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Justice Prayers - March 9th 2022

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 

Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine Continues to Unfold

As Russia steps up increasingly indiscriminate assaults on civilian targets and infrastructure, fears were growing on Monday that thousands of Ukrainians could die in the coming days if urgent relief does not arrive soon and humanitarian cease-fires fail to take hold. Additionally, The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda-Thomas Greenfield, on Monday said the US is “outraged” by increased reports of Moscow’s attacks harming Ukrainian civilians and called for a pause in hostilities to allow the safe passage of civilians who wish to leave areas of conflict. Thomas-Greenfield, speaking to the UN Security Council, called for Russia’s “firm, clear, public and unequivocal commitment” to allow and facilitate immediate, unhindered humanitarian access for humanitarian partners in Ukraine. As of early this week, already 1.5 million Ukrainians - mostly women and children - have been displaced.

God of the dispossessed, God of the broken hearted, we pray for your spiritual and material comfort for the millions whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the violent authoritarianism and blinding arrogance of a neighbor. Comfort the mourning and displaced, Lord. May borders, homes, and hearts open.


Abortions in Texas Decrease 60%, Increase 800% in Surrounding States

The number of Texas residents who traveled out-of-state to access abortion care increased dramatically after the state passed most restrictive abortion ban in the U.S. went into effect in the state in September 2021. Newly released data shows that Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas' surrounding states saw a nearly 800% increase in abortion patients from Texas between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. In Texas, the number of clinic abortions performed in the state fell by approximately 60% in the first month after Senate Bill 8 was enacted. Texas and most of its neighboring states — specifically Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas — have "trigger laws" in place, which are abortion bans that would kick in immediately if the Supreme Court overturns or weakens its precedents as established in Roe v. Wade.

Lord, we believe in the sanctity of human life, from womb to tomb. We pray for policies and practices, attitudes and organizations committed to caring for life and life abundant. Help us, Lord, truly and faithfully live out a commitment to supporting life.

Data Suggests Amazon Rainforest Tipping Point is Looming

Increased destruction and development in the Amazon Rainforest has led to a tipping point, where, upon reaching, the rainforest would be lost with “profound” implications for the global climate and biodiversity. Computer models have previously indicated a mass dieback of the Amazon is possible but the new analysis is based on real-world satellite observations over the past three decades.  More than 75% of the untouched forest has lost stability since the early 2000s, meaning it takes longer to recover after droughts and wildfires. The greatest loss of stability is in areas closer to farms, roads and urban areas and in regions that are becoming drier, suggesting that forest destruction and global heating are the cause. These factors “may already have pushed the Amazon close to a critical threshold of rainforest dieback”, the scientists conclude. ​​

God, how many more reports, conferences, and statements do we need to wake up? As if sleeping at the wheel we hurtle towards calamity. Lord Jesus, shake us into discomfort; wake us up, Lord!

Energy Center Stage As Countries Move Away from Russian Imports

​​Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the U.K. and the Netherlands agreed Russia is no longer a reliable supplier of oil and gas, but Europe can’t yet shut off the taps and Trudeau was vague about how much Canada can deliver as a replacement. Trudeau met with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in London Monday, as he begins a week-long trip to meet with European leaders. Canada, which imports a negligible amount of Russian oil and gas, banned imports last week. Rutte said in the short term a ban simply isn’t possible for his country or many in Europe. “We have to ensure that they don’t generate unmanageable risks to energy supplies in Europe, European countries and beyond, including Ukraine,” he said, speaking at a joint press conference with the three leaders in London. Additionally, the Biden administration came under fire after reports surfaced that the President’s advisors were considering a trip to Saudi Arabia this spring to help repair relations and convince the Kingdom to pump more oil.

Creator, we pray for decision makers tasked with balancing domestic politics, international crises, energy needs, and the complexity of working in collaboration across nations. And remind us, Lord, that discomfort at the gas pump is nothing compared to having your country invaded and livelihood turned upside down.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Faith Over Fear Training

This training is designed for leaders who wish to counter anti-Muslim discrimination in their communities. We'll share up-to-date research, resources, tools, and messaging to be stronger, strategic, and more effective actors in shaping our nation toward a greater vision - where all people, no matter their religious or cultural background, are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.  Full registration details here.

Support Permanent Immigration Solutions

The events of 2021, including a ruling made on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by a federal judge in Texas, have demonstrated the critical need for a permanent immigration solution that will keep families together and protect the lives, dreams, and futures of millions of undocumented immigrants. Contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to prioritize a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS-holders, and essential workers.

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