Back to Top

Justice Prayers - June 2, 2021

The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. - Isaiah 26:7 

Ethiopia confirms massacre by Eritrean soldiers

After months of denial, a recent report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has described how Eritrean troops massacred more than 100 civilians, including elderly and physically disabled people, in the historic town of Axum in late November 2020. The report describes possible war crimes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Quoting eyewitnesses, the report details horrific incidents like Eritrean soldiers destroying a church with gunfire, dragging civilians from their homes to kill them, and ordering the burial of civilian victims in mass graves.

God, we intercede on behalf of our siblings in East Africa suffering in the Tigray region. We’re alarmed, shocked, and pleading for your intervention on behalf of all those who are victims of violence and inhumanity. We ask for all governments - Ethiopia, Eritrea, and allies - to immediately commit to a peace process to protect the vulnerable, restore order, and enact justice. God of mercy, hear our prayer. 

Major Shakeup at 3 Oil Companies Prompts Hope

Last week, three major oil companies experienced a profound shock to their businesses as investors rebelled over climate fears and a court ordered fossil fuel emissions to be slashed. More specifically, a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut carbon emissions from its oil and gas by 45% by 2030. In addition, an activist investor group simultaneously won two places on ExxonMobil’s board to promote climate-friendly business practices, and Chevron’s management was defeated when investors voted in favor of forcing the group to cut its carbon emissions. For some, this marks a possible turning point in efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Creator God, we’re witnesses to all the ways that you move and work in the world, even on Fortune 500 boards and Dutch courts. You’ve given us the wisdom, God, to know that we need drastic action to cut fossil fuel emissions and create a clean economy so everyone - humans, creatures, plants, and seas alike - can thrive together. We pray for all those who seek to enact change through business, and ask your wisdom for all those responsible for ensuring a just transition, well-paying jobs for those losing an industry, and an equitable future for all. 

Congolese Refugees Reunite After 5 Years Apart

Mapenzi Mweniake, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the  Congo, came to Chicago in 2016 with her son and her extended family to begin a new life after spending 20 years in a Tanzanian refugee camp. However, her husband, Mwenebatu Mwenemkamba, was forced to remain behind in the camp as he waited for clearance to join his family, a clearance long delayed as the U.S. refugee resettlement program was being dismantled. The family reunited last week at O’Hare International Airport and will live in their own Rogers Park apartment with help from RefugeeOne, Chicago’s largest resettlement agency, and from members of First Congregational Church of Western Springs, which is co-sponsoring the family.

Triune God, like our ancestors in the scriptures, we delight and rejoice in homecomings which unite families and bring joy to communities. We thank you for a functioning refugee resettlement process, and we pray for a program that welcomes as many as we can possibly accept both in Canada and the U.S. Lastly God, we pray for Mapenzi Mweniake, Mwenebatu Mwenemkamba, their son, and their extended family for joy and delight as they reunite as a family and adjust to a new life together. 

Remains of 215 Children Found at Indigenous Residential School in Canada

On the grounds of a former residential school set up more than a century ago near Kamloops, British Columbia to force western customs and cultural practices upon Indigenous peoples, the remains of 215 children have been discovered on the grounds. Before a more detailed report about the uncovering of the bodies is released later this month, the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation is working with the coroner and museums to try to shed further light on the graves and find any records of these deaths. 

Just and merciful God, the devastation of colonization is still being uncovered. We acknowledge all the ways that Christian practice and doctrine either led, supported, and turned a blind eye to the cultural destruction of Indigenous ways of life, and the literal death of your beloved peoples, and we repent. God, commit all nation states and peoples who have displaced, harmed, and erased Indigenous peoples from their lands and ways of life to a process of justice.

A prayer to incorporate into your services this Sunday is avaliable here.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Vaccine Access

Proverbs 28 tells us that those who give will lack nothing. It is in that spirit that we pray that no barriers will stand in the way of every person gaining access to immunizations. Call on the government to increase vaccine access around the world. Canadians click here.  Americans click here.  

Bill C-15 

On May 26th Bill C-15 to impliment the United Nations Declration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples officially passed the House of Commons and moved onto the Senate. Show senators that you want to see this bill passed to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.  Take action now.  

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.