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Justice Prayers - May 19, 2021

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. - Hebrews 6:10

Devastation in Gaza

As of Tuesday morning, at least 213 Palestinians, including 61 children, have been killed in Gaza since the attacks began. About 1,500 Palestinians have been wounded. Twelve people in Israel have died, including two children, while at least 300 have been wounded. Israel closed a crossing into Gaza, barring the arrival of donated humanitarian goods like medical equipment for the wounded, after mortars were fired at the area as aid trucks passed through.

God of peace, we plead with you for a way forward in this conflict. We pray that this way forward is one in which freedom, human rights, and dignity are not assumed to be possible only for Israelis or only for Palestinians. We long to see abundance, not scarcity, for all the people you created. Help us to imagine abundance in Gaza, abundance for those in the Palestinian diaspora, abundance for those who have endured generations of suffering and displacement. We pray for wisdom for world leaders, for healing of the wounded, for comfort to those who grieve,  for protection of the vulnerable from violence. We pray for our own clear thinking on this issue so that we might use whatever small power we have to speak up for justice.

Hunger in Chad

The number of people having to leave their homes in the Lake Chad region of central Africa has more than doubled over the past year with agencies warning they are struggling to feed people. The fighting has displaced more than 400,000 Chadian, and the conflict shows no signs of easing.

We pray for the hungry men, women, and children who are desperate for relief. We pray for humanitarian workers on the ground and all through the chain of organization that must happen to help bring aid to those who suffer. We pray, God, for peace that lasts, and for flourishing for the people of Chad.

Lack of Drinking Water for Indigenous Canadians

Indigenous leaders are suing the Canadian government for not providing clean water. Crumbling infrastructure and waterborne illness means that even those with abundant fresh water are wary to drink it, and rely on shipments of bottled water. National class-action lawsuits against the federal government now argue that the federal government failed to provide clean water and forced communities to live in a manner “consistent with life in developing countries” they are suing the government for C$2.1bn (US1.7bn) damages – the costs associated with years of bottled water trucked and a water treatment system for the whole community.

God, you give the earth’s gifts to all creatures, not to some. You instruct us to care for the earth, not to abuse it. You expect us to care for one another, to see the image of God in each other. We pray for a future where all people have what they need without having to demand it from those in power. 

Voting Rights in the United States in Jeopardy

Hopes for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act rely on bipartisan support. The bill aims to require states with a recent record of discrimination in voting rights to get federal pre-approval before changing their election laws. Several states, including Michigan, are moving to pass restrictive voting laws before this federal law could stop them; many call these laws race-based voter suppression. 

God, all people have dignity, and are endowed with a voice by their creator. We pray for laws and policies that honor this agency. We pray for wisdom, courage, and truthfulness from those in power in the United States and in state-level government. We pray for BIPOC communities, which continue to have to fight for rights which should have been given to them at birth.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

We’re Hiring! Apply for the Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellowship

Our office is hiring! We’re looking for our Mobilizing and Advocacy Specialist. If you are interested in faith, policy, and social justice apply for our fellowship. The deadline to apply is this week May 21. Apply here!  If you know a recent college or university graduate please encourage them to apply. The fellow helps our office develop and assist in timely and effective advocacy and mobilizing strategies relating to selected issues of U.S. and Canadian policies, especially those that benefit communities impacted by injustice. They will gain invaluable hands-on experience in real world advocacy and faith-based mobilizing.

This Week!  Go Behind the Book 

With the aid of a trusty slide show, Lenny Kohm an improbable activist alongside representatives of the Gwich’in Nation traveled across North America to mobilize grassroots opposition to oil drilling.  Join us to hear the story of advocacy to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

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.

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