With all the pain, violence, and sorrow that we see and experience, how is it possible to not grow hard? Some days it seems nearly impossible to see compassion and hope at work in the world. In times like these, we can send compassion and hope out into the world.
Loving God, we come to you right now, just as we are, with all that we are feeling and all that is on our minds, to take intentional time with you in prayer. We know that you are always with us, as close as the air we breathe, so we take this moment in silence now to center ourselves in you. As we pause to be more fully in your presence, O God, we ask that your Holy Spirit would move in and through us as we lift up prayers for the world in a contemplative and meditative format.
Just God, we look for you in our governments, and long for signs of hope:
- We pray for Mali, Africa after the second military coup in a year last week, which may jeopardize a democratic election set for February. The African Union has now suspended Mali’s membership and threatened sanctions.
- We pray for Israel as the small right-wing party Yamina and the centrist party Yesh Atid discuss joining a new government to try and bring an end to Netanyahu’s 12 years as Prime Minister.
- We pray for the discussions about the Iran Nuclear Deal happening this week in Vienna, Austria and for all parties involved as they look for a future where Iran and the United States might return to the 2015 deal.
In your mind’s eye, allow a visual image of God holding the people of Mali, of Israel, in God’s loving arms. Imagine an image of God sitting at the table with the leaders discussing the Iran nuclear deal. Imagine transformation. See healing and reconciliation.
Creator God, we look to you when we see destruction and devastation, and long for signs of hope:
- We continue to pray for the people of Gaza as they plan to rebuild after the airstrikes which ruined homes, businesses, and killed more than 250 Palestinians.
- We pray for the waters after we learned that the container ship laden with chemicals and oil that caught fire 13 days ago off the Sri Lankan coast is now sinking. We lift up prayers for the Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Coast Guard who have been working together to contain it since May 20. We pray for creatures of the sea and those that depend on these rich fishing waters for food.
Visualize Jesus walking with and rebuilding with the people of Gaza, out on the ships with the Navy and Coast Guard. Imagine Jesus transforming the situation and what that would look like.
God of all people, we know you created each of us in your own image, fearfully and wonderfully made, and long for signs of hope:
- We pray for the survivors of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, Canada who believed their friends and classmates must have run away, not knowing they were killed and buried until the remains of 215 children who were students there were found.
- As LGBTQ+ Pride month begins, we pray for trans kids, after Florida became the seventh state in the United States of America to ban trans athletes from competing in female sports.
Allow a bright light or whatever image of God comes to you in this moment to wash over your thoughts. As diverse as we are, the world needs our diverse prayers. Imagine that light surrounding the students we pray for and all who are discriminated against for being on the margins.
O Holy One, help us to break down the walls we have built around ourselves, that we might invite your Spirit in to work through us, extending your care, love, and hope to the whole world.