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Justice Prayers - May 30

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

Malaysia Returning ‘Unwanted Plastic’ to Canada

Malaysia is denouncing Canada's "irresponsible" export of plastic waste, becoming the second Asian nation to make plans to ship Canadian trash back across the ocean. On Tuesday, Malaysian officials opened a shipping container filled with plastic bags from major Canadian chains, as well as product packaging stamped with "Made in Canada" labels from recognizable brands. For years, China was the destination of choice for plastic waste, taking in virtually any consumer or industrial product for recycling. But contaminated imports, worsening air pollution, and a shifting economy prompted Chinese authorities to abruptly ban imports of plastic for recycling in 2017 and shift their businesses to neighboring countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

God, for the unsustainable ways that we are using the resources you have provided, we ask for forgiveness. We pray that we might change our ways, and honor the gift of your created world.

Syrian Civilians Again in Danger

The Syrian government, together with Russia’s collaboration, has mounted yet another series of offensive attacks in an attempt to overtake the last remaining stronghold that’s held by rebel forces. It is being reported that Russian and Syrian jets are carrying out more than 100 raids a day, most of which are hitting crowded, residential areas. The violence is forcing hundreds of thousands of people to head north toward Turkey for refuge.

God, for those who have endured so much suffering and fear in Syria, we again lift our prayers. We pray that they may be protected as they flee. We pray for those who cannot flee, and must remain in harm’s way. We pray for those who will be faced with the opportunity to show hospitality to those made vulnerable by this ongoing violence. We pray for the world, gripped with the realities of migration, to see your face in the stranger at their gates.

Tornadoes Rip through Midwest; Emergency Flooding in Oklahoma

Multiple tornadoes touched down in Ohio and Indiana on Monday night into Tuesday morning, bringing widespread reports of devastating damage along with scattered reports of injuries. An 81-year old man from Celina, Ohio, died when a vehicle tossed by the storm slammed into his home. Additionally, at least seven people were injured, three of them seriously, and at least 40 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged, per reports as of Tuesday afternoon. In Oklahoma, all 77 counties are currently under a state of emergency due to historic flooding. The Department of Emergency Management says it's the result of "flooding, severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds that began in April." At least six people died in Oklahoma over the past few days due to flooding and severe storms, and it’s believed that with water levels still rising, the situation will grow worse.

God, we pray for those who have lost so much, and those who are trying to give much-needed help, in these devastating situations. For all those who will not be able to recover -- the poor, the ill, those with disabilities -- we pray for a community of support. God, for these worsening, too-common natural disasters, we pray for new ways to order our lives and our communities so that we might adapt.

Wrongful Death at Michigan Prison Highlights Neglect, Lack of Care

According to a recent ruling, the State of Michigan owes the family of Janika Edmond, a 25- year old woman who died from suicide at a women’s prison in 2015, $860,000 as part of a settlement agreement for her wrongful death. She had asked to be put on suicide precaution for her own safety, and later cried for help in a shower area where it’s alleged that at least a dozen correctional officers heard and ignored her; 20 minutes later, she was discovered unconscious with a bra around her neck. She died later at a hospital. Video records show that the officers had made bets on when Edmund would become suicidal, with one officer celebrating having won lunch after hearing her pleas for help.

God, we pray for those in prison. We pray for those who suffer from mental illness. We pray for those who need help and don’t get it. We pray for those so jaded by the broken system, they see suffering and don’t attend to it. God, we pray for a new way, that those who have experienced brokenness can find restoration and healing. And we pray for new ideas, approaches, and funding so that people can access quality mental health services in jails and prisons.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

God Bless the Do-Gooders, the Great Beings, and the Caregivers of Those Seeking Refuge

“Through the next several bus stops I listened to her as she told me, in no uncertain terms, that foreigners were ruining Italy and that they should go away.” Read JJ TenClay’s full Do Justice blog, “God Bless the Do-Gooders, the Great Beings, and the Caregivers of Those Seeking Refuge.”

World Refugee Day -- June 20

The world may fear refugees, but, as Christians, we’re called to be different. We follow Christ, our God who came to a world that did not recognize him, and we seek the face of God in the face of the “strangers” he has sent our way. Find worship resources, advocacy opportunities, ideas for connecting with your community, stories from CRC churches, and more at

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