plans be thwarted.  
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing, dance, and trust in the love of God who is a Father, Son, and Spirit.  
- Larry Hein

Pushing the Limits of Human Livability due to Excessive Heat in Jacobabad

Jacobabad, a landlocked city in Pakistan’s Sindh Province nearly 340 miles north of Karachi, is pushing the limits of human livability on a warming planet. Since the beginning of March, an unprecedented heat wave has gripped India and Pakistan, affecting more than a billion people on the subcontinent. And Jacobabad has been among the cities worst hit, experiencing temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for 51 straight days. Last month, the temperature here reached 123.8 degrees and before that, reached 122 degrees on three separate occasions. Rising temperatures and humidity, coupled with electricity shortages, water stress and the absence of heat adaptation measures,  have exceeded thresholds that experts say the human body can withstand, with more intense summers arriving earlier in the year, and some experts say that going forward, those extreme conditions could last for 10 months each year. The 2022 heat wave in South Asia is already estimated to have caused more than 90 deaths in India and Pakistan, and to have resulted in glacial melts in northern Pakistan and reduced wheat crop yields in India. According to a recent report published by the World Weather Attribution Initiative, the onset of the heat wave was made 30 times more likely by climate change. 

God, the very places that sustain us have been so altered by human activity that they have become sites of hardship, instability, and death. We pray for the repose of those who have died from extreme heat. We pray for relief, for development, and for justice - for those in Jacobabad and all those around the world who’s environments have been turned upside down.

Unrest in Sri Lanka; Protests Amidst Economic Meltdown Leads to Upcoming Election

Sri Lanka‘s parliament will hold a vote on July 20 to elect a new president, its speaker has said, to replace President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has promised to resign by Wednesday. The statement on Monday comes after protesters stormed the residences of the current president and prime minister, prompting both officials to go into hiding amid an economic meltdown. Government finances were crippled by mounting debt and lavish tax breaks given by the Rajapaksa government. Foreign exchange reserves were quickly depleted as oil prices rose. The country barely has any dollars left to import fuel, which has been severely rationed, and long lines have formed in front of shops selling cooking gas. Headline inflation hit 54.6 percent last month, and the central bank has warned that it could rise to 70 percent in the coming months.

Lord, we too understand anger and frustration at poor governance that hurts us all, especially the poor. We pray for a peaceful transition of power in Sri Lanka, and a pouring out of economic vitality that supports the needs, livelihoods, and aspirations of generations of Sri Lankans. Help, O Lord.

Biden administration extends TPS protection for Venezuelans

The United States has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela for an additional 18 months, shielding Venezuelans residing in the US as of early March 2021 from potential deportation. In a statement on Monday, US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that Venezuelans in the country as of March 8 last year would be eligible to apply. Venezuela is experiencing a widespread refugee crisis, as escalating violence, a lack of access to basic goods, including food and medicine, and political uncertainty have pushed more than six million people to flee the country, according to the United Nations. Monday’s DHS order does not re-designate TPS for Venezuela, meaning that those who have come to the US since March 8, 2021, will not be eligible, drawing criticism from migration advocates. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said on Twitter that this means “none of the 150,000+ Venezuelans who entered since then will qualify”.

For the time allotted to those who need it, we give thanks. For more time to rest, to recover, to work, and to receive shelter, we give thanks. But for longer term solutions, for permanence, for justice, and for all the reasons people flee in the first place, Lord, we pray for wisdom.

$1B Hydropower Project from Canada to Massachusetts Stalled

A proposal to transport clean hydropower from Canada to the state of Maine has reached an impasse and will launch a fierce court battle - possibly signaling trouble for the future of green energy projects across the US. New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) was supposed to be an industry-leading project, transporting 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts across 145 miles (233 km) of transmission line, and eliminating over three million metric tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Now, the hydropower project could be dead in the water, after a majority of Mainers voted to cancel it last November. The election’s outcome also could send energy planners in Massachusetts back to the drawing board in determining how they will ensure the grid’s stability while bringing large amounts of low-carbon power online.

For the deployment of clean energy that powers our homes, our places of worship, and our places of work and commerce, we pray. For a willingness to move forward with projects - knowing they aren’t perfect, but are needed - we pray. For commitment to a future free from fossil fuels, we pray.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Ask Congress to Prioritize Environmental Justice!

Low-income, tribal, Indigenous, and racial minority communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. We need climate solutions that recognize the full cycle of harm to impacted communities and champion pathways for those communities to benefit from the green economy through jobs and sustainable energy investments. As Congress considers a number of climate bills in the upcoming months, urge your elected officials to prioritize climate justice principles!

Sacred Spaces Clean Energy Grant

Low-income people in the US are also those who confront the climate crisis first and foremost.  Often these same people experience inequitable environmental degradation where they live and work. This pilot project will provide both energy efficiency and likely renewable energy to the houses of worship where low-income people live in the state of Michigan.  Get more details on the grant.

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.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.