‘I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope’ Psalm 130:5
Advent God, who came among us in Christ Jesus, the divine word in human form, we wait upon you as we pray for the needs of the world. For in you aloner is our hope. Holy Spirit, inform our prayers and guide our actions so that your kingdom of justice and peace, love and hope can be realised. Amen.
On World Aids Day 1st December, we pray for the 36.7 million people who have the HIV virus. We thank God for the scientific advances that have been made in the treatment of HIV and laws that protect people living with the virus. We pray that greater awareness of HIV and AIDS will continue to limit the spread of infection.
10th December is the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly after the end of the Second World War. We pray that leaders of all nations will uphold these rights and ensure all people are treated with respect.
The Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1979. We give thanks for the Thursdays in Black movement and the UN Women’s ‘Orange the World’ campaign, raising awareness of human rights violations against women. We thank God for all those who provide safe refuge for women experiencing violence.
Rev Margarita Todorova has told us that the politicians in Bulgaria have listened to various religious groups and have backed down on some of their proposed changes to the Religious Law. However, some now want only religious denominations with membership of over 3000 to be able to register. This would threaten the registration of the Methodist Church in Bulgaria. Please pray that this proposal is also rescinded.
Christians in Cameroon are suffering from brutal persecution. The Right Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon has written, ‘We ask you to pray for those responsible, that they will repent and turn from their wickedness. We also pray for the healing and protection of those who have suffered so much and who are still suffering at the hands of their attackers. Above all we ask that we will soon be delivered from this evil’.
From Zimbabwe, we get news of continuing economic hardship and profound disappointment that the new political leadership has not resulted in better living conditions for ordinary people. Yet, undaunted, the women are busy raising funds for their next Area Seminar in Kenya in November 2019. We pray for the Southern and East Africa Area women that they remain strong in Christ.
People in many parts of the world are searching for safety. Mediterranean Hope, an initiative of the Italian Federation of Protestant Churches, works with migrants coming to Italy from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. It aims to aid vulnerable migrants by protecting them from human traffickers, while supporting their requests for asylum to allow legal entry into the country. It also provides hospitality and accommodation for refugees. We pray for Mediterranean Hope staff and supporters.
In all these situations, may we find hope in and through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.