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Justice Prayers - September 23, 2020

"What might it look like to replace your well water with God’s living water? If you’re ready, dump out your well water. Let it go. Close your eyes and hold your empty cup in front of you. Say this simple prayer: “Fill me.” - Lisa Sharon Harper

ICE arrests immigrant in a church, violating its own policies

Last week United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents entered a Methodist Church’s property in Maryland to arrest and detain an Indonesian asylum-seeker. ICE has a longstanding policy recommending that it not carry out arrests in “sensitive locations” like churches, schools, and hospitals.

For undocumented people in the U.S. who fear deportation, separation from their families, and an end to the life they’ve known, we pray. For ICE agents asked to violate policy or their own conscience to carry out orders, we pray. For the powerful, called in Scripture to defend the weak and vulnerable, we pray.

Food crisis looms as Mozambique conflict rages

Worsening conflict, combined with a precarious humanitarian situation, has forced more than 300,000 people to flee their homes and villages in Mozambique, leaving them completely reliant on humanitarian assistance.

God, we remember those in Mozambique, created in your image, who are full of fear today. We pray that they might find shelter and food. We pray for those who are offering help -- strengthen them, bring plenty of supplies and resources. For an end to the violence and unrest which has fueled this crisis, we pray.

Whistleblower alleges Forced sterilization of immigrants in U.S. custody

A complaint by a whistleblower nurse last week alleged that detainees in the Georgia immigration detention facility had improperly received hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures. Other allegations include delaying medical care, shredding medical request forms, unsanitary conditions, and a lack of proper COVID-19 protocols. A history of complaints against this facility reflects similar concerns.

God, we pray that the truth will emerge. We pray for those who do wrong to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. We pray for the safety of those who tell the truth. We pray for the grief and powerlessness of women in immigration detention. We pray for the families who love and miss them. We pray, God, for justice.

Stabbing at Toronto Mosque

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered condolences to the family of a volunteer caretaker who was stabbed to death at a Toronto mosque earlier this month — while also saying reports that the incident is connected to Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia are worrisome. Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58, was stabbed when he was sitting outside the mosque, controlling the number of people who entered in order to comply with public health regulations. The alleged perpetrator had shared content from a neo-Nazi group on his social media before the crime occurred.

God, for all those who live in fear, who are targets of hate and abuse because of their faith or their ethnicity, we offer our prayers for protection, for peace, and for hope. May we, your church, be the answer to these prayers, ready and willing to stand against all forms of dehumanization and violence.

In response to the grand jury outcome on the life of Breonna Taylor: A Litany for Those Who Aren’t Ready for Healing

By Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce

Originally posted on Kinetics Live, November 28, 2014. Then republished as part of Prayers for Love in the Face of Violence on July 7, 2016 by Sophia Henager, Kate Kooyman, Shannon Jammal-Hollemans

Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.

Let us not rush to offer a band-aid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.

Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment.

Let us not speak of reconciliation without speaking of reparations and restoration, or how we can repair the breach and how we can restore the loss.

Let us not rush past the loss of this mother’s child, this father’s child…someone’s beloved daughter.

Let us not value property over people; let us not protect material objects while human lives hang in the balance.

Let us not value a false peace over a righteous justice.

Let us not be afraid to sit with the ugliness, the messiness, and the pain that is life in community together.

Let us not offer clichés to the grieving, those whose hearts are being torn asunder.




Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 28 hours.

Let us lament the loss of children of God, dead at the hands of police officers.

Let us weep at a criminal justice system, which is neither blind nor just.

Let us call for the mourning men and the wailing women, those willing to rend their garments of privilege and ease, and sit in the ashes of this nation’s original sin.

Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.

Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage, and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.

Let us decrease, so that our brothers and sisters who live on the underside of history may increase.

Let us pray with our eyes open and our feet firmly planted on the ground

Let us listen to the shattering glass and let us smell the purifying fires, for it is the language of the unheard.

God, in your mercy…

Show me my own complicity in injustice.

Convict me for my indifference.

Forgive me when I have remained silent.

Equip me with a zeal for righteousness.

Never let me grow accustomed or acclimated to unrighteousness.

Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

International Students Speak 

Don't miss our latest Do Justice series!  Recent events in the U.S. have brought to light the profound impact that immigration policies can have on the opportunities and plans of international students.  In this series we hear directly from international students and we listen carefully to their experiences and stories.  Read the stories today!

Immigration, Human Dignity, and the Image of God: A Biblical Perspective

In this new video Regional Immigration Mobilizer Jason Lief discusses a biblical framework for immigration in the U.S. Lief is a professor of religion and theology at Northwestern College. In this video Lief discusses three primary questions. What are the important issues? How do we approach this from a biblical perspective? And how do we overcome the polarization on this issue?

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