Your love is steadfast, O Lord, but how fickle we are. We are never satisfied. In our dissatisfaction we destroy that which we do not understand and devastate that which satisfies as if there is never enough. Our prayers are prayers of contrast as we recognize political, financial and economic pressures are very different across continents and countries.
Along with the United States of America seeking a solution to refugee crises, we hear of bomb attacks in Istanbul and Diyarbakir, Turkey and in Jakarta, Indonesia; we are not surprised as people struggle to leave these areas.
In severe winter weather in the Middle East, aid agencies are struggling to bring relief to the besieged town of Madaya as well as the villages of Kefraya and Fouaa in Syria, and we read that Israel cuts supplies of natural gas to Gaza.
As people gather to enjoy the World Cup skiing events taking place in Flachau, Austria, we pray for those from France and the Ukraine killed and caught up in the avalanche in Les Deux Alpes, France.
Heavy rain is causing Australia’s Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre to fill, a rare event causing the desert to bloom, and we pause with concern for the people of Flint, Michigan in the U.S.A. who have been affected by lead in water.
In Britain the Environment Agency has been ordered to prioritize protecting homes, even when this means loss of livelihood to farmers through flooding farm land. In Tanzania the government started demolishing up to 15,000 homes to clear a valley near Dar es Salaam, where many of those who work in the Kariakoo market live, to allow free flow of water.
We contrast the release of 10 American service members by Iran with the 600 days the Chibok girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria.
We give thanks West Africa has been declared Ebola-free even as we pray for South Sudan struggling with a severe malaria outbreak. We recognize that both these illnesses remain endemic in Africa.
We offer our prayers for ourselves; giving thanks for the wonders of medical science in healing and for the gifts of faith in dying; for the grace of finding somewhere to seek aid, to rest and be sheltered.
We exist both wondering at the beauty of our world and fearing it’s power. We pray, failing to compare and contrast the wide range of solutions to the problems of each country and often dooming ourselves to repeat mistakes. “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!” Ps 36:7, 10. Faithful God: this is our prayer for our world.