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.
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.
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
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.