Dear Lord, as we enter this new year, steady our hearts to spread the gospel of peace. May we follow your Spirit as we work for transformation and justice in this world. Lord, give us courage to proclaim this message in word and action, especially in places where there is corruption, persecution and natural disasters. Thank you for Jesus’ peacemaking example.
Prayers of Gratitude and Intercession
We thank you, God, for sending Jesus, our light. We rejoice that “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light” (Matthew 4:16, NRSV). May the Holy Spirit continue to guide our way.
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Pray for the upcoming Assembly in Indonesia. Pray for the planners as they adjust to a new gathering date and create protocols for a safe and enjoyable event that welcomes thousands of people to Semarang. Pray that the Spirit will be at work in the hearts and minds of all participants bringing unity in the Spirit.
Pray for the 23 member and associate member churches in Asia (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). Christianity is a minority in many of these countries. Pray that MWC member churches who are suffering persecution and hardship may have courage and hope to persevere.
Praise God for the Asian churches: members of the Body of Christ. May they always be united and connected to us and to each other through the bonds of the love of Jesus and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. May they care for one another, accept one another and equip one another to witness to God’s glory in this world.
- Give thanks that Anabaptists around the world are united in faith in God’s kingdom across language and cultural differences.
- Give thanks for the growing networks in the MWC family: mission, service, health, peace and education.
- Pray for sisters and brothers everywhere who are struggling with weakness due to illness, violence, disaster or injustice. May we embrace them. May God’s power change everything for us all.
- Pray for MWC General Secretary César García, and MWC Asian Representatives Agus Mayanto (Southeast Asia), Cynthia Peacock (South Asia) and Jeremiah Choi (Northeast Asia), as they lead and minister to the churches in Asia and around the world.
“At present, our hope is in God alone.” Leaders of MWC national member church Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia call the global Anabaptist family to pray with them. “We need peace to continue bringing the good news of Jesus Christ.” MKC has four congregations and almost two dozen church planting centres in the Tigray region where the federal and regional government have been in armed conflict for two weeks. Reports of 10,000-25,000 people have fled to neighbouring Sudan and Eritrea. Join MKC in fasting and prayer for peace, individually and collectively.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Lord, may we abide under the shadow of your strength. In the midst of this pandemic, may we take shelter in you, placing our trust in your deliverance. Lord, address our fears; help us face the threats of job losses, hunger and disease with courage and hope. In your love, deliver us.
(Inspired by Psalm 91)
Mennonite World Conference and Anabaptists around the world are commemorating 500 years since this renewal movement began in 1525. We acknowledge moral failures of our faith predecessor in the past. Nevertheless, we also celebrate that God has raised up a global Anabaptist people whose highest loyalty is to Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Like early Anabaptists, may we be energetic missionaries, reaching across national and cultural barriers to call for repentance and teach the peacemaking way of Jesus.
Death has touched families and churches. Health care workers are worn out. The lack of personal contact and the loss of income due to the significant risk of contagion cause significant stress and misery in Anabaptist churches. Those who are not able to connect online – due to lack of knowledge or lack of tools – are extra isolated. “The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34:18).
Lord, have mercy!
As a world-wide community of faith and life, we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language.
Empower us to live in the world without conforming to the powers of evil, witnessing to God's grace by serving others, caring for creation, and inviting all people to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
We seek to walk in peace by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we confidently await Christ's return and the final fulfillment of God's kingdom.
“O God, who will roll away the stone from the hearts of wounded Beirut and its affected citizens!” The Middle East Council of Churches raises a call to prayer for Lebanon.
The 4 August 2020 explosion damaged 85 percent of the country’s grain stores, left 300 000 people homeless, injured more than 5 000 people and killed almost 200 people. Three Christian hospitals and many churches and Christian schools were damaged. Many people have lost hope; this trauma adds to economic and health care challenges. Lebanon also hosts a large number of refugees. Mennonite Central Committee serves refugees in Lebanon with education, food and psychosocial care. In this crisis, MCC is working with Lebanese Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD) to provide food for the most vulnerable people. Pray for the churches who struggle to respond to the physical and spiritual well being of their neighbours when all have lost so much.
“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’” (Exodus 14:13-14) Bahati Safari Mutabesha, leader of the Mennonite Brethren church in Malawi, takes courage from this verse and calls for prayer for the church to reach its mission of bringing hope, peace and reconciliation.
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” To allow both MWC staff and attendees to properly plan for the event, MWC has chosen to postpone Assembly 17 until 2022. Pray for wisdom as the Assembly planning teams adjust to the new date. Please continue to pray for the healing of the world, and for the Assembly.
May God grant us resilience to be good neighbours and to show grace to others as the pandemic stretches on.
May God grant governments wisdom to respond to citizens needs and to make procurement decisions as vaccines become ready for use.
May we stand in solidarity with each other around the world as we grieve losses, economic and personal.
Pray for those who respond to the pandemic with violence and greed. May God rattle their understanding and may the Holy Spirit turn their hearts to compassion and generosity. May anger at differences – racial, religious, economic – turn into curiosity to learn. May the power of Jesus bring healing to the wounds that drive their violence.
Pray for food supply lines to be efficient and equitable. The combination of factors like poor harvests impacted by climate combined and disruptions to production, transportation and economic activity due to the pandemic could cause widespread hunger in some regions. Pray for a global effort to make food available to all populations.
Praise God for the generosity of those who gave to the Global Church Sharing Fund COVID-19 response. May God multiply these gifts to make a lasting impact on 27 communities whose proposals have been approved. May the good news accompany the gifts of food and supplies. May the church’s relief efforts improve the physical situations of their neighbours and may the Holy Spirit also bring spiritual transformation. Praise God for the dedicated work of the volunteers on the MWC task force overseeing the COVID-19 response.
|Learn more about the GCSF COVID-19 response here|
Praise God for 100 years of relief and development around the world in the name of Christ through Mennonite Central Committee. Pray for renewal vision to respond creatively to the challenges of the future in a spirit of humility, and always driven by the love of Christ.
Pray for peace in Colombia. Evangelical churches in parts of Colombia are suffering from armed conflict, violation of human rights, recruitment of minors in paramilitary forces and restrictions on their ability to gather for worship. In July, one pastor had to relocate after his teenaged daughters were threatened by paramilitaries. Justapaz of Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL) stands in solidarity with these churches and calls for prayer.
Pray for communities who are suffering religious persecution, especially in India, Pakistan, Vietnam and China. May God strengthen and sustain their faith and give them creativity to peacefully subvert violence.
Give us the power
Give us the power to trust each other
and to choose the sustainable way
that frees your creation from distress.
Give us the power to share knowledge
and to seek for sustainable solutions
that allow future generations to live on
Give us the power to cooperate
to take decisions and actions
that bear fruit sustainably.
Give us the power
through your Holy Spirit
You who saw that it was good.
On the day after tomorrow as in the beginning.
For your kingdom come
and your glory shine
—This prayer is taken from the book Dancing with the Golden Frog: Global Warming and the Lord’s Prayer, by Herman Heijn, pastor at Doopsgezinde Gemeente Haarlem, Netherlands. Submitted by Creation Care Task Force member Rebecca Froese, a member of Mennonite Church Hamburg-Altona, Germany.
|Christians across the world are walking in spirit toward care for creation. This #SeasonofCreation celebration takes place 1 September to 4 October 2020.|
God of all the earth –
Take us outside to your holy places. Take us out beyond our walls, out where we can see our neighbours, out past the garden with its ripe tomatoes and fat watermelons. Out where flowers bloom yellow and pink and sway in the wind. Out to the soil we came from and the place where we no longer have words for what we see but can only say how small we are.
There – out there – bend down. Make mud with your spit; smear it on our eyes.
And when the clay cakes and cracks and we turn our faces to your vast world, may we see grace, not despair, and a harvest so plentiful it distresses us.
This prayer by Jennifer Schrock is based on an outdoor worship service that took place at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship, Goshen, Indiana, USA. Jennifer Schrock serves on MWC’s Creation Care Task Force.
Christians across the world are walking in spirit toward care for creation. This #SeasonofCreation celebration takes place 1 September to 4 October 2020.
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