In God's Hands - praying in partnership with churches around the world.
This week we pray for Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Give thanks for:
Christians who, although they are a tiny minority, have courage to witness to the gospel and find the strength to live according to God’s word.
Those who in spite of danger give their lives to serve others.
Peace-makers struggling to end hostility and violence, particularly in Afghanistan.
Movements towards democracy.
Soldiers who refuse to kill their own people.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent, Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International and all who work on behalf of political prisoners and the dispossessed.
Khoomi singing in Mongolia, a kind of singing where one person produces two different notes at the same time.
An end to violence in Afghanistan, and the ability of tribal ethnic leaders to govern their country with peace and justice.
Those, especially in Afghanistan, still affected by war, violence, landmines and drought, along with those who have lost their homes and become refugees.
Stability and justice for the countries of the former Soviet Union, as they continue to create new forms of government and life.
The land, air and water that have been damaged by human abuse.
Good relations between Muslims and Christians.
An end to oppression in many of these countries.
And so, that is why, at nightfall when my people are asleep, kneeling barefoot, close to the altar of my little chapel, I become their intercessor - like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, like Jesus. A stick of sandalwood sends forth its fragrance, the symbol of all of those who today are worn out with their labours in suffering, or in love. And I am there, weighed down with all the faults of my people, afflicted with all their sorrows, heavy with all their hopes - all of those who today have fallen asleep thinking only to meet a Judge - to them I present him as their Saviour, and I introduce them to the eternal Nuptials. All those little children who were born this day, I make children of God. All the prayers said today in the homes, the mosques, I transform into an "Our Father". My heart is nothing more than the melting pot, where, in the fire of Christ's love, all the dross of my people is turned into gold - and through my lips it is the whole of Afghanistan who cries that "Abba" to the Father that the Holy Spirit inspires.
(Afghanistan: from A Procession of Prayers - Meditations and Prayers from Around the World, compiled by John Carden, © by Cassell, London, and WCC Geneva.)
that we may receive your blessing,
touch our brows, touch our heads,
and do not look upon us in anger.
In a hard year be our mercy;
in a year of affliction, be our kindness;
dark spirits banish from us;
bright spirits bring close to us;
grey spirits put away from us;
good spirits draw near to us.
When I am afraid, be my courage;
when I am ashamed, be my true face;
be thou over me like a blanket,
be thou under me like a bed of furs.
(Mongolia. With All God’s People, compiled by John Carden, WCC, 1989, p.65.)