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Justice Prayers - March 13

We bring our prayers to Creator God, who both "takes up our pain and bears our suffering" and will "let justice roll down like a river."


Economic and Political Turmoil in Venezuela Worsens

Amid continuing unrest in Venezuela, people are suffering. Electrical grid problems resulted in four days of blackouts, leading people to fill bottles with water from a polluted river. The power outages have severely cut the production and profits of the nation’s oil industry, and drivers have had to wait in line for hours at the few gas stations still operating. Currently the White House is considering temporary protected status for Venezuelans, a move that would prevent undocumented immigrants from the South American nation who are now living in the U.S. from being deported to a country in turmoil.

God, for the people of Venezuela who have so little ability to protect themselves, meet their own needs, or influence their own future, we offer prayers. Be at work, Lord, in the diplomacy and power plays of leaders whose decisions can mean life or death for vulnerable people. Restore the promise of life in Venezuela, Lord.


Quebec City Mosque Shooter’s Sentence Appealed

Crown prosecutors are appealing the sentence given last month to Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette. In court documents filed just hours before the appeal deadline expired, the Crown says Bissonnette's life sentence, with no chance of parole for 40 years, is too lenient, despite its being one of the longest sentences handed down in Canadian history. Crown lawyers initially sought a life sentence with no chance of parole for 150 years. Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last year to killing six people and attempting to kill dozens of others at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Centre in 2017.

God, you are the one who restores. You restore hope to communities ravaged by violence. You restore love to hearts filled with hate. You restore dignity to people deemed worthless. Bring restoration, Lord, in the life of Mr. Bissonnette, in the communities still fearful and grieving from his crimes, and in prisons filled with people longing for redemption.


U.N. Warns of Future Crisis Due to Rohingya Relocation

According to the United Nations, Bangladesh risks creating a "new crisis" for Rohingya refugees if it goes ahead next month with plans to relocate 23,000 refugees to an uninhabited island prone to cyclones. Advocates say the refugees would effectively be trapped there, a muddy, low-lying island that floods frequently during monsoon season and offers few livelihood opportunities. More than 730,000 Rohingya have been confined to overcrowded camps in Bangladesh since late 2017 after fleeing a campaign of violence and rape in Myanmar by that country's military.

God, we pray for humane, sustainable solutions to the problem of overcrowding in these camps. We know that each person there is known and loved by you. We know that each person deserves dignity. So we pray that all might have the ability to flourish as a result of constructive, sustainable ways to respond to the urgent, ongoing need to provide safety for these thousands of people.


157 Dead after Plane Crash in Ethiopia

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner with passengers from at least 35 countries, including many humanitarian aid workers, crashed Sunday soon after leaving Ethiopia’s capital, killing all 157 people on board. Nineteen of the passengers had worked for the United Nations. While World Renew did not have staff or partner staff on that flight, they continue to hear how partner organizations are grieving the loss of many dedicated people. A probe into the reason for the crash is under way.

Lord, for the many who grieve today -- all over the world -- in the wake of this tragedy, we join our hearts in prayer for your comfort and strength. We mourn for the important and life-saving work that will be cut short because of these deaths. Bring comfort, Lord, and sustain the work of renewal that these people dedicated their lives to.


Other recommended resources:

Climate Conversation: Bangladesh Video Series and Bible Study Materials 

This new series of five videos and a three-week Bible study from World Renew and the Office of Social Justice put the spotlight on Bangladesh, where World Renew is promoting floating gardens, alternative means of livelihoods such as raising ducks, and addressing health issues.

Do Justice Blog

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “We must go from this convention and say, America, you must be born again.” “King suggested America had lost its theological vision,” writes Rev. Reggie Smith. Read Smith’s full blog post “An American Theology to Die For.”


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