Lord of the wind and the rain, your creation is both calm and storm. We pray for those who fall in the path of hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and tornadoes. May the grieving sense the nearness of your comforting Spirit. May your church be the hands and feet who rebuild and reassure those who experienced loss.
Prayers of Gratitude and Intercession
Zimbabwe is facing the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis along with the rest of the world, but compounded with an unstable political situation, 90% unemployment, an underfunded health system, hyperinflation and food security crisis. Pray for Catholic leaders who have made a statement to the government to uphold the gospel tenets of human dignity and the common good. Pray that the people of Zimbabwe would treat each other with respect across political divisions as they advocate for justice for all. Praise God for the Christian brothers and sisters – including the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe – who are speaking with one voice during a critical time.
Praise God for the celebration of baptism as a practice of discipleship in Mennonite, Lutheran and Catholic churches. The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation (on baptism) has been published. Praise God for the trust, patience and receptivity of the leaders who participated in this dialogue between world communions. Pray that studying the report may promote better mutual understanding between communions and lead to greater faithfulness to Jesus Christ. May MWC churches be attentive to the “gifts received” and “challenges accepted.”
Pray for more open doors to preach the gospel, especially in regions where it is not well known. Pray for labourers to partake in the kingdom work. Intercede for all our ministers in their preaching and teaching responsibilities. Some of our youths completed high school but they can’t enter university due to the cost of tuition fees; please pray for God’s provision.
—Adriano Mbackeh, member of Mennonite Church West Africa, The Gambia
Year-old West African church plants three others
Updated 26 August 2020: country corrected
We pray that God will protect our lives and give wisdom to the authorities. May they respond appropriately and show mercy toward people so that the possible consequences of the virus can be prevented and mitigated.
Some days we feel so impotent, frustrated and afraid. We pray that God will help us manage our emotions in a healthy way and also that we may find joy in the midst of the uncertainty.
We pray that God will help us to continue building deep relationships in spite of social distancing.
We pray that you may sense the constant love of the Lord in all aspects of your lives.
—Diana Cruz and Felipe Preciado, La Casa Grande FIFATA, Benin (Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia [IMCOL])
The global gathering of Anabaptists at MWC Assemblies is in God’s hands. Preparations are extra challenging: fundraising; logistics of transportation, accommodation, venues, program, food; obtaining visas – all are complicated by uncertainty about what regulations may be in place one year from now. Pray for wisdom and discernment for those who are making decisions about the event. The Executive Committee will decide at their 17-18 August 2020 meeting.
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” (Psalm 57:1)
Seventeen people are confirmed dead with more than 75 feared trapped as rows of houses sank into the ground as a result of heavy rains on the Pettimudi tea estate in Munnar,Kerala, India. Gilgal Mission Trust, a Mennonite World Conference member church, has a small congregation in this village. News reports indicate that a church is buried under the mud. Ten church members are among the missing.
MWC calls for the global community of believers to stand in solidarity by praying for missing people to be rescued and for rains to stop so further damage can be avoided.
“All my bones shall say, ‘O Lord, who is like you? You deliver the weak from those too strong for them, the weak and needy from those who despoil them.’” (Psalm 35:10)
Lord, we take hope in your strength and salvation.
Praise God for the evangelistic fervour and faithfulness of our brothers and sisters in Africa. With economic challenges, severe climate events and diseases like malaria compounding the threat of COVID-19, they continue to worship God and serve their neighbours with what means they have, sharing the gospel in word and deed.
We pray for everyone who has been affected by Covid-19. For those who have died; for those who have been ill; for the family members that this has affected; for those whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the economic downturn that this pandemic has caused; for all of us as our lives and our “normals” have changed.
Ukraine (Association of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Ukraine – AMBCU): Pray for this emerging Mennonite Brethren conference. Pray for the churches meeting in groups of 10 due to quarantine restrictions, and for the small groups doing Bible studies and worship. The churches are also meeting on Zoom. Pray for those that are suffering from the virus. Though there are few cases in that area of Ukraine, people suffer economically and the churches are distributing food.
At the burning bush, Moses learned that God is attentive to circumstances of the oppressed: “I have observed the misery of my people.... I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters…. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them.” (Exodus 3:7-8a, NRSV)
God of the Exodus is paying attention to world events today. In response to yet another police killing of an unarmed black man in the USA, protests have broken out in North American cities and elsewhere in the world. Looting and vandalism have occurred. Police in the USA have fired rubber bullets and tear gas even upon journalists reporting about the protests.
We lament systemic racism that leads to killings and daily indignities for people of colour. We grieve the violent actions by both protesters and law enforcement. We confess the lack of equity and justice that at times from characterizes our own responses. We acknowledge the long, intercontinental roots of racism that include complicity in the slave trade.
We reaffirm the following Mennonite World Conference Shared Convictions: “As a world-wide community of faith and life we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language... The Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies [and] seek justice...”
Creator God, reach into our hearts and our troubled world to bring repentance and right relationships!
Pray for pastors who continue to serve their congregations where members have lost their jobs and are no long able to give financially. Praise God for provision from unexpected places despite hardship.
Praise God for the businesses that have been able to switch production lines to make personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer. Praise God for volunteers who have helped to sew masks and prepare food packages those people without an income.
Pray for families who are mourning lost loved ones. Pray for church leaders who need to find creative ways to provide meaningful rituals for mourners in a time of social distancing.
We pray for those who are facing hunger due to food shortages, harvest disruptions, and the effects of climate change on local food production. May God provide and may those with many resources share with those who have less, on both local and international levels.
We are mindful of the many persons – doctors, nurses, family members, friends – who are caring for those who are suffering from COVID-19. We give thanks for their self-giving, and pray for their safety and on-going energy. May the Risen One be there at the bed side, in the hospital, along with them.
Pray for Communauté des Églises des Frères Mennonites au Congo (CEFMC) which continues to struggle with the loss of an older generation of leaders. Since January, the conference has mourned the loss of 5 pastors. Pray for the families and congregations mourning the loss of Reverend Muyombo from Kikwit, Reverend Mavungu from Kinshasa, Reverend Ndala from Kinshasa, Reverend Mukidi from Panzi, and Reverend Kasombo from Kajiji. May God comfort those who mourn.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). May the Spirit show us how to continue to be one body despite our physical separation at this time. May we continue top put our trust in Jesus Christ our hope.
Loving God, who walks alongside the neediest and the little ones of this world, we give many thanks for helping us to accompany our refugee and migrant brothers and sisters. We wish to assist them with bread, with comfort, with a willing and attentive ear and heart. We also desire a more just and humane world where we all have a place to be with dignity and joy. Thank you for your faithfulness; at no point has the oil run dry. Just as you did for the widow and the prophet, you have generously provided. We also thank you because we have felt your presence more closely, and we have become more aware of your being God with us.
—Refugee and Migrant Peoples Project, Iglesia Menonita de Quito, Ecuador
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