God of all, the One who hears our prayers,
our tears could cover the earth for the abuse of children, the flagrant killing and loss of life we hear in the news daily. Someday will these words, this news be read? Will those people shake their heads and ask God for mercy on our unjust, our abusive and violent ways? How the United States tolerated mass shootings. How we abhorred gun violence yet shunned responsibility and time rolled on with 202 mass killings in the first five months of 2023. How long? How long? Will our future siblings ask how we did not hold our law makers accountable in protecting the public from this preventable epidemic? Bring your compassion and justice and right action to the state houses and Congress. Protect all nations from this scourge.
Lord, have mercy!
Emergency messages on phones, emergency responders knocking on doors have sent over 24,500 souls fleeing the uncontrolled wildfires in the boreal regions in the province of Alberta, Canada. We pray for them as the state of emergency unfolds. Rapid snowmelt has laid bare dry grasses that fuel spring wildfires. Hotter, drier, earlier, longer, bigger wildfires are in store in the many places around the world – we pray for the peoples in these regions. Sustain the fighters, responders, trackers and the many places where people are received. Shelter them in community.
Lord, have mercy
We have prayed over the great loss and suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lord, you comforted us in this incomprehensible time that continues even as the emergency is being lifted by the World Health Organization (WHO). We look back to early 2021 where 100,000 people died each week, and we lament, this early May, the more than 6,927,378 deaths in this pandemic.
Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Help us to remember that death continues in this weakening pandemic with over 3,500 in the last week in April. We pray especially for countries with high case rates: Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, United States, and Vietnam.
Lord, have mercy.
We reflect on the compassionate work of widespread vaccination, the availability of better treatments, and now a level of population immunity from prior infections. We ask, O Lord, that you make steadfast the governments’ resolve to continue the public health response.
Christ, have mercy.
O Lord, there are so many severe issues and “open secrets.” We call out for justice as we hear that one in ten children around the world are subjected to or forced into labor, otherwise known as labor trafficking.
Lord, have mercy.
The food and things we buy come through U.S. slaughter houses, cookie factories, cereal-packaging companies, auto part factories, palm tree plantations, where known corporations and
sub-manufacturing entities are using migrant children. Help us to see these young faces walking out from a parking lot at shift change. Open our eyes, our minds and our hearts. Children are being forced to pay rent, are being dropped by their “sponsors”, or are being held in a vicious debt bondage, working in the evenings and at night, falling asleep in school.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
This is our news. Death has surrounded us, kings are crowned, empires fall through the evil of war and ruin, the depths of the earth quake, rockets crash back to the earth, we fear wide spread famine as the climate is disrupted and habitats destroyed. Help us to be persuaded of God’s great love, binding us in that love, calling us to open our eyes and hearts to one another, to hear Christ’s words, to see the stranger, and to know the spirit that lives among us, every one, all.
May it be so. Amen.