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Archive for August, 2010

The following plea for prayer for the flood victims of Pakistan was received from a Pakistani Christian sister by e-mail:

My people are aching. From beneath the swirling, rushing waters, the memories of my people are crying out! So many of their stories have been left half-finished; so many plans left incomplete; so many dreams and hopes are lying at the bottom of their flood-ridden villages and towns.

Where the children are alive and untouched by disease, their possessions and homes have been washed away. In some areas, where people are able to come back to their homes, they are met with polluted water and airborne diseases. In a few cases, where their belongings have not been destroyed by dampness, the danger of Cholera is all around. I am not exaggerating anything! It will take 30 years to recover from this crisis. But will that bring back the baptism certificates which legitimize the faith of hundreds of Christians? Will it bring back the discipleship materials circulating among underground churches?

Please pray for us. Every day we hear of more deaths. There are snakes everywhere because they have been washed up in the flood, and are now a risk to us all. People who find themselves homeless are dying of poisoning because of unsafe cooking conditions. The high suicide count is particularly worrying. Hopelessness skims the flood waters like an annoying crow that squawks at you when you want silence. Pray we will find quietness and confidence and strength.

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Crime Victims Advocacy Council (CVAC), an organization of people, who care about the needs of victims of crime, offers the following prayer:

Dear Lord,

I pray for all those victimized by violent crime. In 2006 a total of 25 million crimes were committed in the United States and six million were violent and 19 million were property crimes. (Source: NCVRW Resource Guide of 2009)

Please comfort and care for those crime victims and enable us to be Your feet and hands and mouth as we minister to them in Your name. You are the Great Physician and healer of all. You create healing in our bodies, our minds, our spirit and our soul when we are wounded. You redeem us through Your Son. By Your stripes we are healed. By faith in You we are made whole.

We ask for your blessings for those who want to support crime survivors to gather together and stand united with them. We are indeed united as brothers and sisters in the journey towards healing for all survivors of violent crime. When one of us is hurting after a robbery, a rape, or a murder we are all hurting as a community whose shalom has been violated at the deepest level. Help us to help the wounded and to take them to the Inn of healing and to bind up their wounds and give them all they need to get better, instead of bitter.

Our mission is simple and straight from the Good Samaritan Parable whose loving neighbor helps the crime survivor to heal.

Let us send out a message that crime will not be tolerated because it harms our people and our community and our sense of shalom. Let those who choose to commit crime on our streets face secular justice and, more importantly, Your eternal justice for their actions. We pray for justice for all crime victims and for their rights to be safeguarded. We pray that criminals will accept Christ, be changed and made anew to stop hurting us. We pray for criminals to make amends for the harm they caused with restitution and community service.

Bless all of the clergy and lay ministers and Stephen minister volunteers, victim service professionals and friends of crime survivors who donate their time to their wounded neighbors. Lord, I ask for your help to send messages of healing and love and peace to them as they live out the meaning of being a Good Samaritan to their victimized neighbor.

Let lives be touched by Your Hand.

Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings that you bestow upon us and may we strive to be worthy of them.

It is our fervent prayer that we all become the best helper we can be for all crime survivors that we encounter.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Crime Victims Advocacy Council (CVAC) was organized in July 1989, under the guidance of Urban Action, Inc., the urban ministry program of the United Methodist Church in North Georgia. Urban Action, through participation in various types of assistance programs, became aware of unmet needs of the many crime victims of our society. CVAC was developed specifically to respond to these needs, Subsequently; CVAC incorporated as an independent, nonprofit organization.

Crime Victims Advocacy Council was featured in a recent UNI OutLook interview by George Carden with Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook, author of, “Redeeming the Wounded,” by xulonpress.com. For more information about CVAC, go to: http://www.cvaconline.org, or e-mail them at: askcvac@aol.com.

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This year Ramadan runs from August 11 through September 9 — a season of spiritual severity. The Muslim community around the world refrains from food and other pleasures in order to cleanse the soul and renew their devotion to Allah. Though violence against Christians intensifies during this holy month in the Muslim World, many people are also discovering Jesus, and begin to seek Him.

Can you think of a more urgent time for the body of Christ here in the U.S. to unite in prayer for the Muslim World?

The ministry of Open Doors, USA, points out that eight of the top 10 countries on their 2010 World Watch List, have Islamic governments and so do 35 of the top 50 on the list. The annual World Watch List reveals the worst persecutors of Christians. Those eight countries include:

Iran (2),
Saudi Arabia (3),
Somalia (4),
Maldives (5),
Afghanistan (6),
Yemen (7),
Mauritania (8) and
Uzbekistan (10)

In addition, there are at least 200 Muslim people groups of over 100,000 people who do not have any Christian witness. But they are reachable through the power of prayer. As Open Doors founder Brother Andrew says, “Our prayers can go where we cannot. While many things may seem impossible from a human standpoint, in the realm of prayer there are no impossibilities.”

“This is an extraordinary time for praying for both Christians and Muslims in these Islamic nations,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “The season of Ramadan gives Christians in the West an entire month to focus on praying for these individuals.”

For those desiring to learn more about Christians living in Islamic nations, you may visit Open Doors Web site at: opendoorsusa.org

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