March 2018: The Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies, seek justice, and share our possessions with those in need (MWC Shared Convictions 5). Praise God for those who speak up against gun violence and for a holistic peace in the USA where mass shootings often occur. Pray for those who grieve loved ones injured or killed in senseless attacks. Pray for those who see violence as a means of protection and achievement. May they learn to confront fear with love and to transform categories of enemy into neighbour. “We mourn the loss of life and the terrible road of grief and recovery to physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness,” writes Ervin Stutzman, executive director, Mennonite Church USA. “And after we mourn, let us search our own hearts and inquire – do we want to get well?” Click here to read the full MC USA statement in English.
March 2018: Leaders of Meserete Kristos Church (the Ethiopian Anabaptist church) ask for prayer for their country. The prime minister has resigned and the ruling coalition has declared a six-month state of emergency. Pray that human rights would not be infringed upon. Pray for the formation of a government that seeks the best for its people. The church is active in its ministry of prayer, witness, service and proclamation in the midst of these challenges. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead and inspire the bearers of good news.
February 2018: Christians all over the word are invited to pray together for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where many members of our Anabaptist-Mennonite family are suffering. From all faith traditions, we join together in prayer and fasting on 23 February (the first week of Lent according to the Gregorian calendar) for the gift of peace and witness of the gospel to those who are experiencing ongoing socio-political tension and violence in those regions. Click here to read about how MWC is working with partners in the region to respond.
February 2018: After guerilla violence affected the larger community, Mennonite pastors, leaders and their congregations publicly committed to a continuing proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the peaceful and holistic development of their country, Paraguay. May the Holy Spirit empower them to promote peace, reconciliation and justice in Paraguay as churches united in prayer and faith. Click here to read their public statement in Spanish and German.
Update: Praise God that in early February, two kidnapped Old Colony Mennonite men were returned to their communities. Praise God that Mennonites and other Christians in Paraguay are coming together to pray for peace and reconciliation in the ongoing situation with the guerilla group.
January 2018: “Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the year ahead. Pray for personal and communal transformation through God’s Spirit as we participate in building the reign of God on earth. Click here for World Fellowship Sunday worship materials on the Holy Spirit transforming us.
January 2018: Pray for pastors and church members in India where followers of militant Hinduism threaten those who practice other religions. MWC has received reports of Mennonite pastors in Telangana who have been physically attacked. Pray that they would continue to boldly proclaim the gospel of peace and love through their ministry.
December 2017: National elections provide opportunity for leadership change, but can also be occasions for unrest and violence if it does not seem that a fair process has been followed. Both Kenya and Honduras recently erupted in civil unrest in the aftermath of presidential elections that were not perceived to be fair. Pray that the Mennonite churches – MWC members Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Hondureña, Organización Cristiana Amor Viviente, and Kenya Mennonite Church, as well as others in Honduras and Kenya – would be wise in discerning how to respect national process while standing for justice.
December 2017: Praise God for the fulfilment of promises: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1), a child born to bring peace to every heart that receives him. In this season of rejoicing and memory, we pray peace for our brothers and sisters around the world suffering from violence and disasters, and for the transformation of hearts to worship the Prince of Peace. Click here for a Christmas greeting from MWC.
December 2017: The economy is a source of stress for our Venezuelan sisters and brothers, but their faith in God’s providence and testimonies of how they share and practice solidarity with each other are inspiring. Praise God for the testimony of God’s good work among them (Rom 8:28) in spite of the economic and political struggles, as reported by MWC regional rep Pablo Stucky after a visit.
November 2017: Thank God for the leaders of the Mennonite churches in Europe, people who use their talents and give their time and energy for leading the churches. Pray for safe travels and inspired discussions and decisions, as they meet from 24–26 November in Vilnius, Lithuania, for their yearly meeting.
November 2017: “May we pray for Zimbabwe as the political crisis escalates with military taking charge, creating tension and uncertainty as to the outcome. We pray for peace and wellbeing of citizens.”– MWC Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Barbara Nkala, shared this prayer 15 November 2017. On 21 November, Zimbabweans were pleased that long-time president Robert Mugabe stepped down, ushering in hope for change.
October 2017: Pray for the Kenya Mennonite Church who will host MWC meetings in Kenya in April 2018 (Executive Committee, General Council, Renewal 2027). Another election is scheduled to take place 26 October 2017 after irregularities rendered the previous invalid. The uncertain outcome is causing financial instability and social unrest. Pray for honesty, fair process and peace to prevail in the process.
October 2017: World Food Day in October calls our attention to God’s provision for us through the land, and calls us to lament with those who do not have enough. We pray particularly for Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen which have been experiencing famine.
September 2017: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult” (Psalm 46:1–2). Lord God, amid extreme weather everywhere – wildfires in North America, hurricanes in the Caribbean, earthquakes in Mexico, floods in Latin America and South Asia – and political unrest in Europe and Africa, be our refuge and comfort. Strengthen us to walk without fear and share your hope with those around us.
September 2017: Pray for the 1.4 million people displaced by violence in DR Congo, who include at least 8,000 Mennonites. Church leaders report that 36 Mennonites have been killed among the UN-estimated 3,300 deaths since October last year. Church buildings and church schools have been damaged or destroyed. Praise God for the Mennonites in Kwilu province and across the border in Angola who are sheltering Mennonites who have fled. Pray for the local church leaders who are partnering with international Mennonite organizations (MCC, AIMM, EMM, MB Mission, ICOMB, MWC) to bring relief. Click here to read more.
As you pray for brothers and sisters suffering violence and displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mennonite World Conference invites your messages of encouragement and solidarity to share with our churches there.
Take a picture with your congregation and a sign labelled “Prions pour la RDC” (“Pray for the DRC). Please email messages and photographs to email@example.com and post on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #mwcmm.
August 2017: “Please pray for us and all the victims,” writes Shemlal Hembrom, a leader of the Brethren in Christ church in Nepal. Torrential rain caused flooding and triggered landslides in Nepal, Bangladesh and India. BIC church members in Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa and Dhanusa districts are badly affected. The BIC children’s hostel compound and ground floor of the BIC Church office building (which also provides housing) in Biratnagar were flooded and the church compound’s walls collapsed. In the aftermath, electrical power was limited and many BIC members sheltered in camps and schools waiting for relief supplies. In India, floods destroyed villages, crops and roads; a leader from the Brethren in Christ Church in Bihar, India, reports that people have taken refuge at the Banmankhi church campus.
August 2017: Latin America is a dangerous place for activists who defend human rights or natural resources, reports agencies like Oxfam and the UN. Churches are affected when community members who lack safe access to farmland migrate away from their homes. In Colombia, Christian Peacemaker Teams and Justapaz (a Mennonite church organization) support small farming and mining communities where rural residents are affected by armed conflict and resource exploitation. In Mexico, churches minister to waves of migrants passing through their cities, seeking better lives. Pray for protection for these people who risk their own safety for the good of wider society. Click here to read more.
August 2017: Praise the Lord for churches who live out an example of peace, breaking the cycles of violence with their witness to the ways of Christ’s peace. May our churches have the awareness to counter injustice against those who are marginalized. Pray that the church would continue to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit to grow in its capacity to demonstrate interdependence and love as alternatives to violence. – From Peace Sunday 2017 Worship Resources, click here to see more.
July 2017: Give thanks for the efforts of national governments around the world to be unified in the common cause of combating climate change and adapting to its effects through the Paris Agreement. Pray that governments and citizens will have the perseverance to meet the commitments and the foresight to plan for future results. Pray that these measures would protect the most vulnerable citizens.
July 2017: Many areas around the world are experiencing violent conflict or simmering tensions: rebel soldiers in DR Congo; persecutors of Christians in India and Nepal, Nigeria, Northern Africa, and others; government corruption and interstate tension in South Korea. Pray that our brothers and sisters walk in courage and hope rooted in Jesus as they witness to peace amid opposition to their call to follow Christ. – From Peace Sunday 2017 Worship Resources, click here to see more.
July 2017: In North America, denominations are facing rapid technological change, shrinking congregations and shrinking budgets, challenges in sending service workers abroad and locally and theological disagreements that threaten to split congregations and denominations. Pray that hearts would be sensitive to confess how the church has also been complicit in injustice and violence toward others. Pray that the leaders and members would be divinely unified in the Spirit of Christ despite differing perspectives, and encouraged to spread the hope of the gospel.
June 2017: Pray for Institut Biblique Kalonda (Kalonda Bible Institute), a Mennonite Bible college in DR Congo. To avoid violence, classes were moved to Tshikapa Welcome Centre of the Communauté Mennonite au Congo, but transportation for students and professors was a challenge. “Despite all the uncertainties, [including travelling through three government checkpoints that demanded payment]” says Rod Hollinger-Janzen, executive coordinator of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, as of 1 June 2017, the final 3 weeks of classes will take place on the Kalonda campus. “Director Bercy Mundedi (profiled here) is trying valiantly to keep the school going,” says Hollinger-Janzen, particularly for third-year students who are weeks ago from graduating.
Pray for strength and grace for Pastor Mundedi as she deals with all of the uncertainties of the moment, and as she feels the weight of responsibility for the welfare of the students. Pray for safety for the Institut Biblique Kalonda community. Praise God that a campus security guard, abducted 31 May 2017, was returned a few days later, beaten, but alive.
May 2017: In all areas of the world, people are on the move – fleeing violence, leaving behind environmental destruction or sacrificing the known in hopes of better opportunities. Lord, may your church be a beacon of hospitality to those in transit or landing in a new home. May we extend our arms in welcome to the strangers among us in the same spirit of love with which you welcomed us. “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
May 2017: “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). As we celebrate Pentecost, thank you, Lord, for your promised Holy Spirit who teaches, comforts (John 14:26) and empower us (Acts 1:8). Filled with your presence, may we proclaim the in-breaking reign of God in our words and actions to those who are near and far.
May 2017: Pray that our churches yearn for and seek true transformative discipleship and relationship. May we expand our understandings of right relationship with all things (shalom), so that our transformative ways of being seep out into the world around us. Pray that we would be a church that takes seriously the ways of Christ to be agents of love and action within a hurting world. These prayers for the YABs Fellowship Week 2017 are on the hearts of the Anabaptist family around the world. Praise God for the young people who will fellowship, learn and edify each other together via online tools during YABs Fellowship Week, 18–25 June. Click here for more information.
April 2017: “Please pray for our 30 congregations in particular and for all the people in the region in general,” write our brothers and sisters of the Communautés Mennonite au Congo (CMC), who reported 2 April 2017 that some 4,000 members were hiding in the forest in the Kasai-Central region where militia groups are terrorizing villages. Pastors in training at Kalonda Bible Institute are also affected, and some 1,000 people from Communauté Evangélique Mennonite congregations are reported to be in hiding to escape violence. Pray that church members – CMC demonstrates unity among at least six ethnic groups – may have the courage to be a prophetic voice of justice and a calming presence of Christ’s peace in the midst of turmoil that is both political and ethnic.
April 2017: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it,” (Psalm 24:1). We pray for wisdom as stewards of God’s creation, and repent for the consumer choices we make that cause harm to our environments. We pray for people in Peru and Colombia whose homes and lives have been devastated by flooding and landslides. In many of the Mennonite Brethren congregations in Peru, members’ homes and farms have been damaged, yet they are reaching out to help their neighbours. May God bring healing to traumatized people who now must rebuild homes and livelihoods while fighting disease risks and frustrations with inadequate government support.
April 2017: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
Floods in Latin America, violence, persecution and suffering in Africa, leadership conflicts in a number of our churches, war in the Middle East, economic crises in different countries, polarization due to our political positions, the refugee crisis, etc., etc. Yet, there is nothing so broken that God cannot fix it. May God use our global church as a means towards restoration and reconstruction in the midst of so many afflictions. May we embody the hope of the resurrection for our world today by being a global community who supports each other and transcends our economic, denominational, cultural and political differences.
April 2017: “To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, do not refuse to hear me, for if you are silent to me, I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary” (Psalm 28:1–2).
Lord, we pray for the family of Mennonite Michael Sharp (USA) and Zaida Catalan (Sweden), United Nations workers who were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo while monitoring the sanctions regime in the Kasaï Central region, and for the loved ones of the four Congolese nationals accompanying them whose status is unknown. Strengthen and uphold the church members in Congo who face violence and uncertainty.
We pray for five Mennonite pastors who are currently known to be imprisoned for their faith in another country in Africa; separated from family, they are not separated from the love of God which compels them to share the gospel.
Lord, we pray for those who persecute; for perpetrators of violence whose fear, hurt or desire for power drives them to harm others. May the spirit of God transform their hearts.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:8–10).
As followers of Jesus, may we proclaim peace to the world, “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Lord, have mercy.
March 2017: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3–5). Praise the Lord for church workers called to serve brothers and sisters around the world. Getting visas is becoming increasingly challenging in many countries; pray that God would open doors to allow this cultural exchange to continue to enrich those who go and those who welcome cross-cultural workers.
March 2017: MWC Deacons Commission secretary Henk Stenvers, who visited Anabaptist churches in Ecuador in January 2017, calls for prayer for Ecuador. The cities of Manta and Portoviejo were particularly affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the country in April 2016, killing hundreds and injuring thousands; pray for the congregations who are bringing material aid and trauma healing strategies to assist people affected by the disaster. Pray also for members of Iglesia Evangélica Menonita Ecuatoriana (IEME) who lost homes and family in the disaster.
February 2017: We praise God for the gift of our global communion, our brothers and sisters through whom we experience the love of Jesus. This month, we rejoice that we were able to begin our 10-year celebration Renewal 2027 with a gathering in Germany. We praise God for what we have learned about our growing and changing community through the Global Anabaptist Profile and we thank God for the forthcoming translations into Spanish, French and other languages.
February 2017: We pray for students, teachers and administrators who have started a new school year in 2017 in the Global South. May God give them wisdom as they learn and teach. May they grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.
January 2017: We pray for strength and wisdom for the all young Anabaptists who are serving in the YAMEN Program around the world. In the middle of their service period, we ask God to keep shaping their lives and that they can be the hands and feet of Jesus in their service locations. We pray that they may never lose hope or motivation and that the desire to help their neighbor will increase each day. YAMEN is a joint program of Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Central Committee. Click here to read more.
January 2017: Pray that Christians will share the gospel of hope and peace with an attitude of respect, humility, wisdom, courage, knowledge, skills and the guidance of God’s Spirit. Pray that God’s Spirit will provide a new understanding across cultural divisions, and even more, that we will learn how to live together and shape a common future. Pray that our MWC members who are suffering persecution and hardship may have courage and hope to persevere. These prayers are part of the World Fellowship Sunday worship resource for 2017. Click here to see more: www.mwc-cmm.org/worldfellowshipsunday
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