Prayers of the people
Each week during Advent we offer prayers for one of the places being supported by the Christmas Bowl this year. This week:
Finding strength in love after fleeing Syria How do we share God’s unconditional love with those who have suffered unimaginable violence?
When their city of Hama came under siege, Rima and her husband Kateb fled for Jordan with their children. As they were escaping, one of their young sons was hit by a chemical strike, and died an agonising death.
Since then, the family have been living in refugee camps in Jordan, staying together in tents, with no way to support themselves.
But they were brave and resilient and have found the strength to carry on. Through the support of the Christmas Bowl they are able to access food packages and hygiene kits from Act for Peace’s partner in Jordan, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR). Rima now also brings in a small income for her family by selling Syrian food.
In our prayers, let us bring to mind the millions who live in this matrix of violence, constant anxiety, grief, bravery – that the message of Christ’s may lead us to support them.
Merciful God, we pray for the people of Syria, especially for those who are called to support and sustain those weighed down by grief and tragedy; may they be signs of hope.
Gracious God, we pray for those in Australia and in our local communities who are similarly weighed down by anxiety, or domestic violence, or mental illness. Help us to be available to be their friends and supporters.
God of hope, we pray for those who lead us in this time of anxiety about climate change, the destruction of fires, and racism. May the bravery and resilience of Rima and Kateb and so many other like them rebuke and challenge our nation’s political leaders.
Servant lord of the church, on this day of baptism, we pray for Arvin and all throughout your world church who this day are taking a new step of faith. May we and all churches be courageous, confident and gentle in nurturing young and old in faith.
God of all, we gather these prayers, conscious of the countless people and scattered places that have come to our minds. May the that the light of Christ, for whose coming we wait, shed hope and truth all those for whom we pray. Amen.
Geoff Thompson, offered for worship with Lucy Hardman, 22/12/19, Advent 4A