This week the WCC Ecumenical Prayer Cycle has a focus on two Asian countries where we have Deaconess Associations - Indonesia and the Philippines. This post has a focus on the Philippines including prayers provided by the Deaconess Associations in the Philippines (scroll down to video)
Prayers of thanks:
* the vital witness of churches in this region;
* those who have resisted bravely and worked for human rights, justice, peace and reconciliation, especially the National Council of Churches in the Philippines;
* those who protest exploitative mining, deforestation and other environmental damage.
We pray for:
* government to eradicate corruption, establish justice and peace, and work effectively for the wellbeing of all their people;
* victims of violence, torture, drug and human trafficking, and human rights violations, that those responsible might be held accountable;
* all those affected by earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters, and for the rebuilding of communities afterwards;
* ecumenical and interfaith cooperation to bring justice, peace and sustainability to these lands.
The following information has been provided by DIAKPhils (Deaconess Associations in the Philippines).
PHILIPPINES : Typhoon Rolly (International name Goni) has left massive destruction to infrastructure, agriculture, animals and has taken people's lives. Bicol Region was the the center of the strongest winds and rain that brought about flood, lahar (a destructive mudflow) in the Typhoon belt area. This was recorded as the strongest typhoon in 2020, worldwide. According to reports, damage to infrastructure and livelihood reached Php5.8Billion. Damage to pthe ower facilities in the area affected is Php300Million.
But relief and aid efforts stepped up and Philippines “Bayanihan” (helping out) culture once again provided help in this difficult condition.
Our misfortunes bring out the best in us, helping others even if we too needed the same help; anchoring our faith to our known God, so that no matter how strong the typhoon that will come, it will only weaken the things that surrounds us but will strengthen the faith that is within us. The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7
We seek help of prayer to God for protection and mercy for those who are deeply affected by Typhoon Rolly.
We pray for consolation, Lord. Create in us a heart to 'have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be our confidence and will keep our feet from being snared'. (Proverbs 3:25-36)
When disasters have left a trail of destruction in people's lives and property, we are reminded that human wickedness is becoming extensive and that we need to be disciplined from our dreadful actions.
We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, when your creation is destroyed because of our own doings. Be merciful to us , O God, be merciful to us , for in you our souls take refuge; in the shadow of your wings we will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalm 57:1-2)
We know you are not an angry God. You love your creation and you will replace everything that was lost. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Psalm 46:1-2
A prayer from WCC resources
Lord, make us realize that our Christianity is like a rice field: when it is newly planted the paddies are prominent, but as the plants take root and grow taller, these divided paddies gradually vanish, and soon there appears only one vast continuous field. So give us roots that love, and help us grow in Christian fellowship and service, that your will be done in our lives, through our Saviour, your Son, Jesus Christ.
(From the Philippines. A Procession of Prayers: Meditations and Prayers from around the World, comp. John Carden, WCC and Cassell, London, UK, 1998, p. 174)