Prayer for October 2018
Earlier this month there was discussion about those bits of the Bible that we don't like. As I write this, an example was given with the reading of Mark 7 which had Jesus referring to a woman needing help, as 'a dog'. Mike led us in his sermon to consider the circumstances and how it was a process of teaching the apostles the hard facts of following his message. It also has been suggested that there was a certain humour in Jesus’s response to the woman as “you a gentile come to a Jewish healer for help?” Whatever, surely the Christian message for us is that we do not judge people by their nationality or creed. Unfortunately, it seems humans require enemies to justify frustrations but it is not a Christian outlook. During the last 100 years many mothers, of many countries, lost their sons and daughters in the two world wars. History, the Press and bad government show us that national anger can be fermented easily over as short period of time. Nowadays, the red poppy needs the white one with it. As we pray for peace in the world we need to reject the stigmatising of the dog. The dogs don't deserve it!
God, our heavenly Father,
We pray for those who are suffering because of their place of birth; for the Rohingya Muslims living in huge refugee camps having been cast out of Myanmar; for families living in Syria expecting bombing from their own government.
We know your challenge for Christians to help rehouse refugees fleeing conflict and we bless those who have accepted the needy. We give thanks for the charities who work in difficult zones, the Red Cross, Medecins sans Frontieres, Christian Aid and Save the Children.
We think of those people of many nationalities who are unable to sort their immediate future because of visa restrictions and any who suffer harsh treatment in low-paid servants’ work. For all in government and authority we ask for your blessing that peace will reign in the world.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,