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Justice Prayers - September 18th

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22

Ontario's Government Plans to Eliminate Poverty Program that Helps Low-Income Families

Ontario’s government plans to eliminate a program designed to help low-income families on November 1, leaving vulnerable families concerned. The Transition Child Benefit currently provides for families during the period that they are waiting for their tax-based credits to begin -- most often families with newborns, those experiencing break-ups, and new refugee claimants. Their advocates believe that cutting the will force families to face greater hunger, homelessness and hardship, and say it amounts to eliminating the social assistance that has both the least cost and the greatest impact on reducing extreme poverty.

God, we remember those who are unable -- because of immigration, relationships, or other factors -- to provide for their needs or their children’s needs. Help us to remember their dignity, to see their gifts and potential, and to see their importance to the communities they live in. We pray for those who have power over these policy decisions. We pray for impact of cuts like this and for a way forward that allows families in transition to find hope and meaningful, flourishing lives.

Demonstrations in Indonesia Continue

A group of UN human rights experts has urged the government of Indonesia to protect the rights of activists advocating for more freedom in the country's West Papua. Large-scale demonstrations have recently taken place across Indonesia, sparked by a racist incident against Papuan which also sparked anger from the people of West Papua for over 60 years of discrimination by Indonesia. The government has responded to the demonstrations by blocking internet access in Papua. The UN called for immediate measures to ensure the protection of freedom of expression and to address acts of harassment, intimidation, interference, undue restriction and threats against those reporting on the protests. 

God, we pray for those who are fighting for their dignity and freedom in Indonesia. We pray for safety, for leadership that values the rights of all humans, and for a way forward that ensures equity and justice.

Hurricane Dorian Leaves Many People Displaced

When Hurricane Dorian hit the northern Bahamas, it left thousands of people fleeing for safety—if they could escape at all. In some of the poorest neighborhoods, there was no safe haven to be found. Emergency response officials estimate that 4,000 people were unable to evacuate Great Abaco, which was hit hard by the storm, and living conditions there are dire -- including lack of food, running water and electricity. There are scores of people missing, the majority of whom were from low-lying shantytowns where thousands of Haitian migrants lived in rough-hewn wooden structures that were flattened by the storm. The storm's devastation in the Bahamas highlights a risk public health experts have long warned about: climate change will hit the most vulnerable populations hardest, particularly the poor, the elderly, and women.

God, we pray for people around the world -- and particularly today those in the Bahamas -- who live with the least wealth, and who live in the most vulnerable areas. We pray for the ones who can’t leave. For the ones who have no hope of resettling. We pray for those who grieve, who are afraid, who are in pain, who are without hope because they are poor. We pray for them to be a policy-making priority, so that their safety and well-being are protected by those who have power.

California Bill Requires Abortion Pills on Campuses

California lawmakers passed a bill that would require on-campus clinics at all public universities in the state to offer the “abortion pill” to students seeking to terminate their pregnancy at up to 10 weeks. The measure now heads to the governor’s desk. 

God, for the men and women who are considering abortion because they are grieving a pregnancy and its impact on their lives, we pray for wisdom, for compassion, and for good counsel from loving people in their lives. For the lawmakers whose policies can impact the culture in such important ways, we pray for discernment and a willingness to stand up for their beliefs, even when they’re unpopular. We pray for lives just beginning to develop, lives known and loved by you. Your will be done, Lord.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

U.S. Action Alert: Protect our Neighbors and Fund the Government Responsibly

Congress is determining the federal government’s budget for next year, including funding for the Department of Homeland Security. Because of an often-abused funding transfer authority, DHS has taken billions of dollars over the last several years from other important government departments to fund the southern border wall, immigration detention, and to decrease access to asylum, through programs such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), more commonly known as “Remain in Mexico.” These policies have exposed already vulnerable migrants to inhumane and dangerous conditions. 

Urge your legislators to protect our neighbors by eliminating the federal funding transfer authority and defunding immigrant detention and MPP; ask them to instead fund humanitarian visa processing and humane alternatives to detention that provide support to communities in crisis.

Ask Congress to fund humanitarian solutions and defund harmful immigration enforcement practices.

Baptism and the Fear of Uncertainty

"I recall a conversation with a friend from my Calvin Seminary days. He was a Calvin College student. I went over the college since I was one of two African Americans at the seminary in the late 1980’s. My friend was a biracial child, who along with his sister adopted into a wonderful white Christian Reformed family in Grand Rapids. He shared with me the struggles his parents encountered when they wanted to baptize both children into the faith at their church."   Read more...  

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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