Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering Nigeria - prayers of praise, and intercession

Wonderful to see some of the photos of the recent ordination of deaconesses at the 44th/9th Biennial Conference of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, held in the Barham Cathedral, Port Harcourt. Deaconess Ibironke O. Oremade-Oworu reports that the  Prelate himself put crosses on the deaconesses after the laying on of hands. The deaconesses were ordained in a service that included the ordination of new presbyters. We give thanks for these new deaconesses and offer prayers for their ministries.

(Photos from Deaconess Ibironke O. Oremade-Oworu)

Please hold the Order of Deaconesses in the Methodist Church in Nigeria in your prayers.

As well, please remember in your prayers the current Ebola outbreak, the largest in the nearly 40-year history of the virus, which has affected 1,603 and killed 887 people this year in four Western African countries — Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, according to the WHO. Ebola, which spreads through body fluid or secretions such as faeces, urine, saliva and semen, can kill up to 90 percent of those infected. The fatality rate of the current epidemic is about 60 percent.

A Nigerian health official says that eight people who were in direct contact with the man who flew to Lagos and later died of Ebola are now showing symptoms of the disease. All have been placed into quarantine. Two deaths have been confirmed in Nigeria. A doctor who treated the first victim of Ebola in Nigeria's most populous city of Lagos has been infected with the virus less than two weeks after the patient died in a public hospital in the West African country.

Please hold in your prayers Deaconess Ibironke O. Oremade-Oworu, who serves as Conference Health Secretary, Methodist Church, Nigeria.

These prayers may enliven your own prayers for West Africa and the threat of the Ebola virus:

God of our anguish, we cry to you
For all who wrestle with Ebola.
Grant we pray, peace to the afraid,
Your welcome to the dying and
Your comfort to those living with loss.
And, merciful Father,
bless those many loving hands
that bravely offer care and hope.
(Revd Canon Edgar Ruddock)

God of healing,
whose Son healed those who were brought to him.
Hear our prayer for the peoples of West Africa
suffering from the Ebola outbreak.
Inspire and enable your church
to be a source of healing, comfort and hope to those affected,
and an agent for the education
and equipping of communities
to stop the spread of this disease.
For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(Revd Tim Harford)

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