“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 61:1,2
We pray for those who are silenced because of oppression, whose words no one hears. You brought your Christ light to the world. Help us to remember, to know and live in this great love. Help us to spread the Good News.
You hear the sobbing and quaking fear of a child. You see the tears and hear the weeping of parents as families are torn apart. You hear the cries of children isolated for days, weeks, and months from their families. We call, we pray for the release of the over 140 children still separated from their families because of U.S. policy. They are not forgotten. How many more hunger at borders, camps and detention centers around the world? Help us to practice mercy with others, the mercy you have given us.
We pray for those who are speaking for release of the imprisoned, the captive and those suppressed. Help us to find our way in doing the same, in small acts of kindness and generous hospitality.
Help us in our silences when we can’t find the words and when we do speak, when we try to polish the words to get them just right and when we stumble and stutter and struggle to speak to you. Open our hearts that we may love with kind words, true words, thoughtful words and necessary words.
Help us to hold deeply in our hearts the truth that behind the published word there are the journalists who are working in harm’s way, taking risks as they interview those being silenced, photographing atrocities and bringing to our awareness unutterably evil deeds.
We pray for those who courageously investigate and report the news, as a tally released this week reports that 348 journalists are currently imprisoned and detained. Sixty are held hostage and eighty were killed in 2018, the highest number ever. We pray for those imprisoned and censored in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt.
Comfort families in their distress. Console journalist colleagues and sustain the news bureaus as they continue to shoulder their resolve in telling the stories and reporting facts in all corners of the world, rushing again and again to each new crisis and staying as conflicts continue over decades. Help us to protect and defend these liberties.
Help us to hear one another’s words; to listen freshly, with curiosity, and to absorb what friends, family and strangers have to say. Calm our ever-present ability to deny, interrupt and discount. Restore our sight to see Christ in the other.
We pray to grow in tolerance and kindness.
All this we ask in your name, in this season of Advent as the world swirls around us..
May your Peace and your Good News be received on this earth.