In the USA particularly, where racial injustice is a daily reality, may church members to engage in costly peacemaking, rooted in radical discipleship, seeking to dismantle systems of oppression anywhere we witness them.
Reports from church leaders in Southern Africa
- Praise God for good rains. Most families will have enough food from their own fields this year.
- Let us pray for peace before, during and after upcoming elections in Zambia.
- BIC Church Zimbabwe is planning to hold District Councils in May 2021. Pray also for the BICC Zimbabwe General Conference this year to become a reality this year (Proverbs 16:3).
- Pray for the BIC church school students and all the schools in Zimbabwe to be protected from COVID-19 infection (Psalms 91: 9-10).
- Pray for profitability in the church business units as they begin to recover after the lockdown.
- We thank the Lord that BICC South Africa managed to get a piece of land.
We pray for healthy development of congregations, renewal where faith or togetherness has become encrusted, and good handling of conflicts where disputes have taken place.
Differences regarding COVID-19 compliance have caused disagreement between church members. Pray that the leaders of the church have wisdom to act wisely so the unity can be saved.
COVID-19 and the missed opportunities to meet in presence are changing congregations. Pray with us, that congregations will emerge stronger from these times
Waves of infection, an extra-contagious variant, high deaths have resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Brazil. Pray for Anabaptist-Mennonite churches struggling with reduced finances to continue to show love to their neighbours. Pray for wisdom about how to hold church services in a low-risk manner.
God delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper. . .
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight.
God of compassion, have mercy on all who are in danger or who live in fear in Colombia.
Soften the hearts of government and military leaders, and turn them away from violence. Protect your people from physical or spiritual harm. Strengthen your church to follow the way of Jesus in these difficult days.
Give followers of the Lamb vision and courage to be ministers of reconciliation.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace, amen.
J. Nelson Kraybill
President, Mennonite World Conference
|Click here to read the president’s pastoral letter to Anabaptist-Mennonites of Colombia|
Pray for the increased attention of congregation members from the three Mennonite synods in Indonesia to support Assembly 17 in July 2022. Pray for the efforts of Indonesian research centres to produce a COVID-19 vaccine to support the government’s target of reaching 70 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
We thank God for keeping us safe despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Though with challenges, the church has continued worshipping God. We eagerly await being together again.
Pray for spiritual revival of the congregants (Psalm 85:1-6). We pray that the world may know Christ the Saviour.
Pray for wisdom for national church leaders as they give guidance and counsel to the church.
Pray for economic recovery and that government leaders will have the fear of God as they lead so that there will be peace (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
God owns the silver and the gold (Haggai 2:8). Pray for new ways of fundraising for the Lord's work in light of the COVID-19 challenges. May God restore and open up opportunities even during difficult time for his people who people lost incomes.
We have lost church members including the leaders due to COVID-19. Let us pray for comfort, spiritual strength and provision for widows in the church and the families of all the deceased” (James 1:27).
We call upon the Lord for India and for all nations in pandemic distress:
Living God, how long can this tsunami of suffering and death prevail? Reach down from on high to draw your children out of mighty waters.
Bring healing and salvation.
Sustain exhausted pastors, medical staff and other caregivers.
Comfort those who mourn, and supply what each nation needs to come through this torment.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
|Click here to read a pastoral letter from the MWC president to Anabaptist-Mennonites of India|
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!” (Psalm 130).
We hear accounts of military forces torturing and killing peaceful protesters, raiding houses and destroying property in Myanmar. A democratically elected government has been displaced. COVID-19 has caused suffering and death, and the people of Myanmar now face increased food and fuel costs at a time of high unemployment.
God grant our sisters and brothers strength to follow the way of Jesus, “wise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
Kyrie eleison, Lord have mercy!
Since the military seized power in Myanmar in February, waves of protest have been violently suppressed, with reports of more than 400 citizens killed. Even before the pandemic, poverty affected many households. The political situation has led to even greater economic turmoil, and many households have no financial income. Most church members are in a food crisis.
“Greetings from the crying land of Myanmar,” writes an Anabaptist church leader in Myanmar to the global family. “This is a special request for you to pray for our country, particularly for the vulnerable 400 families of our church people in Yangon and delta region. We believe that prayer can make a difference. God bless you all.”
As a world-wide community of faith and life we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language. We seek 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. (Shared Conviction #7)
May God give us wisdom to move forward in the midst of this health emergency and economic and psychological crisis. Peru will hold elections on 11 April 2021. Pray that the process would be transparent and there would be no election fraud. Pray that the new president of our nation and the new congressional leaders would govern with the fear of the Lord.
--submitted by Antonio Garcia, Conferencia Peruana Hermanos Menonitas
Blessed are the meek, Jesus said, for they will inherit the earth.
Lord, may we live out your kingdom in humility and patience.
Blessed are the merciful, Jesus said, for they will receive mercy.
Lord, may we have compassion on each other, especially on those with whom we don’t agree.
Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus said, for they will be called children of God.
Lord, we desire to be known as your people by our love for all and our ability to walk calmly into conflict seeking to understand and transform.
Lord, teach us to be your salt amid divisions, especially those within churches and families, and to be your illuminating justice, especially where there is systemic discrimination against those who are poor or people of colour.
The Mennonite churches in Indonesia are looking forward to hosting Anabaptist brothers and sisters from around the world. Pray for the fundraising team to find solutions to close the budget gap in the fundraising efforts for Global Youth Summit (GYS) and Assembly 17.
Pray also for acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccination process to help the country be free of the virus before the end of 2021. Pray for the Indonesian government to make wise choices about prioritization and procurement.
Lord, your have formed your people with diversity within the body of Christ. Yet this gift sometimes seems unwelcome. Our brothers and sisters hold different opinions and practices that make us feel uncomfortable. Continue to teach us through your Spirit to learn unity without uniformity.
Lord, you call us to speak to each other honestly and directly when there is offense. Give us courage to do so with grace and compassion. Guide us also to search our own hearts for ways we have failed and lead us in repentance.
Lord, you have placed us as your caretakers upon the earth. Show us your glory in the world around us, in its abundance and its fragility. Forgive us for our selfish consumption. Teach us humility in our dominion and remind us how our actions affect those around us.
when we pray for climate justice, we pray to strengthen our long-standing commitment to justice, peace and the integrity of your creation.
Climate change threatens human rights as universal and indivisible rights for all people: rights to food, water; health and adequate housing; political and civil rights.
We need to listen to the voices of victims. Please help us understand the problems of climate change as social problems so that we respect human dignity and the common good.
We pray for justice - between the global North and South - beyond generations – beyond genders – with marginalized groups – with the non-human parts of your creation.
God, make us an instrument of your justice so that we are no longer part of the problem, but of the solution.
—Submitted by Creation Care Task Force member Rebecca Froese, a member of Mennonite Church Hamburg-Altona, Germany.
Thank you, Father God, for always being attentive to us, your sons and daughters, and for listening to all those who call out to you with a humble and contrite heart.
Thank you for having redeemed us from judgement and death through the precious blood of Christ, our Saviour.
Loving Father, we ask you to protect us from all illness and every evil, in the name of your beloved son, Jesus Christ.
—submitted by Elvia Sanchez Torres, Iglesia Berna Menonita, Bogota, Colombia
The national health system in Portugal has been very brave, but in January, Portugal’s case numbers rose to the highest per capita in Europe. Hospitals are overwhelmed and protective equipment is in short supply. Pray for intervention.—José Arrais
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).
Bishop Safari Mutabesha, president of Mennonite Brethren Church Malawi, calls for prayer. Coronavirus cases increased drastically in December with many deaths resulting. Most of his church members are day labourers who live far from medical facilities. “Some of our members are infected (tested positive) and are staying in isolation but have no food,” he writes. Food is scarce in January and February and harvests are far off.
Pray for Gilgal Mission Trust. President Paul Phinehas writes: “Our pastors in our conference are undergoing a lot of financial crises due to lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions. From March 2020 to December 2020 all our churches were closed. All our congregation livelihood opportunities are completely shattered. Many of our congregation are daily labourers and many are working in textiles companies [where demand has dried]. Prices have gone up, but unemployment is more now. Mostly youths lose their studies and youngsters become jobless. Everyone is in a difficult situation both financially and mentally. We kindly request you to pray for us to overcome this situation.”
Pray that our local congregations find ways to model the love of Christ in their communities which struggle with illness and death due to the pandemic, while at the same time learning how to bridge the political and racial divisions which also exist. Pray that the spirit of unity would bring healing and resilience.