Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Mark 1:14-15
We know, Lord, that you call us to a far wider agenda than proclaiming good news and a far wider ministry than tending those in prison, but sometimes these fill our horizons, and it is difficult to see the oppressed and brokenhearted.
We often overlook the injustices occurring often in our food supply around the world. As we receive the news of First Milk delaying payments to British farmers, we join the Arthur Rank Centre’s call to prayer for justice and support for dairy farmers.
We are appalled by the sentence imposed upon Raif Badawi, sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes by a Saudi court for “insulting Islam.” Ill after the first 50 lashes, he waits to heal so that he can be lashed again and again.
We cannot grasp that Australia sends all asylum seekers arriving by boat to camps in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific territory of Nauru for detention and processing. Protests began at the Manus Island camp last week.
We don’t know why 122 men are still held at the United States’ military prison in Guantánamo, Cuba.
We question what is behind the release of Yazidis freed from ISIL captivity in Iraq; they will be haunted by their memories and wondering about the fate of their loved ones.
When the Boko Haram leader claims his group killed hundreds in the Nigerian town of Baga and threatens to attack Niger, Chad and Cameroon, we think of the many–especially girls and young women–who they have kidnapped. We want the world to know and take action, for we are called to proclaim release to the captives.
We hear that United States President Barack Obama has vowed in his sixth State of the Union address to relentlessly hunt down “terrorists” from “Pakistan to the streets of Paris [France].” We question how? What good news can we bring?
The time is fulfilled and the good news of the Kingdom has come near; may this be so for all the world. Amen.
The Arthur Rank Centre issued this prayer for those caught in the dairy production situation:
Prayer: Loving God we give you thanks for all the food that is produced for us by farmers every day. We thank you especially for milk, a vital food, which we don’t always fully appreciate. We pray for dairy farmers and the particular pressures that they face at this present time. We remember farmers under pressure because of low prices and late milk payments, may they know the peace of your presence. May we consumers never take our food for granted, and may we value and support those who work tirelessly to feed us. This we ask in Jesus name, Amen.