Pause with Scripture
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.Isaiah 40:26 (NIV)
This week’s terrible accident, where 54 people were killed when a truck smuggling 150 people through Mexico towards the US border overturned, once again highlighted the perilous journeys many will take in search of a better life and put the spotlight on the wider migration crisis across Latin America. At Christmas we remember that Jesus was born after Mary and Joseph had to travel for a census and stay in a stable and then the family had to flee to Egypt to escape persecution. Please pray for all those who are displaced across Latin America and for the underlying issues of poverty, inequality, violence and climate change to be addressed.
Ecuador: new base for the Orchid Project
Praise God that the Orchid Project in Ecuador has been able to find a new base. Pray for Sharon Wilcox who leads the project and for all those with disabilities with whom Sharon ministers, teaching them life skills.
Argentina: wisdom, discernment, energy
Pray for wisdom and discernment for Nick Drayson and Catherine Le Tissier as they juggle many different responsibilities and travel widely across Northern Argentina. Pray for energy as they travel across difficult terrain and minister in different cultures. As the Diocese of Northern Argentina looks at the renewal of the site in Juarez, also Nick and Catherine’s home, pray for the right plans to emerge and a shared vision for the future of that centre. Pray too for the continuing transition to local leadership in the diocese.
Sudan: tribal violence
There has been more tribal violence in Darfur, with 100 killed in recent clashes in West and South Darfur and thousands forced to flee. The government has sent a force of 3,300 to protect civilians in the area. Pray that violence can be contained and that the different tribes can learn to live in peace.
South Sudan: flooding
It is reported that floodwaters in Unity State are not receding and that hundreds of thousands remain displaced and in desperate need of assistance. Nearly three million people lack access to basic healthcare. Pray for so many people without homes, without hope – and pray fervently for some way of meeting these urgent needs.
Europe, Middle East and North Africa
Pray for the people of Lebanon, who continue to suffer the consequences of a dire economic and political crisis, as this video shows.
Afghanistan: healthcare, lack of food and more
Please pray for the people of Afghanistan, where the healthcare system is now “on the brink of collapse” due to Omicron, 22 million people (more than half the population) do not have enough to eat and an economic crisis is leaving many people unable to afford essentials. Girls’ schools continue to be closed and most women have lost their jobs. Pray for hope for all in this desperate situation.
Philippines: millions at risk from storm
Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the Philippines as “one of the world’s strongest storms” of the year made landfall in mid-eastern parts of the island nation. Pray for help to reach all those who need it.
South Asia: Christmas music video
E and R ask for prayer for a special Christmas music video made by their church. E has written lyrics for a song called A Thousand Voices, which tells the Christmas story from the point of view of the stars. This is a culture steeped in astrology, where people ascribe much importance to what the stars might be saying. In this song, the stars end up saying, “Stars are so bright; but, if you follow us, our message to you is, Follow him! He invented light…” Pray for this music video to be a challenge, a help and an encouragement to many this Christmas.