Creator God, we praise you and give thanks that your son, Jesus, became a person like us and shared our concerns, joys, anxieties, and happiness.
(Matthew 5:1-3)When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We pray for those who protest in support of Women’s rights. The Afghanis affected by the ban on female aid workers, causing deprivation and starvation on a massive scale; those forced to wear the hijab, but only in a certain way
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
We think especially of the families of those British men killed while trying to evacuate people trapped on the Ukraine/Russia front line.
We think especially of those families and friends anxiously waiting for news of people trying to cross borders, fleeing from oppression over their sexuality, human rights, and choice of religion.
We think of the many mourning as the lack of Covid immunity hits the now open society across China.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
We think of those subjected to the rigors caused by climate change, from Afghanistan to North Korea and Japan; from California to Texas and Nova Scotia, Canada;
from the grossly polluted River Drina, boundary between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to celebrities pushing banks to stop financing fossil fuels as Lützerath, Germany, is to be cleared to allow lignite mining
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
As the Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest human rights group in Russia is ordered to close, we pray for their work;
we pray, too, with the fair trade coalitions and organizations worldwide.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
We give praise for those who try to change the world, such as the Portuguese Government’s attempt to return debt repayments to Capo Verde for green projects
and those Australians who now question the validity of Australia Day as it is increasingly seen as marking the oppression of indigenous people.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
We give thanks for the work of scientists around the Baltic sea using algal blooms and seaweed from the Dominican Republic in place of plastics.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
As tensions mount between Rwanda and DR Congo and more weapons are promised to Ukraine we pray for those who venture into war zones with an offer of peace and to bring antagonists to talk. As Macchu Picchu is shut indefinitely we pray for the people of Peru as their President calls for a “truce” in the face of protests.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We pray for Nuchatlaht first nation in Canada, fighting to secure their land;
and for the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister was not afraid to admit “burnout” and has been ridiculed as their new Prime Minister takes office.
There is much we hold in our hearts to lay before you, Creator.
Hear our prayers,
and let our cry come to you. Amen