December 2015: The light of life has shined on those who dwelt in the shadowy darkness of death. (Isaiah 9:2, The Voice translation). We pray for the light of Christ to shine amid the needs of Anabaptist believers around the world. In 2015, believers in Ethiopia and India were persecuted, conscientious objectors in Colombia and South Korea suffered for their choice, the church in Panama struggled to preserve its ancestral lands, Burkina Faso saw political turmoil, a flood destroyed buildings in Malawi, an earthquake rocked Nepal, the crisis of violence and displacement in Syria reached a breaking point and governments discussed responses to climate change. Lord have mercy! Amid this darkness, we give thanks for the light of Christ on us as Mennonite and Brethren in Christ brothers and sisters gathered in Pennsylvania in July, and as the Global Christian Forum unified church leaders in November. May our daily lives also reflect to our neighbours and enemies the light of Christ that has shined on us. This child: God’s promise to David… He will ensure justice without fail and absolute equity. Always. (Isaiah 9:7, The Voice translation).
November 2015: Hear our prayer, Lord; listen to our cry for help. Do not hide your face from our distress; turn your ear, answer quickly. Our hearts break for those who have lost loved ones in violent attacks in Beirut; Baghdad; Paris; Aleppo, Syria; and Yola, Nigeria. We mourn the lives cut short, leaving holes in the social fabric of families and communities. We pray for divine comfort in the midst of grief. As we experience fear, uncertainty and loss of safety, we turn to God for courage, and toward each other – both neighbour and stranger – with hospitality, extending the love and grace you freely gave us. As people who have been forgiven, we call on the strength of our Saviour to forgive those who persecute the innocent and do violence in the name of religion. We ask for mercy for our sins of uncaring, for those who mourn or have been injured, and for those whose hearts are dark. Shine your light on us. Transform us and heal us. Make us people of your peace. You remain the same, LORD, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live secure; their descendants will be established in your presence. (Psalm 102:1-2, 27-28, paraphrased)
November 2015: Pray for the churches in the region of Tambu-Tseke and Panzi in DR Congo which experienced a typhoid fever epidemic. Praise God that in October, Mennonite Brethren leaders Mambakila Kabemba, Nzuzi Mukawa and medical doctor Benza Bodelaire travelled to the South to respond with treatment drugs, visitation, and the gospel message. Pray that our churches may help their neighbours learn to prevent diseases and mobilize governments and NGOs to supply needed resources. Praise God for the support of Mennonite Central Committee and MB Mission that made the trip possible.
November 2015: We give thanks to God for reminding us that “home” is more than four walls and a roof: it is warmth in a cold time; comfort in a difficult world; safety; friendship and sharing. We pray for Doperse Dis, an initiative of the Mennonite Church in Groningen, the Netherlands, that offers a free meal every third Tuesday of the month for some 80 people who are homeless or in need. This is a time to make connections; a meal with great rewards in smiles. May the spirit of Christ bring healing into the gathering of community with the lost, the least and the left out. Click here to read more about this ministry and find more prayer items.
October 2015: Pray for the people of Ethiopia as millions of people are hungry and lacking sufficient food in the current drought. Pray for the congregations of MWC member church, Meserete Kristos Church, as they minister and help those in need. May God provide the best solutions that will save the lives of the people in danger from this famine.
October 2015: Praise God that the new constitution in Nepal provides citizens the right to freely practice, profess and preserve their religion according to their faith, including Christianity. However, there is a clause stating that it is illegal to convert someone to another faith. There are also protests of some groups who are not pleased with the constitution. Pray for the Anabaptist churches and ministries in Nepal in the midst of a difficult political situation.
October 2015: Give thanks to God for the miraculous outcome of an attempted coup in Burkina Faso. The restored government, installed after last October’s overthrow of a long-standing repressive regime, has brought an end to an era of fear, says local pastor and church leader Siaka Traoré. The Mennonite church in Burkina Faso thanks God for the love and prayers from around the world that supported them in the uncertain days of the past weeks. Pray for the families of the dozen people killed in clashes with the defiant presidential guard. Continue to pray for a spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and humility in the government and general population.
September 2015: We lament the violence and crisis in the Middle East and Africa. We pray for all the refugees, those who have lost their homes, who are hurting, with no where to turn. We pray for wisdom for our churches, church agencies and organizations, as they discern how to help those suffering from this crisis. Click here to see a prayer of lament written by Andrew Suderman, secretary of the MWC Peace Commission. Click here or here to see how Mennonite Central Committee is responding to this crisis.
September 2015: Pray for our churches in Asia as they continue to seek peace and participate in the reconciling work of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of tension and threats of armed conflict. May the Holy Spirit fill them with love, humility, strength and courage as they follow Jesus’ teachings so that they may not be swayed by worldly pressure to keep peace through violence. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:3-4).
June 2015: Pray for the believers in Jesus Christ currently facing persecution who are part of MWC member Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia. Some congregations are facing persecution from police and community officials. Church leaders are worried about the burden this will place on the vulnerable community and particularly on new converts. They have asked for prayer support from the family of believers in Jesus Christ around the world and for the redemption of those who persecute our brothers and sisters.
April 2015: Pray for the people of Nepal, where on Saturday, 25 April they experienced an earthquake of 7.9 on the Richter scale followed by many powerful aftershocks. MWC member church, Nepal BIC Church/Brethren in Community Welfare Society, writes, “The earthquakes caused extensive damage to buildings and thousands of deaths and injuries and were even felt in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh; more than 3400 deaths in Nepal. The terrifying earthquake came in the last part of the worship hour at 11:56am Nepali time. Most of our BIC Churches are in eastern Nepal and all our church members are safe, but two people were injured in Kathmandu while running out of the church. Our church buildings and the homes of our believers have been affected. Please continue to pray for the grieving families and daily life.” To read the entire email, click here.
February 2015: Give thanks to God for the continued ministry of the Colombian Mennonite Church, and its institutions Justapaz and Mencoldes, with conscientious objectors. A recent historical court ruling in Colombia has ordered the army to process requests for conscientious objection and to not deny exemption requests. It also establishes a strict timeline for the army to resolve said applications. Pray for the ongoing work of this ministry as there are still many barriers to the right of conscientious objection. Read more about this ruling and the work of the Colombian Mennonite Church and Justapaz here.
January 2015: Please pray for the people of Malawi, who experienced flooding and displacement as a result of several days of nonstop heavy rain in January 2015. According to a report by Rev. Francis Kamoto of the Brethren in Christ Church in Malawi, several houses were swept away by flooding, while others collapsed. Among the destroyed buildings was the Ndirande Brethren in Christ Church building (pictured).
January 2015: Pray for organizers of a national youth camp being planned by Mennonite Church Nigeria 10-13 September 2015 in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. According to Psalmist Ekpedeme Jackson, president of the national youth fellowship and camp coordinator, all youth (15-40 years) in all nationalities are invited to participate. The camp will include salvation messages, seminars on peace making and peace building, motivational talks, career counselling, Bible study, human capital development on small and large scale businesses. For further information, contact Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.