As one Church, united under your holy headship, and knowing that we are all one family in Christ;
We pray for those who suffer in your name all over the world, our brothers and sisters, who share in that same great gift of salvation through your Son, but who face injustice, oppression and even death because of their faith in you.
We want to walk with them as they journey through the valley of darkness, and we pray knowing that you are a God of compassion, comfort and justice; who always hears their prayers, never leaves them and will forever be their fortress and shield, whatever they face.
We pray that you will grant them strength, courage, and protection from those who seek to harm them because they follow you;
Guidance and wisdom for when their path seems impossible to tread,
And hope for a future where they have the freedom to worship you without fear.
Danut Jemna exploreaza in acest text o serie de dimensiuni ale rugaciunii ca exercitiu spiritualcare sunt, de cele mai multe ori gresit intelese ori neglijate.
Este un subiect care merita atentie si discutii aprofundate.
Christians and other minority faiths in Pakistan not only face the prospect of being targeted in a violent attack, but also face everyday institutional and social discrimination. A general election is scheduled for 25 July – please pray that the election is free and fair, and takes place peacefully.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws make it a criminal act to insult another’s religion. The blasphemy laws are widely misused to settle personal scores and target religious minorities. Though the majority of accusations are made against Muslims, in some cases where non-Muslims are accused, their entire community may be attacked. Pray today that the blasphemy laws would be amended.
Last June, Taimoor Raza was the first person to be sentenced to death by the Anti-Terrorism Court for allegedly committing blasphemy on Facebook. Please pray for justice in his case, and that this ruling does not lead to more accusations of blasphemy on social media.
Today please pray for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy. She has been on death row since 2010. Pray today for her unconditional release.
In March, 20 men accused of being part of the mob that burned Shama and Shezad Masih to death were acquitted of any wrongdoing. Pray that justice would be done in the case of Shama and Shezad, and that all those involved in their murders would be punished.
We’ve seen a worrying increase in the forced marriage and forced conversion of Christian and Hindu girls. These girls, usually just barely teenagers, are abducted, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men who are strangers to them. Often, their families never see them again. Pray that the government and police in Pakistan would take decisive action to stop these abductions.
Students in Pakistan are exposed to biased curriculum, which breeds discrimination against religious minorities. Religious minority students face discrimination as well as physical and mental abuse from fellow classmates and teachers. Pray today for a change in the education system, and for the introduction of unbiased textbooks and non-discriminatory curricula.
Lord, we thank you for the work of our partners in Pakistan, especially the Cecil and Iris Chaudhry Foundation and the National Commission for Justice and Peace. Thank you for their calling to work with religious minorities and seek justice for the oppressed: please bless their work and grant them the physical and spiritual resources they need.
Vă anunț, cu un sentiment de mare ușurare, că astăzi, înainte de prânz, „după lupte seculare”, care au durat mai mult de… zece ani, am predat la Polirom textele definitive și am semnat contractul final pentru volumul Omul evanghelic. O explorare a comunităților protestante românești. Este vorba de un volum masiv, de circa 650 de pagini, format mare, ce include texte elaborate de 19 autori, din interiorul și din afara mediului evanghelic.
Volumul va apărea în librării cel mai târziu până la începutul lunii septembrie, iar până la finalul aceleiași luni va fi disponibilă și versiunea ebook.
În viitorul apropiat voi voi începe să comunic, din când în când, mai multe informații despre acest proiect editorial.
Până atunci, pentru cei interesați, iată mai jos cuprinsul volumului.
Sudan has been on our minds a lot this year with the case of Reverend Hassan, Reverend Kuwa, Mr Jašek and Mr Abdumawla, all of whom were on trial on unjust charges last year. The men went through many months of imprisonment, separated from their families and frequently enduring harsh conditions. But God is good – Rev Kuwa was found innocent of all charges and released in January 2017. Mr Jašek received a presidential pardon and was freed in February, and in May both Mr Abdumawla and Rev Hassan were set free after receiving a presidential pardon. This, of course, exists in a wider context of extreme pressure on Christians in Sudan: let’s pray through the things they’re facing this week (source, HERE). Continue reading “CSW – Prayer Diary: Sudan”
No question about it, but in many churches there is not a designated time for the people to pray. Some churches are just too big for that, and even too big for a pastoral prayer. Others are so focused on the sermon that there is not time left for what we Anglicans call the “prayers of the people.”
In our liturgy, every Sunday, we have a time where we are led by a lay person in prayer. It’s called “intercession” or “intercessory prayers” when we pray for others, and when we do it in public it needs to be the sort of intercession that belongs in public. As a seminary student I had one professor whose opening prayers were of such significance that I wish they had gone into print, which of course they didn’t because they were not scripted prayers, but also because Murray Harris knew his class-opening prayers were so tied to that class, on that day, in that time in history that they weren’t relevant to others in different places and times.
Evidently Sam Wells, formerly chaplain, dean and professor at Duke and now Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, offered memorable prayers in chapel at Duke, so much so that folks began to gather them up and now we have in Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession, by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher, a fine study and collection of intercessory prayers.
Question for you who offer intercessions in public: How much time do you spend preparing? What do you think are the ingredients of good public intercessory prayers? And, pastors, do you offer a Pastoral Prayer in your public worship?
I’d like to offer you a form of contemplation—a practice of accepting paradox and holding the tension of contradictions—called The Welcoming Prayer.
First, identify a hurt or an offense in your life. Remember the feelings you first experienced with this hurt and feel them the way you first felt them. Notice how this shows up in your body. Paying attention to your body’s sensations keeps you from jumping into the mind and its dualistic games of good-guy/bad-guy, win/lose, either/or.
After you can identify the hurt and feel it in your body, welcome it. Stop fighting it. Stop splitting and blaming. Welcome the grief. Welcome the anger. It’s hard to do, but for some reason, when we name it, feel it, and welcome it, transformation can begin.Continue reading “Richard Rohr – The Welcoming Prayer”
For years we have watched as huge changes take place in Russia under the increasingly dictatorial rule of President Putin and his administration. Freedom of religion represents a threat to the current political agenda in Russia. Today, few—if any—foreign Christian mission groups have an official presence in Russia, having been pushed out by anti-evangelical regulations. Which is why it is crucial that we continue training national Next Generation Christian leaders in Russia through programs like Mission Eurasia’s School Without Walls. Equipping in-country Christian leaders with the training and tools to make disciples and influence their nation is the only effective approach to sharing the gospel in a country that is so hostile to outsiders.
I am writing today to inform you of a new, extremely alarming anti-missionary bill that is being considered tomorrow by the State Duma—the legislative house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. If passed, the bill would, among many other things, prohibit missionary and evangelistic activity in residential areas of Russia and limit missionaries to acting only on behalf of registered religious groups. I believe this is the most draconian anti-religion bill to be proposed in Russia since Nikita Khrushchev promised to eliminate Christianity in the Soviet Union. Continue reading “An Urgent Call to Prayer for Russia – UPDATE”
Our hearts break for children and families affected by indiscriminate violence across the world each and every day. Pain is real but so is hope and so is love. Join us @worldvision and #PrayForTheWorld
I have just created a new blog, where I intend to share with those interested the prayers I have gathered along the years from various Christian traditions. Enjoy, and if you want to share with me, for the blog, any prayers that have ministered to you, please do. God bless you all.
O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace.
Hear our prayer in this time of crisis.
Your power changes hearts.
Muslims, Christians, and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm,
that they are followers of the one God,
Children of Abraham, brothers and sisters;
enemies begin to speak to one another;
those who were estranged join hands in friendship;
nations seek the way of peace together.
Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these
truths by the way we live.
Give to us:
Understanding that puts an end to strife;
Mercy that quenches hatred, and
Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance.
Empower all people to live in your law of love.
And as a follower of Jesus,
I pray these things in the name of Christ.
(Thanks to my friend Rev Mae Cannon for this annonimous prayer.)
Yesterday was Earth Day, Caught up with posts related to the Armenian Genocide Centennial, I did not mark this important day. So. here is a great prayer for creation from the great Eastern Father St Basil the Great.
O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail.
May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for thee, and that they love the sweetness of live.
I want to share with you today a few thoughts that Clint Baldwin, from George Fox Evangelical Seminary, was shared on his web page on a new book on prayer by MaryKate Morse. Here is the beginning of the article.
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
Compassionate God and Father of all, we are horrified at violence in so many parts of the world. It seems that none are safe, and some are terrified.
Hold back the hands that kill and maim; turn around the hearts that hate. Grant instead your strong Spirit of Peace – peace that passes our understanding but changes lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
(From the website of the Church of England. Thanks to my friend Deaconess Gill Kimber for the quote.)
In the 1970s, Trappist monks Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, and William Meninger reintroduced Christians to contemplation through the simple practice of Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is one good way to draw us into the silence that surrounds and holds us, but of which we are too often unaware. It helps us sink into the wordless reality of who God is and who we ourselves are.
1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, breathing naturally, relaxing deeply. Become aware of your love and desire for God in this moment.
2. Choose a word or phrase that expresses your intention to be open to God’s presence (such as this week’s Gateway to Silence—“Just be.”—or Grace, Rest, etc.).
3. Hold the word gently, without speaking, repeating it in your mind slowly.
4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, sensations), simply return to the word, which symbolizes your intention.
5. Gradually let the word fall away as you slip into silence. Rest in silence.
6. Continue in silence as long as you wish (20 minutes twice daily is suggested by many teachers).
O Father, We pray that you will grant to the people of this nation the will to do good, To flee from evil, and To practice all righteousness, asking us to be respectful of life and sharers of your blessings, Caring for one another in mercy and truth. And we pray that you will banish all evil from our hearts and wickedness from our laws, enabling us to be servants of your holy will and performers of your love. Through Christ our Lord, Amen!
Note: I absolutely love this article, which tries to bring a little bit of rationality into a debate that was marred by fanaticism and the sick presuppositions of the ‘cultural war’ pathological obsession of the Religious Right in the United States.
I will paste here just a few quotes, as a teaser. I hope I will succeed in making you interested to read the entire article, which you can do HERE. The bold passages are my emphases.
* * *
It was a mistake to read about Janine Turner’s push to bring prayer “back” to school so early in the morning.
Then came my next mistake of the day: reading what Facebook commenters had to say about the article. “It’s about time we put God back in school.” “No coincidence: schools got violent when we took God out of them!” Likes all around. These self-proclaiming Christian people were apparently totally comfortable with the idea that we are powerful enough to remove God from the world he created. Fine with this blasphemy that we can take God out of schools, just like we can take Christ out of Christmas.
This conception of God, though, is not one that I can get behind. I object to any mission to bring prayer “back” to school because I can’t support the faulty theology—downright heresy—of implying God is only around to hear our prayers when the building sanctions his presence.