As I draw close to you in prayer, Holy One,
I struggle to put words to the cries of my heart and soul.
As I read the news of the world,
it is a challenge to remain positive and hopeful.
So much pain, so much hurt,
so much grief, so much destruction.
I long for the day when the words of the prophet ring true,
“They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9 NRSV)
My innermost being yearns for that day
even as I read the headlines:
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Russian military focus in Ukraine is no longer “only” the east of the country.
- The Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom announced that Covid infections have continued to climb, with one in every 18 people currently having the virus
- Australia is anticipating a devastating report about the state of the environment, including 19 ecosystems reported to be on the brink of collapse
- Wildfires continue to rage in Greece, Spain, and Italy, worsened by a heatwave in the region
- In the second incident in the last three months, 13 inmates were killed and two injured in a fight at the Bellavista prison in Ecuador. More than 40 inmates were killed in another incident at the same prison in May
Although it would be easy to focus on the pain,
to lose hope for reconciliation,
I am reminded of the Proverb:
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye —
the Lord has made them both.” (Proverbs 20:12 NRSV)
We give thanks for:
- A transformational gene therapy trial in the UK has led to a probable cure within the next 3-4 years for Haemophilia-B patients who cannot make the blood clotting factor IX. Patients in the trial have been without any symptoms for over a year.
- An aggressive national campaign in Botswana has almost eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV after a drop from 40% to 1% confirmed by the WHO. The first country in Africa to achieve this.
We pray too for a change of heart and will in governments and quangos to help prevent, alleviate and stop the suffering, death and devastation of people, animals and nature across the whole of east Africa. Currently 89 million people are considered “acutely food insecure” by the World Food Program, a number that has grown by almost 90% in the past year.
At the same time a contemporary study shows that the vast total profits by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52tn, ($2.8bn per day) providing the power to “buy every politician, every system” and delay action on the climate crisis, says Prof Aviel Verbruggen, the author of the analysis.
Give me eyes and ears, O God,
yes, to witness the pain and heartache,
but also to testify to your redeeming presence in the world:
Propel me by your Holy Spirit, God of the Ages,
to use the gifts I have been given to work toward wholeness and healing
in a fragmented and hurting world.
Bind us together, Loving One,
to be patient and mercifully kind,
not envying, boasting, prideful, or rude.
Not selfish, short-fused, scorekeeping, or spiteful.
But rejoicing in the goodness within and around us.
We know we need you, Gracious God,
remind us that we need one another as well.
And sustain us, together, for the work to which you call us.
Today, tomorrow, and always.