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Justice Prayers - May 22

Lord, hear your Easter people's prayers! We live in hope, because He lives. 


HIV Outbreak among Pakistani Children

In the past month, more than 607 people -- 75% of them children -- have been diagnosed with HIV in the Sindh province in Pakistan. A handful of worried parents had taken their children to the doctor, complaining that their little ones could not shake off a fever. Blood tests revealed HIV, the cause yet unknown. Many suspect the outbreak is tied to the common use of affordable, and untrained, medical providers -- especially in rural areas where access to those with training is difficult and costly.

God, for these children, whose lives will never be the same, we offer prayers. So many live in poverty, and fear they will not be able to pay for the life-long medications they’ll now require. We pray for an end to the spread of this disease, and for a systemic solution to the need for good medical care in this, and so many, places in the world.


Drought in Australia Means Wheat Imported

A rare bulk shipment of wheat from Canada is expected to arrive in Australia in the next few weeks due to the worst drought there in 116 years. Australia is a country known for surplus produce. The import has raised biosecurity concerns because of risks of bringing in a disease or new weed to Australia. "Due to the worst drought in 116 years, high-protein wheat is in short supply which is critical to the Shoalhaven Starches wheat-processing plant," the company said in a statement.  "Rain means grain," said one analyst. "We need things to go pretty well to get a decent crop, but the future is probably going to be more extreme as the climate becomes more extreme."

When we think of the many ways that the world will adapt to a changing climate, Lord, we get overwhelmed. Help us to be equally committed to finding hope, and working for change. We pray for all those impacted by the drought in Australia -- especially those for whom life is precarious -- and we pray for real, effective, courageous, global solutions to climate change to materialize.


Canada Has Blocked Migration, Reports Show

In 2009 and 2010, two boats carrying hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka reached Canadian shores. Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to do everything in his power to prevent the arrival of other ships carrying what he called "illegal" migrants. A “Migrant Smuggling Prevention Strategy” was created, and later was maintained under Justin Trudeau's government. Today, nearly $18 million is dedicated to the task every year -- including working secretly with unscrupulous foreign governments to ensure migrants never arrive. François Crépeau, who was the UN special rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants for seven years, explained, "In a nutshell, they decide that, 'We will welcome refugees when they make it to our borders, but we will do everything in our power to prevent them from making it to the border.' As such, they will finance, arm, train, equip security forces in countries where human rights are not guaranteed."

God, we pray for policies that truly reflect the practice of hospitality, that respond to not only human need but also to the reality of human value and dignity, and that are transparent and just.


Restoration in a Connecticut Prison

Advocates of criminal justice reform are beginning to catch up with what social scientists have shown for years: the correlation between being the victim of a crime and committing crime cannot be ignored in serious conversations about sending fewer people to prison. A pilot prison program in Connecticut entering its third year is built on acknowledging and healing trauma as a means to a successful post-prison life. The pilot has released data that suggests that prison programs that provide a combination of counseling and educational and work opportunities reduce violence and the risk of returning to prison.

God, for those who are victims of trauma -- and who then inflict trauma on others -- we pray for opportunities for healing. We know that we are, each of us, human beings capable of sin, capable of restoration. We pray for innovative solutions like these, which offer hope that victims and offenders alike can have the chance to be restored.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Immigration is Our Story series

Check out the most recent interview in the Immigration is Our Story series, featuring immigration organizer Marissa Aguilera-Saints and her mother, Cristina Aguilera, about her immigratio story from Cuba to the United States. "All of a sudden these militiamen in their green fatigues carrying machine guns were walking around and they took my mom to another little room to search her."

Faith in Action: Practicing Biblical Advocacy

Contacting elected officials may be daunting, but sharing your well-informed opinion can make a real difference on the justice issues that you care about, and can bring about long-term changes to unjust systems. This workshop will help you learn how to navigate the political system to make your voice heard by local, provincial, and national leaders. (This workshop was developed for Canada, but a U.S. version will be made available upon request.)

World Refugee Day toolkit

World Refugee Day is coming up quickly (June 20)--it's a great opportunity to celebrate and remember refugees at your church or in your community. We've put together a collection of easy-to-use resources to support you at

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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