Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-2
And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Ezekiel 47:9
Dear God our Creator and Redeemer,
Help us to live in awe in this world, this day and in this moment. Help us to understand with new eyes how you spoke the world into being and as it unfolds, even now, in this season, as wind and water move over earth. Help us to hold sacred the lands. Are we stewards or despoilers? Help us to understand how you restore and renew the world. Help us to see your grace at work. We read of TheKofan people of Sinangoe in the Amazonwhoprotecting more than 79,000 acres of primary rainforest in their ancestral homeland in Ecuador. Theyhave won a landmark legal battle to defend one of its’ largest and most important rivers from mining claims.
And when will peace come like fresh water flowing through the many rivers of Ethiopia where 1.4 million of its 100 million people are displaced? Help us to hear Ambassador Shalework Zewde’s words, “When there is no peace in country, mothers will be frustrated. Therefore, we need to work on peace for the sake of our mothers.” Help us to see your grace at work as the two Houses elected their first female head of state. Sustain this ancient land, stop the bloodshed and renew its peoples.
Be with the people and lawmakers of Sri Lanka, Germany and Brazil as leadership is changing and uncertainty grows.
And when will peace like the rains that come to Gaza in winter bring reconciliation and an end to the bloodshed and deprivation for the near 2 million Palestinians? We mourn for the 210 killed and more than 18,000 wounded in the past 6 months during the weekly Friday protests along the Israeli border. We pray for the brokering by Egypt for peace as refugees live with undrinkable tap water and only a few hours of electricity a day. Only your mercy can cause these and other injustices to fall away. In these days and weeks to come may your truth be known and received.
We watch and pray as the United States government has been ordered by the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands to halt sanctions that it had placed on the exporting to Iran of medicine and medical devices such as incubators, food and agricultural commodities such as wheat and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation. Open our eyes and hearts. Help us to bend and bow to your commandment: to love you and to love one another.
Awaken us from the suffering and deep misery, the horrible loss of opioid addiction and death so prominent in both the United States and Canada. We pray that the US legislation signed into law this week known as the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act will indeed work swiftly, prioritizing children, adolescents, and families as this public health crisis continues to unfold. We call on the Holy Spirit to guide our discerning as neighborhoods, towns, schools and workplaces find new resources to turn around this epidemic. We lift the tens of thousands who have experienced loss of loved ones. Lord have mercy.
Shed your mercy on the grieving families and their community in Louisville, Kentucky, United States as an attempted break-in at a church and murder of two people raises the alarm of violence so often fueled by hate. Forgive us for our sins Lord.
We weep, we grieve, we shake our heads and we come together once again. The world watches as a young man’s ashes are laid to rest twenty years after a hate crime ended his life. Again we despair, we groan and grieve as eleven worshipers at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA are murdered and six are injured. Guide us in these dark days where fear and hatred seem so common. Will this violence end? Help us to continue our resolve for peace making amid such hate and deadly force. In this time of mourning may we comfort each other as you have comforted us. In the days to follow may we commit to the words of Micah, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Help us to take those steps no matter how hard it seems and how impossible the way.
And as this day becomes night let us remember your tender power amidst all the little things: the birds in migration, the little ones yet to be reunited with their families, the least of these, the forgotten, the unnamed, the isolated and imprisoned, those on the road and in hiding, the many suffering – we pray for these and call to You. Hear our prayers.