PRAYER NETWORK - DECEMBER
Jesus lived rightly to affirm human rights and dignity
Prayer Network – December 2020
As we approach the celebration of the Incarnation of
our God at Christmas, let us ponder that:
God who is infinite, almighty, all seeing, all knowing, alleverything good and perfect, left Godly rights – the
glory of who God is – God’s power, and freedom to
become a human being …in humility and servanthood.
Jesus lived right to restore human rights and dignity.
December offers us many significant days and events
Among them are
1 December: World AIDS Day
2 December: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
8 December: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
9 December: International Anti-Corruption Day
10 December: Human Rights Day
18 December: International Migrants Day
25 December: Christmas Day
27 December: Feast of the Holy Family (Last Sunday of the year)
Like universal human rights, these significant days concern everyone, are interconnected and affect all humanity.
Let us be reminded that all humans are created in the image of God— slavery in any form is unacceptable. All women are created in the image of God— women’s rights are human rights.
Children are created in the image of God—every child has innate dignity.
“I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t?
Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” – Joan Chittister
Human responsibility to right living is called forth
for every human being.
We are all responsible to ensure that justice
prevails and mercy be extended liberally.
Jesus’ life and teachings call us all to emulate God’s love and mercy. If we all concentrated on how to live justly and to emulate the love and mercy of Jesus, we could build a better world where rights are upheld, human needs are taken care of and there is peace on earth.
‘There’s enough on this planet for everyone’s
needs but not everyone’s greed.’
We continue to strive to work towards a harmonious world where justice, peace, mercy and love find a place in every sphere. Let us pray as we lay our concerns before the infant in the manger, ‘the Word made flesh’ who comes that we may have life and have it to the full.
You may wish to use the following prayer each day in December, or specifically on Human Rights Day or before the Crib on and around Christmas.
God of peace, breathe new life into our fractured world and end the divisions that distance us from you and each other. Breathe on leaders, that they respect the rights of all human beings and work for peace. Breathe on those whose hearts are filled with hate and anger that they open their clenched fists and begin to embrace. Breathe on the influential, that they use their power for the common good of all. Breathe on each individual and bring forgiveness, healing
and reconciliation that life may be free from fear and conflicts. God of peace, breathe peace into cold hearts, as a warming breeze to waken the seed of love that sits inside, waiting to germinate and grow. Breathe peace into our world.
(Pause: Call to mind leaders, influential people that you know and breathe into them the peace of God)
For all who struggle to find their identity and their place in a world that often seeks to control, constrict, confine or exclude them, grant them courage to become the people you want them to be, not constrained by this world’s stereotypes and narrow mindsets but free to grow to become who they are meant to be in your Spirit’s power. In our divisive world where religious voices invoke your name to justify violence and hate, help us remember we are all your children – banker or beggar, homeowner or homeless, citizen or refugee, well fed or hungry. ,newly born or aged, LGBTQ+ or straight, your love extends to all, help us, O God of love, to be channels of your love.
(Pause: Call to mind people you know who struggle with identity and surround them with the love of God)
May our voices and our lives express what unites and impel us to share your love so graciously poured out for us. Where believers struggle to declare their faith openly, keep them safe, where human rights defenders seek justice, protect them, and if words cannot be spoken, may their lives speak of your gracious love, and may your unspoken truth, touch both mind and hearts as your gentle Spirit covers the earth. Keep safe, O God, the vulnerable in our towns and cities; the homeless, the cold and hungry, all who experience domestic violence, and gender based violence, the enslaved, the trafficked, the exploited, the depressed, the suicidal, the elderly, the lonely, the oppressed and the invisible, and especially those who at this time are affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.
(Pause: Lift up specific groups of people known to you by visualizing them in your mind)
Merciful God, free our world from greed, arrogance and self-interest to acknowledge that those outside our doors- the poor, homeless, outcast, exploited and marginalized – are our sisters and brothers to be loved and respected and have a right to care and a share in the world’s resources.
Let your healing love transform our world that the hungry be filled, the blind see; the lost be found and the lame may jump for joy. May your kingdom come on earth. May it be so here, Lord, within our families, schools, workplaces, cities, towns and villages. Forgive us when we talk about refugees and victims of trafficking and other atrocities in terms of numbers, rather than persons whose rights and dignity have been violated. God of compassion and mercy, we pray, help those who are refugees as a result of warfare, violence, neglect or abuse, and now find themselves adrift in a world that does not know how best to
deal with them. Teach us how to respond to these visible, and invisible victims of a fractured world, and to provide them with a welcome, inclusion, a home, access to basic services, and dignified work.
Bless those who work tirelessly to bring about justice and peace, restoring human rights and dignity and making our world a better place. Amen.
(Adapted from Faith and Worship John Birch, 2016)
We pray that we may all learn to love tenderly, act justly and walk humbly with our God while ensuring ’everyone’s rights are upheld and honored.
May the birth of Christ, our Savior fill us with a freshness of love, a renewal of hope, and plenteous joy to fill our world and especially those we accompany in our ministries so that together we experience the fullness of life that Jesus brings.
Glory To God in the Highest
and Peace on earth to people of Goodwill