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Reflections: Praying for the World through Pictures

(From the practice that Kellye guided us through on Sunday, August 9th)

I’d love to introduce you to or invite you back into a practice that has enriched my prayer life. It is a way to use the pictures we see every day about the tragedies in the world as a way to pray for restoration and healing and to celebrate God’s kingdom in the midst of these tragedies.

I will simply walk us through pictures relating to our own country, after each one, we will pray in our groups; and then we will join our voices together to seek God’s mercy. We will then do the same thing through pictures relating to the world. You will know the prayer time is done when Aaron plays the piano.

Each picture depicts people; and each picture depicts, in subtle ways, systems, systems that are unjust and broken, and systems that bring help to those in need.

May we offer prayers to our God who made and loves every human face; and who instructs us to seek justice, exhibit mercy, and love our enemies.

Our country

  1. Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina

This first picture shows a gathering of congregants in prayer after nine men and women were killed at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina in June.

Let us pray for each deeply loved person in this picture and all those we don’t see, the families of the men and women who were killed, and the shooter, Dylann Roof. Let us pray that God’s kingdom will break through, in the midst of racial injustice, hatred, and broken systems in our country.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

  1. Gun Violence in Chicago

This next picture is of a young boy and two police officers on the South Side of Chicago during the 4th of July weekend. Over the fourth of July alone, 10 individual men, women and children were shot and killed and 55 other men, women, and children were shot and injured.

Let us pray for each deeply loved person in this picture – the young boy and the two police officers. Let us also pray for this boy’s family, the individuals and families of all those who were shot or killed, and for the police officers working on the South Side of Chicago. Let us pray that God’s kingdom will break through, in the midst of the gun violence that is ravishing our city and our country.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

  1. Politics: Clinton & Trump

This next picture is of two of our presidential candidates running in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Look at the eyes of the two people in this picture. This woman and this man were made in God’s very image, and are so loved by God that He gave His one and only Son to give them eternal life.

Let us pray for the woman and the man in this picture. Let us pray for every political candidate in the upcoming 2016 elections, especially for the one(s) you feel most resistance to in your mind and heart. Let us pray that God’s kingdom will break through in the midst of the divisive, vitriolic atmosphere that characterizes politics in our country. And let us pray that we would be examples of love and kindness so that all will know we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

The world

  1. Israel and Palestine

In this first picture, we see family members of an 18-month old Palestinian baby who was burned when the home he was sleeping in was burned to the ground by extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The conflict in Israel/Palestine continues between people that have suffered in inconceivable ways and seek security and a people who are occupied and seek freedom.

Let us pray for each deeply loved person we see in this picture and all those we don’t see; Let us pray for the people who live in Israel and Palestine, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and non-religious; let us pray for the broken systems and governments that underlie what we see. Let us pray that God’s kingdom of peace would break through in the midst of this conflict.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

  1. South Sudan

In this next picture, we see mothers getting food aid delivered to them in South Sudan. Experts predict that 2.5 million people will be subject to a deathly famine in this war torn area of the world. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children may die in the worst famine in 25 years.

Let us pray for each deeply loved person we see in this picture and the millions we don’t see; let us pray for the broken systems and governments that underlie what we see; let us pray that God’s kingdom would break through and that famine would be averted, that peace would reign, and that life would thrive in South Sudan.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

  1. Syrian girl

This last picture is 4-year old Adi Hudea, a Syrian girl who raised her hands in surrender when she confused a photographer’s camera for a gun. Adi has been living in a refugee camp with her family since 2012. 220,000 people have been killed in Syrian’s civil war, which has created one of the largest refugee crises of our time.

Let us pray for Adi, this deeply loved girl, and every child caught in this Syrian war. Let us pray for all those impacted that we don’t see; and let us cry out to God for the broken systems and governments that underlie what we see. Let us pray that God’s kingdom would break through in the midst of this tragedy.

Space to pray

Please join me in seeking God’s mercy: Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

 

PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS

 

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